Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Bertha Will Be Done Digging Before Fort Worth's Boondoggle Bridge Ditch Is Dug

I saw that which you see here in the Seattle Times. I thought it to be interesting, the contrast between how a problem with a public works project is covered in a Seattle newspaper as compared to how the Star-Telegram covers a problem, or problems, with a local pseudo public works project.

The Highway 99 tunnel project in downtown Seattle has been stalled for about two years due to the world's biggest tunnel boring machine, named Bertha, running into some unexpected steel, causing a lot of damage to Bertha.

As you can read, via the text under the picture of the hole Bertha is in, the new tunnel was originally supposed to open this month.

If Bertha manages to bore successfully, the project timeline now has the tunnel open in  2018.

While Bertha was stalled, other parts of the approximately $4 billion project continued and are on schedule.

The Bertha problems and the ongoing fix have been reported in detail in Seattle media.

Meanwhile, in Fort Worth, there also is a stalled public works project, which used to be known as the Trinity River Central City Uptown Panther Island Vision.

But is now known simply as America's Biggest Boondoggle.

Even with the delay Bertha will end up taking about four years to dig the biggest diameter tunnel ever bored.

While in Fort Worth, America's Biggest Boondoggle started construction on long delayed bridges in October of 2014, with a four year project timeline. To build three simple little bridges over dry land.

The Fort Worth bridge construction had no mechanical malfunctions to explain why it was a year after the supposed start of construction that big fanfare ensued due to bridge piers finally being under construction for one of the bridges.

Yes, you read that right. One year later only one of the Fort Worth bridges is under construction. And a big fuss was made because the wood forms for the bridge's piers could be seen.

Now, unlike the Seattle Times, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram makes no effort to explain to its few readers why this Fort Worth pseudo public works project has accomplished so little in a project which has spanned most of this century.

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram has not asked The Boondoggle for the real reason the bridges are being built over dry land, since it is obvious The Boondoggle's claim that the over dry land construction is a cost saving tactic is bogus. Because the reality of The Boondoggle's bridges is there will be no water under those bridges until a ditch is dug under them and water is diverted from the Trinity River.

Why does the Star-Telegram repeat The Boondoggle's propaganda about the bridge construction without questioning the obvious disinformation?

Why does the Star-Telegram not do some investigative journalism looking into the finances of The Boondoggle?

How many taxpayer dollars have been spent on the TRVA worker's salaries, including J.D. Granger's, over the course of this overly extended slow motion project? How much has the dithering added to the cost due to having to pay the people running The Boondoggle for years longer than if this had been a well executed project?

How much money has been spent on the frequent propaganda mailers sent out by The Boondoggle?

How much money has been spent on The Boondoggle's signage?

How much money has been spent on the The Boondoggle's Epstein propaganda purveyors?

How much money did The Boondoggle spend to dig the pond for the defunct Cowtown Wakepark?

If The Boondoggle was taking place in Seattle, or any other town in America with a real newspaper, you would have the answers to those questions, instead of reading the questions, unanswered, in a blog like this.


Steve A said...

Betha is part of an egregious boondoggle, too. Like the Startlegram, the Seattle Times is going along to get along.

Steve A said...

Actually, Bertha is worse than a boondoggle. It could potentially bankrupt Seattle. Like the Granger boondoggle, it was approved without any vote of the people. If you read you might wonder if simply tearing down the viaduct would have been more sensible.

Durango said...

Steve A, Bertha does not meet the criteria to be a boondoggle, yet, unlike Fort Worth's embarrassing debacle. The Bertha project is fully funded, has a project timeline, has been progressing, despite the Bertha setback.

Bertha is a highway project. Such projects are often built without being the result of a public vote. Since Bertha is a state highway, multiple government entities were involved in the decision. Bertha is funded by the city, state and federal government. Unlike Fort Worth's infamous Boondoggle, extensive hearings took place regarding Bertha, both with the Seattle City Council and the State Legislature. The public participated in those hearings.

Multiple advocacy groups advocating various solutions to the Alaskan Way Viaduct problem sprang up, including advocating simply tearing down the viaduct and letting traffic sort itself out on the roads which remained.

I think Bertha has the potential to replace Fort Worth as the proud home of America's Biggest Boondoggle. What happens if Bertha gets stuck again? Only this time it is under a skyscraper?

Steve A said...

Actually, there WAS an advisory ballot on whether or what kind of tunnel to build in 2007. Voters overwhelmingly rejected any kind of tunnel. Following the tradition set with the Mariner Stadium, the government proceeded with the most expensive plan anyway and minimized public input while doing so. Unlike most highway projects, any overruns (almost all giant projects like this overrun) will,be funded ONLY by Seattle taxpayers - as in every time Bertha gets stuck. I guess the Seattle voters had things right on the measure, but they elected idiots that loved a massive boondoggle. "The Stranger" may have understated things...