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The Neverpass

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This event (or, more accurately, these events) took place Long, Long Ago (namely the mid 1980's) while we were still in high school.

Hartford, Connecticut, radio station 95.7 WKSS-FM (a.k.a. 95.7 KISS - the format was, urgh, Top-40, but hey... we were young then) had a morning personality named Jeremy Savage.  I was listening to Jeremy's show one morning when he started in on what was, apparently, a favorite pet peeve of his - a stacked, three-level highway overpass structure over I-84 near the Farmington/West Hartford line which the state DOT built, but never used. He dubbed the thing the "Neverpass" and was looking for some "good" little Hartford kid to so emblazon it, using spray paint or the like.

So..... the gears in my devious little mind began turning. A vulgar act of vandalism like spray painting was certainly beneath me - but, what if we could procure a regulation, reflective-green- with-white-lettering overpass sign that said "NEVERPASS" and "officially" label the structure?Neverpass Sign Photo

I called in a few of my contacts (yes, even then, back in high school, I had a few) and inquired of my Sign Guy (who shall remain nameless but forever in my gratitude) what it would cost. Upon hearing the story (and repeating it to the guys in the shop) he loved the idea so much we ended up with the requisite sign free of charge!!!

I called Jeremy and explained to him what we were going to do (his response, as expected, was something of the "yeah, kid" nature). That night, we went to work.  We got off the West Farms Mall/Corbins Corner exit, and, as sneakily as we possibly could, parked in the mall parking lot and snuck across the street to the Wendy's which was adjacent to the highway. Our first concern was getting past the fence which surrounded the highway. But, like a Sign from Above... lo! The fence was down in the little field right next to the Wendy's!  We stepped over, and walked up the bank to the highway.

Next was to find our way to the lowest level, so we could place the sign over the eastbound (Hartford-bound) lane (no, I wasn't piggish enough to ask for two signs). We had to climb over the dirt piles that blocked vehicular traffic from using the ramp leading from the thing back down to the highway, made our way in the moonlight up to the top level of the thing - which had one hell of a view, incidentally.Lame Polaroid of Sign on Neverpass

Eventually, we made our way to the lowest level. We (stupidly) chose to fasten the thing to the bridge simply by hanging it (using wire) from the railing. Upon completing this operation, I attempted to take a picture of it (using a Polaroid) from roadside - all that's visible in the otherwise pitch-black picture is a little green dash.  In any instance, back to the car we went, and back home.

Next morning, I call Jeremy to tell him it's up. He, of course, doesn't believe it, so he sends the traffic guy out to confirm (which, of course, he did). There was the expected pandemonium on the KISS morning show that day.

That sign stayed up all of a day or two - some kid probably went up and grabbed it for a trophy. I was able to convince The Sign Guy to give us another, and we made another trip (during a snowy day that winter) back up there. (As I recall, that trip also involved attempting to red-spray paint Neverpass across the top of the thing, "for the benefit of aircraft" - all that ended up being painted was the snow). This time, I also brought along a caulking gun and glued (as well as wired) the sign to the bridge. That time, it stayed up for months."Official Savage Person" t-shirt

In any instance, we ended up with t-shirts (the shit we do when we're kids for t-shirts!), and were the talk of Hartford (at least among KISS listeners) for awhile. And every now and again one of us will run into someone who heard about the incident. (One of our number tells a story about his brother overhearing a conversation about the incident, who then attempts to explain that his brother and company were the parties responsible, and, as expected, he isn't believed. I guess I can say I know what Clark Kent or Peter Parker must feel like.)

P.S. The state ultimately tied Route 9 into the top level of the thing - the bottom remains unused and is fenced-off now.  More information about this overpass can be found here...


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