Sunday, July 21, 2019

Temporary fix

Photo by SteveHDC, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
The above Wordplay prompt Googled up an image of Arlington Memorial Bridge in Washington, D.C. — and how scary. The Los Angeles Times reported on March 6 that this iconic cross-Potomac link from the Lincoln Memorial to Arlington National Cemetery will get a temporary fix for "one last time."

This not-for-the-last-time patch-up job will reportedly extend the bridge's life span (npi) for five more years before it has to close down in 2021 if the National Park Service can't pony up the $250 million or so to rebuild this colossal crossing, built in 1932 from an 1886 neoclassical design by McKim, Mead & White to link the Lincoln Memorial with Arlington National Cemetery in a style compatible with both sites.

No wonder London Bridge was falling down.
Photo courtesy of the U.S. Department of the Interior
National Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis called Arlington Memorial Bridge "a really good example of what happens when you defer maintenance." The image to the right says it all: rusted steel supports near the bridge's main bascule span, looking ready to give if the presidential motorcade happens to pass over. Add the crumbled concrete decking, and, Washington, we have a problem.

Mr. President, are you listening? Or are you too busy burning bridges?

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