Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Fresh Bridge Boondoggle Nonsense From Fort Worth's Propaganda Purveyors

I seem to be having trouble getting around to blogging the blogging fodder I brought back to Texas with me, acquired during a week in Washington earlier this month.

Blogging fodder such as the Tacoma Water Vision, which one can actually see, unlike a Texas town with which I am familiar. That and seeing up close the imaginary economic devastation Seattle is suffering from that $15 minimum wage debacle.

But before I get around to any of that, let's talk about one of my favorite, sad, pitiful subjects. That being Fort Worth's embarrassing inept Trinity River Central City Uptown Panther Island District Vision, aka America's Biggest Boondoggle.

I have long lamented Fort Worth's lack of having a real newspaper engaging in the novel concept known as investigative journalism.

My last day in Arizona I was sent a link to an article in the Fort Worth Business Press, Work on Henderson Street, White Settlement bridges progressing; New traffic pattern, with the breathtaking news that after years of nothing happening that...

In mid-July, concrete was poured for the first full-scale V-pier for the White Settlement Bridge. The bridge contractor used 200 cubic yards of concrete. With crews placing the concrete on both legs of the V-pier simultaneously, the pour took several days to complete and cure.

In a big city wearing its big city pants how is an item such as the above paragraph considered news? And how can any legitimate "newspaper" publish an article about the ongoing Fort Worth bridge building debacle without making any sort of reference to the project being long stalled. Or what caused the long stall?

And then we have the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, yesterday or the day before, publishing yet one more bizarre bit of bridge propaganda in an article about America's Biggest Boondoggle's long stalled bridge construction, Part of Fort Worth’s Main Street closes as work revs up on Panther Island bridges, with once again no explanation as to what stalled the bridge construction, but, like the FW Business  Press, sort of breathlessly celebrating that one of those wooden V-pier forms has finally had cement poured in its form, the result of which you can see below, courtesy of the aforementioned Star-Telegram.

So, what was the issue with this bridge design? I'm no engineer, but, I don't see how this cement teeter totter is going to support a bridge deck. And when were the foundations poured for all these bridge V-pier forms? Shouldn't that concrete teeter totter be sitting on a big solid foundation? And how will the ditch be dug under these teeter totters if the ditch is ever dug?

The Star-Telegram article uses a photo of that embarrassing explosive bridge ground breaking ceremony,  from years ago, and mentions that the project has endured nearly three years of delays.

Yet we still get no information regarding the nature of the design controversy which caused the delay. And what was resolved which resulted in concrete finally being poured into one of the V-pier forms.

We do get the following...

Work on the three Panther Island bridges was kicked off in November 2014. Back then, local delegates gathered near the Trinity River banks to celebrate the project with pyrotechnics. But work slowed down as the state transportation department wrangled with contractors over the unusual design of the bridges, including the V-shaped piers. But state officials say those concerns have been addressed and the project can move forward.

The state wrangled with contractors over the unusual design of the bridges? Really? What is so unusual about the design of these simple looking bridges which could cause such a long construction stall? And what issues were resolved? How were the design issues resolved? What changed which ended the wrangling with the contractors?

Why does the Star-Telegram not get answers to questions such as the ones I just asked?

And then there is the following gem from the Star-Telegram...

Panther Island is on a short list of projects nationwide that are considered by Congress to be priorities for flood control and economic development. Last year, Congress authorized $520 million to cover more than half of the project’s cost, although the money likely will become available over a number of years.

Considered by Congress to be a priority for flood control and economic development? If such were the case why is this supposed vital project being actualized in extreme slow motion?

Flood control? There has been no flood in the area of the Boondoggle since the early 1950s, when levees were installed to keep the Trinity River within its banks.

And why does the Star-Telegram go along with the absurd Panther Island nomenclature? There is no island, there will be no island, even if this project ever does get completed. Digging a ditch does not an island make. Visit Hawaii, Washington or the Texas Gulf Coast if you want to see what an island looks like.

Why does Fort Worth indulge in bizarre misnaming of perfectly ordinary things? Like for decades downtown Fort Worth confused its few tourists with directional signs pointing to Sundance Square, where there was no square, but was the odd name given a multi-block redevelopment zone. And now there are signs confusing Fort Worth's few tourists by pointing them to locations such as Panther Island Pavilion, where there is no island or pavilion.

Why do the good people of Fort Worth, and the majority are good people, put up with a civic leadership which makes their town looks so, well, stupid, inept and embarrassing?

Fort Worth needs to run June Cleaver and her boy Beaver, also known as Kay and J.D, Granger, out of town, the sooner the better for the sake of sanity and the good people of Fort Worth....

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