Highway Nightmare

Photographed on 3/7/2023

Published on 3/21/2023

One night after work my friends and I decided to go on a short walk on the Parkway. This was during daylight savings time so by the time we made it to where we were going it was already very dark and cold. We decided to check out the viaduct bridge, the same one I had photographed for my final assignment in photography, as one of my friends had never been.

I had set up my camera with the macro lens again and decided to experiment with some more point-and-shoot shots using the flash to account for low light. This resulted in photos which feel ominous and sort of dreamlike, but still rather detailed compared to what you might get from a phone. Because of the low light and flash on top of the brutalist design of the underside of the bridge, I likened these images to something out of a nightmare.

The viaduct bridge is a short quarter of a mile walk round trip, and once you reach the bridge there is a utility hatch which leads to the interior. The hatch is a little high up, so visitors have stacked rocks in order to get high enough to climb inside. Because I have been vertically blessed, I had little trouble getting inside, and watched as my friends stacked rocks at the bottom.

Inside the bridge it is pitch black and covered with graffiti which is slightly illuminated from the hatch when you first enter. We had some flashlights shining all around the entrance to the hatch as we were trying to get inside. A jeep drove overhead and honked at us. We thought they might be park rangers, or even just fellow hikers, but they drove right past us and we didn't think much of it.

About ten minutes passed, and as my friend was almost inside the bridge, a voice rang out, "This is the police, come out with your hands up." This was not the first time I'd been stopped by the police for trespassing, but it still felt a bit jarring being asked to keep our hands up as we had our bags searched for spray paint. We were escorted back to our car, had our IDs taken to be put in "the system", and were let off with a warning. Considering this event and the stress it caused, I almost wish the pictures had been more impressive to be "worth" sharing. However, I do quite enjoy the vibe of these images and the story behind them.

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