• Member Since 4th May, 2013
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On the Sliding Scale Of Cynicism Vs. Idealism, I like to think of myself as being idyllically cynical. (Patreon, Ko-Fi.)


There's always been traffic crossing the river at the base of the mountain, and that means Canterlot's had a bridge there for centuries. But bridges wear out, while new styles come into play. Commissioning a new span out of the national budget, replacing the worn-out turntable with an arch... that's simple enough. After that, the sensible thing is to just step back and let the architect do their job.

Yeah, right. The sensible thing is clearly for everypony to start telling him exactly how things should be done! Because what does an architect know about bridges, anyway?

It isn't as if 'not having them collapse' was the important part.

(Now with author Patreon and Ko-Fi pages.)

Cover art found by K-123 Ту́полев.

Chapters (1)
Comments ( 60 )

Oof. Just the description reminds me of the fiasco around the needed replacement bridges for the Columbia River crossing on I-5.

Georg #2 · May 27th · · ·

I swear, we've got a bridge over Little Kitten Creek (real name) here that is going exactly this way.

Is this brought on by that major bridge that has been shutdown or the whole fiasco with the bridge between Detroit and Canada?

:rainbowlaugh: i laughed till my ribs hurt, that poor architect probably regrets ever being anywhere near canterlot. :rainbowlaugh:

thank you as always for the story

This reminds me of the saying can't remember where I heard it or if I'm quoting it quite right. An elephant is a mouse designed by committee

Government work involves herding a lot of children. Sometimes some of those children are in the government

I do appreciate Celestia sprinkling bits of history in her letters. It's hard to stop teaching, and when you've personally experienced so much history and your subjects remember so little, the temptation to explain how it all actually happened must be tremendous at times.

Recent events have led the more genial breed of sea serpent to feel that Equestria might be a rather pleasant place to live, and they travel down the rivers accordingly.

I see news spread from the Everfree.

I know only one pony who truly appreciates such appearances, and please trust me when I say that she is rather unlikely to openly display her approval. Or much of anything else, really.

Hmm. We're post-Maud... though this is a one-shot and I shouldn't spend too much time thinking about the wider scope of your work.

and I saw one pile of quarry stone labeled as The Old Grey Mare. Which I recognize as a traditional color for bridgework, but in my opinion, it is not what it used to be.

... You ever find a line that you suspect birthed the story just so it could justify its own existence?

It's in the way.
Let's make it even MORE in the way.

I am deeply concerned.

And I could totally make a bridge if I wanted to, but most ponies couldn't use it. Or reach it. Which is really kind of sad.

I do love this undercurrent of pity Dash has for her flightless friends. It's a good thing no one ever tried to approach her with a plan to change that...

Any problem which might be claimed to exist is the fault of those who are not using their trots to read. Because if they were reading, they would understand.

As you're fond of saying, each of the Bearers carries a bit of the others. And when it's Twilight channeling Dash, we should be grateful that the only damage is a navigational hazard.

It's pretty basic when you think straight. You've only got to have them on a half-shift each. They can even pick. Sun-raising to Sun-lowering is probably gonna be the favorite half

Reminder that Applejack was single for a reason.

I've been trying to think of it as reincarnation. It'll be reborn as a lot of firewood. And stone bits. And metal.

Possibly a tea set.

First mention of kirin from you... and I have concerns about their digestion. :twilightoops: I wonder how dragons react to kirin wine. And what they make it from. And several other things that I have to remind myself are outside the scope of the story.

Lovely confluence of errors. Thank you for a delightful bit of disaster by committee.


Dear EVERYONE (Yes, that includes you, Princess Luna),

It has come to my attention that quite a few of you have many things to say about the project I am currently working on. As such I have been bombarded with a number of, shall we say, 'colorful' messages regarding your needs leveraged against the perception of my competency. Allow me to make something clear:

Sod off, and stop bothering my stallions!

As with all state-approved projects, estimations for materials, money, time, and hoof-power were established, refined, and approved before project start. Traffic considerations and estimations on growth for the next five decades were taken into account, and safety standards are in line with Royal Construction Mandate Document CC48 Section 7, part 12. In specific, the bridge falls under a class four medium heavy-weight traffic crossing, mandating slopes of no more than 8 degrees with a height not to exceed treetop level (or forty feet) without appropriate anti-collision illumination for what is considered MNPCA (Minimum Nighttime Pegasus Cruise Altitude). (Thus, it is to be concluded that a one night princess would be flying at what is legally considered dangerously, and recklessly low according to the modern Skylark Modern Safety Standard. And if she has a problem with this, take it up with the EFA.) Further, this bridge is designed to adhere to a class 3 river flow durability standard, with clearance for both anti-blockage, as well as small boat or ferry passage. And of course, the bridge adhere's to Section 8 of the Anti-Troll-Bridge act, and there contains no spacing for creatures of any kind persist out of sight of travelers.

I was contracted to build a bridge, not babysit a bunch of foals.

Engineer Foremane Brownhoof
Brownhoof and Stainless Construction Inc.

It's nice to see that no matter the universe, species, or setting, the gears of bureaucracy will always grind against each other.

circs #10 · May 27th · · ·

Anyone heard of "The Big Dig"?

And marble, which refined, would wear away too quickly under so much hoof traffic.

Should that be "while" instead of "which?"

Loved it, got a good laugh.

What sweet madness hath Bureaucracy and six theoretically grown mares wrought!?

Good gravy, this was fun. :rainbowlaugh:

Fun story. Government funded works are always a mess once every committee and neighbors associations put in their grain of salt. At least it wasn’t a tunnel.

... huh, employment for the sea serpents in underwater construction...

Anyway, love that the sea serpents made a cameo. Fimfiction need more sea serpents. Most books need more giants sea serpents.

So I'm going to kick some wine bottles into the columns. And that'll launch the bridge!

Oh, it'll launch the bridge all right--I can already see how that's going to end. :rainbowlaugh:

And I wanted to make this very special, so I got some special wine. I ordered it from kirin territory...

Oh no, that's even worse! :pinkiegasp:

To the architect,

Hast thou no regard for the needs of those who travel at night?

Poor Celestia, she just can't win on this. :rainbowlaugh:

On the other hoof, I can see darn well why this architect was so reluctant to take on government-commissioned projects before now. If this is what you end up going through (and I have no doubt this is exactly how it goes down in real life, no exaggeration--it might not even be accurate enough), I honestly can't blame him for that.

I'm sort of surprised I didn't single out more lines to comment on in the story, but then again, that might be for the better, as that'd probably only just end up repeating the whole of the story with added footnotes. :derpytongue2:

An altogether nice tale, but that's usually expected coming from you. Gotta give you props specially for your characterization this time though, as you managed to capture the voices of each of the characters so that you need not know their names to know which one was which. :raritystarry:

Oh, man. I realized the big twist about halfway through, but it turned out so much worse than I expected. This was amazing.

They are, at least in theory, six grown mares and I had to send them to their rooms.

I have spent most of this endless night telling myself that spanking is not an option.


the version i heard is "a giraffe is a horse designed by committee"...or was it a camel?

Looking at the picture, it might have been better to dig a tunnel under the river.

Spanking is always an option, Celestia. :raritywink:

And this is why Triptych-universe Celestia isn't retiring and giving the reins of power to the Mane Six any time in the next century.

(While this story is no doubt influenced by bureaucratic snafus in real life, strictly speaking this is more of a case of Royal Favorites with unhealthy levels of influence on public policy. :trollestia: )

Like that worked for Boston...



Ten points for Estee for "Old Grey Mare" joke...

And :facehoof:

This keeps happening with the Six, Celestia is going to end up in a padded room...

And then...Luna...:facehoof:

I don't know. I don't want to know...


(Outstanding as always, Estee!) :pinkiehappy:

I loved Fluttershy's part best

A Transatlantic Tunnel, Hurrah!

Rarity's letter matches far too well my own experience: ~6 years ago my city painted the underside of all the main highway overpasses and the all the newly built underground railway crossings. While I was (and still am :twilightblush:) skeptical on that specific use of money, I do enjoy the results :raritywink: (yes, even the one tunnel full of emojis; although I believe they were removed rather quickly).

Gazer #24 · May 28th · · ·

And that is how the Royal Rump Whumper was created for crimes of unintentional sabotage, unusual stupidity, and unamused Solar Alicorns.

This is so true! Having been an civil engineer on numerous projects, public and private, sometimes with multiple agencies or owners involved, it's always a challenge to try to please them as much as possible while dealing with environmental issues, public issues, and the laws of physics. Needless to say, it's never easy and involves compromises, as well as ignoring those who are not qualified to give input. What's worse is those least qualified to give input come up to me with these, ahem, "great" ideas, and then when I explain to them why it isn't a good idea or won't work, I usually get the response, "but I think it's a great idea". Yes a neophyte who has never built or designed anything more complicated than a chair or table and can't do more than simple math is telling me how design a two story building that will have public accommodations in earthquake country, and that building codes aren't important and should be ignored. "Sigh". So I ignore them, beat my head against the wall, and the go back to doing the correct design.

Y'all spent money on that? Give it a bit of time, people'll do that work for free,

Emil #27 · May 28th · · ·

Once again showing how Wisdom was the dump stat for all six Bearers.

So, I'm going to read this soon but I started reading on my phone and the underlines under every, single, word makes it really hard to read on the mobile version of the site. I'm just wondering if they are part of the indention letter like formatting or were added in addition to that if if they are really stylistically required.

Edit: Finished my reading and after I finished the first letter I knew what the "gimmick" was going to be. But that's fine, not every story needs a twist.

I can understand Rarity's, Dash's, Fluttershy's, and Pinkie's messages, very in character. Twilight's is a bit eigh, because while I can see her being the walking and reading sort I don't really see her as being the type to not understand how rude it is to just expect to not complain when she bumps into them, especially after a few Friendship Lessons. AJ's letter just seems so mean and very out-of-character to me. I get that she's a hard worker but this just crosses so many lines it is not funny and really just knocked me out of the story. And then Luna's letter also didn't hit right and just... eigh. This story is very eigh to me. Even so thanks for writing and sharing it.


The thing is, Triptych Luna has been depicted at the same level as Celestia in terms of wisdom and maturity, so the punchline feels out of character.

There are going to be some CHANGES made...

Oh, that poor architect pony ... I'm pretty sure he'll never take a government contract again ....


experienced so much history and your subjects remember so little

If Celestia wants ponies to remember history, maybe she should stop erasing large portions of it?:trixieshiftright:

After reading Fluttershy’s letter I can’t help but remember this quote.

“Are you sure god doesn’t want it to be dead?”
-Homer Simpson

If recent irl history proves anything, the people and academics are the ones who erase history

Well, Fluttershy's issue has merit and to be fair a proper Environmental Impact Assessment should've addressed it.

But yeah, there's a good reason why when I'm working on a public planning job you're not to tell anyone the specifics of why you're doing the survey work.


If Equestrian Warblers are basically Lemmings, either Fluttershy is willing to become their permanent leader and 24h caretaker, or she resign and accepts natural selection as part of the cycle of life.


Given the increase in night traffic between 10 and 11/12, it's a legit concern, although one a few reflectors and lighting would fix without any major reconstruction.

It is also why most construction projects have a communication office...with someone who knows enough about the project to filter.

Reese #36 · May 28th · · ·

"cart wheels can do its share of damage."
"cart wheels can do their share of damage."?

"That would make it my fault, doesn't it?"
"That would make it my fault, wouldn't it?" or "That makes it my fault, doesn't it?"?

"marked the exact charges to the angles for"
"marked the exact changes to the angles for"?

"bad because I'm been writing this as we all got"
"bad because I've been writing this as we all got"?

"instructed Spike that should that they approach"
"instructed Spike that should they approach"?

Well, I still don't know how well it really applies to Anchor Foal, but that I'd definitely say was a cringe comedy. :D

I like, or possibly "like", that the first three comments were about four different bridges this story reminded people of, and it doesn't look like any of them were the bridge I was reminded of. Sigh... :D


First mention of kirin from you... and I have concerns about their digestion. :twilightoops: I wonder how dragons react to kirin wine. And what they make it from. And several other things that I have to remind myself are outside the scope of the story.


“Hey, what’s Faust going to do? Make my Dissy leave me again?”
-Fluttershy (probably)static.wikia.nocookie.net/simpsons/images/8/8d/EPAMAN.jpg/revision/latest?cb=20191120033802

And they have the gall to call Dulcinea stupid........


Yeah, if they're dumb enough to fly into a very visible [1] solid object in broad daylight, the only wonder is that they haven't gone extinct already: how many of them die every time a tree grows up into their flight path?

[1] And far more visible after Rarity gets done with it


Well, it _is_ a crackfick, so everyone is about 20% sillier than normal.

Just wait until the cats start massing near the bridge for the yearly feast!

Comment posted by Iron Comet deleted May 28th

This story once again proves Celestia is the only sane pony in Equestria.

Until she isnt.

Depends upon the makeup of the committee. There’s another one that came up with the elephant. :pinkiehappy:

I remember reading that back in the ’80’s. Written by Harry Harrison, as I recall. :: googles :: Yep!

The funny thing is, it’s not as crazy an idea as it used to be (skip ahead to the 3:45 mark)…

Is this entire story meant to be underlined?

Ah, yes. Death By Committee.

Alternatively... the Mane 6 assume governmental roles (sort of), give instruction toward (an) important project(s), fail to communicate properly (or at all) with one another at crucial junctures, governmental work is completed under high strain and with egregious oversight, and complete and unmitigated disaster ensues. Celestia apologizes... then Luna takes the helm with the best of intentions.

Peace was never an option.:ajsleepy:

Estee, you have parodied the events that birthed an apocalypse in Fallout: Equestria, you have done so masterfully, and I don't think the idea to do so once crossed your mind.

I salute you.

I think so. Ester uses underlining to indicate written things.

Is there a way to disable it? It's very irritating.

It's also entirely redundant, when the written portions are enclosed in a quote.

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