Bridges

 

Today is the day, the day that we have been talking about for literally decades.

 

Our brand new St. Croix River Crossing opens and our 86 year old Stillwater Lift Bridge closes to car traffic. We are all so hopeful downtown. Hopeful that after living through years of construction and conversation about how terrible traffic is, the new crossing will make it easier for our customers to get downtown. I believe it will.

 

Eventually, we’ll have a walking and biking path on the old Stillwater Lift Bridge. So we’ll still be able to cross, it just won’t be in a car.

 

People are crossing the bridge for the last time. Traffic downtown has been particularly difficult. Everyone wants to get across in their cars one. last. time. I don’t blame them. I’ll drive my car across one last time in a few hours. Last night I headed home and cars were honking on the bridge. Saying goodbye with a honk I suppose?

 

It kind of feels silly to feel sad about it. I feel a bit silly writing it actually. But, we’ve been waiting so long. We talk about the bridge and the traffic it now causes every single day at the shop. We’ve been watching the bridge being built for years. Now it’s actually here and I have butterflies in my stomach.

 

I’m nervous. Change is hard.

 

I have a love hate relationship with this old bridge. I’ve crossed it 10,000 times in the 15 years I’ve lived in Wisconsin and countless times in my youth driving across to get to Wisconsin for things I shouldn’t write about:)

 

I was stopped a few mornings ago on my way to work for the lift. With the beautiful weather, my windows were rolled down. I started to feel a bit melancholy.

 

This bridge slows me down. That’s not a terrible thing I guess. I get 6-8 minutes to sit still. To put my elbow out the window, smell the river, watch the boats.

 

It’s going to be great to have a new bridge. We’ll all be able to get where we’re going faster. I believe it will be great for businesses downtown Stillwater, mine included.

 

I’m sure I’ll love it. But I’ll still miss crossing this one.

 

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