A Bridge To Nowhere, Almost

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Living in a city surrounded by two rivers, bridges are a necessity. It’s possible that we may not have enough bridges, at least to keep traffic moving. I found myself considering a bridge over N Columbia Blvd. more than I ever thought necessary.

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Hours in the dark room pay off.

It’s a foot bridge really, although the ramps that go up three levels make it fun to ride a bike over. After substitute teaching in the area and crossing the bridge a few times I realized it was unnecessary for me to use, especially going home, as I still had to cross back over a four lane road. On my way to the job it made more sense to ride with traffic and use caution when crossing the road. N Columbia Blvd. is the thoroughfare for our northern industrial zone so there’s major truck traffic hurling and screaming back and forth to and from an industrial park at St. Johns. It also feels like a foggy section of town with giant trees and perpetual mist as if from one of those Twilight movies. These hazards and the barreling semi-trucks make it necessary to provide children with a safe way to cross the street to get to the middle school on the other side.

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What color do you paint a bridge?

When I used the bridge I took note of its dark forest green color. Let’s face it, it is a nice shade of green. I have no idea who decided or even has to think about what color any bridge should be but they nailed it. It looks great in any weather, sunlight or foggy, gray dawn mist. Surely something that has to be considered, visibility factors, current trends or stylishness when picking a foot bridge color. The ramps take some pedal power to get up which makes the winding trip down worth it but in the end it takes too long to get up and down, making bike traverses a hassle. I was struck by some tasteful and subtle decor.

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There’s was a nod to Star Wars but not every last character so it’s not overdone. Another screen printed decal featured a microscope. How inspirational would that be for students to get their days started or ended with a reminder of science or maybe a reminder of science homework or a test.

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Same goes, in a way, for the light bulb sticker. Ideas might start percolating as people walk up and down these ramps to cross the road. Objects from bygone eras like the old timey microphone have a quaint appeal.

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I returned weeks later to see that some of the decals had peeled off or been peeled off and some less artistic graffiti had cropped up.

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The bridge seems like a fine way to get to school. I can imagine that the bridge will have an impact on the students that use it. They will boast to their own kids someday about how, in their day, they had to walk up three levels of ramps and cross over a treacherous road on a forest green bridge to get to school.

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