The little park along the river down on the Rhode Island end of our street has been impossible to get to since last March. The bridge was gone, being replaced.
It was hard to argue with the project. The bridge was in such poor condition, we had reported it to the road repair people in Rhode Island. They said they knew, not to worry. Nonetheless, the next time we went that way, there was a “no trucks” sign as well as a stop sign and a 5 mile per hour speed limit. Which we and everyone else observed. It’s rare in this part of the world for anyone to slow down for anything. But that bridge was scary. You could feel it bowing and creaking as you drove over it.
I could, in my mind’s eye, see the headline:
“UXBRIDGE COUPLE KILLED IN RI BRIDGE COLLAPSE”
(Film at 11.)
I hoped we were not going to be the precipitating event to finally get the repair crews started. Luckily, they started before a collapse and tragedy.
I expected them to just repair it. Replacing bridges is expensive. Rarely do they completely replace a bridge and you can bet, when they do, it had reached the point of no return. Apparently this bridge was beyond repair.
They replaced it completely with a brand new, solid cement structure. Solid. They also shored up the riverbank which had been eroding. Where there was a rolling hillside and a picnic table, there’s now a reinforced concrete abutment.
No more erosion there. I rather preferred the look of the grass, but I understand that the intent was to keep this piece of river navigable.
It was wonderful to get back to this little piece of river. The trees were bright with autumn. A huge green heron flew just over my head. Of course I didn’t get a picture. I never do. I am too slow for wildlife pictures. Unless they stand still and pose for me, I miss the shot every time.
I think I was faster when I was younger. Certainly my reflexes were better, as was my eyesight. These days, I thank the powers-that-be for whoever invented auto-focus.
And so we went photographing in Harrisville, Rhode Island on this bright and shining day in October. It is turning out to be an excellent autumn with delightful weather and brilliant color. I’m glad to share it with you.