Monday, September 29, 2014

Looking At Tacoma Narrows Suspension Bridges & Fort Worth's Three Bridges Over Nothing

Last month when Spencer Jack sent me a picture of himself and his dad crossing the Golden Gate Bridge it got me thinking and blogging Wondering Why It Will Take Fort Worth Longer To Build 3 Puny Bridges Over Nothing Than It Took To Build The Golden Gate Bridge.

I have yet to hear any sort of explanation as to why it is projected to take four years to build three puny Bridges Over Nothing in Fort Worth when way back early in the last century San Francisco managed to build a big bridge over water in four years.

Yesterday I was looking for a picture for a blogging about Penitentiary Hollow in Lake Mineral Wells State Park when I came upon pictures I'd forgotten I'd taken back in 2005 of the new Tacoma Narrows Suspension Bridge under construction, along with pictures taken in 2008 of the completed bridge.

This got me wondering how long it took to build the new Tacoma Narrows Bridge.

It did not take long to learn construction began on October 4, 2002, with the bridge open to traffic on July 15, 2007, about four years, nine months later.

Reading the Wikipedia article about the three Tacoma Narrows Bridges I came upon a couple interesting contrasts between the new Tacoma Narrows Suspension Bridge project and the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle's Bridges Over Nothing.

As in, in 1998 voters in the Washington counties affected by the need for a new bridge across the Narrows approved a measure to create a second Narrows bridge. Then following that vote came protests and court battles, with construction finally beginning in 2002.

Now, could the reason the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle's Bridges Over Nothing are being built in slow motion have anything to do with the fact that nothing to do with the Boondoggle has been voted on  by the public? And thus not funded in the way public works projects are usually funded.

And where are the protests and court battles initiated by locals disturbed by various aspects of the Boondoggle? Where is the court case brought by someone appalled at the nepotism involved in hiring a local Congresswoman's unqualified son to be the Executive Director of the Boondoggle, to motivate that Congresswoman to help fund the Boondoggle with earmarked pork, which has never materialized, due to changing times, hence the stalled, slow motion Boondoggle?

The unqualified Executive Director of the Boondoggle has claimed that building the Three Bridges Over Nothing will save money and facilitate ease of construction by not building them over that pesky un-needed flood diversion channel and its shallow water.

Why has no one called foul on this claim? When the fact of the matter is the bridges are being built over nothing because there is no money to build the un-needed flood diversion channel.

The new Tacoma Narrows Suspension Bridge was built over water. Deep water. Deep water which moves fast when the tide changes. The total length of the new Tacoma bridge is 5,400 feet. On average the bridge deck is 187.5 feet above the tidal changing water below.

I don't know why the Tacoma bridge builders did not think to make their construction job easier by draining the Tacoma Narrows before doing any bridge building. They should have consulted Fort Worth's premiere project engineer, J.D. Granger, for advice on how to best build a bridge over water.

Below is a picture I took in early August of 2008, looking north at Tacoma's twin suspension bridges.

I was taken to this location to a fish and chips joint the name of which I do not remember. I do remember it was very good fish and chips. With the fish being cod, not catfish, which passes for being seafood at my current location on the planet.

Do you think if the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle's Three Bridges Over Nothing actually get built they will be as visually interesting as the Tacoma bridges? And why does Tacoma not refer to their bridges as being signature bridges and iconic? Because they sort of are.....

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hush up and eat your catfish!