Saturday, February 21, 2015

Up A Creek Again With The Trinity River Vision Boondoggle

A couple days ago I got an email from an emailer asking me why it was when he was looking for information about Fort Worth and subjects like the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle that my blog seemed to show up way too often.

I may be slightly re-phrasing the emailer's query.

Anyway, that question, for which I had no answer, had me, out of curiosity, Googling "Trinity River Vision Boondoggle" to find that my bloggings about that subject did show up, but not all that frequently and not nearly near the top of the ranking for that query.

In the #1 spot for a Google Trinity River Vision Boondoggle query is the webpage you see partially screencapped above, titled Up a Creek - Trinity River Boondoggle.

I am not 100% certain of the identity of the guy pictured in the article with the movie star type good looks, but he looks familiar and I assume he is the author of this particular article about The Boondoggle.

You can click the link to read the entire Up a Creek article, part of which I'll copy and paste below for your Boondoggle Enlightenment....

Up a Creek - Trinity River Boondoggle

The Trinity River Vision is a billion dollar boondoggle that has something for everyone to hate, regardless of where you reside on the political spectrum.  Under the guise of ‘flood control’, this program reroutes the Trinity River and creates urban channels and a ‘town lake’.  On the surface, this may sound like a worthwhile project until you look past the beautiful 3-D models and into the details.  Here’s what you’ll find:

•In 2003, when approved, the estimated costs was $360 Million;  Shortly, thereafter the costs rose to $450 Million; then $700 Million.  CURRENTLY, the cost estimates have skyrocketed to just under $1 BILLION.

•Although sold to us as having most of its funding through Federal sources, so far, the Feds have allocated only $60 million towards this $910 Million project.  Tarrant County residents will pick up almost all of the rest.

•A TIF (Tax Increment Finance) District was established to help pay for this.  TIFs are designed to help attract development by diverting property taxes from the new development into a special fund to help pay for improvements (like roads or fixing up an old building).  They typically are for 20 years.  This TIF has been extended to 40 years!

•Eminent Domain is being abused to create this project.  The Tarrant Regional Water District will exercise its eminent domain authority to take privately owned land, flood some of it and give the surrounding areas to politically connected real estate developers at low/no-cost.  Eminent domain for private use is simply theft.

•When the Trinity River Vision Authority was established, J.D. Granger, an assistant DA with no public works project management experience, was tapped to be the Executive Director at a six figure salary.  No executive search was done.  J.D. Granger is the son of Rep. Kay Granger, the primary cheerleader for this project.

•Although flood control is the ostensible reason for the project, by bottlenecking the confluence, it actually pushes water downstream faster causing even great flooding probabilities for Haltom City and Arlington.  Existing flooding has already proven deadly.  Original plans from the Army Corp of Engineers called for simply raising the levees slightly at a cost of less than $100 million.  That would have helped to alleviate these issues.

•When it’s not raining, the town lake and channels would actually reduce the flow of water around Fort Worth, creating a more stagnant, mosquito rich environment.

•Environmentally, this has proven to be a nightmare.  With one of their first land acquisitions, environmental cleanup  cost over $40 Million.  Originally, ALL environment cleanup for the entire TRV project was slated to be $22 Million.

•The Trinity River is polluted.  In parts surrounding this project, high fecal matter, e-coli and industrial waste contents threaten wildlife and human life. Ignoring these facts, the TRVA, in order to make the river appear to be a ‘fun destination’ promoted the river an ‘inner tube’ destination.  Because they ignored these risks, they put dozens of citizens at risk by encouraging them to float in this polluted water.


Steve A said...

What's all the fuss? After taking up the "Durango Challenge" and Googling "Trinity River Boondoggle" myself, I discovered at

that the bridges would cost only $53Mil and would be complete in 2010. Accordingly, I want to see Durango pictures of the wonderful bridges designed by the same architect that designed the never-completed TCC River Campus. The article is WELL worth a read if you've never seen it before. Seriously, I guess that makes the project AT LEAST nearly a decade behind schedule and over budget by more than anybody has claimed so far since the bridges cost a lot more even though they "cheapened" them up.

Durango said...

Thanks, Steve A, you have provided me with some fresh blogging fodder.