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i'm just tryin' to find the bridge

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Oct. 9th, 2008 | 06:25 pm

Have you ever heard the theory that taking different, varying routes on your work or other commutes stirs brain activity? I don't know if it works, but I certainly put it to practice. However, since about mid-summer (aka Orange Barrel Season) the application has been pushed to ridiculous extremes. It seems that the Missouri and Kansas Departments of Transportation conspired to place construction along every possible way for me to get from point A to point B, consistently adding anywhere from 25 to about 3,000 minutes to each leg of the daily trip. I must have attempted at least a dozen variations on the theme, most resulting in glacier like progress towards the office, or even worse towards home.

Of course, most infrastructure repairs have relatively short lifespans. By and by one lane has come back to four here and a once closed ramp has reopened there. Unfortunately, I've recently learned that an obscure bridge in rural Jackson county, near the Missouri/Kansas line - a veritable keystone to my swift passage - will be out of commission for at least another nine months. Nine months! I could fully gestate a child and still not necessarily get back on that fucking bridge!

But what's the big deal? Observe:

The green route is my old, unavailable, secret route. The red route is one viable alternative. The skull and crossbones represent the bridge.

See how many squiggles I seemingly have to navigate? Do you know that there are three additional cemeteries to pass on this route? Ok, I guess that's part isn't so bad.

According to a spokesman for the Kansas City Public Works Department, "the Kenneth Road bridge has a history of closures due to people who take vehicles that are too large and drive them too fast." Err, I don't know what he's talking about. The trouble is that the bridge was already scheduled for replacement in 2009, and, "it’s not worth sinking any more money into something that’s going to be torn out.”

But how bad could it really be? Couldn't I still drive the thing if no one was looking? Already in the area for a wander in the woods, I was able to get a close look at my precious.

Hmm ... pass-through-able.

Uhh, yeah. Maybe not. See why I used a skull to mark the structure? Looks like I'll be whistling past the graveyards until sometime next July.

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