Agate Bridge
Agate Bridge Agate Bridge is about 10 miles south of I/S 40 along the main park road. This is the easiest of the spans in this section to view since it is right along the road. Keystone N.B. is in the Blue Mesa area. Chinde and Onyx Bridges are in the Painted Desert part of the Park north of I/S 40. Agate Bridge was known before the petrified forest became a National Monument in 1906. Early observers placed a masonry support under the bridge around the turn-of-the-century. The present concrete support was installed in 1917, a year after the creation of the Park Service. The philosophy of the Park Service has changed somewhat over the years. While the philosophy has always been to protect existing objects, the feeling now is more to let nature take its course. Had such a policy been in effect early on, the concrete support would probably not have been installed. Of course, this policy could have led to the early demise of the span; and it would not be here for the public to enjoy. Just as a side note, no one is suggesting that Landscape Arch, qv, be propped-up to forestall its fall even though it is the longest span in the world. The author gratefully acknowledges information supplied by a Petrified Forest Park Ranger.


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