I suppose I can't fault the Herald for trying to sell more papers but their recent article "Coming to a river near you: A bascule bridge" has just rubbed me the wrong way. The Herald boasts 5 things to know about bascule bridges that you will need to pick up a copy of the paper to find out.
Well, I don't have a copy of the paper, nor do I plan on buying one but let's talk a little about bascule bridges.
What is a bascule bridge? Well, here in Fall River we've been staring at one for the last 100 years. A bascule bridge is a form of drawbridge. The existing Brightman Street bridge is a bascule bridge. Technically it is a double leaf bascule bridge. What sets a bascule bridge apart from a simple drawbridge is the counterweights on each leaf that allow them to be raised quickly and relatively easy. It's this seesaw motion that gives the bridge its name bascule is french for seesaw and balance.
It's fair to say that bascule bridges have been around since the days of kings and castles but it was the ability to mass produce steal in the mid 19th century that made using bascule bridges over large spans practical.
At 922ft. the new bridge will be the largest bascule span on the East Coast. The 312 million dollar project is slated to be completed by late 2012.
Now, I'm not sure if I've answered the Herald's 5 things you should know, but heck I'm not making you buy a paper either!
Tune in for tomorrow's teaser Herald headline: There was a murder last night - was it in your neighborhood? Buy a copy of the Herald News to find out!