Signs of Spring, Shallowford Bridge

After a very warm spell – it was 73 on the deck yesterday – we’re back to more seasonal temperatures. It felt a lot like spring, and there are small, clover-like white flowers coming up in the driveway. They’re probably aliens, as that’s disturbed soil, but it’s interesting to see them so early. For the past few days, when the usual winter birds – chickadees and titmice – come though our yard, there have been some warblers mixed in. My views have been too fleeting to ID them – and I’m terrible at warblers, anyway – but that’s definitely another sign of spring. The GABO lists have been lighting up with reports of returning sandhill cranes east of the I-75 corridor, and the comparable reports from Indiana indicate that many are already back north. The peepers seem to have been joined by some tree frogs, and though I haven’t haven’t heard any trilling yet, they are making quite a racket.

Someone asked me what’s going on with the Shallowford Bridge. As I understand the story, the state wants to replace the bridge with one a little way downstream from the original bridge. The homeowners on the little road on the other side of the bridge aren’t thrilled by this proposal, nor are the business owners in the immediate vicinity. The county would like to keep the existing bridge as a footbridge and tourist attraction, but the state isn’t interested in that idea, because the reason they want to build a new bridge is to get the old bridge off their inventory. Also because the load limit on the existing bridge, which I believe is 7 tons, does not meet their standard even for a foot bridge, which I believe is 9 tons. So the county is going to have some work to do if the bridge is going to be saved.

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