Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge this week (ending today) is the last of the “Fun with the Letter B” series. As you might have already guessed, the topic is Bridges. You couldn’t get closer to the happiness side of my spectrum if you tried.
I grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Pittsburgh may not have the most bridges of any city, but with 456, it ranks in the top-5 in the world. You aren’t going very far in the city or the surrounding suburbs without crossing a bridge. I was born in Bridgeville, Pennsylvania, and it’s almost impossible to get in or out of that small town without the help of a bridge.
My favorite bridges in Pittsburgh are The Sisters. Geographically, they are the 6th, 7th and 9th Street bridges that cross the Allegheny River from downtown Pittsburgh over to the North Shore / North Side. Today, these bridges are named for three famous Pittsburgh natives/residents – Baseball legend Roberto Clemente, artist Andy Warhol and marine biologist, author, and environmentalist Rachel Carson, respectfully.
From an engineering standpoint, the Sisters are unique as they are nearly identical structures, and they were the first self-anchored suspension bridges built in the USA. I could go into a lengthy technical discussion of what that means, but the most important thing is that a young boy with an Erector Set could build a self-anchored suspension bridge. Well, a boy who was young enough to be gifted the combined pieces of his older brother’s and his older cousin’s Erector Sets.
Pittsburgh was recently in the news when a 50-yr-old bridge along one major artery into the city collapsed. Luckily it collapsed early in the day, and while ten people were injured, there were no fatalities. Ironically, the bridge collapsed the day US President Joe Biden was planning to visit the city to talk about infrastructure.
Bridges are expensive to build and expensive to maintain. In recent years, when we’ve visited Pittsburgh, we’ve witnessed each of the Sisters covered in tarps and drop cloths as they were being repaired. I was happy to see these historic bridges being upgraded to serve for many years to come.
Yesterday, I promised I’d share some information primarily of interest to the people who participate in Thursday Doors. However, if you ever link to your blog posts as part of a challenge, you might be interested as well. If not, skip to the gallery where I have dug up pictures of bridges from Pittsburgh and other places I’ve lived or visited.
A few weeks ago, I introduced a feature where Thursday Doors participants could add “hashtags” (I put that in quotes because technically they aren’t hashtags) to the links they leave in my comment section. Several people mentioned that although they included the tags, they were not collected by my little program script and didn’t appear in the recap. Well, the mystery has been solved, with a little help from the Happiness Engineers.
If you include a link (URL) at the end of your comment on someone’s blog, the link will appear as text, you know, the whole ‘https…’ thing. If one of those links includes a tag, my script will pick it up. If, on the other hand, you press Return and paste your link on a new line in that comment, your link will be embedded in the comment section. That means a snippet of your post and possibly a featured image will appear. However, when WordPress embeds your link, they strip off the tags (as I do when I add your link to the Sunday Recap).
Fortunately, I can edit the comments and remove the extra spacing, but if you’re using hashtags to distinguish your Thursday Doors posts, you may want to add the link inline with your comment text and save me that effort (and eliminate the risk that I miss yours). Now for the gallery: