Our Maine Coast Adventure - Day 2
Jun 11, 2008
|We enjoyed another exquisite day of driving with the sun shining and temperatures in the upper 70’s. Our stops were scenic and we even crossed a bridge that gave me an adrenaline rush that should last for the next month!
Okay, the bridge… let me tell you about that one…
There we were, driving along US 1, enjoying the scenery, the weather, the historic homes, etc. Suddenly we see this interesting bridge in the distance. Seeing a pullout I stopped to take some pictures. Seemed harmless enough, just another bridge in many we have crossed. We pile back into Clyde and continue on. Suddenly we round the curve and see the bridge we are about to cross…
Rebecca (hitting the brakes and coming to a complete stop in the middle of US 1 - thankfully there are no cars behind us), “Oh no, we missed the road for cars, that is the part for pedestrians to walk across the bridge! How do I turn around here?”
Willis, “No dear, that IS the bridge for cars, just keep driving.”
Rebecca, “You have got to be out of your ever-loving mind! That is for pedestrians, the cars must have another way across.”
Willis, “No, you can drive across it. Look, there is a car coming across on the other side of the suspension cables. See, you can drive across it.”
Rebecca, “Okay, but if we get in trouble for this…”
Willis, “Please, stop holding your breath so you don’t pass out and while you’re at it, open your eyes back up while you drive us across this bridge!”
Okay, so we made it across the bridge, but the person that designed that bridge certainly “thought outside the box” on that one. The lanes on the outside of the cables?!
Seriously, however, a bit about that bridge as taken from Wikipedia, “The Penobscot Narrows Bridge is a cable-stayed bridge over the Penobscot River near Bucksport, Maine. It replaced the Waldo-Hancock Bridge, built in 1931. The new bridge is 2,120 feet (646 m) long. It is one of two bridges in the U.S. constructed recently to utilize a cradle system that carries the strands within the stays from bridge deck to bridge deck, as a continuous element, eliminating anchorages in the pylons. Each epoxy-coated steel strand is carried inside the cradle in a one-inch steel tube. Each strand acts independently, allowing for removal, inspection and replacement of individual strands. The cable-stay system was designed with a system that uses pressurized nitrogen gas to defend against corrosion. Additionally, in June of 2007, six reference strands within three stays were replaced with carbon fiber strands - a first in the U.S. Monitoring on the strands will evaluate this material for future use in bridge designs. These engineering innovations helped the bridge appear in the December 2006 edition of Popular Science as one of the 100 best innovations of the year. The total project cost was $85 million. The bridge was designed as an emergency replacement for the Waldo-Hancock Bridge and from conception to completion, just 42 months elapsed.“
If you look at the pictures I took of this bridge you can see the Waldo-Hancock Bridge that this bridge was built to replace. They didn’t tear down the Waldo-Hancock Bridge because it is in the National Register of Historic Places.
Also, the tower is fascinating, too. Again per Wikipedia, “The Penobscot Bridge site also is home to the Penobscot Narrows Observatory, the first bridge observation tower in the United States and the tallest public bridge observatory in the world. The tower reaches 420 feet (128 m) into the air and allows visitors to view the bridge, the nearby Fort Knox State Historic Site and the Penobscot River and Bay.”
Anyway, this is what we saw and experienced today and now we are resting for the evening at the Hospitality Woods RV Park and Campground in Ellsworth, Maine, for the evening.
Happy Travels, Rebecca