Wednesday, December 25, 2019

20 years of nighttime dazzle; Bieneman’s lighted truss bridge is a Burlington spectacle

From The Journal

Click to enlarge

TOWN OF BURLINGTON — Roger and Joy Bieneman’s driveway is like no other.
First, it’s an old truss bridge — built in 1877 and the oldest of its kind in all of Wisconsin, Roger believes. It crosses Honey Creek to their 25-acre farm near Burlington Municipal Airport.
Its other unique feature is that at this time of year, every night the bridge is a splendiferous, shining spectacle of holiday lights: close to 15,000 of them, Bieneman estimates.  
According to his father, the late George Bieneman, the 110-foot-long, 13-foot-wide truss bridge was pushed across a frozen Honey Creek, to its present location, in 1921 or 1922. Their family moved to the farmstead in about 1946.
In 1999, the first year the family decorated the bridge with strings of lights, Bieneman and his three sons had finished replacing all the bridge’s planks with 23 tons of white oak. He had to stop and think a bit when asked why they decided to festoon the bridge with strings of lights.
Then he said, “My wife (Joy) and I thought, ‘Why don’t we put some lights on it? … We just kept adding to it.” Bieneman recalls that he bought his first lights, icicle lights, at Target at the end of that season. They lasted many years, he said.
He also built a lighted nativity scene which is part of the bridge’s display.

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