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The Online Magazine FOR and ABOUT Southside Virginia

9/28/2022

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In This Issue

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Articles
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Fleas No More!
By Gert Slabach

Freshwater Shrimp Harvest
(Local "Seafood" in Southside)

Oh, Christmas Tree
(Make getting a Christmas tree an event)

Daylight Foolish Time
(End the Madness)

 

Columns

Editor's Page
(Scary Bridges)

Southside Gardener
(Monthly Tips & "To Do List")
By William H. McCaleb

South Winds
(Bats in My Belfry)
By FCOIT

Ask Bubba - Advice
(Parody)

 

Departments

Festivals & Events

Nov - Dec Events

Christmas Parades

Farm & Ag Info

Farmers Markets Listing (FMs in or near SSVA)

Oh, Christmas Tree
(Tree Sales & Farms)

Press Releases

Southside Master Gardeners
(Class of 2010)

 

Past Issues

Past Issues are available from June 2008 through the current issue.
Select the desired issue from the drop-down box below.

 


Editor's Page


Scary Bridges

�The hardest thing in life to learn
is which bridge to cross and which to burn.�

~David Russell - (Scottish classical Guitarist. b.1942)

   I recently read an article on Yahoo! Travel about the World's Scariest Bridges. Out of the top 10 bridges listed, the only one I have ever crossed is the Chesapeake Bay Bridge in Maryland. It wasn't what you would call white-knuckle scary, but it was a bit intimidating. The thing about the article was that it got me thinking. We have some pretty scary bridges right here in Southside Virginia.

   These scary bridges in Southside aren't thousands of feet high or suspended above a gorge or raging river, but they do give one something to think about when crossing them. Why? Because some of these bridges seem to be either perpetually "Under Construction" or in need of construction. Others seem to be just something that was put there to cover a culvert or ditch and make for a smaller bump. And a few are just questionable structures, period.

   A while back when visiting Twin Lakes State Park near Green Bay, we came across what I remember as Twin Bridges Road. It was one of those roads that looked beautiful and inviting so we took a ride down it to see what there was to see. The Twin Bridges, it turns out, are plank bridges over Railroad Tracks. They look a little shaky, but are not too bad to drive across. It was when we got out to take a few pictures, the real nature of the bridges became obvious. When you walk across these bridges you can see between the planks, right down to the tracks below. Further inspection, of the old wood and daylight between was enough to make us consider a different route back. Scenic bridges they are, but I am not sure I would want to have to cross them every day.

   For all the bridges that seem a bit untrustworthy, the ones which lately have me gritting my teeth are two bridges on Route 659 (AKA River Rd.) in Halifax County. These bridges aren't high, nor are they all that narrow. What is scary about these bridges is, the construction or repair process and the lack of information about it. For the past few months the bridges which cross two creeks on Route 659 have been torn-up, single-lane bottlenecks, with mysterious work going on. For a very long time.

   Traffic on these currently-single-lane bridges is regulated by red lights on either end. These lights seem to be on a timer without regard to the time of day or current traffic. When it is a busy time, or with school bus traffic, these lights just barely let enough traffic through per cycle. During off hours, sitting at the light for two full minutes with no other traffic around just begs one to run the light. One of these situations is just asking to cause an incident.

   Stopping and asking the construction crew, what was being done, gained us little. When we asked what they were doing to the bridge, we were told, "We're repairing it." After spending about 30 minutes on the VDOT website the only information we could find on the subject was one line on the bridge construction page.

   "Route 659 @ Miry & Birch Creeks (945-683) � Road width of 8� 6� in place due to bridge work. Be alert to changes in traffic pattern."

   We attempted to call VDOT and as they say in the media, �they did not immediately return calls for comment."

   After all this, we still don't know exactly what they are doing to these bridges or how long it will last. At the pace this work is progressing, it looks like we can expect construction to be completed sometime in the next three to 60 months.

    So as we drive over these bridges all we know is this.

1) They are "repairing it"
2) This job definitely went to the lowest bidder.

 

 

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WB Carver - Editor/Publisher      

   

   Opinions expressed here are the sole responsibility of the author. No endorsement by any advertisers or other parties is implied in any way.

   Notes:

   We are knocking VDOT in any way. We admire them for what they do with the budget they have to work with.

   For more information about Virginia's Bridges visit the VDOT Bridge Info Page.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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