Sunday, April 16, 2017

Happy Easter Bunny Bertha Inspired Questions

This is a combo Bertha and Happy Easter Bunny blogging due to the screen cap I capped from a Seattle Times article about Bertha included a chocolate Easter Bunny.

Happy Easter, one and all.

Just remembered, in addition to being a combo Bertha and Happy Easter Bunny blogging this is also yet one more of those popular bloggings about something I read in a west coast online news source, usually the Seattle Times, about something I would not be expecting to read in a Texas online news source, usually the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, about something going on in Texas, or Fort Worth.

I think I have mentioned previously that Fort Worth is currently host to America's Biggest Boondoggle, also known as the Trinity River Central City Uptown Panther Island District Vision. The vision is a bizarre pseudo public works project the public has never been allowed to vote on, which claims to be a much needed flood prevention plan,  preventing flooding where flooding has not happened for well over a half a century due to levees the rest of America helped pay for way back in the 1950s.

This bizarre public works project is also an economic development scheme designed to line the pockets of multiple players in the Fort Worth oligarchy, including Fort Worth's Congresswoman, Kay Granger, and her son, J.D., who, as America's Biggest Boondoggle's Executive Director is responsible for the non-progress of this project which has been limping along for most of this century.

The current symbol of just how bad this boondoggle has  become is a bridge building project which began way back in 2014,  with an astonishing four year bridge building project timeline, with bridge construction now stalled for over a year, with no explanation as to why the simple  little bridges being built  over dry land are no longer being built.

Recently the Trinity River Vision Authority released its Spring 2017 Trinity River Vision Update with no update as to what has stalled the bridge construction. We blogged about this in Spring 2017 Non Existent Trinity River Vision Bridge Debacle UPDATE.

Which brings us to what I read in the Seattle Times today about the Bertha Tunnel Project in an article titled Inside the Highway 99 tunnel: Bertha’s done digging, but the roadway work rolls on in.

Bertha began her tunnel boring about the same time the Trinity River Vision Boondoggle began trying to build bridges over dry land. Bertha ran into a snag which stopped boring for around two years. But, Bertha eventually got back boring and is now leaving the tunnel behind her, with road decks now being added and the tunnel expected to be open to traffic in early 2019.

Apparently the Highway 99 Alaskan Viaduct Replacement Project is well engineered by qualified adults who know what  they are doing. Part of the project design  took into account the possibility of a boring delay.

Three illustrative paragraphs...

Joe Hedges, state Highway 99 administrator, recently said the completion of the tunnel itself represents halftime for the project. Nonetheless, workers were busy installing roadways even during Bertha’s two-year breakdown, and some 600 people remain on the job.

That by itself prevented delays from getting worse, said Brian Russell, vice president for HNTB, which wrote the technical designs for the tunnel structures.

The tunnel’s relatively new “design-build” contract, which hands final engineering to the bidders, gave Seattle Tunnel Partners (STP) flexibility to juggle its work schedules so the upper deck and walls kept advancing north, behind the tunnel machine. Under conventional bidding, where the state writes the design, the decking might be done by other companies, and might not begin until after the underground tube is finished.

Okay, why do we not read anything similar to the above in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram about the problems with the Trinity River Vision project? Who designed the project? Who are the contractors? Why is whoever is  the bridge building contractor not asked what the problem is which has stalled  construction?

Read the Seattle Times Inside the Highway 99 tunnel: Bertha’s done digging, but the roadway work rolls on in article and notice how detailed the information is. Including animated graphics showing each stage of the ongoing tunnel construction. Why do you not see anything even remotely similar in the Fort Wort Star-Telegram about any aspect of what has become America's Biggest Boondoggle?

Why do the Fort Worth locals whose town is being impacted by being the host to America's Biggest Boondoggle not demand answers as to what and who has caused this mess? What causes a population to be so passive? How can Americans in one part of America be so different from Americans in another part? Better education?

I have no idea what the explanation is. All I know for sure is the toleration for incompetent corruption in Fort Worth, in various forms, is extremely perplexing...

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