gephyrophobia is the fear of bridges.
Many of us here in the cities have a new fear of bridges, developed after the collapse of the 35W bridge two months ago. For those who were on the bridge when it collapsed and lived to tell about it, I can only IMAGINE their fear. Dean and I, along with about 30 other motorcycles belonging to a group we ride with, were just minutes from getting on that bridge to enjoy our Weds. night ride.
A few weeks ago Angela and I were headed downtown to the fair, taking Hwy 52 in St. Paul just downriver (or is it upriver? I'm horrible with direction) from the site of the collapse. It was rush hour and we got stopped at the top of the bridge. I remember looking down and feeling a slight panic running through me. It was similar to what you feel when you get on a carnival ride, suddenly aware of all the nuts and bolts, wonder if those toothless carnie guys really know how to put it together. Anyway, I remember looking down at the water, then at Angela in the rear view mirror, knowing if something happened, there's no way I'd be able to get us out. And remember, I don't swim.
So tonight I'm surfing through the Star Tribune, and run across this article. It's about how the Wakota bridge project will now be delayed due to reconstruction of 35W, etc. The Wakota project has been delayed for quite some time, but one of the reasons is during one inspection it was found to have "numerous hairline cracks in the concrete support sections for the deck."
Umm...HELLO!!!! This is a BRAND NEW bridge, and it has these cracks all over the place? AND...this bridge gets 40,000 cars per day on it. One of them is mine. Ok, I'm not on it EVERY day, but certainly several times per week. Sometimes in my truck, sometimes on my motorcycle. Guess what? I think I don't WANT to drive on that bridge anymore. I can take another route! It's a coupe miles longer, but will still get me where I'm going. Call me irrational, and an alarmist, but guess what! We just found out that big bridges DO indeed collapse! They can come crashing down into a rushing river, or lake, or onto other roads.
Now, I might get over this fear by tomorrow. One just never knows. But for tonight anyway, I'm not driving on that bridge anymore.