Surfing the web. Coasting in on the leading edge of a giant wave with the opening bars of Kenny Loggins “Danger Zone,” running through my head. I see the off ramp to one of my favorite sites, The Graffiti Bridge.
Coasting to a stop, I scoop up my board and tuck it under my arm. The melody quickly changes to “Another one bites the dust.”
And this one most certainly had. Shredded was more like it. Ripped open like a sardine tin by The Graffiti Bridge.
For large vehicles, 17th Avenue, both North and Southbound, is most definitely a “Danger Zone!”
The problem is, fiberglass and sheet metal is no match for tons of earth, steel rail lines and reinforced concrete.
Oh yeah, and don’t forget the over 4 inches of paint, memories and culture that have built up on the skin of The Graffiti Bridge over the past century.
I have often wondered what it felt like for the driver of the vehicles who collide with the bridge. I can only imagine how the shriek of metal on metal must sound. That massive jolt as the bridge completely decimates the 18 wheeler trailer.
There are a lot of memories associated with this Pensacola Icon. It has been called “The most photographed monument in Pensacola”, and it’s beginning to get the reputation of the “most collided with,” to.
The Pensacola News Journal published an article about the collision that occurred on July 6. In the article, the PPD told PNJ reporter Troy Moon that “This is the 13th collision in the last 12 months.” This last collision brings the number of crashes up to a total of to 15.
Maybe I should go down and Paint “Danger ZONE,” in red across the bottom of Trestle. Then again, maybe not, who knows. I do know this, so far there are “warning,” and “low clearance,” signs in both directions up and down 17th ave approaching the bridge, yellow flashing lights warning motorists of the 10.6 ft height of the bridge. Clearly all this is not enough.
RVs, Camper trailers, and 18 Wheelers continue to collide with The Graffiti Bridge at an alarming rate, and so far, nothing anyone has done has been able to stop it.