Wednesday, February 22, 2012

A Bridge Too Quiet

For reasons I don't understand, I tend to conflate Westbrook and Branford. It makes no sense; they're not even next to each other. Westbrook is in Middlesex County, and has outlet stores and a laid-back beachy feel. Branford is in New Haven County, and has a charming but not showy downtown area that for some reason seems to me like it belongs more in Massachusetts. Westbrook starts with a W, and Branford starts with a B. But until I stop to really think about this, there's always a moment where I can't separate them. (They're not alone, at least - don't get me started on Meriden and Monroe.)

But now I have another distinguishing feature to help differentiate the two: Westbrook has a singing bridge. It's called the Singing Bridge. It's a bridge, and it, well, sings. Supposedly. I've encountered it many times before, since it carries Route 1 over the Patchogue River. (Spell-check wants Patchogue to be Patchouli.) But I'd never noticed the sound, said to resemble a human voice singing a high note, that results when a car drives over the bridge.

And after driving over it three times just to make sure, and listening as other cars drove over it too, I have to report that it does not sing. It merely makes that lovely tires-on-steel noise that all similar bridges make. Then again, maybe you have to be special to hear it. Maybe not hearing it is punishment for confusing Westbrook with Branford.

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