Thursday, October 24, 2013
Boring Bertha Got Me Wondering Again About The Trinity River Vision Boondoggle's Project Schedule Timeline
In today's Seattle Post-Intelligencer there is an article titled Seattle Tunneling Machine Digs Out Of Launch Pit.
The tunneling machine has been nicknamed Bertha, after a long ago Seattle mayor. Why? I do not know. Bertha the Mayor was way before my time on the planet. Did Bertha the Mayor like to dig?
In part the article in the P-I said.....
"Bertha," the massive tunnel boring machine, is expected to spend the next 14 months drilling a two-mile tunnel to replace the 60-year-old Alaskan Way Viaduct. The world's largest tunnel boring machine is creating a tunnel nearly 58 feet in diameter as part of the $3.1 billion project to replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct, the double deck highway along the downtown Seattle waterfront.
Reading that it is going to take Bertha 14 months to bore this tunnel had me wondering what the timeline schedule is for the entire project. More on that further down.
The other article that had me thinking about the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle was in my old hometown of Mount Vernon's online news source called Go Skagit. In part the Go Skagit article said....
MOUNT VERNON — The second phase of the downtown floodwall project, designed to revitalize Mount Vernon’s economy as well as provide better flood protection from the Skagit River, will move along this week with installation of conduit for the lighting system. The parking lot west of Main Street is still being graded, and contractors will pour sidewalk and curbing in the parking lot this week. Floodwall foundation construction will continue for the next few weeks. The project is on schedule to be done by September 2014.
So, Mount Vernon's Skagit River Vision is scheduled to be completed by next September, and is actually a needed flood control project which will result in revitalizing Mount Vernon's economy.
Back to Bertha.
Reading that Bertha had finally bored her way out of her launching pit had me wondering how long it will be before cars are using that new tunnel to get under Seattle. Googling brought me to the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) website where I saw that you can follow the progress of Bertha through multiple stages til its completion.
At the WSDOT website I also found a Project Schedule section where I read the following and saw the project timeline you see below the text....
The Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Program is led by WSDOT in partnership with the Federal Highway Administration, King County, the City of Seattle and the Port of Seattle. It includes more than 20 projects that will work together to reshape the SR 99 corridor.
Construction on the first project started in 2008, when crews stabilized four viaduct columns that settled following the 2001 Nisqually Earthquake. Since then, more than a dozen projects have been completed, with several more in progress or set to break ground soon. The below timeline includes major accomplishments along the road to viaduct replacement.
Since 2008 more than a dozen projects have been completed? With more in progress or ready to break ground? And from the above timeline I learn by late 2015 the new tunnel will be open for traffic.
The Trinity River Vision Boondoggle has been boondoggling for well over a decade. Has anyone seen any sort of timeline schedule of the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle of the sort you see above of the Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Project?
After well over a decade of the TRV Boondoggle what do we see? The Cowtown Wakepark, the Woodshed Smokehouse, The Coyote Drive-In, an incoming ice rink, happy hour inner tube floating at a venue preposterously called Panther Island Pavilion, a lot of destruction due to eminent domain abuse and no construction of the much needed flood control project that will save Fort Worth from the flood control levees that have done their job for over a half a century.
And why is there no project schedule timeline for the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle?
Supposedly 3 bridges to nowhere will soon be being constructed over the yet to be constructed, or funded, un-needed flood diversion channel.
Oh, I already said that. Never mind.....