In search of what's next

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

The bridge is out!

I live in the country, on a country road with country neighbors and all sorts of things that make you happy to be in the country. Unless you're a city person. Then, it's not so much.

Anyway, I live in Ohio county, Indiana. My mailing address is Aurora Indiana. Aurora is in Dearborn county, but I live in Ohio county. Try to buy a car in northern Kentucky with those credits. They get confused easy. Trust me. (Ohio county is the smallest county in Indiana, with one incorporated city, Rising Sun. Home of the Shiners! Small enough for ya?)

But I like rural, small, unobtrusive lifestyle living. Unfortunately, sometimes this has it's drawbacks. This road I live on is not quite 2 lanes wide, but 2 cars can pass if your careful. Meeting the trash truck, a semi or Mr. 8 wheel wide John Deere makes it a challenge tho. It's these challenges that has finally gotten the county to seriously consider widening the road to statewide standard width (24').

Of course, we'll all lose some of our property, but they'll still kindly charge us the same taxes and just adjust the rates up a little to pay for the pavement upgrade. Typical government move if you ask me.

Well, there are several bridges and culverts on my road that will need widening as well. (They don't do it themselves you know.) They got bids and let a contract out 1st of this year to get someone to tear out 3 bridges and widen them. They needed replacing anyway. We've had 2 or 3 unusally heavy rains in the 10 years I've lived there that have completely washed out the foundation of the bridge. That last one required them to come in and pour more concrete just to hold up the bridge.

The guy they ended up hiring to replace the bridges started right after Memorial Day. He was contracted to finish up by labor day. Bridge number 3 is about 25 feet from the end of my driveway. Bridge number 2 was completed 9 days after labor day. Monday (yes, 2 days ago), they closed the bridge and began to tear it out. Out of the 4 landowners surrounding the bridge, I'm the only one with navigable flat yard. So, guess where they wanna park everything?

Yay! I get to have a mudhole for Christmas!

Well, the bridge direction of the road is the way I normally go to town from my house, but you can get there from the other direction (which is required now), it just takes longer.

To give the contractor some benefit of the doubt, he does have 2 of those giant backhoes and a small backhoe working to tear out the old bridge. They promptly cut down several trees and piled them in my yard to get to the edge, so I guess everything is going well. Last night there was a big hole where the bridge used to be.

Anyway, Tuesday night, my wife calls me on the way home and asks me to get the mail out of the mailbox as she forgot when she came home. The mailbox is on the bridge side of the driveway, and as far as I can tell is smack dab in the way of the bridge crew for that matter. Being the last house on the road (temporarily) gives me the opportunity to zip on down the road at a healthy clip not fearing for oncoming cars. (I'll never learn, right?)

Several kids from the surrounding area had congregated after school at the now defunct bridge and were examing the handy work of these marvelous machines in my yard. I come flying up behind them and stop at the mailbox to get the mail.

I guess one of them thought I was going to try to jump the bridge or didn't notice the sign about 8 feet tall depicting road closure. He asks if I knew the bridge was out?

I love living in the country!


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