Recently they did a long overdue rehab of the Ortega River Bridge here in Jacksonville, Florida. It took about 9 months. During much of that time the drawbridge was in the open position. Boats could come and go, but the road was closed to traffic. Not only were there big orange and white reflective barricades with flashing lights, but there was a huge sign saying that the bridge was closed, as well as heavy concrete barricades the likes of which you see on interstate construction sites stretched in front of the span, and of course you couldn’t miss the 25 foot high span sticking straight up in the air, now could you? Or could you…
(This is a photograph of a photograph, by the way. That’s why you see duct tape on the sides.)
Late one night a man drove his car through the barricades, past the flashing lights, past the signage, another three hundred yards and obliterated the concrete barriers before hitting the bridge itself. He must have been going at an incredible rate of speed to do this type of damage. When the police arrived a crowd had gathered, but no one was owning up to being the driver. Using deductive reasoning, though, and seeing the blue jeans beside the car (you can see them in the photo), he quickly determined that it must be the highly intoxicated man standing in his boxer shorts.
The man wasn’t hurt at all. He walked away without a scratch. He said he took his pants off because he had soiled himself, and that he had been driving across the bridge, minding his own business, when the bridgetender opened the bridge right in front of him with no warning at all.
We bridgetenders simply cannot be trusted.