You could cut the anticipation with a shovel.
The Grand Avenue Bridge would open two days early…eleven weeks after it was officially late.
Everyone gathered for a special ceremony. City leaders and the news media and…no one else.
Thank goodness someone thought to bring a lectern for the mayor.
“This bridge has been declared open,” said Des Moines mayor, Frank Cownie, “and actually, we’re seeing traffic go across it.”
So he was right! If there wasn’t excitement at the ceremony, there was more than enough on the bridge.
Drivers were happy and they were smiling, and for the first time in three months they were using a finger other than the middle one.
But they weren’t the only ones.
“I was like ‘What?’” said Juevencio Ramirez, owner of nearby Viva La Bamba restaurant.
“Unbelievable!” added Bill Boggs, owner of Sully’s Tavern on the west side of the bridge.