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When Your Brand-New Bridge Is a Meter Too Short

“We ordered a bridge to go from one side to the other. It doesn’t do that.”

We’ve all returned products that didn’t work for us—pants that were too short, candles that smelled weird, chargers with the wrong doohickey at the end.

The residents of Esbjerg, Denmark, are currently experiencing this type of hassle on a larger scale. Earlier this year, officials ordered a footbridge meant to cross the nearby Kongeåen canal. But as the Local reports, it’s now sitting by the side of the canal instead, because the last piece was a meter too short to actually stretch over the water.

“We ordered a bridge to go from one side to the other. It doesn’t do that,” Hans Kjær, the municipality’s Director for Technology and the Environment, told news outlet Jydske Vestkysten. “Someone in the system must be red-faced,” he added.

The municipality is currently seeking solutions, and Kjær says the bridge will be passable for the opening celebration, which happens this coming Friday, September 22. It’s unclear whether this will entail a permanent fix or a (literal) stopgap.

Jydske Vestkysten’s Facebook commenters had some good advice: “They have to find a place where it fits, the creek is probably narrower somewhere,” one wrote.

Another suggested a specific type of retail therapy: “Maybe they should consider a new tape measure.”

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