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Come See Our Hideous Slab
San Francisco Chronicle ^ | 12/17/4 | Mark Morford

Posted on 12/17/2004 7:47:42 AM PST by SmithL

As the world swoons over France's soaring beauty of a bridge, S.F. gets slapped with an eyesore

And did you hear the one about how those gul-dang baguette-sucking antiwar French just completed work on this astounding new bridge, a soaring, airy, delicate thing erected in southern France, and it's all over the international press and the French people are justifiably proud and even the venerable Le Monde has deemed the new Millau bridge a "work of art," and the amazing pictures are being featured everywhere, for good reason?

And you look at the photos and see the breathtakingly elegant architecture (it was built by the same company that did the Eiffel Tower) and you read about the bridge's world-record height and its classy designer, renowned British architect Norman Foster, the man who also designed the Millennium Bridge in London and who believes, crazily, that "works of man should fuse with nature," and his bridge is already being hailed as an instant landmark.

The Millau. Its pillars poke the clouds and its design inspires the spirit and it will surely be a major tourist attraction for decades to come -- a fact that, of course, means little to most Americans, because most red-blooded patriots never venture past the Wal-Mart on the outskirts of their home state. But still.

And if you care at all about industrial design and the splendor of pure function and of humankind's aspirations toward anything resembling ideals of grace and simplicity and beauty, you take one look and you can only go, whoa.

And then you get to spin right around just in time to have your face slapped by Arnold Schwarzenegger, a giant slab of a B-grade actor and C-grade politician...

(Excerpt) Read more at sfgate.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy; Culture/Society; Government; News/Current Events; US: California
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Morfordite Alert!

Unusual restraint by Markie. He doesn't blame Bush until the 7th paragraph.

1 posted on 12/17/2004 7:47:42 AM PST by SmithL
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To: SmithL
And did you hear the one about how those gul-dang baguette-sucking antiwar French just completed work on this astounding new bridge, a soaring, airy, delicate thing erected in southern France, and it's all over the international press and the French people are justifiably proud and even the venerable Le Monde has deemed the new Millau bridge a "work of art," and the amazing pictures are being featured everywhere, for good reason?

And in para. 2 it is revealed that the prideful French had to get a Brit to design it.

2 posted on 12/17/2004 7:54:06 AM PST by Oztrich Boy (Never Apolgise. Never Explain)
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To: Oztrich Boy

You expected more from the Frenchies ?


3 posted on 12/17/2004 7:55:37 AM PST by Eric in the Ozarks
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To: SmithL
Here's the bridge he's complaining about :


4 posted on 12/17/2004 7:55:45 AM PST by ZGuy
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To: SmithL
The Millau. Its pillars poke the clouds and its design inspires the spirit and it will surely be a major tourist attraction for decades to come

Until the Islamic terrorists there blow it up.

5 posted on 12/17/2004 7:57:39 AM PST by martin_fierro (Let's Droll!)
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To: martin_fierro

Bingo!


6 posted on 12/17/2004 7:59:09 AM PST by demnomo
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To: SmithL

Let's take up a collection from elitist snobs like Morford and maybe they can come up with the extra money to pay for a breathtaking bridge.


7 posted on 12/17/2004 7:59:32 AM PST by mvpel (Michael Pelletier)
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To: SmithL

8 posted on 12/17/2004 8:00:29 AM PST by GodBlessRonaldReagan (Count Petofi will not be denied!)
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To: martin_fierro

Wonder what the French are going to name their new Bridge? The Reichsway?


9 posted on 12/17/2004 8:00:43 AM PST by Shryke (My Beeb-o-meter goes all the way to eleven.)
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To: martin_fierro

You just beat me to that comment.

Or, how about in 2025, when Euro Muslims are hanging infidels from this bridge?


10 posted on 12/17/2004 8:01:52 AM PST by IGOTMINE (One little, two little, three little Hadjis...)
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To: mvpel

The problem is that the bayarrheans want the rest of the State of California to pay a large portion of the cost of this monument to their prodigious vanity.


11 posted on 12/17/2004 8:03:33 AM PST by Gaetano
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To: ZGuy
Morford is just whining.

Folks in Norfolk, VA don't bitch about this:


12 posted on 12/17/2004 8:04:10 AM PST by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilisation is Aborting, Buggering, and Contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: SmithL
(it was built by the same company that did the Eiffel Tower)

and this


13 posted on 12/17/2004 8:05:11 AM PST by Lonesome in Massachussets (NYT Headline: "The Protocols of the Learned Elders of CBS", Fake But Accurate, Experts Say)
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To: Gaetano
BINGO!

You win.

14 posted on 12/17/2004 8:06:34 AM PST by SmithL (People who are willing to accept everything, don't believe in anything.)
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To: SmithL
DowdWithAPenis Alert!
15 posted on 12/17/2004 8:06:46 AM PST by Psycho_Bunny (I know a greag deal about the Middle East because Ive been raising Arabian horses" Patrick Swazey)
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To: ArrogantBustard

Folks in Norfolk, VA don't bitch about this:

But people on the Delmavar Peninsula are starting to. It's starting to get too crowded.


16 posted on 12/17/2004 8:06:51 AM PST by Lonesome in Massachussets (NYT Headline: "The Protocols of the Learned Elders of CBS", Fake But Accurate, Experts Say)
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To: SmithL
And did you hear the one about how those gul-dang baguette-sucking antiwar French just completed work on this astounding new bridge, a soaring, airy, delicate thing erected in southern France...

"The Millau bridge is the Jerry Lewis of highway spans. Only Citroens should be allowed on it."-- Le Monde

17 posted on 12/17/2004 8:07:57 AM PST by Semi Civil Servant
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To: Psycho_Bunny

She used to have one, but he left her for Catherine.


18 posted on 12/17/2004 8:08:12 AM PST by SmithL (People who are willing to accept everything, don't believe in anything.)
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To: ArrogantBustard

You ever pay to go across it?


19 posted on 12/17/2004 8:08:23 AM PST by Shellback Chuck (Hey John, whose your daddy?)
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Sent him an e-mail:
=====
Mark,

Perhaps you could use your considerable influence in the media to establish a fund to raise the addtional $300 million needed to build a breathtaking bridge instead of a colon-tightening slab, and solicit lump-sum and monthly donations towards that end.

Surely people all over the state with refined aesthetic sensibilities would be more than happy to part with some additional money to build a monument to sublime civil engineering that will endure into the 22nd Century.

You should get in touch with the transportation officials and lead the charge. I'm sure that given the legendary wealth of the Golden State it wouldn't take long to raise the full $300 million and then some.

It might also be an interesting article, or series, to examine the details of the $5 billion cost estimate against those of the other bridges you've cited. There may well be a seamy underbelly of graft and corruption on both sides of the span inflating the estimate, which would make for outstanding investigative reporting fodder.

-Michael Pelletier.


20 posted on 12/17/2004 8:09:15 AM PST by mvpel (Michael Pelletier)
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To: Lonesome in Massachussets

But they aren't getting their panties in a bunch over the architecture, are they?


21 posted on 12/17/2004 8:09:28 AM PST by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilisation is Aborting, Buggering, and Contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: ArrogantBustard

Correct. But I understand they want to double the capacity. Southern Delmavar Peninsula is really nice, and Virgina Beach is getting awful crowded.


22 posted on 12/17/2004 8:11:26 AM PST by Lonesome in Massachussets (NYT Headline: "The Protocols of the Learned Elders of CBS", Fake But Accurate, Experts Say)
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To: Shellback Chuck
Yes, I have. I've even paid just to drive up to the south island and fish off the pier. Didn't bitch for one second ... shaved a huge amount of time off of trips to Delawre and eastern PA ... and the thing is in an excellent state of maintenance.

And the fishing was great!

23 posted on 12/17/2004 8:12:55 AM PST by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilisation is Aborting, Buggering, and Contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: Lonesome in Massachussets
My point was more architectural ... the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel and the Monitor-Merrimack Memorial Bridge Tunnel are also "hideous slabs" by Morfords standards.

I consider them engineering marvels.

But then, I'm an engineer.

Morford's a poofter.

24 posted on 12/17/2004 8:15:30 AM PST by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilisation is Aborting, Buggering, and Contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: SmithL
the new Bay Bridge redesign, when anyone who looks at the artist rendering just sort of feels this nasty tightening in their colon and they go, oh J[*]sus, what the hell is wrong with us?

A**hole.

Earth to Pinhead: If beautiful is what you want, you already have the Golden Gate Bridge. If you need to move traffic across water, you don't need a Millau. If you want one, feel free to start a private fund drive.

Better yet, move to France.

25 posted on 12/17/2004 8:15:46 AM PST by newgeezer (Sarcasm content: 0.0000000%)
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To: ArrogantBustard
Morford's a poofter.

Major League. All Star.

26 posted on 12/17/2004 8:17:53 AM PST by Lonesome in Massachussets (NYT Headline: "The Protocols of the Learned Elders of CBS", Fake But Accurate, Experts Say)
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To: Lonesome in Massachussets

Bingo! Eiffage has "guaranteed" the bridge for 120 years. Let's see if it can make 120 days.


27 posted on 12/17/2004 8:18:56 AM PST by July 4th (A vacant lot cancelled out my vote for Bush.)
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To: ArrogantBustard; Corin Stormhands; Ramius

Oh my stars, WHAT IS THAT?? It's my worst nightmare, I can tell ya...it looks like it just pitches off into nothing! I would put my life preservers ON before even getting near that bridge!!

I can't hardly breath, just looking at the picture!

28 posted on 12/17/2004 8:21:24 AM PST by 2Jedismom (HHD)
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To: SmithL

...spare no expense...


29 posted on 12/17/2004 8:22:06 AM PST by Cyber Liberty ( 2004, Ravin' Lunatic since 4/98)
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To: SmithL

OK, let me get this straight, it's a bridge right? Don't we create pieces of art for viewing and bridges to aid in transportation from point A to point B? I mean, if I want to view works of beauty, I will go to the art museum, not drive across a frickin bridge. The last thing on my mind while im crawling along in SF traffic is how beautiful the bridge is. I just want to get across it to my destination. IDIOT!!


30 posted on 12/17/2004 8:23:38 AM PST by Bigturbowski
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To: SmithL
It is supposed to lop $300 million or so off the ridiculously high cost of the current new Bay Bridge plan, costs that have exploded to upward of a staggering $5 billion for some unknowable Caltrans reason and is now a good time to mention the real kicker about the Millau? How France's gorgeous and epic 1.6-mile span cost only $550 million?

Y'know, Janet has a point here...

31 posted on 12/17/2004 8:26:00 AM PST by Cogadh na Sith (--Scots Gaelic: 'War or Peace'--)
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To: SmithL
Was Markie thinking of this line from the Rocky Horror Picture Show

Doctor Frank-N-Furter: So come up to the lab and see what's on the slab. I see you shiver in antici... pation.

32 posted on 12/17/2004 8:27:21 AM PST by xp38
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To: July 4th
Bingo! Eiffage has "guaranteed" the bridge for 120 years. Let's see if it can make 120 days.

Kinda like the "Big Pig" which is already leaking unacceptably. What kind of performance bond do they have? (The company I work for recently lost a $1,300,000,000 performance bond for late completion of a construction project. Wall Street hates that.)

33 posted on 12/17/2004 8:28:59 AM PST by Lonesome in Massachussets (NYT Headline: "The Protocols of the Learned Elders of CBS", Fake But Accurate, Experts Say)
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To: 2Jedismom
That, my dear, is one of this nation's greatest feats of Civil Engineering. You're looking at the northern approach to the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel, 13 miles of US Highway 13 spanning the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay. To the left (east) is the Atlantic Ocean, to the right (west) is Hampton Roads. The complex include four completely artificial islands and two tunnel segments. This picture shows one tunnel segment ... it's large enough that a supertanker passing through would appear as a small dot in an image this size. The foreground is the southern tip of the DelMarVa Peninsula, the horizon is Virginia Beach.
34 posted on 12/17/2004 8:29:48 AM PST by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilisation is Aborting, Buggering, and Contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: 2Jedismom; Ramius; ArrogantBustard
That's the Chesapeake Bay Bridge/Tunnel.

Connects Norfolk/Virginia Beach with the Eastern Shore of Virginia. It was even more fun when it was just a single span (two lanes only)

35 posted on 12/17/2004 8:30:35 AM PST by Corin Stormhands (CHRISTmas: One season. One reason.)
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To: SmithL

I thought he want ranting about some "Hideous Slob"


36 posted on 12/17/2004 8:32:00 AM PST by Alouette (9 kids, 0 abortions, no kidding)
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To: Corin Stormhands; 2Jedismom

I misspoke, slightly ... the foreground in my image is Smith Island.


37 posted on 12/17/2004 8:32:13 AM PST by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilisation is Aborting, Buggering, and Contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: SmithL

The bridge in the bay is a government project. It is functional. If you want something better or more aesthetic than pony up some private cash or shut the hell up.


38 posted on 12/17/2004 8:34:28 AM PST by Spiff (Don't believe everything you think.)
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To: ArrogantBustard; Corin Stormhands; Ramius

Crossing Harbor Bridge in Washington was bad enough...it was all I could do not to crouch down in the floorboard of the car, like I would do when I was a kid!

I'd seriesly have to be pre-medicated before getting on this 13 mile bridge! Like with whiskey.


39 posted on 12/17/2004 8:35:21 AM PST by 2Jedismom (HHD)
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To: 2Jedismom
"I can't hardly breath, just looking at the picture!"

LOL, I see you have the same problem I have. Have you, btw, seen pictures of the French creation? I almost threw up just looking at the thing.

40 posted on 12/17/2004 8:35:32 AM PST by Bahbah
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To: ArrogantBustard
And a darn good fishing hole to boot!
41 posted on 12/17/2004 8:35:33 AM PST by chief911
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To: 2Jedismom

You should experience riding a motorcycle across something like that--it's like flying!


42 posted on 12/17/2004 8:36:58 AM PST by Cogadh na Sith (--Scots Gaelic: 'War or Peace'--)
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To: ArrogantBustard

What do they charge nowadays? Last time I crossed it I think it was around 20 bucks.


43 posted on 12/17/2004 8:36:59 AM PST by Shellback Chuck (Hey John, whose your daddy?)
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To: ZGuy

That there bridge looks good enough to pee off of ....gotta go Walmarts open....


44 posted on 12/17/2004 8:37:01 AM PST by woofie
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To: SmithL

If the French build bridges like their cars and aircraft carriers, a major disaster looms.


45 posted on 12/17/2004 8:38:49 AM PST by Dionysius
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To: Shellback Chuck; ArrogantBustard

It's $10.00 each way.


46 posted on 12/17/2004 8:40:37 AM PST by Corin Stormhands (CHRISTmas: One season. One reason.)
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To: Shellback Chuck
Last I knew, it was $18 ... but that was in the early 1990s.

I didn't mind a bit. Maintenance on that thing must be a major league, armour plate B!+@#. But it was always in good shape when I used it.

47 posted on 12/17/2004 8:40:40 AM PST by ArrogantBustard (Western Civilisation is Aborting, Buggering, and Contracepting itself out of existence.)
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To: 2Jedismom

Don't go to Louisiana. They have a 26 mile bridge.


48 posted on 12/17/2004 8:40:40 AM PST by packrat35 (reality is for people who can't face science fiction)
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Comment #49 Removed by Moderator

To: Cogadh na Sith

The idea makes me light-headed...I have a serious phobia when it comes to bridges. I cross 'em. I don't try to avoid 'em. But I don't like 'em and I have life preservers for my jedis under their seats in my van. I don't care what anybody says...I feel better with those life preservers there.

I'm not real fond of highway ramps that come up off the ground either.


50 posted on 12/17/2004 8:41:37 AM PST by 2Jedismom (HHD)
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