Props to the writers of Fringe for the great company name. I’m surprised it is still available for TV to use and I couldn’t resist borrowing it for this series of photos. I think it encapsulates the industrial authority of the bridge and the persistent ecology that it spans. That being the Merrimack river.
A funny story led me to photograph this bridge. My mom has a neighbor who we think isn’t right in the head. If it’s the person I remember from my childhood, she used to be married and had a couple of kids. Now it’s pretty clear she’s alone and probably a hoarder although our only evidence for this is the couple of junked cars in the yard. This is not the strange part though. The strange part is the fact that she walks to work. Ok, by itself that’s not so weird, but it is a long way. Probably 8 miles one way on secondary roads with no sidewalks or other pedestrian aids. And she has to cross a river. The Merrimack.
Only problem is the one footbridge I know of is in the city and quite a bit out of the way. The other bridges are highways and the one nearest her isn’t open to pedestrians…like any highways are. So that leaves a disused train trestle. At first I pictured something rickety, dangerous and falling to pieces, inducing visions of stumbling and watching my shoe drop away from me into the raging water below. I should have known better. This is a train bridge after all. Infrastructure built to last.
Maybe 20 years ago it was still possible to get a car over this bridge. My husband’s friend surprised him by showing up at the house a good 15 minutes before expected because he used this bridge instead of the legal one. He was so casual about it – “oh I used that old train bridge down the road” – like it was nothing. Now though it’s blocked off by a berm. Supposedly some assholes dumped some stolen cars off it. Looks like that would be really hard to do. And what’s the point of stealing cars just to dump them in the river? Ah, urban legends.
Damn, look at that bridge. Isn’t it great? I can’t believe I’ve gone by it thousands of times and never stopped to look. It’s visible from a main road that connects my neighborhood to the highway. Incredible. And you can see it from the car when you’re on the main bridge over the river. I’ve seen it hundreds of times that way, but never close up.
When I explored it was a nice day. High 60s or low 70s. Breezy. The sun was out most of the time. Pretty much perfect if a tad cloudy. Not so bad for this lady to make her way across every day. The scenery is worth it even if she didn’t need to get to work. Looking up river gives the best view –
Pretty cool. But what about at night? What about winter? What about winter at night? Apparently this doesn’t give the walking lady a second thought. Or a first. She wears black and nothing reflective. I don’t even know if she uses a flashlight. She’s gonna get smacked by a car one of these days. Either that or she’s going to run into a bunch of kids out drinking on the beach under the bridge. It’s crazy. Why doesn’t she get one of the junked cars working? Or take a bus…I’m pretty sure it’s possible, but she would still have to walk a few miles to the nearest stop. Why doesn’t she get a job on her side of the river (there’s another Macy’s over there, so it shouldn’t be that hard)? Freakin’ weird. Maybe someday she’ll turn into an urban legend, too. Must be the bridge.