Friday, August 17, 2018

#Madisonville Bridge

There is a bridge in Madisonville – a railroad overpass to be exact, its claim to fame is that it tears the top off of trucks and other vehicles that dare to use this main traffic artery called Madison Road.  The overpass was possibly constructed during the WPA era, if not earlier; it now stands as a monument to progress or, the lack thereof. This is a short treatise on that progress.

Railroads and the trains that travel upon their tracks carry heavy load and connect distance places; they are what could be classified as, “National Infrastructure”, the maintenance of such is paramount.  Locally, roads were constructed to connect outlying communities and “Villes” to the municipal population center. The city and the outskirts benefited from the extensions and connections of the Infrastructure.

There comes a time that, if the infrastructure is not maintained or, updated to accommodate changes in technology such as, faster trains or larger vehicles, the infrastructure becomes an impediment to progress; an obsolescence, this is what the railroad bridge over Madison Road has become. Cameras trained on the bridge document on an almost daily basis, a vehicle that has become wedged between the low overpass and the city street.

Locals think it’s funny to see yet another vehicle trapped, the traffic patterns interrupted and resources tasked to deal with a problem that urban planners could not foresee or that community activist overlook.

I would ask, “After every Dump Truck, Earth-mover, Tractor-Trailer and cargo carrier slams into that bridge, is it inspected for safety each time?” I think not. I believe that any person with half an intellect would ask, “Why is this being allowed to continue to happen?” I’m sure that those questions have been voiced by many people but, no actions have been taken.

I would say that the least that could be done is the placing of Flashing signage and height warning ; if Rail-crossing gates and Flood Control gates can be installed on Madison Rd for the Duck Creek waterway then, a couple of signs don’t seem to be such a big deal.

“Progress” is what I am opining about, the world has progressed since the railroad bridge and roads were built but, as they are constructed now, they are an impediment to progress. The bridge blocks access to the Villes of Madison and the Villes of Plains, Madeira and beyond.

An answer to the questions posed: because we know that the rail bridge will not be raised, perhaps the answer is to lower the street under the rail crossing. This was done long ago for the main drag into Hamilton, Ohio and also to Glendale-Milford road just east of Route 4.

Improving that short stretch of infrastructure would remove a bottleneck and further open the area to development.