Friday, February 15, 2008

New South St bridge will be area's first talking bridge

Though talking bridges have been constructed in cities such as San Francisco, Cleveland and Boston the Delaware Valley will welcome its first when construction begins in July of this year on the new South St bridge. The Schuylkill Valley Regional Bridge Authority oversees the construction of all bridges that span the river from Schuylkill County to Philadelphia County. "If you want to build over it we've got to approve it," said SVRBA director, Kimberly Combs. In 2007 Spring City and Royersford began building a new bridge linking the two towns, in Chester and Montgomery Counties respectively, without the consent of the SVRBA. Within two days the SVRBA had haulted construction and removed the pinky toe from 10 workers.
The organization admitted that their actions were a bit drastic and wanted to begin the healing process by approving the area's first talking bridge. "The metropolitan area will now be part of an elite group of cities," said Combs. The bridge will address drivers through strategically positioned loud speakers with greetings and conversation. As drivers cross the structure those with EZ-Pass tags will be asked questions based on information provided from their EZ-Pass applications. "For example the bridge might ask about your home town or might mention that you were speeding through the PA Turnpike toll booth last month. It's really a clever thing," said Michael Frank, TalkArch rep, the company which designs the talking bridges. The bridge may wish you happy birthday one day, remind you of a spouses birthday the next and ask why you're behind on child-support payments on another day. Those without EZ-Pass and pedestrians will only have generic greetings shouted their way such as: hello, hi, good morning, good evening, how's it going, what've you been up to, how's that, click it or click it until it clicks, check your oil cowboy, you should have seen the last bridge, better get to class, how did the presentation go, and ba da ba ba ba I'm loving it. For a complete list of the bridges general greetings visit:
Notes: The bridge will not have a casino built above it as originally planned.

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