Friday, May 9, 2014

Is Seattle's Big Bertha Boondoggle Bigger Than Fort Worth's Panther Island Boondoggle?

This morning the Star-Telegram provoked me to blog about Fort Worth's most infamous boondoggle, that being the boondoggle formerly known as the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle, now re-branded as the Panther Island Boondoggle.

Last night I was online, reading that extremely reputable news source known as FOX News, to see that Seattle's current tunnel boring problem has now become a national story with the enviable term "Boondoggle" attached to it.

That had me wondering how long it will be til, if ever, Fort Worth's notorious Trinity River Vision/Panther Island Boondoggle gets on the national radar screen. This may be one of those times when it is a good thing to be a bit of a backwater that the rest of America pays little attention to, thus avoiding laughing stock status, which Seattle appears to be on the verge of enjoying.

FOX News compared the Seattle tunnel woes to Boston's notorious Big Dig Boondoggle, as you can see via the story's headline of "BIG DIG CAUSING BIG  PROBLEMS FOR SEATTLE TAXPAYERS."

Regarding Bertha becoming a Boondoggle, this is what FOX News had to say...

The tunneling machine is the key workhorse in a $3.1 billion tunnel project aimed at replacing the Alaska Way Viaduct, a double-decker elevated highway that was damaged in the 2001 Nisqually earthquake. Bertha's meltdown, though, has put the project in jeopardy of being the West Coast version of the biggest public works boondoggle in U.S. history, Boston's "big dig" -- which cost taxpayers $14.6 billion, nearly four times the original price tag. 

Big difference between this Seattle $3.1 billion project and Fort Worth's less than $1 billion project, Seattle's project is funded, funded with a project completion timeline, now thrown asunder by a stuck tunnel boring machine nicknamed Bertha. This entire HUGE project is, or was, scheduled to be completed well before Fort Worth's Trinity River Vision/Panther Island Boondoggle's three bridges over an imaginary bypass channel are completed.

In case you are wondering, and I am sure you were, Bertha is named after Bertha Knight Landes, she being the first female mayor of a major American city, serving as Seattle's mayor from 1926 til 1928, followed by years of social activism.

In the Wikipedia article about Bertha, in the Legacy section we learn "Today, the largest meeting room at Seattle City Hall is named in her honor. The tunnel boring machine used to construct the Alaskan Way Viaduct replacement tunnel under downtown Seattle was nicknamed "Bertha" after her."

So, the biggest meeting room in Seattle City Hall and the world's biggest tunnel boring machine is named after Bertha.

Even with Seattle's current Bertha woes I am fairly certain vehicles will be traveling through a new transit tunnel under downtown Seattle years before anyone will be finding anything worth seeing in the Trinity River Vision/Panther Island Boondoggle....

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