If you are of a certain age, you will know this is one of the iconic lines from  Firesign Theater’s The Further Adventures of Nick Danger (1969). Depending on how you’ve lived your life, you might have been surrounded by college friends that, from memory, would constantly reenact entire Firesign Theater routines. Often on a daily basis. Possibly more often but you only saw them on a daily basis. (For extra credit, explain regnad kcin.)

That phrase has also recently become my life. A bridge that links us to the world is being replaced. Bridge 77 on Route 1133 was built in 1954 and has been declared Structurally Deficient and Functionally Obsolete. I was born 1954 and have been declared Structurally Deficient and Functionally Obsolete.

With Old 77 missing, the only way out of here is to go 3.5 miles south or 1.5 miles west on an unpaved road. From one side of the bridge to the other is 6.2 miles on the unpaved road or 9.3 miles if car cleanliness is important to you. I observed the gentleman servicing the job site toilet discovering this the other morning. Our access to Chapel Hill and Carrboro is unaffected so we can still eat well.

Here is the bridge as it is being removed:

IMG_2383

Note you can read the individual wooden beams through 5″ of pavement.

IMG_2388

The entire understructure is wood. Weight limit was down to 6.5 tons.

IMG_2438

There is a lot of wood in this bridge. And I want none of it.

Why wouldn’t I want this wood. No one can positively say how it’s been treated. Creosote is a given. It was once widely used by all including the homeowner before coal-tar based creosote’s carcinogenic properties became known. And there could be other things in there including heavy metals. The supervisor told me it costs around $2000 per dumpster to dispose of it properly (legally).

IMG_3648

240 board feet of death.

Demolition being finished, construction is well underway.

IMG_4599

Here, the far side is complete and the near side has just been poured.

IMG_4784

Both ends prepared.

IMG_4793

Finally the beams have been placed. No one can explain the 3° rake other than it is as designed.

It takes a big crane to build a bridge:

IMG_4786

Panoramic photos can be taken vertically as well as horizontally.

Depending on weather, the replacement could be ready by month’s end. The one thing we will miss is having the road to ourselves on our early morning walks:

IMG_2394

Almost 7:00 AM and no cars in sight.