It’s a familiar sort of news item these days: A huge and vastly expensive bridge being proposed in California will forever alter one of the Golden State’s most spectacular marine panoramas. It will be the largest of its type ever built, stretching more than a mile and a half between landfalls, towering nearly 700 feet above the water, and carrying six lanes of traffic into a once-isolated area containing some of the state’s most unspoiled stretches of coastline.

Here come years of political acrimony, debate over cost and viability, interference by special interests, uproar over environmental impact, and all the rest, right?

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