Thursday, July 22, 2010

The bridge over the river dry

view from my balcony

Directly outside our house is a small river. Since i arrived here 7 years ago it had been spanned by an ancient wooden bridge. It was in a state of disrepair when i came and now it's condition is positively dangerous. It was a tricky mission to walk across it let alone attempt the traverse on a motorcycle. Some people used what i refer to as the momentum method whereby they would zoom across at high speed in the hope that if the creaky wooden structure did in fact collapse then they would be across before it crumbled beneath them.
                                        The recent drought in Thailand has meant that the river has actually run dry. Therefore, an unfortunate fall from the bridge would leave you with a 14 foot drop to the dry stony river bed below and almost certain injury. So everyone was quite pleased when contractors arrived last week to erect a new bridge. The old wooden deathtrap was replaced with a solid construction of metal and concrete.
                                       The new bridge was set in absolutely dead level. This would have been perfect but for the fact that the banks of the river are nowhere near level themselves. I for one, could have lived with a new solid bridge with a slight slope but we now have a dead level bridge with a smooth entry and exit at one side and a 4 foot drop over on the other bank!
                                     The contractors shuttered the drop with blocks and filled it in with hardcore and concrete and then cemented it smooth. The gradient is so steep that to cross by motorcycle you have to swing onto the other side of the road and take a measured run up. It simply can't be done if there is anyone standing on the narrow bridge at the time.    It seems to be only me that thinks that the whole concept is flawed. Everyone else thinks it's an engineering miracle of the modern age!


  1. Tom this shows what level headed guys Thai people really are. Take one long run up, then imagine you're Evel Knievel or Eddie Kidd. Good luck.

  2. Tom , looks like the same contractors they use here in Wang Pho , not to bad in town , but get a little ways out and it's whatever works . I'll post you site in the blogs I follow and if you like would you do the same for me . I like your blog and hometown topics. Malcolm

  3. Hi malcolm, Thanks for your comments. I've added you guys to my blogroll and look forward to reading your future posts...