Friday, October 21, 2011

Walking on bridges ... why not?

Here's a great idea: Take a highway bridge over the Ohio River that does not normally accommodate pedestrians. Close it for a few hours one fine day and let people walk across it unhindered by car traffic.

The idea was done in Owensboro, Ky., when a rehabilitation project was finished a few days early. As the writer of this piece suggests, it would be a great idea for other bridges over the Ohio and Mississippi rivers.

I can think of a few bridges in my part of the Ohio River that would make good places for people to walk on, watch the river go by and get a few pictures. The two bridges at Ashland, Ky., for example. Or either bridge at Portsmouth, Ohio.

Closing the Silver Memorial Bridge at Point Pleasant, W.Va., for a couple of hours would be cool. Truckers would fume, but maybe two or three hours would work.

The Nick J. Rahall II Bridge at Huntington, W.Va., would be good. Bonus points if Ingram has the R. Clayton McWhorter, Marge McFarlin, Steven J. Mason or the Lee Synnott making tow at 311 fleet.

Of course, my preference would be my favorite bridge -- the Frank "Gunner" Gatski Memorial Bridge at Huntington, W.Va.

As it turns out, people did get to spend an evening walking across that bridge. It was in the summer of 1985, in the two or three days before it opened to traffic. The bridge was finished and was just waiting for the politicians to give their speeches before the barricades came down and traffic rolled.

Yeah, it would be a great idea. Probably too good for anyone to adopt, though. Few opportunities for sponsorships or beer sales.

1 comment:

Joe said...

Louisville has one bridge closed to everything except politicians and bridge inspectors. We have another bridge which has always had pedestrian traffic on it's sidewalks, the Clark Memorial Bridge. The Clark Memorial bridge has been closed to allow use by the mayors "Hike and Bike" on Memorial and Labor day.

Our pedestrian and bicycle bridge is about a year and a half away.

Starting when I was very young, my dad would park in Jeffersonville and we would walk across the Clark Memorial bridge, around downtown Louisville and back. Its a wonder that I ever got on the bridge again. :)