Could a Toll Bridge replace the Vine Street Underpass?

In a development surprising no-one, Brown County Emergency Management has reluctantly noted the Vine Street Underpass is quickly approaching obsolescence. Contrary to previous reports, the ‘quint’ fire truck barely fits under it. Lives would be at risk if the emergency services were forced to drive all the way to 3rd street to reach South Brownwood, as the trucks may not be able to negotiate the sharp curving on-ramp to the Bill Monroe Overpass. An overpass must be built over Vine Street. With funds stretched and no available bonds to be purchased, the city has looked towards Austin and how they’ve delt with growth while in a budgetary crunch. Enter MasseyTag.

MasseyTag will be the primary payment system on the planned 6 lane Bert Massey Overpass, as Massey was the last mayor of note to not have an overpass (Truman Harlow, Bill Monroe). Licensing costs for TxTag were too high, so MasseyTag will not be interoperable with TxTag, TollTag, or whatever the hell they call it in Houston. Owing to aforementioned costs, MasseyTag will not be a ‘sticker’ type RFID device, but rather a first-gen ‘thick plastic box’ affixed with velcro. No toll booths are planned, and drivers illegally using the Bert Massey Overpass will be ticketed and charged with engaging in organized criminal activity once they reach the bottom of the hill.

Tolls are estimated to be $1.85 each way for cars, and $5.37 for trucks and tractors. Pedestrians will be allowed to walk across for free, but only because the Americans with Disabilities Act mandates sidewalks.

MasseyTag will also be used as the primary payment method on the planned Brownwood Loop, as well as purchase trips on “fiume disgustoso“, the conversion of the old flood control canals to Italian style gondolas. It is hoped that the fiume disgustoso, the Lehnis Train Museum, the Depot Cultural Center, and the Brownwood Public Library draw enough tourists to recoup the initial construction cost with tolls in under 45 years, at which point the overpass will be structurally deficient and require replacement once-more. Multiple designs will be available for purchase, reflecting the wide array of both shopping and recreation options in Brownwood. Brownwood Middle School was commissioned to draft initial designs using Microsoft Paint, in further efforts to save money. Below, you’ll find the 3 proposed MasseyTags. Multiple designs featuring Massey’s trademark cigars were submitted but ultimately rejected due to the students not being of legal age to use tobacco products.

"Commerce", showcasing the diversity of retail in Brownwood.
“Commerce”, showcasing the diversity of retail in Brownwood.
"Municipal", an uninspired design submitted by a student who is satisfied with getting a C-
“Municipal”, an uninspired design submitted by a student who is satisfied with getting a C-
"Going to see the Judge", an activity many in Brownwood partake in.
“Going to see the Judge”, an activity many in Brownwood partake in.

Do you have a MasseyTag design you’d like to submit? Why not follow us on Facebook and share your designs!

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