Sunday, May 06, 2012

A list of bridges that I will never again set foot upon.

I am terrified of bridges.  There, I said it.   And there's a special place in my cold, dead heart for the following  structures in particular...

1. The Jacques Cartier Bridge, Montreal

If you've ever been to Quebec, you'll know that most of their infrastructure is held together with sticky tape and Clag glue.  Overpasses are literally stapled together and held up with chicken wire, while roof collapses are basically a weekly occurence. So it's no surprise that the beautiful Jacques Cartier Bridge (designer of Eiffel Tower fame) is the diciest structure on the planet.  The whole thing jiggles like the San Andreas fault every time a semi-trailer drives over it.  I made the mistake of walking across it once and declared never again, after I more or less ended up crawling on all fours along the pedestrian walkway, hoping to god that the floor wouldn't give way.

2. The Brooklyn Bridge, New York City.

I don't care that it's stood faithfully since time immemorial.  I don't care that they used revolutionary building methods to sink its foundations metres into the murky bottom of the Hudson.  The pedestrian walkway is made of wooden boards, and you can see your swirling doom right underfoot as you walk.  As far as I'm concerned, it's a death trap and I shan't go near it again.

3. The Westgate Bridge, Melbourne

This beast is the worst of them all.  It snuck up on me this afternoon as I drove, blissfully unaware, into Melbourne and before I knew it, it was looming up ahead.  Not only does it look terrifyingly under-engineered and minimalist, do you see how it slopes horribly upwards? This is so when you're driving on it you feel like any second you'll just reach the end of the roadway and tumble down into the river below.  There's also no pedestrian walkway and those assholes have fenced the sides with what is essentially chicken wire, so you can see with absolute clarity the abyss that's roughly twenty centimetres to the left of your vehicle.  Never again.

I love bridges as engineering marvels, as innovative feats of design and architecture, and I freaking love looking at pictures of them.  I would dearly love to visit the Oresund Bridge and the Milau Viaduct, but (and particularly with the Milau), I just know that I'll wet myself with fear at the same time.  I'll leave you with a photograph of my Everest...

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