Driving across bridges

I dunno where to even start. Bridge collapses are one of the scariest ways I can think of to die. There are others, make no mistake. This morning when I was talking to MMCB2 I knew nothing about the Francis Scott Key bridge collapse. I actually think this is the first time I have even known about the Francis Scott Key bridge. It sounds like the incident happened in the wee hours when most of the 35,000(?) people who cross the bridge daily were not crossing it but still. Some people have lost their lives and, well, I have no words and “thoughts and “prayers” will not help anyone. Ugh.

I cross the Mackinac Bridge so often that I have a commuter “transponder” (or whatever it is) embedded in my windshield. The first time I crossed the Mac was the night it opened. You can be sure that my parents took me and my three-month-old brother across the bridge. I have a little card that “certifies” me as a first time crosser. Since it is written in The Commander’s handwriting, I know that the toll booth worker handed it to my mom and my mom filled it out. It’s still valuable, to me at least.

I have to add that I also have vague memories of traveling on the ferries before the Big Mac was built. I remember being dressed in cute little tartan skirt outfits and I remember saying “We go to ‘Detrite’ in the middle of the night.” That’s because in order to get to my Detroit grandparents’ house, we had to get up at something like 3:00 AM in order to catch the first ferry across the Straits of Mackinac.

The Mackinac Bridge made our trip a whole lot shorter although it was a while before the I75 SUV Speedway took our trip off the old two-lane highways and made it more like five hours instead of eleven or whatever. But that might be another story.

So people on the internet are wondering if the Big Mac Bridge could collapse like the Francis Scott Key. Well yes, any bridge could collapse if the right ship hit it in the right place. When I cross the Big Mac and there is a freighter passing below, I don’t ever freak out. There are not all that many freighters that pass through at any given time. As someone said on facebook, if you see a freighter coming along, go get a cup of coffee. If not, cross. I will never stop for coffee.

There have been two incidents of vee-hickles going over the side of the Mackinac Bridge. Instead of trying to write about this in my own words, I’m gonna link to some FAQs from the Mackinac Bridge Authority.

My dad called me from the moominbeach the night of the Yugo incident so I could hear how loud the winds were. We were laughing at the time but we so regret the Yugo incident.

2 Responses to “Driving across bridges”

  1. Margaret Says:

    The film of the ship hitting the bridge is terrifying. A semi and several cars had gone over the span under a minute before. Those people should buy lottery tickets. We have many bridges here and although some of them are floating, there is always risk around the water. Very sad for the workers’ families; I’m glad that they saved two of them at least.

  2. Pam J. Says:

    We drove back from New York City on Monday and went through Baltimore, as we always do to get home. DC is only 30 miles south of Baltimore. We could have gone over that bridge (almost exactly 12 hours before it fell) but instead we went through one of Baltimore’s two tunnels. We have extended family and friends who use that bridge, if not daily then often. On Sunday, while still in Brooklyn with our precious only grandchild, she said while driving over one of Brooklyn’s many bridges, “Mommy, I don’t like bridges; they’re scary.” We reassured her. Ha.