Saturday, January 16, 2016

Is Fort Worth No Longer Home To America's Biggest Boondoggle?

Wikipedia has an article about the important Boondoggle subject in which we learn....

The term "boondoggle" may also be used to refer to protracted government or corporate projects involving large numbers of people and usually heavy expenditure, where at some point, the key operators, having realized that the project will never work, are still reluctant to bring this to the attention of their superiors. Generally there is an aspect of "going through the motions" – for example, continuing research and development – as long as funds are available to keep paying the researchers' and executives' salaries.

Currently Fort Worth is home to America's Biggest Boondoggle, a slow motion project which has been lumbering along in slow motion for most of this century, known, by some, as the Trinity River Uptown Central City Panther Island Vision.

Seattle has had a project underway for several years known as the Alaskan Way Viaduct Replacement Tunnel Project. Until recently this project has been stalled due to a stuck tunnel boring machine named Bertha.

Bertha recently was boring again, but then soon was halted once again. First off by a malfunctioning barge and then by the appearance of a large sinkhole which caused Washington Governor Jay Inslee to order a Bertha halt til it could be determined what caused the sinkhole.

Bertha coming to a halt so soon after her two year repair was finished became the moment when Seattle's tunnel project may have surpassed Fort Worth's Boondoggle and became America's Biggest Boondoggle.

The Seattle tunnel project dwarfs Fort Worth's slow motion pseudo island project, cost-wise. And engineering difficulty wise.

When I first learned of the plan to tunnel under downtown Seattle with the biggest tunnel ever bored I wondered how that worked, engineering ignorant boy that I be. I mean, this huge tube being dug under giant skyscrapers? Don't skyscrapers scrape all the way to bedrock for their foundations? Does the tunnel go under those bedrock foundations I wondered?

Many options were considered before it was decided to dig a tunnel. After Bertha got herself stuck a couple years ago, those who were advocates of other options began making the case that the tunnel plan needed to be abandoned to revert to one of the other viaduct replacement plans.

Reading articles criticizing the Bertha debacle it strikes me as such a contrast with what I don't read in the Fort Worth press regarding Fort Worth's slow motion, poorly planned, ineptly engineered flood control economic development project, which has seemed to go nowhere slow for years, causing many to wonder why, if this is such an important flood control/economic development project why is it being built with all the urgency of a turtle?

A couple articles about Seattle's tunnel boondoggle illustrate the difference between what one might read about a Seattle issue in the Seattle press and what one might read about a Fort Worth in its propaganda press.

Seattle’s Unbelievable Transportation Megaproject Fustercluck


Guest Editorial: Seattle Pull the Plug on the Tunnel Unless You Can Answer These Seven Questions

I like that Flustercluck word. Had not heard that before. In one of the articles the word "Doonboggle" was coined for Boondoggle? Backwards Boondoggle? Is that what Doonboggle means?

Can you imagine an article in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Fort Worth Business Press or Fort Worth Weekly titled Guest Editorial: Fort Worth Pull the Plug on the Trinity River Vision Unless You Can Answer These Seven Questions?

Yeah, me neither.

Methinks there are likely more than seven questions that should be answered or the plug pulled on the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle.

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