Jamestown loses its erection

The big blow-up could be a spectacle for the ages
By PHILLIPE AND JORGE  |  April 12, 2006

Jamestown Bridge is falling down, falling down. James­town Bridge is falling down, my fair lady!

Yep, it looks like we are finally ready to blow the state’s most famous Erector Set creation, the old Jamestown Bridge. While P&J lobbied heavily for the creation of a state lottery, based on picking the correct time and date of the superstructure being blowed up good, D-Day is nigh on Tuesday, April 18. (Well, D-Day was also nigh for April 11, but remember, this involves Little Rhody and the DOT. If anything ever happened on time with the DOT, it would shatter the department’s 50-year streak of delayed performance.)

Most everyone in the state expects the center part of the old span to conveniently topple into the new bridge when the charges go off, rather than following the plan by imploding. This could be another way for the Biggest Little to hit the national news. People have already begun making plans to view the big blast, and if there is one person hard at work at the scheduled 11:30 am demolition time, it will be a miracle, since the big show will be broadcast and Internet-streamed statewide.

P&J have an odd sort of affection for the old bridge. It was easily the most harrowing ride in the state. You invariably passed a tractor-trailer going the other way at 60 mph on the incredibly narrow two lanes, and could simultaneously feel the bridge shake and sway. And it was even money that you would get stuck in traffic at the top of the incredibly flimsy structure, gaining a severe case of vertigo looking through the grating down at the waters, seemingly a mile away, of Narragansett Bay. Can you say, “carsick,” kiddies?

Frightening tales of the Jamestown Bridge are legend, the best involving a state trooper who had to drive a woman across while she cowered in the back of the car with a blanket over her head. It was also well known to local divers that some of the pilings beneath the water, while the bridge was still in use, had gaps big enough to wave your hand through. Call it levitation at its best.

P&J look forward to guessing just how far back the traffic will stack up to Connecticut and Massachusetts when the bridge is closed from 10 am to 2 pm. (And we’ll take some side bets on the 2 reopening time. In your dreams.)

The best thing about the aforementioned tie-ups is how they will give us a good indicator of just how badly our daily routines will be affected if the proposed LNG terminal opens in Fall River. If that abomination of an idea goes through, it could regularly shut the Newport Bridge, the Mount Hope Bridge, and the Braga Bridge. To make it even more consumer-friendly, Homeland Security will forbid the advance notice given by DOT regarding the Jamestown Bridge (a tip of the beret and sombrero there, folks), so tons of unaware motorists will be caught in massive tie-ups. Think about that for a while, local commuters, when time comes for a showdown on LNG facilities up the Bay, even as they argue for smaller tankers — which means more trips, which means more hours of living hell.

Blow this up. 

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  Topics: Phillipe And Jorge , U.S. Government, U.S. State Government, U.S. Congressional News,  More more >
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