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Chesapeake Bridge

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Chesapeake Bridge

Postby Squigglyx » Fri May 26, 2017 11:18 pm

Phalarope, when I saw this I thought of you

http://www.metaspoon.com/scariest-bridg ... 1m1r3565aB

(If my aging mind has become befuddled and Chesapeake means nothing to you, please excuse me :))
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Re: Chesapeake Bridge

Postby phalarope » Sat May 27, 2017 02:03 am

Ah, the William Preston Lane Memorial Chesapeake Bay Bridge. :D Part of my daily commute for 11 years of my career, most recently September of last year. Featured in one of the Top Gear American specials. :bounce: I don't find it particularly terrifying. I actually enjoyed saying good morning to the Bay each day. My typical speed - 70 mph on a posted 50 mph stretch of road. :wink: I've even walked across the westbound span once. (worst sunburn on the back of my legs, EVER!)

The US301 bridge over the Potomac River is far worse, as is the MD4 bridge over the Patuxent River and the MD213 bridge over the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal. These are only 2 lanes, go STRAIGHT UP and STRAIGHT DOWN, and the traffic lanes are barely 8 feet wide. No fun meeting a dump truck or tractor-trailer (articulated lorry) coming the other way. Contrary to the article, the Bay Bridge is rarely closed to passenger vehicles due to high winds. I've driven over it in a Prius with wind gusts of 45 mph. Not 'fun', but not terrifying either. Contrary to the video, the weather doesn't "change on a dime", either. There are people who are legitimately afraid to drive across it, but that doesn't mean it's inherently unsafe.

There have been only 2 major accidents involving vehicles leaving the roadbed in the 57 years since the bridge opened - one, a tractor-trailer swerved to avoid an accident and drove up the right-hand Jersey barrier and stopped with the cab overhanging the water. Nobody in the truck hurt. Two, a passenger car was rear-ended by a tractor-trailer who's driver was looking in his rear-view mirror. This occurred at relatively low speed as traffic moved onto the bridge from the toll plaza. The car was pushed up and over the Jersey barrier and fell about 15 feet into the water. The driver escaped unharmed. Both accidents were attributed to driver distraction and inattention on the part of the truckers. The 'remedy'? More flashing lighted safety signs, lighted warnings, and flashing speed signs - all which draw a driver's eyes away from the road in front. :roll:

All that said, I don't miss driving on it daily. That commute was 50 miles each way, and a b***h on Friday afternoons in the summer beach traffic, when it seemed like the entire population of 3 states and the District of Columbia was trying to fit into 2 lanes on their way to Ocean City (a bigger nastier version of Rhyl). Average speed then - 15 mph, grrrr.

Many of the comments on the Metaspoon article refer to the Bay Bridge-Tunnel at the mouth of the Chesapeake. That's an entirely different bridge, and also great fun to drive across, particularly when there's an aircraft carrier or other big Navy ship transiting. Although I find the tunnel portions claustrophobic and narrow, and feel like I'm going to either hit the wall or have a head-on collision. :P
Cheers -
Carol (phalarope)
'The world is full of signals that we don't perceive.' -- Stephen Jay Gould, (1941-2002) paleontologist, evolutionary biologist, science historian

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Re: Chesapeake Bridge

Postby Gaspode » Sat May 27, 2017 03:08 pm

Image

This is the San Mateo-Hayward Bridge in San Francisco.

Ive not had the pleasure of any of your bridges.
But on my first trip to the US I had to drive over this thing.
And for someone who had always been on nice english and european roads, this was a surprise. :shock:
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Re: Chesapeake Bridge

Postby phalarope » Sun Jul 16, 2017 12:44 pm

nice_bridge_web_ready1.jpg
This is the Governor Harry Nice Bridge over the Potomac River. 135 feet of clearance, so the roadbed is probably 140 feet. Opened in 1940 and never upgraded. It's on a major north-south highway and is the only river crossing south of Washington DC.
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Cheers -
Carol (phalarope)
'The world is full of signals that we don't perceive.' -- Stephen Jay Gould, (1941-2002) paleontologist, evolutionary biologist, science historian

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