For inforum.com yesterday, I had the opportunity to research and write about the pedestrian bridge that spans I-94 in south Fargo.
The topic was recommended to me by our online editor, Rob Beer, and it immediately piqued my curiosity. The bridge is a visual staple for commuters and travelers coming through the F-M metro and it surfaces in conversation every once in a while, but I knew little else about it. That sounds like the recipe for a good Throwback Thursday.
I was taken by how, through the years, the bridge has occasionally become a center of our attention. Photographers take photos of it or take photos from it. A man held a show of patriotism from it. It was at the heart of a campaign to have it repainted. In other words, it has a tangible place in our local identity, and it was cool to acknowledge that.
I also argue (with tongue slightly in cheek) that we consider the bridge one of our signature landmarks. No, it wasn’t built to be a landmark; its origins stem from pure necessity. And no, it’s not exactly the most ornate structure in our area. But it has a near-constant presence in our driving-heavy lives. And while not ornate, it certainly isn’t ugly. Plus, it’s useful. Nothing says “Fargo” to me quite like a workaday, nondescript structure with exceptional usefulness and the unexpected ability to inspire people.