PHOTOS: Stubborn bridge gives up Salem perch after a lot of tugging

A crane gently eases the skeletal frame of the Center Street skybridge onto the former site of the Nordstrom store on Saturday, June 25. (Ron Cooper/Salem Reporter)

Those in downtown Salem got a slow-motion show on Saturday, June 25, as construction crews worked to remove a pedestrian skybridge.

The skybridge linked one part of Salem Center to the former Nordstrom building. The old retail building is getting taken down to make way for new apartment housing, and the skybridge had to go as well.

Northeast Center Street in downtown was closed for hours as heavy equipment moved into place for the big lift. The bridge was anchored in place more stoutly than anticipated. And then the crane brought in to do the big work broke down.

Finally, persistence, patience and mechanical muscle got the job done.

As soon as Center Street was closed Friday at 9 p.m., crews began spreading a layer of gravel in the street to protect the surface from being damaged by falling debris. (Ron Cooper/Salem Reporter)

By 10 p.m. Friday, a heavy layer of gravel protected Center Street from damage from demolition of the skybridge that once connected to Nordstrom. (Ron Cooper/Salem Reporter)

An excavator breaks windows and tears away exterior siding on Friday, June 24, to prepare the Center Street skybridge for removal. (Ron Cooper/Salem Reporter)

Evening settles over a skybridge stripped of windows and exterior siding Friday, June 24. The structure was lifted out of place and removed the following day. (Ron Cooper/Salem Reporter)

Curious onlookers watch the demolition of the Center Street skybridge on Friday, June 24, ahead of its removal. (Ron Cooper/Salem Reporter)

Construction workers attach large steel cables to the Center Street skybridge on Saturday, June 25. (Ron Cooper/Salem Reporter)

A bicycle rider pauses his ride Saturday to take photographs of the Center Street skybridge demolition on Saturday, June 25. (Ron Cooper/Salem Reporter)

The closure of Center Street resulted in traffic snarls throughout downtown, including on the Center Street Bridge on Saturday, June 25. (Ron Cooper/Salem Reporter)

A giant construction crane prepares to move the skybridge across Center Street early Saturday morning in an operation that took hours longer than expected. (Ron Cooper/Salem Reporter)

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Photographer Ron Cooper and his wife Penny moved to Salem in 1969 to take a job as photographer at the Oregon Statesman (later the Statesman Journal). Their three children, Monica, Kimberly, and Christopher, attended and graduated from Salem public schools. Cooper retired from the Statesman Journal in 2001 but, has continued his passion for photography in many ways, including as a photographer for the Salem Reporter.