A Different Kind of Bridge

Today I am gateful for my husband Darcy, our marriage, and the difference he makes in my life. I am also grateful for a good cup of coffee.

A couple days ago, it was a "Bridge Over Troubled Water." Today's topic is a new bridge over the Mississippi River in the community where I live. It will  be a 4-lane marvel when completed, replacing the most heavily travelled 2-lane bridge in Minnesota. The current bridge is over 60 years old. The project began in October of 2010. There have been setbacks like flooding and a state government shutdown, and plenty of patience required. But I have enjoyed witnessing the progress. You can read more about that here.

It was fortifying last week-as tragic events were unfolding in our nation-to witness a milestone in the construction of this bridge. It gave me hope and provided some positive news amidst a lot of negative news. The concrete for the road deck on the 545-foot mainspan of the bridge was poured in one day.It took 210 truckloads of cement, 12 hours, and about 75 workers of various capacities to get the job done. Do the math and that's 900 man hours in one day. Wow!

We are now less than two months away from two lanes opening to traffic on the new bridge. Then the old bridge will be torn down and approach work completed to allow all four lanes to open, hopefully by the end of 2013.

There is something heartening about having both bridges side by side-out with the old, in with the new-but not until the time is right for the transition. As one of the many thousands of commuters who use the bridge each day, I am excited for the new bridge and appreciative that the detours and back-ups during the last 2 1/2 years of construction have been minimal.

Bridges are a nice analogy for so many things in life. Gratitude helps us build bridges because it helps us see the connections we have with so much else in the world.