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Thursday, September 18, 2008

Timing is everything...and the 35W Bridge

I got up this morning at 3:15 a.m. to get ready to pickup my Mom for our great adventure to cross the 35W Bridge.
My concern was that we would get there too early when I heard that MNDOT and the Highway Patrol were going to slow down the crossing. After I picked up Mom, I had planned to get to the Bridge by going over to Hiawatha Avenue and coming in from the south. We heard on the radio that the Highway Patrol was not letting anyone line up for the Bridge crossing. So, I took a detour south on Hiawatha to make sure we didn't get to the Bridge too early. It worked out well.
As we approached the Bridge, it appeared that befitting a new bridge, there was a traffic jam. Well, as we got a bit closer, we saw about 100 yards ahead of us a whole slew of flashing lights and I realized that we were behind the rolling barricade composed of MNDOT trucks and Highway Patrol cruisers that were opening the Bridge. This meant that Mom and I were one of the first 100 cars across the Bridge!
And as took low quality videos with my cell phone:
Here is the approach (the flashing lights you see to the mid center right is the rolling blockade):

Here we are on the Bridge:

And here we are at the end of the Bridge from the south(you'll notice that the rolling blockade has exited to the right at the University/4th Street S.E. exit):

And here we are on the immediate return trip from north to south (and zip-zap and we're over the bridge!) As we exited at East Hennepin for the return trip, I asked Mom if she'd be interested in a real first: the first accident on the new 35W Bridge. She decided that that would not be a resume enhancing event for her.:

I have no idea what the background noise is as on my original you hear my Mom and me in the background.
Well, anyhow, it was a momentous morning.


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