“Basically intolerable”

So I was browsing the Trib’s website when I saw a link to a multimedia page that would show me the “basically intolerable” bridges in Southwestern PA.

I assumed I would click on it and would see maybe a little slideshow of 10 bridges or so and then I would avoid those bridges like couscous (I hate couscous like the plague.)


I opened that page up and was greeted with craploads and craploads of little red triangles of bridge-falling doom.

I don’t know about you, but if I was taking a hike in the woods and I came across a little pedestrian bridge over a river and at the entrance to that pedestrian bridge was a sign that said, “This bridge is structurally deficient and basically intolerable.  Walk at your own risk,” I would sooner make out with Steely McBeam than set a toenail on it.

And here I find out I’m daily driving my heavy SUV over bridges that should have that exact sign posted at them.

I was joking before, but now I’m serious.  We ARE all going to die.


  1. TC
    August 30, 2007 10:45 am

    Son of a B, that is a lot of red triangles.

    Now I am going to drive over the Liberty Bridge twice as fast, screaming the entire way, in hopes that if the bridge collapses I will reach shore in a Dukes of Hazzard-esque moment of impossible car-jump glory. Where does one get a car-horn that plays the “Here we go” tune?

  2. Heather Downey
    August 30, 2007 10:52 am

    Holy freakin’ crap. Just another reason for me not to leave the house with the kids. I’m afraid my mom-mobile may be to heavy. Maybe I need to buy one of those mini-coopers.

  3. REARless
    August 30, 2007 10:54 am


    Sorry but that is “Dixie” that it plays and you do live above the Maxon-Dixon line.

  4. TC
    August 30, 2007 12:30 pm

    REARless – oops, should have been more specific – I meant that I want a horn that blasts “pittsburgh’s goin’ to da superbohl.” (Yee-ha!)

  5. Bulldog
    August 30, 2007 1:22 pm

    Well since you asked, you can go here to get a musical car horn that allows you to record and play back music of your choice…


  6. bucdaddy
    August 30, 2007 2:15 pm

    WARNING: Basically intolerable rant ahead.

    You know, your chances of being killed in a bridge collapse are probably about the same as they are of being killed by a rattlesnake bite or a bee sting or a lightning strike. You probably have a considerably better chance of being stabbed to death by your older brother. But let one bridge fall down and it’s all this angst and hand-wringing. Even worse, now we all have to slow down on the highway for innumerable bridge inspection crews. If we took all the money and time we’re sinking into these inspections and, oh, I dunno, maybe rebuilt the worst five bridges in the country, we’d all be a lot better off. This is typical of an issue where people’s fears and emotions get the better of their common sense. I suspect this is because there are a WHOLE LOT more people who have that bridge phobia than even the sizable number who will admit it. Still, all of you posting here have driven over bridges, dozens, maybe hundreds of bridges, hundreds, maybe thousands of times, all your lives and you’ve lived to tell about it. So everybody just CALM THE F*** DOWN.

    Thank you.

  7. Babyoucantdrivemycar
    August 30, 2007 2:39 pm

    I think they should have “driver” inspections.

    I’m more afraid of being killed by an aggressive driver (and much more likely to be, exponentially) than by a bridge collapse.

    Other drivers (and in many cases, ourselves) are what we should fear most on the road.

  8. TC
    August 30, 2007 4:27 pm

    Bulldog – Thank you, that is awesome. This is such a bad idea I now feel completely obligated to follow through with it.

  9. Gunn Lino
    August 30, 2007 9:47 pm

    bucdaddy…..Word dude, word.

  10. M. Silenus
    August 31, 2007 8:50 am

    bucdaddy, I’ll make a reasoned argument in favor of panic:~D Taking care of infrastructure is not a sexy issue in the public consciousness. It’s one of those things that usually we ignore at our peril until their is a tragedy like the one in Minneapolis. So I say, if there is enough of a public outcry to actually address the issue, then that’s a good thing. In the mean time though, I’ll drive over bridges loudly singing

    “Some things in life are bad,
    They can really make you mad,
    Other things just make you swear and curse,
    When you’re chewing life’s gristle,
    Don’t grumble,
    Give a whistle
    And this’ll help things turn out for the best, and

    Always look on the bright side of life…”

    Complete with whistling.

  11. M. Silenus
    August 31, 2007 8:52 am

    there. until there is a tragedy (ugh)