Students react to reopening of 741 bridge

Shaving cream in a toothpaste tube. Salt in the coffee. Guess what? ... NO SCHOOL!

April Fools jokes. On April Fools Day, many scheme pranks up to pull on teachers, friends, or parents. A few laughs are had or feelings are hurt, and that’s that. 

However, last March, PennDOT decided that they had had enough of the jokes. This plan was for real. 

The signs went up warning travelers of the work that was about to begin on the 741/Village Road bridge. It read as follows: THIS BRIDGE WILL BE CLOSED FOR CONSTRUCTION STARTING APRIL 1. It was no April Fools joke. Starting on April 1, 2015 and ending seven months later on November 16, 2015, the bridge closure caused nearly 5,400 drivers to frequently detour on Lampeter Road, Penn Grant Road, and Strasburg Pike.
The bridge was closed in both directions for more than six months file photo
The bridge was closed to repair bridge parapets while widening the final product. A parapet is a low wall along the side of a bridge that provides a boundary for drivers as they travel along the bridge. For seven months the bridge was closed so everyone who usually traveled on the bridge felt the effect of its closure. The Village Road Bridge’s reopening almost called for a celebration. 

“It was the BEST part of my day!” Sam Ingram exclaimed, referring to her first trip over the new bridge.

The newly constructed bridge is a gift for those running late to work and who miss the faster route option, though the detours it caused may not have been a waste. Often when rushing to work or running errands one doesn’t notice the landscape surrounding them. However, when we are forced to take a detour, we instinctively pay attention to the new route. 

“Hey, I didn’t know there was a house there!” 

“I saw an Amish girl talking on a telephone!” Ingram, whose commute was affected, shared. “I almost ended up enjoying the detours better and found myself taking them even now that the bridge is open!” 

And so, this seven month span of detours and new roads may have been a blessing in disguise. Although a few extra minutes may of had to have been factored into transportation time, a new appreciation for the beautiful place we live in was fostered. So let this bridge be a lesson. When life presents a detour follow these steps.

1) Groan for about 3 seconds from initial frustration.
2) Stop whining and take the detour roads.
3) Look for something new you may have never noticed before.

So here’s to PennDOT for teaching us to find new life in what seems old. And thanks. The people of West Lampeter Township are really glad to have their bridge back.

--Mackenzie Miller, Senior Staff Writer

Edited: BP

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