9.07.2006

The Kiss


This is a satellite view of what Cappy and I refer to as the "3127 KISS" (thirty one, twenty seven). It's the 'get-off' set of roads on the West Bank of the Mississippi River, which leads to our town, and obviously, many other places. Shown here is the Mississippi River on the left, the bridge which spans it, and 'the KISS'. I've only been in the area for five years, but I'm told that this bridge stood with a drop-off on our side for several years with no exit ramps whatsoever; nothing leading off the bridge; that the bridge had just stopped midair, perhaps an hundred and fifty feet up. The people around here called it "The Bridge to Nowhere". Apparently the politicians decided to have it go somewhere, so they put in a road down onto the West Bank. They then made two long sweeping exit ramps that looked as though they were going on west, but then fooled the traveler, eventually putting him way back onto River Road, a narrow, extremely winding, 50 mph in most places, but beautiful scenic route running all along the west bank of the River. Every time I've driven west down off that bridge, I've wished I could just keep going straight, through the woods to Route 3127; a short trip, actually, to get to my destination more quickly, rather than having to traverse the concrete acrobatics of the drive along River Road. I was thrilled to learn that an extension to 3127 had always been in the works, as a part of the bridge construction, but not to get my hopes up because it had taken years and years for the bridge itself connecting the towns of Gramercy and Wallace to have been completed.
Going east on the bridge has never been a problem for me because I always hum a little tune on the way, "Over the River and through the woods, to Gramercy we go", but that's an whole other story.
One time while Cappy and I were driving home, he had his GPS on for the fun of it, which he uses on his tugboat to see satellite views of where he is going. As we were coming down off the bridge I asked him how far Rt. 3127 was from the very end of the loops. He said it wasn't far at all, that it wouldn't take all that much road construction, as far as length to complete the trip. I said I bet from an airplane those two loops looked like lips, stretching as far as they could to get to 3127. He said, "Well, now that I look at it, I guess it does, but there are railroad tracks between them, too". I said, "It's almost as though this road wants to kiss that road, so badly". From then on whenever, for instance Cappy has called me when I'm on my way home, if I'm on the bridge, or in those loops, I'll tell him I'm at the "KISS", or headed toward the "KISS".
But now! Everyone in the region is so very excited (merchants along River Road notwithstanding, I'm sure) because they are actually working on the extension to 3127!! They appear to be ahead of schedule; however the work isn't expected to be finished for a year or more. As Cappy puts it, "Nobody in our town has planned their maiden voyage just yet. They still have to build another bridge over that set of railroad tracks".
Post a Comment