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A bridge too far? Not for Bill Campbell

itting on top of the world—or at least a bridge—has always been a goal for Bill Campbell ’95. “Bridges are probably the earliest passion I have ever had in my life,” said Campbell. “For me, when I see a bridge, I want to experience it from every vantage point possible.”

He finally got his chance. The New York City Department of Transportation told Campbell that all he needed was a permit and a million dollar insurance policy to climb any of their bridges.

On October 7, 1997, Campbell, wearing everyday clothes and sneakers, went to climb the Brooklyn Bridge. The NY Port Authority provided him with safety gear, gloves and an ironworker for a guide. “It was an ideal first bridge. The angle of ascent and curvature of the cables is very gradual, and the top of the bridge is flat,” said Campbell. Less than a year later, he also climbed the Manhattan Bridge on May 18, 1998.

For Campbell, who is a court aide in Camden County’s Hall of Justice, the best job would be “anything that will allow me to be around bridges.” His part-time job, raising the drawbridge for Cape May Seashore Lines Railroad, is a step in the right direction.

Campbell’s next goal is to climb the Ben Franklin Bridge. He hasn’t received permission yet from the Delaware River Port Authority, but he’s optimistic. “As long as I’m alive, there is still a possibility that they will allow me to live out my dream,” he said.

from spring ’00

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