If final plans for its removal are approved by the state, a Provo Canyon rancher will become the proud owner of the 80-year-old Henefer, Summit County, bridge, say Utah Department of Transportation officials.

After two months of sifting through proposals, a committee representing the department and the Utah Historical Society, has selected Steven and Connie Ault to receive the bridge free of charge."If all goes as planned, the couple's Bear Canyon Ranch will soon become the new home of the Henefer Bridge," said department spokeswoman Katie Hurley.

"One of the great selling points of the Ault proposal was the fact that the bridge would be a part of the proposed national trail through Provo Canyon," Hurley said. And even though the parkway is several years away, the bridge would be visible in its new location to riders of the Heber Creeper train.

"The bridge will not only add beauty to the Ault family ranch, it will also serve a practical purpose," providing access to property on the south side of the Provo River, Hurley said.

Transportation officials offered to give away the old bridge because they want to replace it, but felt the original should be preserved.

The department has put two condidtions on award of the bridge to Ault: he must show steps are being taken to protect the bridge during removal, and to protect the environment in the proposed new location.

"Because of the drive to keep the bridge in its original form, Ault intends to move it, rusty pins and all, without dismantling a single plank," Hurley said.

Ault must submit a detailed plan for the project by mid August, she said.