(Ironton Park) Top secret repairs on the historic Bear Creek Bridge north of here were suspect from the beginning. According to an extensive undercover investigation and a volley of anonymous tips, the construction had little to do with firming up the bridge but a lot to do with a massive tunnel that leads right to the back door of the Montrose Wal-Mart.

According to a continuing probe, the 45-mile-long tunnel was allegedly concocted to allow the Beautiful People a discreet access to the above-mentioned mass merchandising facility down valley. Although the initial response was peppered with giggling skepticism, the conspiracy theory has gained credence since the construction was completed earlier this month.

“It seemed rather far-fetched at best,” said Melvin Toole, a special investigator attached at the wrists and ankles. “But when we bellied up to the site and saw all that dirt being diverted to Silverton we knew the Division of Transportation was up to no good. One DOT boss said the dirt would be used to stabilize mud slide zones while another insisted the soil was needed to secure the fluctuating corn crop for next year.

Toole claims the project grew out of pressures on the highway department to create a secret access for wealthy residents who want to experience an occasional elbow rub with the great unwashed. He substantiated these claims with photographs of highway workers dropping dirt tailings from their trousers like in the film “The Great Escape”.

“The rich folks don’t want to be seen going into Wal-Mart when they spend so much effort trying to impress their neighbors,” continued Toole. “What if a self-imposed Telluride celebrity or a nouveau riche rancher from Ridgway were seen pulling into the Wal-Mart parking lot like a commoner? How would that look?”

Toole said that he was shocked by the influence exerted by some in the San Juans but quickly pointed to wetlands manipulation, questionable public land use, conflicts in visual pollution standards and rampant growth in his summation.

“Who forced the issue on left-turn lanes diversion in Ouray or legitimized the high security, gated community above Telluride?” he chided.

A recently formed committee, populated by people who have little else to do, has solicited the Army Corps of Engineers, the Hibernian Association of Retired Hard Rock Miners, OSHA, the Ridgway Fire Department and the Uncompahgre Ladies’ Pin Cushion Consortium “in an effort to get to the bottom of this tunnel thing”, according to sources here.

Also consulted was acting legal counsel Gary Wild of Ouray who, as it turns out was recently displaced from his office by unidentified, yet significant, others. It is not known whether this cruel banishment had anything to do with Bear Creek Tunnel Conspiracy. The investigation will continue through the weekend.

– Uncle Pahgre

Filed Under: Fractured Opinion


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