The story of I-580, as it unfolds in the pages of the Appeal, becomes curiouser and curiouser. First, there was the headline about a 900 foot long concrete arch bridge - to be the world's second longest. Immediately the great waterways of America came to mind. The Snake River with its deep canyons, but wait, the Snake River is in Idaho, not Nevada. Perhaps then the Yellowstone with its own Grand Canyon. No, not that one either, it's in Wyoming. We lie in the arid and desert Eastern Sierra. Where is there, in our domain, a river canyon worthy of such an engineering tour de force? Reading on, we learned that this magnificent waterway, this rushing torrent waiting to be spanned by the world's second longest concrete arch bridge, is the mighty Galena. A heretofore secret stream, whose name had been known to only a few thousand Northern Nevadans, soon its name will be on the lips of billions as it becomes home to the world's second longest concrete arch bridge.
One question that immediately comes to mind is where is the world's first longest concrete arch bridge. It is not in America because the Appeal told us this planned bridge across the raging waters of the Galena would be, when it is built, the longest in America. Perhaps even more importantly, where is the bridge that is now the world's second longest concrete arch bridge? Might not the people of that country be upset when we usurp their position of eminence in the world? Is that country friendly to the U.S.? Could they possibly plan to send a band of bomb toting terrorists to destroy our wonderful new bridge and restore themselves to their former station of glory?
The citizens of Northern Nevada must demand that NDOT not subject us to such a grave risk for a second rate bridge. If we are to endure the constant threat of terrorist attack, we shall have nothing less than the supreme title of home to The World's First Longest Concrete Arch Bridge. Surely with a realignment of the route, NDOT's engineers could find a suitable location along the magnificent Galena requiring a longer span. Damn the cost. With the rights to such a title, our area could become an absolute tourist magnet. Paris has its Eiffel Tower, San Francisco that extraordinary suspension bridge across the Golden Gate, why not Washoe County, home of "The World's First Longest Concrete Arch Bridge?" NDOT could form a joint venture with the Nevada Commission on Tourism and the regional tourism agencies to cover the additional costs.
No doubt many have pondered, as the travel to and from Reno, just where to the west of U.S. 395 was this majestic canyon befitting a world-renowned bridge? No doubt many have vainly searched the hillsides in an attempt to ascertain its location. Citizens of Northern Nevada, search no longer! The Appeal, by way of Jeff Ackerman's very amusing column Aug. 29,has revealed the answer. Who knew that the most economical and expeditious route between Reno and Carson City would pass by St. James Place, that ungrammatically christened enclave of the wealthy located half-way up the Mount Rose Highway. In truth, only highway engineers could be expected to know these things. Who knew that the modest brick building on Stewart Street was the repository not only of the expertise to build a world class concrete arch bridge, but also to deduce that this circuitous route to Carson City would turn out to be the most efficient?
All this from an agency we though exemplified the meaning of the word "thrifty" when it chose not to follow the city's lead and refused to give in to the extravagance of marking the school zones on King Street with flashing orange lights. Who knew?