The bridge that replaces the Slabtown Bridge, which crosses the Loyalsock Creek on Route 973 between Eldred and Upper Fairfield townships, was dedicated on Tuesday to a local man who spent his life building bridges.
The 345-foot bridge, completed last November to replace its predecessor that was washed away during Tropical Storm Lee on Sept. 8, 2011, now will be known as the “George E. Logue Sr. Memorial Bridge.”
Logue, who owned a construction company, patented several mechanical innovations, and had one of the largest Caterpillar tractors collections in the country, made his home on Wallis Run Road in Eldred Township until his death last Oct. 30 at 85.
“I’ve crossed these bridges, I can’t remember, probably 10,000 times. My family lived nine miles up this road, and the Logue family lived seven miles up,” state Sen. E. Eugene Yaw said at a dedication ceremony Tuesday afternoon. “The first backhoe (George) had he built himself on an old Chevy truck. He thought he could build a better backhoe than he could buy. Anyone who grew up on Wallis Run Road couldn’t forget seeing the helicopter he flew parked along there.”
Yaw, R-Loyalsock Township, said he and state Rep. Garth Everett were able to pass the bridge’s name as a “stand-alone” bill, rather than the large omnibus bills such designations often are thrown into, which Yaw thought was fitting because it is “a unique bill for a talented and unique individual.”
Everett said he had the “privilege of working for George Logue Construction when in college. Much of what I learned there was more applicable than what I learned at Penn State.”
He noted that this is the third version of the Slabtown bridge.
“Us old-timers know the kids are jumping off the abutments to the old Slabtown Bridge,” Everett said.
Lt. Gov. Jim Cawley made some remarks. Cawley said that after the Lee flooding, “hundreds of roads were closed and dozens of bridges were destroyed, (and) we continued our long tradition as a commonwealth of caring for one another.”
Carolyn Logue Martin, the sixth of 10 children of George and Elizabeth Logue, spoke of her father’s legacy before the family in attendance unveiled his name on the sign.
“I can’t imagine an honor greater than this,” Martin said. “When I think of Dad, these types of things meant so much to him. This is saying, ‘this is a life well-lived’ to him. He spent his life engineering roads and bridges.”