|Expect delays, of course, at the drawbridge construction site, because it is years away from being competently finished.|
The Old Town Drawbridge is a revitalization project and public works boondoggle in Night Vale's Old Town neighborhood that is not projected to be completed until at least 2026. The project was enacted by Night Vale's City Council, who have reacted to every setback by allocating additional taxpayer dollars to the construction effort. The total cost of the project is not known, but it is certain to be well in excess of $20 million. Opponents of the project, namely noted spoilsport Steve Carlsberg, point out that Night Vale has no rivers or bays, and so the town's need for a drawbridge is questionable, at best.
Construction setbacks[edit | edit source]
The local, private engineering firm Bridge Magic, LLC won the lucrative government contract and has thus been tasked with constructing the Old Town Drawbridge. However, as Night Vale is a landlocked town with no rivers, the engineers at Bridge Magic do not seem to have any bridge construction experience whatsoever, and have absolutely no idea how to properly design one. The firm has tried building bridge tower base supports from corrugated cardboard, non-dairy creamer, and ceramic bowls. They are fairly upfront and open about their lack of bridge building knowledge, and have openly solicited bridge tower construction tips from the public at large, asking that any submissions not use cursive or long words, and contain clearly labeled drawings.
In August of 2012, the bridge suffered its third collapse in as many months, this time because the furniture upholstery used to construct the bridge towers soaked up water and created an unstable foundation. The City Council responded to the disaster by extending the project's timeline to 14 years, and by allocating an additional $20 million to the project, with funds being drawn from school lunch programs, a new 65% hotel tax, and a proposed $276 bridge toll, which will be discounted to $249 to commuters with E-ZPass.
Public debate[edit | edit source]
After the collapse of the upholstery-based bridge foundation, some Night Vale citizens began to criticize the project as a boondoggle. One critic sent an anonymous message to Night Vale Community Radio, which read, in part, "We don't even have a river or bay in Night Vale. There would never be a boat to necessitate a drawbridge!" Cecil, however, immediately recognized the anonymous message as belonging to Steve Carlsberg, the infamous civic malcontent and ne'er-do-well, and refused to read further, saying that he couldn't let Steve "ruin our town by denying Night Vale a drawbridge when he can't even care for a tan Corolla!"
Later in the same September 1 broadcast, Cecil passionately argued in favor of the Old Town Drawbridge project, saying:
"Large, expensive projects are not uncommon in Night Vale. We are a patient, but resilient, little city. We have big dreams - sometimes scary, unforgettable dreams that repeat on the same date every year and are shared by every person in town - but we make those big dreams come true.
Remember the Clock Tower? It took eight years and $23 million to build. And despite its invisibility, and constant teleportation, it is a lovely structure that keeps impeccable time. It’s a classy signature for Night Vale’s growing skyline, unlike that hideous sports arena Desert Bluffs built last spring. Desert Bluffs can’t do anything right. That’s where Steve Carlsberg belongs! God, what a jerk."
Proponents of the project may also take heart in the fact that the lack of any large body of water didn't prevent the construction of the Night Vale Harbor and Waterfront Recreation Area, nor did it prevent the arrival of a submarine from Nulogorsk in the Sand Wastes, and so there is no reason to believe that it will prevent the completion of the Old Town Drawbridge, either.
Graffiti vandalism[edit | edit source]
On November 1, 2012, the drawbridge construction site was vandalized by libertarian street artists. The messages "GOLD STANDARD IS OUR STANDARD" and "READ YOUR CONSTITUTION" were spray-painted along the bridge scaffolding. There was also a very elaborately painted portrait of Alexander Hamilton wearing Groucho Marx nose glasses, with a caption that read, "FEDERALIST PAPERS," except the word "FEDERALIST" had been crossed out and "TOILET" had been written in red. The Sheriff's Secret Police believed the culprits to be a malevolent pack of feral dogs, although Night Vale Mayor Pamela Winchell later announced that what many citizens believed to be feral dogs were merely plastic bags caught in the breeze.