Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Design Woes Are Not The Only Problem With Fort Worth's Panther Island Bridges

Last night Elsie Hotpepper, Big Ed and others messaged me with a link to a Fort Worth Star-Telegram article titled Design problem delays work on Panther Island bridges in Fort Worth.

I saw that headline and thought to myself how could those simple little bridges be having themselves a design problem?

It was six months ago that America's Biggest  Boondoggle and it co-propagandizer, the Star-Telegram, breathlessly touted the wonder to behold of wooden V pier forms being something that people could see.

I blogged about this bizarre propaganda way back on October 7, 2015 in Beautiful Fort Worth V Piers The Likes Of Which The World Has Never Seen.

And now to learn that six months later concrete has not yet been poured into those wooden V pier forms, with that eventual pouring of concrete now delayed due to a design problem, well, this is just odd.

Those wooden V pier forms showed up six months ago. Why has it taken so long to get to the point of pouring  concrete into the forms, to then discover that there is a problem with the design?

I'll copy a big chunk of the Star-Telegram article in which we learn the nature of the bridge design problem, among other things.....

The construction of three bridges over dry land north of downtown Fort Worth is being delayed as officials fix a design problem that was noticed as workers began to pour the concrete piers.

The delay involves a miscalculation in the amount of steel that would be needed to reinforce the structure’s piers, a Texas Department of Transportation spokesman said. However, the problem is being addressed and should only cause about a month-long postponement of bridge work, said Val Lopez, TxDOT spokesman.

When completed, the bridges will span over what officials hope will be a new Trinity River channel creating Panther Island, an 800-acre development in a former industrial area that could become pristine, waterfront property. The project includes construction of new bridges along Henderson Street, White Settlement Road and North Main Street, and the re-channeling of the river under those structures.

“What we are addressing is adjusting the spacing of the reinforced steel in the piers to simplify the pouring of concrete into it,” Lopez said in an email. “It’s a novel design, and we want to make sure we execute it as best we can so we can deliver the highest-quality project possible.”

“We haven’t stopped construction on the project at all,” Lopez said in a phone interview. “We’ll be out there working on those piers again in probably a month’s time.”

To complete the project will require a $340 million appropriation to the Corps of Engineers.

In the meantime, the Trinity River Vision Authority is promoting development of areas such as the Coyote Drive-In, and hosting about 44 events per year at the Panther Island Pavilion. Those measures are partly to generate revenue, but also to establish Panther Island as a destination for entertainment, and eventually shopping, working and living.

How was it that when workers began pouring concrete it was noticed that there had been a miscalculation regarding how much reinforcing steel was needed? I assume by reinforcing steel we are talking about re-bar. It would seem that calculating how much re-bar is needed would be sort of standard information. It's not like these bridges are the first time a concrete pier has been built.

The third paragraph in the Star-Telegram article amused me with the information that the bridges will span what officials hope will be a new Trinity River channel creating Panther Island. Officials are hoping there will be a new river channel to go under these three bridges?

And then the next paragraph where we learn that these bridges are a novel design which they want to execute as best they can so as to deliver the highest quality project possible. Should not that sentiment go without saying? As in, don't all public works project want to execute the highest quality project possible?

The TxDOT spokesman says they have not stopped the project at all? And that they will be back working on those piers again, probably, in a month? How is that not stopping the project at all?

And then there is that last paragraph, where we learn the Trinity River Vision Authority is promoting things like the Coyote Drive-In and hosting 44 events a year at Panther Island Pavilion. Where there is no island or pavilion, where we just learned officials hope one day there will be a new river channel creating Panther Island.

Those 44 events are measures to generate revenue and establish the non-existent Panther Island as an entertainment destination, eventually with shopping, working and living?

Like I've already said, more than once.

Shameless propaganda.....


Anonymous said...

Horse Feathers! Hogwash! Bovine Excrement! Hooey!

Steve A said...

When TRWD lets stuff like https://www.facebook.com/directactiontx/photos/a.853575021329509.1073741828.778165748870437/886115878075423/?type=3&theater happen, why should messing up bridges over dry land be a surprise? This is almost as egregious as Seattle's Bertha!

Anonymous said...

What is the status of the Airfield Falls trail head? It was a year late in opening last July. Is the sculpture finally finished?

Random JD Granger & Betsy Price photo:

Durango said...

Anonymous #2, I know nothing about the current status of the Airfield Falls trail head. I suspect if it was actually fixed and finished the TRV propagandists would have made a big fuss over it, likely with a ceremony with fireworks and a couple pages devoted to the accomplishment in their quarterly Boondoggle Update.....