Blackwell Uncovered
Braman Low Water Bridge

The Braman Low Water Bridge washed out a few years ago.  When the river took the bridge, it also washed away some of the road that lead up to it.  What we found was shocking.  We had known for some time now that much of the smelter debris was being given away to the community and the county.  It was free, and the Blackwell Zinc Co. (AMAX) wanted to get rid of it.  After inspecting the washed out bridge, it was absolutely clear that this was one of the roads that the county had used the smelter debris as fill material.  **Important Fact:  The Braman Low Water Bridge is upstream of the Blackwell City Drinking Water Supply.**

The bricks that you see in the photos, have been dated back to the time the smelter was built in 1916.  These are all "standard fire brick" made by the LaClede Brick Co out of St. Louis.


You can see the how the metal melted onto the brick.  The age and melted metal on the brick let us know that the brick came from the smelter furnaces.  So... If the smelter shut down in August 1974, as was dismantled, then perhaps this bridge was constructed in the mid-70's.  Still yet, it is disturbing to think that the debris with it high levels of Lead, Arsenic, and other dangerous heavy metals are found upstream of our drinking water.  This place is also a popular swimming hole.

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