Millford, CT. (AP) - After months of debate and funding setbacks, the new bridge crossing the Sesquihenna River was finally opened on Saturday. It had been feared by many that the bridge would remain unfinished after Millford Town Council voted down a proposal to spend another $2 million on the bridge. However, Bridge Development Corporation president J. Keith McFadden managed to find a cheaper alternative that allowed the bridge to be completed only three months behind schedule.
``We were really disappointed that the council denied the funding that would have bought the rivets and steel that we needed but we decided to go with a cheaper alternative,'' said Mr. McFadden. That alternative was 20,000 rolls of bright red electrician's tape, which was used to join the girders together on the 700 foot long structure. ``Luckily my Chief Architect was smart enough to see both the structural and financial benefits of using the electrician's tape,'' said Mr. McFadden.
Indeed, Chief Architect Archie Forman is enthusiastic about the bridge's unique structure and appearance. ``The red tape makes the bridge into a unique landmark in the Millford area. Already, tourism to the area has increased by 70% in the last week alone.'' When queried about the bridge's structural safety, Forman replied, ``It's as safe as any other bridge in the USA, except when it rains. Then I would suggest using the bridge on Route 78.''
The Bridge Development Corporation still has about 3000 rolls of the tape for any necessary repairs to the bridge due to inclement weather. ``The glue loses some of its bonding power in wet weather but it's easily replaced. It costs a lot less to keep repairing it this way rather than using the traditional rivets and steel,'' Forman explained. ``If we have under 20 fatalities in the next five years due to the bridge falling apart in bad weather, then I'll be happy.''
The Bridge Development Corporation has already signed a contract to build a bridge in upstate New York out of plastic drinking straws.
- Millford (CT.) 7/12/82
Graham ``Cronkite'' Rogers
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