Have you given a moment to consider the experience of actually crossing the existing Frank J. Wood Bridge and seeing raw nature in its wild and woolly state, with water cascading down the dam in a furor of torrential fervor heading for the open sea? Or the melt waters in spring that provide a cascade of froth and mist that captures the sun’s rays? Or the more tranquil state of swirls and eddies with gulls lined up along the dam ridge waiting for their next meal? Or even downstream, viewing fishermen trolling in their small boats for shad and other species heading up to the place of their birth to spawn? The dam adds drama and beauty and contrast to the imposing mills on its shores and is a glimpse of nature at her best.

Now what will you see from a bridge proposed to be sited significantly higher, twice the width of the existing bridge and curving east toward the dam? Your car is going to be 13 feet in from the edge of the new construction at a driving height of 4 feet. With the addition of a railing to protect pedestrians on the outer rim, what view can we expect to enjoy, especially with a new bridge designed to expedite traffic?

It is the open structure of the existing bridge that gives drivers and walkers the real drama of crossing over a river. Isn’t this experience far better than traversing the area on a 42-foot-wide slab of concrete?

Ann Nemrow