Sunday, April 13, 2014

The Trinity River Vision Spring 2014 Update's Perplexing Propaganda

This morning I opened my mailbox to find the eagerly anticipated Spring 2014 Trinity River Vision Boondoggle Update.

The TRVB Update was too big for my scanner so on the left you are seeing only part of the Update's cover.

If I remember right I've wondered before how much these full color TRVB Updates cost to publish and mail.

The Update is chock full of interesting propaganda, I mean, information, some of which I don't think has anything to do with the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle.

Like the news that construction of something called McMillan Plaza is moving along quickly. Or that the wait for the Airfield Falls Trailhead is almost over. Or that the trail around the Marine Creek Reservoir is almost complete.

The TRVB continues to attach the Panther Island label to various entities. Like Panther Island Brewing is opening on the non-existent island.

This bit of TRVB Update news had an amusing J.D. Granger quote which had J.D. saying "Panther Island Brewing is exactly the type of business we want on Panther Island. We want businesses that create a special culture, identity and excitement for the district."

We also learn that Panther Island Ice got a cool review, with that cool review, near as I can tell, coming from the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle Update. Apparently the ice rink was an enormous six week success and will be coming back next year half again bigger and with a mechanized ice smoother.

The most confounding item in the TRVB Update was on the cover of the publication, that being the "news" about bridge construction.

"Panther Island bridge construction will officially begin this summer! The three new signature V-pier bridges will be located on Henderson Street, North Main Street and White Settlement Road. The bridges will be finished by late 2017 - early 2018. Building the bridges now - on dry land - will be cheaper than constructing them over water after the bypass channel is created."

Okay, first off, are we supposed to collectively forget that long ago the TRV Boondoggle dropped the plan to build "signature" bridges designed by some renowned bridge architect? Dropped because the signature bridges were too expensive.

There is nothing "signature" about these V-pier bridges.

Three or four years to build these bridges over the non-existent, imaginary, un-funded, un-needed bypass channel?

Construction will officially begin? When did construction unofficially begin? The start of construction of these bridges seems to be a constantly shifting target.

If the bridges ever do get built methinks they will likely end up being a monument to hubris, an example of what can happen when you try to build a public works project the public has not been allowed to vote on. Or maybe the water-free bridges will become some sort of internationally recognized symbol for a boondoggle, finally giving Fort Worth something internationally recognized.

In small, hard to read print, below the easy to read Bridge Construction info we learn "Local firm Freese and Nichols led the overall bridge project design and is engineer of record. Rosales + Partners of Boston, Massachusetts are responsible for the TRV bridge architectural design. These are the same firms that designed the award-winning Phyllis J. Tilley Memorial pedestrian bridge."

Award winning Tilley bridge? Was this an ultra legit award giving entity which handed out this award to this bridge, of the same status as the award giving entity which recently awarded Fort Worth the honor of having the best downtown in all of America?

I was not at all impressed with an up close look at the Tilley bridge. It appeared cheap and shoddy to me.

Now the newly redone, nearby 7th Street Bridge across the Trinity, now that is one good-looking bridge.

Who designed the 7th Street Bridge? Couldn't that designer design a similar look for the TRV Booondoggle's three currently non-signature bridges? Bridges like the 7th Street Bridge could really be a signature look for Fort Worth bridges.

And finally, regarding the bridges, another quote from that gift who keeps on giving, J.D. Granger...

"This is such a monumental phase of the project.  We are already 20% complete with this project, but the bridges will be the first part of the infrastructure people can physically see taking shape and going vertical."

It has been over 10 years and the project is only 20% complete? I am not good at math but at this pace is it expected to take 40 years to bring this boondoggle to fruition?

The bridges will be the first part of the infrastructure people can see? What about all the property destroyed by eminent domain abuse in the path of the project? That was all quite clearly visible......

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