lunes, 17 de febrero de 2014

Chesapeake Bay Bridge: Saving drivers too scared to cross

The BBC aired this three-minute video on Chesapeake Bay Bridge in early September last year.

Chesapeake Bay Bridge, or Bay Bridge, rises in the state of Maryland. It has a reputation for being a long and nerve-wracking bridge, ranked as one of the scariest in the world to cross, so much so that some drivers would rather pay someone else to drive them and their cars across the water.
In the clip, Brittney Manzoni, a driver with Kent Island Express, tells us what gives the bridge its reputation.

Self-study activity:
Watch the video and say whether the statements below are true or false.

The activity is suitable for strong intermediate 2 students.

1 The bridge is 4.3 kilometres long.
2 There's nowhere to park along the bridge.
3 Jay Gaskins finds coming down worse than going up the bridge.
4 Crossing the bridge usually takes an hour and six minutes.
5 Most of the times passengers don't talk about the bridge.
6 Some passengers travel in the trunk.
7 Chesapeake Bay Bridge is considered to be the scariest in the US and number nine in the world.

A nineteen-year-old fell asleep while driving on the Bay Bridge and a trucker had to swerve out of her way…
And a major crash on the Bay Bridge is snarling traffic both ways…
Friday night’s crash on the Bay Bridge that sent a woman’s car into the Chesapeake Bay, sparking some new fears among drivers.
It’s just scary. I feel very frightened.
This is the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. It’s 4.3 miles long. It’s 250 feet at its highest. There are no shoulders to pull over on, you are not allowed to stop anywhere. We escort you and your vehicle over the Bay Bridge, whether you have a fear or if you have seeing problems like depth perception, anything like that, if there’s any reason you cannot cross the bridge by yourself, we’re here for you.
I use it twice a day, you know, going to work and then coming home. I’ve been using it for probably eight years now, just the whole going up to the peak, you know, that would make me nervous, the top didn’t really bother me too bad, but coming down was a lot worse than going up. One day I might get over it, but it just seems, you know, just as easy and, you know, and a lot safer just have someone else do it.
Depending on traffic it can take anywhere from six minutes to an hour. It really depends on the weather, or what’s going on in the area, if it is a weekday or a weekend. We can drive anywhere between ten to thirty people a day. Some people are extremely nervous and we’ll talk about anything but the bridge, other people all they want to talk about is the bridge and what’s been going on with it like the maintenance and recent accidents and breakdowns. But most times we’ll just talk about what their plans are for the day to keep them calm.
They’re completely relieved once they get to the other side, there, there they’ve just got over their fear that is in the past now.
Alright, thank you.
Thank you.
Have a safe trip.
Thank you.
The trip was wonderful. I feel safe and happy.
For some people the scariest part is on the eastbound when you’re going up the upgrade, there is a bend at the top of it and you can’t, you can’t see where the bridge is going, so it looks like you’re just about to launch off the bridge. On the eastbound there’s three lanes, the sides are open like you have the barriers but they are see-through, and that doesn’t help people that have height issues.
I’ve had people request a ride in the trunk before, obviously we can’t, we cannot allow you to ride in the trunk, we’ll just have you laid down in the back seat and cover up, or just put your head down in the front, cover your face if you need to and we’ll talk you through it.
This bridge is ranked number three in the nation on the scary list. I don’t know, this part too, but I think it’s number nine in the world but there’s other scary bridges out there too, and why should we not provide a service for those ones as well, so I hope that one day we’ll be able to franchise out a little bit and branch out.

1F (miles) 2T 3T 4F 5T 6F 7F