I think we have had enough experience driving over the bridge that connects Covington, Kentucky and Cincinatti, Ohio, to relate just how bad it is. Hell, I have a lot more experience than Millie because all the years I toured, starting with a trailer that would swing if some bugs breathed on it (almost not hyperbole) and then an old, dangerous, motorhome converted into a tour bus. With no curbs or break down lanes, traffic from Hell, I’m &%!# lucky it didn’t break down on that bridge. It broke down everywhere else.
But excuse me if the skeptic pours forth. Supposedly it’s a done deal. I’ve heard that before. Pols with no other motive than to stick it to the other side don’t just bother to do some vile act to the pooch. These days they run him over until there’s nothing left except for the vultures. I’m sure vultures have caused accidents on that bridge too. Some abandoned kitten thrown out a window. Unfortunately, people can be that cruel. Just look at: circling back to, today’s politicians and pundits.
I have experienced the mess that was the old Tappan Zee north of NYC. Even in the 60’s, the Tappan had bumper to bumper traffic so close they would have contracted some very personal affliction, if cars could. I’ve been in an accident that sent me to an emergency room on what I called “The Crash and Crunch Cruiseway:” Route 12 out of Nashville. I’ve had to navigate with the deadly tour bus the I-95/Route 6 intersection in Providence. Just a small number of feet and you meet I-95. Then a car, or bus, was greeted by a quick multiple lane choice: swing over towards Cape Cod, or head south towards NYC. All with traffic headed at you, sometimes at 70 plus MPH. They finally did fix it.
Nothing quite matched Brent Spence. I have never not been stuck via traffic there, often with a tour bus that had an engine very prone to overheating. Been sent way east around the bend to cross elsewhere because of some nasty accident more times than I can remember. Had to barely miss slamming into some chain reaction event. Even more than all those cars cuddling up to each other on the old Tappan Zee.
The Brent Spence bridge is a menace. Even the bridge knows it. It keeps weeping rust droplets, sometimes dropping pieces like severe inflammatory reactions did in an untreated leper centuries ago, or a gangrene laden Civil War vet hit on all four limbs.
But can I talk with you, Mr. President?
Every president since Washington… OK Obama… has pushed to have this fixed, climbed into a semi promising it will be fixed. Committed Hairy Kerry (Which in an alternative universe is what a bearded John Kerry did after losing the 04 election.) just to try to get this done. End result: government is intentionally so dysfunctional it hasn’t been done.
There’s plenty of time to mess this up when making cheap, my way or else, political points IS the point. When partisanship outweighs common sense, public safety, and a million Sumo wrestlers, it’s so hard NOT to expect them to desperately find some way to screw it up. Argue about how many bolts there should be. Investigate the opposite party’s fascination with wearing inappropriate underwear. ANYTHING.
Or do what they do best: NOTHING.
Meanwhile the bridge is just waiting to collapse into the filth that consists in most southern rivers: too much mud, pollution and too long a growing season. Mold has a perpetual pool party.
Right on cue we have multiple votes for speaker.
Why it’s almost like our current highly partisan, framing, name calling, insult our intelligence model, doesn’t work.
Who woulda thunk it?
It’s not the bridge that’s stupid, but I’m sure some pundit would try to blame it if it were politically convenient.
They are worse, when it comes to driving government off a bridge, than a baby given the wheel, sans booster seat. The preschoolers who were my main audience for 30 years were far more mature. And we made each other laugh… instead of write some vitriolic edition of my column like I just did.
“Inspection” is a column that has been written by Ken Carman for over 50 years. Inspection is dedicated to looking at odd angles, under all the rocks and into the unseen cracks and crevasses that constitute the issues and philosophical constructs of our day: places few think, or even dare, to venture.
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