PaintSquare.com
Follow us on Twitter Follow us on LinkedIn Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram
Search the site

 

Download our FREE eResource: Specifier's Choice Guide. Get it now.

Coatings Industry News

Main News Page


Modern Service Bridges Ancient Fears

Friday, September 13, 2013

More items for Health & Safety

Comment | More

Friday the 13th sparks all kinds of fearsand, not surprisingly, people ready to profit from them.

Take the Chesapeake Bay Bridge: the five-mile behemoth that soars 186 feet over the depths of the Chesapeake Bay.

While crews of painters now clock in on (and above) the bridge for hours each day, white-knuckled motorists are paying someone to just get them across the span.

"Nervous about crossing over the Chesapeake Bay Bridge? If so, you're not alone," says Kent Island Express, a company that operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year to transport cars and their owners across the bridge.

Chesapeake Bay Bridge
Maryland Transportation Authority / Facebook

An enterprising service will drive gephyrophobics over the Chesapeake Bay Bridge, dubbed America's scariest span.

The service comes at a cost—$25 each way. But for true gephyrophobics (those with a fear of bridges), it's apparently a small price to pay for safe passage over what several publications have dubbed one of the world's scariest bridges—and the scariest in the United States.

Many gephyrophobics reroute their travels around bridges. Kent and other services offer the option for those who can't.

Bridging Your Fears

Indeed, some bridge owners (including the Maryland Transportation Authority, or MTA, which owns the Chesapeake Bay Bridge) have been quite accommodating about their panicky patrons.

In 2008, The New York Times reported on a number of jurisdictions that provided crossing services for gephyrophobics.

At the time, the chauffeurs included:

  • The New York Thruway Authority, which would arrange (with advance notice) for someone to drive a motorist's car over the Tappan Zee Bridge;
  • The MTA, which offered a similar service for the Chesapeake Bay span; and
  • The Mackinac (MI) Bridge Authority, which took about a thousand drivers each year over the Mackinac Bridge.

Satanic Spans...

As if bridges don't carry enough real dangers, tradition has passed down plenty of imaginary ones.

Devil's Bridges
Wikimedia Commons

Devil's Bridges, like this one in Bulgaria, were said to be the work of the devil, who then demanded a fee in the form of the builder's soul.

Take Devil's Bridges, ancient spans scattered around Europe that date back hundreds of years. These structures were considered such wonders that they were thought to have been the work of the Devil.

The story went that the Devil would appear before the builder and offer to complete the bridges in exchange for the soul of the first person to cross it. Fortunately for the builder's soul, he tricked the Devil in the end, sending an animal across the bridge as its first living patron.

...And Superstition Savvy

Fortunately, tradition has not left us emptyhanded in dealing with all manner of bridge dangers. Herewith, some of that advice:

Troll Below
Mary E. Chollet

Bridges in Dublin remind pedestrians who's really in charge of the crossing.

Watch for trains. It is unlucky to be under a railroad bridge when a train is passing over it, or to be on a bridge that spans a railway while a train is passing below. Motorists who must drive under a bridge while a train is passing are advised to touch the roof of the car—a gesture intended to hold the bridge up.

Beware your farewells. If two people part on a bridge, they will never see each other again. (The bridge is seen as a symbol of crossing into another part of one's life.)

Keep cool. Burning bridges should be reserved without exception for its original intent—keeping the enemy's army from reaching your troops once they have escaped across the bridge.

concrete cracks
Boston University

Do you know what happens to your mom if you step on a crack? Just another reason to properly coat your concrete.

Troll for tolls. It has long been believed in some circles that trolls live under bridges. To avoid a confrontation, pedestrians are advised to have a gratuity ready to pay the keeper and get across. (Trolls may also do a good turn. In California, a troll statue lived under the Bay Bridge and is credited with keeping earthquakes at bay.)

Mind your Maintenance. Cracks are not only a danger for bridges. If you step on one, you'll break your mother's back.

So keep your inspectors, and protective coatings, handy.

   

Tagged categories: Bridges; Concrete

Comment Join the Conversation:

Sign in to our community to add your comments.

Advertisements
 
Bullard
 
The Next Generation
of Blasting
 
• Lightest
• Coolest
• Most Comfortable
• Most Dependable
 

 
Detail Masters
 
Overspray Removal
 
We offer professional, turnkey service and unparalleled quality!
Our process can save hundreds— even thousands of dollars. It's fast, environmentally safe and 100% guaranteed.
 

 
SAFE Systems, Inc.
 
Portable Dust Collectors for Tough Environments
 
Trailer and skid-mounted models in numerous sizes, powered by electric and/or diesel. Sloped roofs, multiple dust inlets, high static, dampered fans. Lockable power & drive compartments.
 

 
SABRE Autonomous Solutions
 
Safety, Productivity, Quality. Robotic Blasting
 
Learn how this simple to use, field deployed, automatic robot is eliminating hazards in major confined, cluttered and complex surface preparation projects.
 

 
Safway Services
 
Your Access Advantage. QUIKDECK®
 
Provides safe, factory-floor-like working conditions. Can be engineered to fit almost any shape, structure or size. Modular platform easily assembled from just a few basic components. Excellent containment. Applications include vessels, offshore rigs and bridges.
 

 
Atlantic Design, Inc.
 
ENGINEERING SOLUTIONS, NOT EXCUSES
 
See our website for features of our best seller, the ADI 3500CFM 4-Pot Blast Vacuum Recycler. A smaller package with all the ADI power you need. 866.Call.ADI
 

 
Corrosion Probe, Inc.
 
From Detection to Correction
 
Corrosion Probe, Inc. has the Most Concrete Coatings Experience and Expertise. Contact us today at
860-767-4402, www.cpiengineering.com
 

 
HoldTight Solutions Inc.
 
NO FLASH RUST - NO CONTAMINANTS
 
Our HoldTight®102 salt remover & flash rust
preventer prevents flash
rust by removing surface contaminants. Contact us
for your nearest distributor.
(800) 319.8802 sales@holdtight.com
 

 
Termarust Technologies
 
Termarust (HR CSA) Chemically Stops
Active Corrosion
 
Arch truss treated with Termarust's (HR CSA) in 2003. This steel arch bridge is rust free on all surfaces including the crevice corroded joints and connections.
 

 
W Abrasives
 
Steel Abrasives from
W Abrasives
 
As the global leader in steel abrasives, W Abrasives material is the efficient and eco-friendly solution blasting with you to reach the perfect profile.
 

 
 
 

Technology Publishing Co., 2100 Wharton Street, Suite 310, Pittsburgh PA 15203-1951

TEL 1-412-431-8300  • FAX  1-412-431-5428  •  EMAIL webmaster@paintsquare.com


The Technology Publishing Network

Durability + Design PaintSquare the Journal of Protective Coatings & Linings Paint BidTracker

 
EXPLORE:      JPCL   |   PaintSquare News   |   Interact   |   Buying Guides   |   Webinars   |   Resources   |   Classifieds
REGISTER AND SUBSCRIBE:      Free PaintSquare Registration   |   Subscribe to JPCL   |   Subscribe to PaintSquare News
MORE:      About PaintSquare.com   |   Privacy policy   |   Terms & conditions   |   Site Map   |   Search   |   Contact Us