Friday, April 18, 2014

The World's Longest Floating Bridge Got Me Pondering Fort Worth's Imaginary Signature Bridges

Last night I was reading the news on CNN online when I saw a headline for an article about the world's longest bridges. That article quickly let it be known that due to China dominating the longest bridges, with five of the world's longest suspension bridges, the writer of the article opted instead to list the longest bridge in the world in specific categories, other than suspension bridges. Such as longest natural arch bridge, ironically also in China, world's longest covered bridge, world's longest floating bridge and other types of longest bridges.

My old home state of Washington has four of the world's five longest floating bridges, including the world's longest, which you see above, that being the Evergreen Point Bridge across the north end of Lake Washington. Another floating bridge crosses the southern end of Lake Washington. The northern Lake Washington floating bridge is currently being replaced, hopefully before the current floating bridge sinks, something that has happened twice to Washington's floating bridges.

Looking through the CNN list of bridges got me once again thinking how bizarre it is that the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle refers to three bridges which may soon be under construction, across a possibly never to be built flood control bypass, as signature bridges.

Signature bridges?

I assume what is meant by that term is a bridge which acts like a signature, signifying to someone who sees that bridge, that that bridge is located in a specific location. For instance, the Golden Gate Bridge is a signature bridge instantly recognized as being in San Francisco. The Brooklyn Bridge is a signature bridge instantly recognized as being in New York City. The London Bridge, is, well, you know where it is being a signature bridge.

And then we have Fort Worth's "signature" bridges, an artist's rendering of one is what you see below.

Why would anyone in their right mind claim with a straight face that the above bridge could be a signature bridge that people the world over might recognize as being in Fort Worth, Texas? Very perplexing. Why are ordinary things touted as being extraordinary, so often, in this town?

I have never heard any of the Seattle floating bridges referred to as signature bridges. I've never heard of the Tacoma Narrow's suspension bridges referred to as signature bridges. I've never heard of the Golden Gate bridge referred to as a signature bridge. Why do those behind the attempt to build these Fort Worth bridges, over a non-existent flood bypass channel, insist upon referring to them as signature bridges?

I've mentioned before that the proposed trio of  Fort Worth bridges originally were going to be more architecturally significant, maybe even signature, designed by renowned designer, Bing Thom. But the Thom designs were scrapped due to being too expensive for the underfunded public works project the public has never been allowed to vote on.

Dallas has its own version of the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle, also with three bridges, also referred to as signature bridges. The Dallas vision, with its three bridges, came along before Fort Worth had the same vision. However, the Dallas vision is already seeing an actual bridge over actual water, that being the Trinity River. The completed Dallas bridge is named the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge. Why? I don't know.

The Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge was designed by Santiago Calatrava, who also designed the other two, uncompleted, Dallas bridges.

The Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge has warranted a Wikipedia article.

Is Vegas taking bets on if there will one day be a Wikipedia article about Fort Worth's signature bridges across an un-built flood control bypass?

A blurb from the Wikipedia article about the Dallas bridge...

"...the signature, 40-story center-support-arch was topped-off with a central curved span, providing an additional feature to the Dallas skyline, as it can now be seen from many miles away from several directions."

That is the bridge in question you are looking at below. It appears to have a slightly different visual impact than Fort Worth's proposed "signature" bridges.

Regarding iconic signature city skyline elements, recognized world-wide as being part of a particular city, on the left of the Margaret Hunt Hill bridge you are looking at Reunion Tower, it being a well known symbol of Dallas.

The Wikipedia article mentions that the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge is featured in the opening credits of the new version of the TV series Dallas. That TV series, in its original form, is what made Reunion Tower a symbol of Dallas, recognized around the world.

I wonder what the opening credits of a Fort Worth TV series would show the world? Those Trinity River Vision Boondoggle "signature" bridges? Hundreds of inner tubers Rockin' the Trinity River? Sundance Square Plaza? The Fort Worth Stockyards sign? A Longhorn? Maybe a Longhorn herd? Cowtown Wakepark? Gas fracking sites? The stunning skyline of beautiful downtown Fort Worth?

Perplexing questions.....

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