Essay by PaperNerd ContributorCollege, Undergraduate November 2001

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To many of our destinations we must travel across a bridge of some sort. Some people have their own phobias of crossing bridges. Most people just depend on the fact that they should be safe. When we sit down and think about it we don't realize that many of the bridges we cross today are very old, and some people find out the hard way when the bridges give out beneath their vehicle.

We take it for granted that the roads and bridges we travel should be safe. How are we to know that the Department of Highways is taking the proper care of our highways today? Some of the bridges are very outdated and should be replaced or better maintained. The only hard part to that problem is where the money is going to come from.

This past Saturday (Jan 5 2002) a snowplow was coming across a bridge in Colchester County.

The bridge, which was fairly old, gave out and the back end of his truck went 4 meters under water. The driver was unharmed but the passenger suffered broken ribs. The ironic thing about this situation is that it was the Department of Highways salt truck.

This single lane Foley Factory Bridge was built out of wood and steel 60 years ago. Many people frequently travel this bridge and the accident could have been worse say residents of Debert. They are just glad it was not the school bus full of children, which usually travels this bridge on a regular basis. The accident could have been a lot worse than it was.

Some people might say this is a sign of government neglect on our highways. The average bridge in Canada is 23 years old. The average bridge in Nova Scotia is 51, but is there anything we can do about this.

In November 2000, a bridge in Howie Centre, near Sydney, collapsed during heavy rainfall as a busload of children approached to cross. Four months earlier, a one-lane bridge over the Medway River in Queens County collapsed under the weight of a pulp truck. Both the driver and the truck fell into the water. Luckily he was not injured.

The transportation Department released a report on the "infrastructure deficit". The report said they were to spend about 560 million on the bridges in the next decade. This year the government has budgeted 10 million.

Most places I go I travel by bridge at one point and time. I never really think that they could collapse when I am on one. It just seems unrealistic. When people tell me they are scared to stop on bridges I think it is a little funny or silly. When I was younger we use to go underneath a big green bridge and swim, and I never thought that it might collapse on top of me.

Most of the people have big lucky so far. I can see someone getting seriously hurt if they do not fix this problem soon. I've heard of so many times of bridges giving out. I would not want to be near the Halifax Bridge if it was ready to come down. I cannot picture that as being pleasant. We have to make sure our government takes care of our local transportation routes, and puts his money in the right places.