Sunday, September 13, 2009

You can't get there from here without a lot of trouble

Click to see the full mess!

All along the route
their patience waned
as the roads turned sandier
down to the Jersey shore
when back ways could not avoid
the open bridge
as one slow thin mast
would paralyze the day
and our front-seating it
pushing crowding forward
"not there yet!"
then racing
who'd see the ocean first
pushing towards its vastness
our young lives stretched out
in unending summer
and in one shell
its mystery

"Before the Parkway" by Jerome Leary

The Highlands-Sea Bright Bridge, a 1240 foot drawbridge that spans the Shrewsbury River, is being replaced with a fixed-span bridge that will rise some 30 feet higher than its predecessor.

Gone will be the occasion to put the car in park and step out for twenty minutes while the bridge is open to watch the sailboats go by underneath. Gone will be that instant of panic when the light on the drawbridge turns from green to yellow to red and you wonder if you should chance it before the bells and gates descend to make you twenty minutes late for wherever it is you're meant to be on the other side of the crossing. Gone will be the convenient excuse of the bridge being up. Gone will be the pause on a summer day.

In the meantime, we have this mess of cranes and a crazy maze to navigate the way from here to there. I can't help but be discombobulated by the change.

Are drawbridges in your neck of the woods being replaced, too? Will you miss them?

5 comments:

Rabbits' Guy said...

Some where I have a picture of us in our old sailboat being the very last vessel to open the drawspan on the I-90 floating bridge over Lake Washington in Seattle! Then they re routed traffic over the new, high-span, and that was that! But - the power of stopping all that busy traffic with just the toot toot of a very tiny air horn!

Vern said...

No drawbidges, so they can't be replaced...but we do have a drive in movie and Amish buggies as our links to a different time where life was lived at a slower pace.

Ruth said...

Yesterday we had to wait for a lift bridge in the city of Hamilton. You turn off your engine and get out of your car to watch the Great Lakes steamers pass. There is a skyway built above the lift bridge, but when the winds are high off Lake Ontario, the skyway is closed and people must take the old road. Nice to have two options. We have a number of lift bridges and swing bridges in Ontario.

John said...

There are no functioning drawbridges close to me (at least that I know of). I'm glad that bridge is being replaced since it was rated one of the worst in the state in terms of structural soundness. It will probably help traffic flow once the project is completed, but in the meantime it is rather disconcerting.

MevetS said...

You make it sound almost sad the bridge is being replaced.

Almost.

I won't miss it. Although I rarely travel that way anymore. :-)

The long "are we there yets" of my childhood waiting - f o r e v e r - to get to beaches on Sandy Hook.

The brutal traffic backups all summer long when the bennies clog the road, made worse by a ill timed bridge opening.

And while you remember friendly people chatting on the bridge enjoying the pause in their hectic lives, I remember the colorful language of irate motorists annoyed at the interruption in theirs.

But it sure seems to be taking quite a long time to replace such a small bridge.

And besides, now your ice yacht while have a much longer clear stretch of river!