Bridge Reconstruction Just April Fools’ Joke, City Says

road-work-april-1bThe bright orange sign has been out there for weeks — “Road Work Beginning April 1: Expect Delays” — forcing drivers and residents to bite their nails and re-think their summer plans. But city sources revealed that the bridge closure is not happening after all. The signs were placed in an attempt to be more light-hearted at city hall.

“We’ve been hearing from constituents about how we’re always so serious,” said Tyrone Slothrop, City Administrator in charge of Civic Affairs. “We’re trying to let our sense of humor out a little bit more. It’s part of a new direction for city departments, trying to re-think how we engage with our citizens.”

The signs are part of a city-wide effort to “have more fun,” and have been a high priority part of civic attempts to reach more vibrant audiences.

“Millennials are the future of our city,” said Sauncho Smilax, Deputy Assistant in Charge of Morale (DAiCoM). “Last year we received a grant to do a study about something called social productivity, and so we hired a consultant who told us that millennials — and that’s anyone under the age of 40 — really like something called ‘irony.’ Well, we looked it up, and thought, ‘Yeah. Irony. We can do that.’ We’re waiting to see how successful it can be. But so far, so good.”

Other attempts to be humorous include the city’s new “Free Parking Tomorrow” stickers, which have been placed on meters all through downtown, and switching the city’s official “on hold” helpline music to the theme from the Benny Hill show.

Meanwhile, there’s nothing actually wrong with the bridge. According to city bridge engineers, the structure is just fine and not at all falling apart due to decades of aging and weather erosion.

“We keep hearing that we should under-promise and over-deliver,” Slothrop explained. “Well, nothing says ‘over-deliver’ like canceling road construction. Happy April Fools’, everyone!”

image of parking meter with free parking tomorrow sticker

Bill Lindeke

About Bill Lindeke

Pronouns: he/him

Bill Lindeke has writing blogging about sidewalks and cities since 2005, ever since he read Jane Jacobs. He is a lecturer in Urban Studies at the University of Minnesota Geography Department, the Cityscape columnist at Minnpost, and has written multiple books on local urban history. He was born in Minneapolis, but has spent most of his time in St Paul. Check out Twitter @BillLindeke or on Facebook.