Thursday, May 20, 2010

Architectural Wonders of the United States! The Top Ten!

The Rock Island Arsenal Bridge also known as the Government Bridge, was on today!
Here's what was written:
"Designed by Ralph Modjeski and finished in 1896, the iron bridge has remained in service largely unchanged for over 100 years. The biggest change was the construction of Lock and Dam #15 in 1934, which was built around and under the swing span. The bridge is a twin deck structure that carries both rail (top level) and road traffic (bottom level). It is one of two bridges in the world that can turn 360 degrees in both directions in order to allow river traffic through."

This is a bridge that I travel over all the time. They have closed the bridge to regular traffic during the hours of 6:30 am to 5:30 pm Monday through Friday. Only traffic going directly to the Arsenal is allowed. They have an alternative exit closed for construction so that's why there's a restriction. I prefer this bridge because it's a faster route for me to get to work EXCEPT if the drawspan is open and then you have to wait for the boat or barge to go through. Most people will then do a U-turn and go to one of the other bridges when that happens unless they aren't in a hurry. Then sometimes the drivers get out and watch the boat go through the channels. Since I  have lived here my whole life, I never realized that this bridge is a big deal until I saw the article today about it being an architectural wonder! Who knew! I remember my Dad telling us how when he was a little kid, his family drove up to have a look at the Mississippi. We kids never understood that. It was just the river to us and on the other side of town was another river - The Rock river so....we just didn't get it.
It's kinda funny how what can be everyday ordinary to one person, turns out to be postcard worthy to another!

Sometimes the bridge has frighten me when driving over it while there's also a train going overhead. Once one of my terriers about lost his mind when that happened. I am so used to Blue never hearing a thing, so when the little guy went ballistic, I had to roll up the windows and blast the radio to try to drown it out.

The other times that I have been a bit afraid is when there has been bad flooding. The bridge is already so low and close to the water, that when the river is real high, it looks like it's touching the bridge. This is a photo from the 2008 flood and there have been much worse flooding in years before that.

 So now that I'm not able to use that bridge during normal hours, I have to drive through downtown and get on the Centennial Bridge.

The Centennial Bridge doesn't have the annoyances of the other bridge but you have to drive through a "scary" part of town on either side of the bridge. This is the bridge people always choose to use to JUMP OFF of. Just recently there was ANOTHER high speed police chase across it and the guy stopped the car and climbed over the rail and fell or jumped into the river.....

and his body was just recovered yesterday. I just don't like this bridge.

But it can be very pretty at night when the boats are out on the river and they anchor them close to the Park that borders the river, so that they can hear the music of whatever band is playing.

Of course I can always take the I-74 Bridge for the drive home. In the mornings it's just too congested with traffic. After work if you can get on it just before the 5:00 traffic hits, it can actually be the fastest way home. I end up circling around the cities on the interstate but at least there's no traffic lights or stop signs to deal with. It's better gas mileage but it's the longer way around, so I guess it's all about the same.

Now they have started closing down lanes for construction, so you never know when you might get stuck in snail traffic, so that is why I've started making sure I have books on CD's with me. Otherwise I start going crazy with impatience myself.
Sigh...I wish I could just work from home....


sassypackrat said...

I think I envy your bridges! I am a bridge-less person now that I spend my days in the burbs. When I worked in Chicago I was close to the Michigan Ave bridge and we would watch the bridge go up and boats go thru every spring and fall to the lake and back from my office window. Your post makes me miss that.

yoborobo said...

I love your bridges! I get a little nervous on the huge ones we have here (that go across the bay). I like smaller ones, like the top two. ;) They are pretty! Happy weekend to you and Blue and the gang! Arf, meow! xo

Autumnforest said...

That is so cool! Where I grew up we had one over the Chesapeake that was I think 17 miles long. It went down under an island in a tunnel for a little ways and then popped back up. It was a blast to take! My mom would cry and hold the dashboard the whole way and there's nothing better to kids than to see their parents get hysterical (hee hee). Hey, Cindi, check my blog--I have awards for you, honey. :-)

teddy bears Marin to Venice said...

Be fortunate person, can see all marvelous bridges!

I live in Venice and can see the bridge of Rialto and others but very... too much different from these photographed!


Tom Cassidy said...

I grew up in Davenport and as a kid I never under stood why so many people would come to see the Mississippi. We would see cars from all over the country. When I left I finally got it. I live in Alaska now and I often think of those days, walking across the Government Bridge with my buddies looking down and seeing the river, going for walks along the river, and fishing for cat fish off the levee and selling them to tourists or keeping them or sometimes just sitting there with our poles in the water and doing nothing. Sometimes when I think of all this I get a little home sick. People up here seem to think the rivers are something until I tell them about the Mississippi.