There is something about the South Grand Island bridge that makes my chest tighten and fear a little for the vehicle I’m driving across. Perhaps it’s the inescapable feeling that it seems like they have never finished building it. No road sissy I, I’ve taken on the Beltway, I95, the Henry Hudson Parkway and even the 401, going into Toronto, in my father’s car, with him helpless trapped in the car ahead of me (If that doesn’t prove your manhood, I don’t know what will). Maybe it is the see through gate in the driving lane, but tonight it was the repaving project that bore the bridge’s surface raw, exposing every nook, cranny, industrial stapler that may me question the wisdom of my journey.
My initial plan for tonight was simple enough. On the relative spur of the moment, head up to the falls. Avail myself of free parking at the casino and stroll down Old Falls Street for the Hard Rock Cafe Show.
I encountered that fixture of Western New York Summers, the construction induced traffic jam. Where the I90 and the 190 became one traffic was a stand still. Nearly threw in the towel, almost wish I did as I passed through a booth stuck on go, to trek out on to the Bridge. Six lanes of heavy traffic trying to distill itself to two. I look to my left and see some space, which is a good thing as I look to my right and see a semi within inches of my door. The road of the bridge is a collection of mismatched segments designed to make you suck in your breath each time you had the bad fortune to cross a seam.
You reach the Apex where the construction ends and the Civic in front of me rides the break down the entire second half of the Bridge. Your brakes, moron, but are you FRIGGIN KIDDIN ME???
Doesn’t anybody know how to coast anymore.
I was halfway across Grand Island before I was breathing normally again.
Thanksfully, the Hard Rock, Old Falls Street, the Scott Celani Band and the Philharmonic threw a nice block party. That street proved to be a nice impromptu ampitheater. Only sour note was the BPO should have advertised a night of Progressive Rock as the advertised Pink Floyd only amounted to a few songs. As an advertiser myself, I like a little more truth in my advertising, but I really liked the plentiful refreshment vendors.
Nice night, didn’t even mind the bridge on the return/