Sunday, March 22, 2015
Seattle's MarketFront Project Has Me Freshly Wondering Why Fort Worth's TRV Boondoggle Has No Project Timeline
What you are looking at is an artist's rendering of something called the MarketFront Project.
I was reading the Seattle Times online this morning when the headline Seattle Council Expected to OK $34 million for Market Expansion caught my eye.
In Seattle if you say something about "The Mountain" you are referring to Mount Rainier. If you say something about "The Market" you are referring to Pike Place Market.
The city's $34 million contribution is just part of the $73 million MarketFront Project.
I'd not heard, previously, about a plan to expand Pike Place. If you have ever been to Pike Place you know it is a sprawling, multi-level development. Expanding on that had me curious as to what that expansion would be.
Reading the article soon had me thinking what a contrast between this and that which one might read in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram about the slow motion project known as the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle. That being a project with no project timeline, building oddball things like bridges over nothing connecting to an imaginary island.
And taking an astonishing four years to build those three simple little bridges to an imaginary island.
The Pike Place MarketFront Project has an actual project timeline, unlike Fort Worth's Boondoggle.
The following sentences in the Seattle Times article also served as an interesting contrast to Fort Worth's Boondoggle...
The project work is supposed to take about 18 months, but the complete vision for the Market’s expansion won’t be realized for much longer. That’s because the machine digging a new tunnel under downtown Seattle to replace the viaduct is almost two years behind schedule.
Imagine that, an actual project with a complete vision with a timeline of 18 months, with a rather valid excuse as to what will keep the project from being completely finished on time, that being a problem with the world's biggest tunnel boring machine causing a two year delay before the Alaskan Way Viaduct can be torn down.
Meanwhile, in Fort Worth, I have yet to read an explanation as to how it can take four years to build three very simple, very small bridges, with pretty much zero engineering complications.
With the excuse that building the bridges over dry land is to save money due to making construction easier. There will be no water in the un-needed flood diversion channel until the Trinity River is diverted into the channel, rendering as nonsense the claim as to why these bridges are being built over dry land, as if there was any other option, until water is purposefully diverted under the bridges.
So, what is Seattle getting for that $73 million 18 month project?
The upper section of the plaza, near Victor Steinbrueck Park, will house 47 new outdoor day-stalls for Market farmers and artists, shielded with a glass canopy. Tucked below and accessible from the lower section of the plaza will be 12,000 square feet of retail space for artisan-food purveyors such as Old Stove Brewery. Under the plaza and new shops, the PDA will build a garage with about 300 parking spots. The existing lot has 88. The project will include some delicate work because the century-old BNSF train tunnel runs directly below. The other chunk of the project is a new building with 40 units for low-income seniors. The bottom-floor apartments will be live-work units opening onto the plaza. The city’s waterfront plan calls for a massive overlook walk bringing pedestrians from an Elliott Bay park promenade uphill to the Market plaza.
What a contrast with anything I have read regarding the Fort Worth Boondoggle's Billion Dollar Vision.
What would The Boondoggle do if part of their project involved delicate work over an old train tunnel? Dither til the tunnel disappeared?
I am almost 100% certain Seattle and its actual millions of visitors will be enjoying this Pike Place MarketFront upgrade long before any vehicles drive over any of The Boondoggle's bridges to The Boondoggle's imaginary island....