Something Old and Something New: thinking about bridges

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June 1, 2013 by Terumi

The Skagit River bridge collapse last week made me think about the way we get to places and how much I take these structures for granted.  We crossed that bridge so many times between Seattle and Vancouver when I was a kid and it was very eerie to see it with a great big gap in it a few days ago-especially because it just fell down out of nowhere.  There are a couple detours around the area but traffic is very slow and the nearby businesses are hurting, so if you’re there and can stop it would probably help them out.  Bridges are such a vital part of our life and we only notice how much we use them when we are forced to take another route.

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Another bridge that I crossed a zillion times as a kid is also going over major changes.  I could never remember its name and I have memories of driving over it while my mom quizzed me about what it was called and I could never name it.

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I remember her getting so frustrated, because really, how many big bright orange bridges were there in the world to get it mixed up with??? (Only the Pattullo bridge which is its next door bridge neighbor, who is also BRIGHT ORANGE and also starts with P!! Why on earth were early Vancouver bridge builders so obsessed with orange?) And now when we head to the hometown there are remnants of that big bridge I grew up with now dwarfed by the giant modern structure we now cross.

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It’s amazing though how much time that new toll bridge saves us along across the Fraser River, it’s apparently the widest bridge in the world.  I wonder if it will still be called the Port Mann Bridge? (Even now, I’m a little uncertain of the name.)   But I’m even more curious if we’ll get a toll in the mail  ……

(Just a note, in November or December 2013 we actually did receive our first toll bill in the mail for ALL of our previous trips across the bridge dating a year back and the hubby paid and signed us up for automatic payment.)

(PPS if you have a kid who loves bridges, here’s a great book they might like-especially if you live in the Pacific Northwest)


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Terumi-author of An Emerald City Life

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