Wednesday, January 9, 2008

I'm Beginning to Understand

When we first moved here, it was a novelty to cross the Mississippi. I am accustomed to crossing the river in Missouri where it has gained width and depth, and where it is surrounded by nothing but farmland. When we mapped out where we would be living and Jim working we found that I would be passing over the river at least 4 times a day-- though now I average 6 or 8 a day depending upon where I am shopping or touring and if I have to bring Jim lunch.

Moving to the town that suffered a great tragedy like the collapse of the 35W Bridge into the Mississippi River I was nervous at the thought that something might happen again and even on our first trip into downtown driving across the Central/3rd Avenue Bridge made me more nervous than all of the downtown driving. I wondered why people would drive on a bridge that was reportedly visibly rusting and showing many signs of wear. Why would people drive multiple times a day on a structure that was undergoing emergency repairs because it was so fragile.

Now, I pass over the river either by the bridge on our road or via the Hennepin Avenue Bridge, which sits on the site of the first permanent span across the Mississippi River. This bridge is beautiful, which this photo taken while driving to Jim's office does not do justice to, and has become one of my favorite parts of the short drive to and from the city.
I understand now just how much of daily life this is for Minneapolites, just how commonplace an activity this is. When paused at the stoplight at the end of the 3rd Avenue Bridge, it is normal to feel the bridge sway slightly with the passing of trucks and other large vehicles. Crossing this rushing water is normal that an inn, restaurant and a high school are located on Nicollet Island which the Hennepin Avenue Bridge crosses.


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