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The Bridge That Will Never Be

1154 words - 5 pages

When I was a small child, I remember my parents crossing the James River on the ferry in Surry County while taking my brother and me to Jamestown. At the time, I thought it was thrilling to ride the ferry. It was fun to stand out at the bow and watch as we went over the river to the other side where the boats are docked at Jamestown. We fed the birds on the front deck, and I also remember going up into the top of the ferry where they had a seated area that allowed someone to get out of the wind and still be able to see out. As an adult, I no longer have this glowing admiration for the ferry services in Surry. It never fails that when I am approaching the dock; the ferry is pulling away. ...view middle of the document...

Recently, the captain of the ferry pulled away from the dock before all the passengers boarded, and one of the vehicles went into the James River. Furthermore, the ferry only runs once an hour during late night hours, even in the summer. If a vehicle approaches the dock shortly after the ferry pulls off then they are left to wait on the dock with little security in a dimly lit area until the next ferry arrives.
In addition, a bridge at Scotland Wharf would encourage more people to come to Surry to spend money at the local restaurants, businesses, and parks because it would eliminate the wait at the dock and the ferry ride. The businesses in Surry struggle to survive because they are in a small town. The ferry services keep many from going through Surry to get to Williamsburg and keeps residents on the Williamsburg side of the James River from visiting Surry. Having a bridge in place at Scotland Wharf would make it possible for residents in and outside of Surry to get to Williamsburg quickly. These passersby would spend money in Surry at the local Seven Eleven, Dollar General, or any of the restaurants instead of in Smithfield and Newport News had they taken the other direction to get to Williamsburg. This added revenue would help the businesses in Surry to thrive, which would in turn benefit Surry’s residents.
Equally important, should a bridge be built and used in lieu of the ferry system at Scotland Wharf, it would not encourage rapid growth into Surry County that would cause the town to lose its small town charm. The ferry is a minor annoyance that would be overcome if someone wanted to live in a rural area. Rural places have appeal to some people because of the slower pace, without the hustle and bustle of the city. Masses of people are not going to move to Surry County because a bridge is built in place of the ferry services that are already in place. Also, businesses cannot move into the area without the consent of the Surry Government and its citizens. Town meetings are held so that the citizens of Surry are able to vote on any matters that require changing zoning laws. The government officials in...

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