To Dance with the Sky

In Tonawanda, New York the Erie Canal meets up with the Niagara River.  Bridges like this one were designed to raise and lower based on boat traffic.  However, the sheer expense of building drawbridges the length of the canal was deemed prohibitively expensive.  As a result they scrapped the plans, killing any hopes of sailing the length of the canal.

Ultimately the Delaware Street Bridge was only raised a few times for testing, and never for actual boat traffic.  It’s sad when bridges don’t reach their potential.  I wonder what the designers, engineers and laborers who worked on this bridge thought about their creation sitting for years in the lowered position.  For a bridge builder this is probably akin to what a Ferrari designer sees when their car is sold to someone who parks it in the garage without ever taking it for a spin.  While not at all practical, it would almost be better to see the bridge fully open, reaching for the sky.  Alas, that would be a sign of aspiration, not function.  The bridge is still used for trains, so its more logical to leave it in the functional position.  And so this bridge sits in eternal limbo, never again dancing with the sky.