GREEN BAY - “I've always been afraid of that bridge,” said Laeklyn VanderMuss. “It's just a stupid fear that I have.”
Some drivers around Green Bay say their long-held fears about the Leo Frigo Bridge came to fruition Wednesday.
“I don't like it. If it's windy in the wintertime it kind of gives me the heebie-jeebies,” said Aaron Eichhorst. “Probably ever since the I-35 in Minneapolis I would guess that's probably a pretty big fear.”
The UW-Green Bay Psychology Department Chair Ryan Martin says while a fear of bridges is understandable, it is still a phobia.
“Part of a definition of a phobia is that it is irrational. It basically says the fear you are experiencing is greater than the actual threat,” said Martin.
Martin says phobias are learned. One way you can learn them is through witnessing something catastrophic.
“After the I-35 Bridge (collapse), psychologists were anticipating that we would see more phobias start to emerge in the same way that after September 11th we saw more people who were afraid of flying,” said Martin.
American Society of Civil engineers says 11 percent of bridges in the United States are structurally deficient. Eight percent of bridges in Wisconsin are structurally deficient
The Wisconsin Department of Transportation says the Leo Frigo Bridge wasn't one of them. And, people can't draw comparisons from this sagging to other bridge disasters.
People we spoke to who say they are afraid of bridges say they're usually afraid of taller bridges, like the Leo Frigo Bridge and less afraid of shorter bridges, like the Walnut Street Bridge. But psychologists say the only way to beat a fear is to face it head on.
But with the Leo Frigo Bridge closed indefinitely, facing that specific fear will have to wait.
More than $265,000 was donated to the Salvation Army of the Fox Cities as a result of last Friday's Thrivent Financial for Lutherans match day.
Two people are displaced after an apartment fire in Grand Chute.
An early morning fire in downtown Ripon damaged three businesses and displaced 26 people.
A 42-year-old Shawano County man was arrested after a drug bust uncovered bath salts and marijuana.
A woman who worked at an assisted living facilitywas sentenced to 30 days in jail for taking nude photos of residents.
Gov. Scott Walker says a historic tax credit bill he has signed into law will help revitalize downtowns across Wisconsin.