Get over it – with your very own prefab bridge
Take a break and look around. Can you spot a relatively narrow river you have to cross on a regular basis? Or a couple of buildings you’d like to commute between without getting rained on? At the very least, does your property include two relatively high spots, separated by 55 to 85 feet?
If so, Ken Wylie Hunt knows just what you need. You need a bridge. Specifically, you need to rush to Southeast Army Post Road and buy the former airport passenger ramp (“Steel. Completely enclosed.”) that has been sitting on his family’s property for the past 18 years or so. It only seems like as if an ad for the ramp has been occupying a spot in The Des Moines Sunday Register for all that time. Hunt’s weekly sales pitch is a mere 3 years old.
So far, he estimates, he has received 40-some phone calls, most of them resulting in pleasant conversations. Which is nice. But not as nice as it would be to receive a check for $4,000, Hunt’s current asking price.
At one point, the price every Sunday morning was $9,000. (“Outside 7’ wide x 9’ high . . .”) Every year or so, Hunt backs it down a bit. But now, “I’ve lowered it about as far as I want to go,” he warned.
Don’t expect him to buckle, because this is a man with experience in selling large items that many people can live without. Hunt once searched out a wooden railroad caboose so he could buy it and resell it, just because he thought it sounded like fun. And it was fun, he said. As much fun as you can have with a $50 profit, anyway.
And it’s not as though he hasn’t had nibbles on this 15-ton item. (“Fluorescent lights . . . great across pond . . .”)
“I’ve had calls from Adventureland, golf courses, municipalities, lawyers who have farmland,” said Hunt. “One guy wanted to bury it and use it as a tunnel to an outbuilding. One town wanted to put a bridge over a river and sent a couple of people to look at it. But they said they could build a wooden bridge for $20,000.”
OK, fine, if they want to go the boring, traditional route.
Hunt himself is not a real traditional guy. At the age of 69, he says he plans to attend Grand View College to study immunology and biochemistry. That would add a neat scientific counterweight to his previous studies – he claims a bachelor’s degree in sociology, a master’s in counseling and a master’s of divinity from the University of California-Berkeley.
The ready-to-use bridge sits at the site of his late father’s building salvage yard, where Hunt worked in the family business for a time. However, “I’m not really interested in selling used aluminum storm windows,” he said, and he’s trying to get the place cleaned up once and for all.
So far, his only advertising has been the ad in the paper, and his only calls have been from people within about 100 miles. He’s thinking about testing the eBay option.
Somewhere out there, for some reason, somebody needs a bridge.