Beidge 21 in Port Colborne at sunrise

A view from a bridge

This view from a bridge was taken soon after sunrise with my drone, high above Clarence Street in Port Colborne. A little forethought went into this. Research showed that the sun would be aligned with the roadways at exactly 7:27, so I was on site by 7:15 to get things ready. Right on schedule, a street cleaning truck turned the corner and rumbled slowly toward me just as I was about to take off. Once it had passed I was able to get into the air for what was effectively a straight up-down shot as I had lost those couple of precious minutes, but the sun of course keeps moving. I always allow a margin for error so it worked out well, I just ate into that margin of error. Fortunately, I nailed it first time. That bird flying past the top of the bridge was just the icing on the cake.

Bridge 21

Bridge 21, which is to say the Clarence Street bridge, is an engineering marvel. It sits across the southern entance to the Welland Canal. When ships come through the entire road lifts straight up, rising almost a hundred feet into the air as ships pass below. This sight never gets old. Unless you live a couple of blocks away, as we do. For locals like us, the inconvenience of the road disappearing every so often makes cross-canal travel a game of chance. There are two other bridges in town, so traffic continues to flow. However, either one of these may be up at the same time as Bridge 21. I like to say the bridge is 4km long, which is the trip distance if two bridges are up. Not bad for cars, but not fun for any pedestrians already running late. ‘The Bridge was up’ is a common reason for being late.

There are two bars, one at each side of the canal. Somewhere to wait while ships pass. They are most populated when the bridge goes up. For those already present, hearing the siren announcing the bridge is about to go up is a common excuse for ordering another beer.

The three bridges are a necessary part of life here, but I will say that locals have many other names for them, none of which can be repeated here.

All said, Bridge 21 is rather spectacular when the sun shines through from behind, though. Don’t you think?

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