Many moons ago, I would have never thought twice about going over a bridge and an overpass. As a matter of fact, I use to get a kick out of going over something like the Seven-Mile Bridge in the Keys or one of those towering expansion bridges like the San Francisco Bridge. I didn’t have many experiences with big high-rise or multiple overpasses because everything in Florida was fairly low to the ground but they always looked cool.
All that changed in 2004 when, after Hurricane Ivan blew through, I saw this. An interstate out over water, a bridge, blown apart by…. wind.
It got me thinking about just how safe (or unsafe) these things are. I guess I always pictured them welded together and then reinforced by tons of cement so there was never any fear that anything would ever happen to them (or me) while driving on one.
In 2006, about 5 months after Hurricane Katrina, I went to Biloxi, Mississippi to visit some friends who were working there. One day I decided to check out the area so I drove down Beach Boulevard to Gulfport, did a ubee, and went back the other direction (along the beach and past my hotel) toward Ocean Springs. I stopped off on the side of the road and at the beach a few times to enjoy the weather, take in the scenery, and take some photos, but just as I neared the road that led over the bay to Ocean Springs, I realized the road was gone. Blown apart and dumped into the bay just like the one in Pensacola.
Then in August 2007, the bridge in Minneapolis, Minnesota collapse during rush hour. No storm involved. No wind. Just… traffic.
Since then, crossing bridges has been a bit unsettling. The cool-ness has been replaced by white knuckles. Unfortunately, most times you don’t have any choice but to cross over (or under) one of these structures when driving to or from your destination so out of necessity I do it but I don’t like it.
I bring this up now because, as you may know, I’m currently in Texas and there are bridges and tons of those high-rise highways and overpasses all over. I cringe when I leave my hotel because I know that no matter where I’m off to, I’ll be going over or under one (or many) of these structures. For this reason I keep my eyes on the road, my hands on the wheel, and the pedal to the metal. I stay aware of my surroundings and the traffic so if anything happens, I’ll be the one driving (or climbing) up over everyone else to get to safe ground. LOL!
Go ahead. Say it. I’m a wuss!