A Troubled Bridge Over Water
Years ago I wrote an essay in Style Weekly which was all about the broken digital clock at the Carytown CVS that used to greet motorists heading west on Floyd Avenue with times like h:72 and temperatures that forewarned the global warming crisis: 216 degrees. I loved that clock precisely because it was broken and still forged ahead doing its job, sort of. And so it was with sadness that I bid adieu to that clock (which they removed shortly after I wrote my tribute to it). But the sadness I felt will prove nothing compared to the heavy heart I will carry the day I must say goodbye to the true icon of brokenness in Richmond — the Huguenot Bridge.
The Virginia Department of Transportation has announced that the 58-year old span will be replaced, with work beginning in 2011. I know it must go, but still it's hard. Crossing that bridge for the past few years has been like watching grandma holding on for too long. You're rooting for her, but at the same time, you know it's time to let go.
And so it is with our beloved Huguenot Bridge, a veritable quilt of concrete and asphalt that has had more work done than Cher and Melanie Griffith combined. On the upside, it is the only truly off-road experience where all those Richmond Hummer owners can get their kicks.
Some 28,000 cars pass over the Huguenot every day, and some motorists even feel the need to "hold their breath" as they cross, Del. Katherine Waddell said in this morning's Times-Dispatch. The bridge's surface has been rated poor and its support system only fair. Grandma's not looking so good, folks. She's only got about four years. Tops. —Janet Giampietro