Tuesday, September 28, 2010

9th. St. Bridge: An Ocean City Landmark


"H..O..N..K, HONK, HONK!" The strident blast echoes around the bay, followed immediately by the harsh, metallic clanging of a bell.

"Ding, ding, ding," it calls, announcing the opening of the 9th. Street drawbridge onto the island of Ocean City. Then, while the drawbridge raises and lowers, the bell chimes incessantly. Motor boats and sailboats glide under the bridge. Then, another series of three blasts and the bridge slowly lowers back into position. (photo of the Drawbridge rising in front of the new span under construction)

Impatiently, vehicular traffic awaits the opening of the gates, the traffic signal turns green, and they surge over the bridge.

These sounds...this sight...is an integral part of my childhood and of our family's life in Ocean City. Soon to be gone, replaced by a new, higher span that is already arching over the skyline next to its aging predecessor.

The new bridge is a wonder of modern engineering and will include a wealth of amenities besides its functional attributes and safer design. It will feature observation points, walking/biking lanes, fishing pier, and a beautiful, new Ocean City Welcome Center. It is an asset to Ocean City without a doubt, but somehow I think I will miss those familiar sights and sounds that have formed part of the warp and weft of my life.

If you are feeling similarly nostalgic, you will find a nice selection of renderings of the 9th. Street Bridge at the Fine Arts League at 608 Asbury Avenue in Downtown Ocean City (the League is a non-profit Community Arts Organization). There are pictures of the bridge in various sizes - originals plus prints - and in a variety of styles and price points, too.

Downtown Ocean City's shops and restaurants are just a couple of blocks from the Scarborough Inn B&B and a favorite destination for our guests.

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