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Floating Bridge Sunk, Vehicles Blocked

floating bridgeWe aren’t automatically enchanted by states touting their drive-thru attractions, especially if they are historic wooden bridges, those dainty ligaments for antiques shoppers and would-be art photographers. But Vermont has its share of oddball attractions, and even an authentically weird floating bridge. The Barre-Montpelier Times Argus reports that Brookfield’s soggy crossing, a favorite drive-thru destination for anyone who wanted to motor in several inches of water across a lake, has abruptly been closed. Cinder blocks now obstruct the approaches on either end, although people can still slosh across on foot.

The article quotes a pleased Ed Koren, local resident who draws cartoons of sketchy bird-beaked people for the New Yorker. He calls the bridge a “magnet for local ruffians” and is delighted that it has been turned into “a pedestrian space.” Other locals are not so happy. The article says that they “had no warning” and “heard of the closure secondhand or from media reports.”

State transportation officials claim that the bridge is sinking, not floating, and needs to be repaired. But they give no indication when those repairs will occur, or when the bridge will be reopened to vehicles.

Here’s an idea: While the bridge is out of commission, engineer a huge, artificial geyser to suck water off the bridge and blast into the air every hour, making the crossing briefly passable. Then a klaxon horn and strobing warning lights would stop traffic (and scare off the ruffians) and a loudspeaker-amplified voice would count down until the next eruption….

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