Saturday, December 19, 2015

Wondering Again How It Can Take Fort Worth 4 Years To Build 3 Simple Bridges

My Favorite Oregon Cousin, Scott, took the picture you are looking at here, yesterday or the day before yesterday.

In the picture we are in Oregon, looking north across the Columbia River, with Washington hidden in the fog.

That bridge is known as the Astoria-Megler Bridge.

I do not remember if I have blogged about this bridge previously in one of my continuing series of bloggings about feats of engineering, usually bridges, built in four years, or less.

Over water.

I am motivated to blog about these feats of engineering due to the astonishing fact that a bridge building project, currently sort of underway in Fort Worth, has a four year project timeline.

Four years to build three simple, little bridges.

Over dry land.

Eventually, some day, way in the future, if money can be found to do so, a ditch may be dug under Fort Worth's bridges, with water added, which at that point the bridges will be connecting the Fort Worth mainland to an imaginary island.

No one has an explanation as to why it will take Fort Worth's infamous Boondoggle four years to build three simple, little bridges. Most people's best guess is there is a shortage of funds causing the slow motion construction.

The Astoria-Megler Bridge is not a simple, little bridge. The bridge is 4.1 miles long. The bridge is designed to handle wind blows of 150 mph and a river current of 9 mph. This bridge is the longest continuous truss bridge in North America.

Obviously this bridge was built over water. With that water affected by tidal changes. While under construction the engineers had to contend with ship traffic making its way upriver from the Pacific, or heading downriver, out to sea.

Bridge building complications of the sort Fort Worth can only dream of.

And yet this bridge took less than four years to build, with construction beginning November 5, 1962, finished July 29, 1966.

As you can see via the above photo, the bridge as it leaves Astoria soars quite high. That is so ships can pass. Note that big pier upon which the cantilevered span rests.

I wonder if the local Astoria press made a big deal out of when that pier started to rise out of the water, like the Fort Worth Star-Telegram did when America's Biggest Boondoggle's pitiful little wooden forms for the bridge's V piers became visible rising from dry land?

I suspect not....

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hey now Mr. Jones, more people than ever are flocking to Fort Worth and there are 12 reasons why! Durrr!

You know an article's gonna be great when a photo from Brian Luenser is included! Double durrr!!