Residents vote to demolish Mud Island Bridge over immigration fears.

The A W Willis Bridge in its current, built form.

The A W Willis Bridge in its current, built form.

Correction: In a first print of this article we referred to Jack Gibney (47) as a cafe eclectic employee. It has been brought to our attention by the management that this is incorrect. We have yet to reach Mr Gibney for further comment.

Residents of Mud Island have narrowly voted in favor of a $4 million destruction initiative to remove the Mud Island Bridge on A W Willis Avenue. The proposal, largely scorned by Memphis residents as ‘pointless’ and ‘a joke’ surprisingly passed after 842 residents voted in favor of removing the structure that connects the island to downtown Memphis. Only 868 residents voted against the motion.

The run up to the vote was marred by bitter campaigning, and island residents remain deeply divided over the proposed demolition. Jack Gibney (47) a cleaner at an undisclosed coffee shop on the island thinks the destruction of the bridge will bring the island ‘a sense of law and order.’ Asked about how bridge removal would help lower the mud island crime rate, he said ‘The majority of Memphis criminals live on the mainland, if the bridge is destroyed, it will be much harder for them to come over here and commit crime.’

Sam Dowsley (31), a physician’s assistant, disagrees. ‘It makes no sense, I use that bridge to get to work. There aren’t many jobs on the island that don’t involve bringing elderly people food and drink, so I don’t think this is the right direction for the island. Also, The crime rate on the island is the lowest it’s ever been, and there’s a land bridge on the north side so this won’t even prevent people coming onto the island. In fact this isn’t even a real island it’s technically a peninsula.’

Such arguments do not sway those who want to see a bridgeless future. Mr Gibney said ‘Well maybe we need to discuss whether we want to be a peninsula anymore, we call this an island for a reason. Getting rid of the bridge is the first step to making that happen and we can talk about other steps to restore this island to its former glory.’

Mr Dowsley said he vows to keep fighting for a united Memphis ‘There are lots of people living here who’ve never even been to the rest of Memphis. They don’t understand the value that people from the rest of Memphis add to their community. I met a guy that manages a Hardees the other day, and that wouldn’t have happened if I was unable to leave the island.'

Justin Timberlake, one of the islands most famous residents has yet to be reached for comment, but it is expected his views will be n sync with the island majority.

Mark Brimble is a Memphis Comic and performing member of Comma Comedians. Follow him on twitter @brimmmers

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