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Ghost Town Tuesday; Utah State Route 128, Dewey, and the Old Dewey Bridge

Back in 2015 I was visiting Moab, Utah for some hiking.  On my way out of town I was heading eastward into Colorado.  Conventional fair travel would have me on US Route 191 north to I-70 east into Colorado.  I was in the mood for something a little more remote and took Utah State Route 128 from Moab along the Colorado River through the Dewey ghost town to I-70.


UT 128 is a 44.56 mile State Highway located entirely in Grand County running eastward from US 191 to I-70 near the ghost town of Cisco.  UT 128 largely follows the narrow canyons of the Colorado River before splitting away towards Old US 50/6 near Cisco to I-70.  UT 128 is often cited to dating back to being created in 1933, the highway can be seen on this 1950 Utah State Highway Map.

1950 State Highway Map

Heading east from Moab UT 128 follows the south bank of the Colorado River.  The Fisher Towers can be seen from UT 128 at the junction of Fisher Towers Road.  The Fisher Towers is formation of several large sandstone columns with the largest being the "Titan" at approximately 900 feet high.


At UT 128 mile marker 30 the highway crosses to the north bank of the Colorado River at the former town site Dewey which was first occupied in the 1880s as ferry crossing.


Next to the modern crossing the Old Dewey Bridge which was completed in 1916.  The Old Dewey Bridge is identical to the Cameron Bridge (albeit shorter) which used to carry US Route 89 over the Little Colorado River in Arizona.  At the time of it's completion the Old Dewey Bridge was the second longest suspension bridge in the western United States after the Cameron Bridge.

The Old Dewey Bridge was replaced by the modern span in 1988.  In 2000 the Old Dewey Bridge was restored but it was burned down accidentally by a child in 2008.  Despite the wooden road deck of the Old Dewey Bridge being burned the cables and suspension span still remain floating over the Colorado River.




Today there isn't much left of Dewey aside from a derelict gas station off to the side of UT 128.


East of Dewey the route of UT 128 swings north towards Cisco and Old US 50/6 just to the west of the Cisco ghost town.  UT 128 swings briefly westward on Old US 50/6 to I-70 Exit 204.  Previously I wrote about Old US 50/6 and the Cisco ghost town which can be found here:

Ghost Town Tuesday; Cisco, UT and Old US 50/6

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