We recently took a trip home. The great and beautiful expanse of Northern Ontario. Celebrating a family milestone.
With little sleep and slight liver damage later, we were heading back to Southern lands and had the pleasure of hearing the story of -- and then passing via a major highway -- the famed location of Webers Hamburgers.
Webers opened in July 1963 and is thriving today. They also serve "a damned good burger", but that's not the remarkable part of the story.
Picture for a moment a burger joint alongside a major provincial thoroughfare, which is only accessible to Northbound traffic. The solution for South-goers? Walk across 8 lanes of 100km+/hr traffic.
'Oh no,' said the government. And in 1981, the Ministry of Transportation (MTO) installed a boxbeam barrier to discourage lane jumpers. And 'oh no,' said Webers' faithful as they continued the crossing and now, the climbing. So, in '82, the MTO installed a chainlink fence above the boxbeam to curtail the literally thousands of hungry highway crossers.
How did Webers respond to this (their words) "serious challenge to their continued success"?
In '83, they acquired a portion of the pedestrian bridge from the CN Tower in Toronto and erected it over the highway. It became the first and only privately owned bridge built over a public highway in the Province.
(You can read all about this on the History section of the Webers website.)
We won't even get into the part where, in '87, they acquired 3 CN railway cars and retrofitted them into a modern meat processing facility...
The short and simple question is this:
What bridges are you building?
(Thanks TZ for the love, the ride and the awesome blog inspiration.)