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September 28, 2013

Fresh Hell: The Stuff of Nightmares [Niedermeyer's Dead Horse]

In local news...

I have lived in Florida my entire life and have accepted that, in Jacksonville, you can't get anywhere without crossing one bridge or another. This particular bridge, the Matthews, has been trouble since the beginning.

The bridge, until just a couple of years ago, had a very slick grating which, with the slightest rain, would send cars spinning out of control. More than one friend has totaled a car at the top of it. Worse, it is situated atop a shipyard, meaning that ships of all size pass underneath it on a regular basis. There are some, such as myself, who avoid it at all costs because we recollect, with frightening clarity, this particular nightmare...

On a rainy day in May, some 33 years ago, a ship lost her way and thirty-five men and women lost their lives.

I won't say much because the horror speaks for itself. It is indelibly etched into my mind and, although the bridge has been rebuilt with numerous safety mechanisms in place, the few times I have crossed it have left me white knuckled and at a loss for breath.

Here in Jax, it has been reported that the Matthews Bridge will now be monitored for future signs of collapse resulting from this recent impact. That will come as little comfort to the thousands of commuters who cross the bridge on a daily basis.

To those who remember the Sunshine Skyway disaster, a few extra miles in the commute will prove well worth it.

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posted by Open Blogger at 08:01 PM

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