As the excitement around the opening of the Bay Bridge’s new east span abates, new concerns about safety are surfacing. As a rule, I am suspicious of heroes, but the Bay Bridge troll is an arresting figure. While the origins of the Bay Bridge troll are up for discussion, legend has it that the troll mysteriously appeared as a fixture on the bridge in the aftermath of the 1989 earthquake to keep travelers crossing the Bay Bridge safe.
Demure, the Bay Bridge troll didn’t seek the spotlight for his heroism. Instead, his 18 inch indomitable frame remained quietly esconded above pier E-9, with the fates of countless travelers and the weight of the entire bridge perched on his angular shoulders. That is, until recently.
The publicity surrounding the newly completed construction of the Bay Bridge has garnered the troll quite a bit of attention as concerned citizens wonder if their hero will be destroyed along with the old bridge.
According to recent reports, the Bay Bridge troll was removed from his position on the old bridge and is now in a secure, albeit undisclosed, location. While this news is comforting, it doesn’t assuage the concerns that many residents of San Francisco have voiced about venturing across the bridge without the mystical protection the troll provided.
Who will protect the countless motorists commuting in and out of the city? What will become of San Francisco’s Bay Bridge Troll? Rumors are already circulating that, in the interest of public safety, a new troll will assume his role as the sole protector of the bridge. As for the old troll, his legacy will live on and his heroism will not be forgotten.