Just a few notes on the Bascule Bridge.
Where there is now a Used Car Lot at the base of the bridge, there used to be a Auto Repair Shop, and one of the guys who worked there was friends of my family. He also got to be friends with the bridge tenders who were assigned to it over the years. After "Conrail Day" there still was a M-F Day Shift Tender posted at the bridge. In November of '77 he was given orders on a Friday to report to the yard office for a new assignment
on Monday. That was the last time that the bridge was used and it has been in the open position since. According to Gene (at the Auto Repair Shop) the bridge remained untouched through the winter of '77-'78, but by the time the warmer weather arrived, the tenders shack became a popular hang out spot for local kids and the mechanical equipment was destroyed.
Fast Forward to the mid-80's, and as many of you know, the bridge was a film set for the movie Annie, still in the open position, the movie extras and stunt people could be seen climbing along the tracks. The entire bridge was lit up with giant spotlights that cast a very erie glow in the night sky.
To my knowledge the tenders shack was gutted by fire after this point.
I wonder if prior to the movie shoot any additional steps were taken to ensure that the bridge would not slam shut, and given the amount of time that the bridge was been in the open position could it still slam shut at some point in the future??
It also surprises me that the Coast Guard does not require NS to maintain navigation lights on the bridge.