Tuesday, March 17, 2015

North America's Longest Continuous Truss Bridge Took Less Than Four Years To Build While In Fort Worth....

Continuing on with our popular series of bloggings devoted to bridges, or other feats of engineering, which took four years, or less, to construct, today we look at the Astoria-Megler Bridge.

To recap, way back in November of last year the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle put on an explosive show to mark the start of construction of three very small, very ordinary, very simple bridges being built over dry land over an imaginary channel to connect the mainland to an imaginary island.

These three very simple bridges are scheduled to take four years to build. The TRV Boondoggle propagandists have tried to sell the the idea that the bridges are being built over dry land so as to save money, when the real reason the bridges are being built over dry land is because no money is available to start digging the un-needed flood diversion channel, sold as a vitally needed flood control and economic development project, but apparently so un-urgent that the project has no timeline, one of many reasons that many of those who have been watching this embarrassment up close now refer to it simply as The Boondoggle.

Another thing, early on The Boondoggle referred to the Three Bridges Over Nothing as being signature bridges which would become iconic symbols of Fort Worth. That propaganda seems to have been dropped, likely after the propaganda-izers realized how ridiculous it made them sound.

Now, on to today's bridge.

The Astoria-Megler Bridge connects the state I was born in, Oregon, to the state I grew up in, Washington.

This bridge spans a real river, not a ditch, with that real river being one of the biggest rivers in the world, the Columbia, only 14 miles from where the Columbia meets the Pacific Ocean, hence the river is wide, which is why the Astoria-Megler Bridge is 4.1 miles long.

The Astoria-Megler Bridge is the longest continuous truss bridge in North America.

Construction began on November 5, 1962, opened with a ribbon cutting ceremony (no Fort Worth style explosion) on August 27, 1966.

Taking less than four years to build.

Unlike Fort Worth and its Boondoggle's Three Bridges Over Nothing, the Astoria-Megler Bridge was built over water.

A lot of water.

Deep water. Water that flows fast, at times, like during tidal changes. Or when the Columbia is in flood mode. Or during flash floods caused by an exploding volcano.

Also, during those less than four years it took to build this bridge over the Columbia, the engineers engineering the project had to contend with a lot of ships coming in from the Pacific, heading upriver to port towns like Longview, Portland and Vancouver, and then going the other direction, back to the Pacific.

The Fort Worth Boondoggle's Three Bridges Over Nothing have absolutely ZERO construction challenges.

Well, there is that lack of money problem, mostly brought about by the fact that the public has never voted for this project, hence no bond issue, no funding mechanism.

But, there was the hope of securing federal handouts with the hiring of a Fort Worth Congresswoman's son, J.D. Granger, to be the Executive Director of The Boondoggle, a position for which he had ZERO qualifications, a fact that likely is a large part of the reason why, and how, all these years later the Trinity River Vision has developed cataracts with its now foggy vision morphed into a Boondoggle.

Of late there have been reports of The Boondoggle's bridge construction causing woes in addition to the traffic problems caused by detours. Several restaurants which were lucky enough to escape being stolen by TRV Boondoggle eminent domain abuse, managing to stay open, are now hurting, due to the fact that it is now so difficult to get to the restaurants' parking lots.

Has the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported on why it is that the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle's Three Bridges Over Nothing are projected to take four years to build? If not, why not? Why does this town's sad excuse for a newspaper of record continue to turn a blind eye to such an embarrassing vision?

If you want to learn more about the Astoria-Megler Bridge, the Wikipedia article covers it well, and is where I found the two photos of the Astoria-Megler Bridge I have used in this blogging, including the one below, shot in what is known locally as the Luenser style...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Just another bridge story: