It’s been a year now since our village bridge was replaced.
The work closed our road nearly all summer, requiring a roundabout detour to get to town or to the village. We watched with interest as the creek was diverted into a temporary culvert and the old bridge, dating far beyond my childhood, was broken up and removed. It had cracked underneath, making it weaker and dangerous. We saw the bridge approaches altered, the wide new cement arches put in, the road filled in around them the railings erected.
Gone were the rusty piping that had kept me from falling into the water as I checked out the foaming stream daily on my way to school. Shiny metal traffic barriers lead to low, patterned concrete walls topped with a single rail, the elegance of lighting just for the bridge and even provision for decorative banners for village events. Below, the historic mill stone wall was carefully preserved.
The whole was finished off with velvet smooth fresh a pavement which now extends not just over the bridge but a whole mile or more toward my home. Drive or bike on it and you just float. Ah the joys of brand new asphalt. With potholes far in the future.
One year later, we are all still mightily pleased with our new crossing place. Tiny in the country’s infrastructure, massive to us. Thanks county engineers for lots of back and forth for the next fifty years.