Friday, April 20, 2018

Fort Worth's Imaginary Island Boondoggle Makes Workers Sick

I first saw that which you see here via a blog post comment...

Matthew Hunter has left a new comment on your post "Questioning Fort Worth's TRWD Imaginary Flood Control Bond Levee Vote":

This is in addition to a story that came out in today's Star-Telegram and was buried among various fluff-pieces on their Facebook feed. It seems the company hired to widen the North side of the river for this project ran into some toxic oil refinery waste, which has contaminated groundwater that now flows right into the river. The city, meanwhile, blew it off, and has apparently tried to cover it up. Because, of course, they don't want people to know that they're tubing in a toxic toilet that cost over a billion dollars to build. What benzene? Oh, THAT benzene...oh, that's nothing. Here, look at the pretty fireworks and have a beer! See? Fun! 

Contaminated soil made construction workers sick. Fort Worth's river runs alongside it

Over the years of this current century, years where what has become America's Biggest Boondoggle has been boondoggling along, I have opined a time or two or three that if the point in time is ever reached when actual construction begins on Fort Worth's imaginary island that serious ground pollution will likely be discovered, most likely of a level requiring an EPA Superfund cleanup.

A couple bloggings from years ago verbalizing this contaminated pollution concern...

From July 19, 2009, Fort Worth's Trinity River Vision Gets Contaminated and from December 15, 2014, Tacoma's Foss Waterway Development Authority vs. Fort Worth's Trinity River Vision Authority Boondoggle.

I am not much of a fan of saying I told you so, but I told you so.

The first few paragraphs of the Star-Telegram Contaminated soil made construction workers sick. Fort Worth's river runs alongside it article...


About 30 construction workers were exposed to hazardous materials in their work as part of the Panther Island project, and it all could have been avoided, the company's CEO said.

But as the agencies involved point fingers at each other over who is to blame for not telling the PennaGroup that the soil contained cancer-causing benzine, among other things, CEO Michael Evangelista-Ysasaga still waits for $2.9 million he said he's owed for cleaning up the mess in the area just east of downtown nearly eight years ago.

At the very least, Evangelista-Ysasaga said, the soil condition should have been included in the bid announcement. Instead, Evangelista-Ysasaga said he was told only after he pressed the issue.

That was after a construction supervisor alerted him when some of the workers began feeling nauseous and dizzy and he pulled them from the site. To date, none of the workers has suffered any illness, he said.


An apropos comment on Facebook this morning about this latest iteration of Fort Worth's ongoing massive boondoggle....

Blake Woodard: Thanks to Sandra Baker for writing this story. It’s a miracle it made it past Star-Telegram management, as the Star-Telegram is TRWD’s unpaid public relations department. Bud Kennedy must be on vacation.

On Bud’s next vacation, maybe Sandra would like to write an article on what a scam the IPL is. I will be happy to show her the TRWD’s own consulting engineering firm’s report on how IPL will bring no new water to Fort Worth.


The IPL referred to is the Integrated Pipe Line, I think. Yet one more TRWD boondoggle.

Regarding the contamination on Fort Worth's imaginary island. Is this not yet one more good reason for a big NO vote on May 5?

The pollution cleanup cost should long ago have been figured into the budget for this boondoggle. If this ineptly mismanaged project goes forward who knows how many more millions, or billions, will be needed to clean up this mess?

And at this point in time what investor is going to be willing to invest in building anything on the imaginary, polluted island? Even that relatively puny $55 million apartment complex which J.D. Granger has been touting for years as being about to be under construction, would this investor proceed with construction with this contamination debacle looming with its extent unknown?

Isn't the TIF related to the May 5 quarter billion buck bond somehow predicated on development on the contaminated imaginary island somehow generating enough value to pay for the bonds?

Methinks this May 5 vote is just the latest, most blatant iteration of what has become, and will likely continue to be, America's Biggest Boondoggle.

That is, unless somehow responsible qualified adults take over the project and somehow turn this embarrassing mess around. And that process may start with that big NO vote on May 5...

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