Terry Lally has seen a lot of changes to the bridges of Crawford County in his 45 years with the county bridge crew, said Crawford County Engineer Paul Assman.
“There are very few that Terry would drive by and say, ‘I never did anything to that bridge,’” Assman said. “He’s worked on a lot of them.”
Lally retired at the end of October. Assman arranged an appreciation party for him at the courthouse last Tuesday morning.
The Crawford County Board of Supervisors, members of the bridge and road crews and other courthouse workers attended.
Assman and Lally have worked together for the last 20 years.
Lally was promoted to assistant bridge crew foreman in 1990 and to bridge crew foreman in 1998.
Assman had a plaque made to commemorate Lally’s years with the county.
Assistant Bridge Foreman Dan Blunk cut the wood for the plaque from an old cedar bridge piling.
The wood came from a bridge that once crossed Beaman Creek in Jackson Township in the northeast part of the county.
Assman said the cedar piling was not from the county bridge at that location, but was found buried in the bank of the creek when the bridge was replaced earlier this year.
The wood was perfectly preserved because it was buried underground where there was no oxygen.
The piling was likely from a bridge from the early 1900s at that location.
“You get to take a piece of the Crawford County bridges with you,” Assman told Lally.
Lally said he’d done a lot of different things in his 45 years with the county, but he’d never had to give a speech before.
“We’ve had a good crew and I have to give them a lot of credit for sticking with me,” he said.
“I’ve seen a lot of different things. It wasn’t all good, but we got through them.”
That line provoked loud laughter in the boardroom where the party took place.
“Crawford County is a lot better off because Terry was here for the last 45 years,” Assman said.
“I hate to see you go, but wish you all the best.”