Tuesday, October 23, 2018

America's Biggest Boondoggle Unravels As Trinity River Vision Scandals Grow

October of 2018 was supposed to be the month when what has become America's Biggest Boondoggle celebrated the opening to traffic of three simple little bridges being built over dry land to connect the Fort Worth mainland to an imaginary island.

Instead October of 2018 seems to be the month when this embarrassment to Fort Worth, which has always been a cloudy vision, has begun to unravel, with that unraveling seeming to be happening faster than anything the Trinity River Vision has managed to do whilst limping along for most of this century.

Citizens possessing common sense have long known this pseudo public works project was going to end in boondoggle mode, due to obviously being mis-managed and ineptly engineered.

Years ago, when J.D Granger breathlessly announced the addition of the Cowtown Wakepark to the Trinity River Vision mix of nonsense how could anyone with any ability to count not realize this wakeboarding enterprise would fail. Only a few people at a time could be pulled around the tiny pond. It could only be open a few months of the year. It was like building a Six Flags Over Texas ride which only a few people per hour could ride.

How much did the Trinity River Vision spend to dig that pond for the Wakepark and that entire tacky eyesore operation? And, ironically, how could these idiots not realize that the Wakepark would be flooded every time the Trinity River went into flood mode. Which happened twice, with extensive damage, before the Cowtown Wakepark died.

The Cowtown Wakepark mini-boondoggle was a harbinger, an indicator, a hint of what the unqualified, incompetent, idiotic directing of TRVA Executive Director J.D. Granger would foist on Fort Worth.

Cowtown Wakepark failed around the time J.D. Granger announced Rockin' the River Happy Hour Inner Tube parties on the polluted Trinity River.

And apparently no adult authority in town was able to say no to the nonsense.

I do not remember which of the October Trinity River Vision Surprises came first. Was it the fact that in July TRVA officials knew they had lost federal funding due to not doing a proper economic analysis of the pseudo flood control economic development scheme? Scheming to get flood control funds where there had been no flood for well over a half century due to levees taxpayers had already bought and paid for.

Whilst other actual serious deadly flooding problems in Fort Worth were ignored.

Or was it Another Anonymous Interesting Trinity River Vision Development in which we learned J.D. Granger was going to be marrying his employee with whom he had long philandered whilst married to his first wife. With the nuptials taking place on a Caribbean island, apparently sparing no expense, which is one of the perks one can indulge in when one feeds at the public trough to the tune of several hundred thousand dollars per year.

At some point in October, after we learned of the 2019 Wedding of the Year, we learned. How a split between Rep. Kay Granger and her son changed Panther Island forever. This, to my mind, is the most shocking of the Trinity River Vision October Scandals. Maybe it is time to start calling this ongoing embarrassment TRVGate.

The split between J.D. and his mama was over the Boondoggle's bridges.

From the Fort Worth Star-Telegram article about the J.D.'s split with his mama...

Kay Granger, the longtime Republican congresswoman from Fort Worth, wanted to accept an offer from the Texas Department of Transportation to build the three bridges just like Fort Worth’s West Seventh Street bridge, which features bold, lighted arches. The transportation department pledged to do all the design and construction in-house, get the work done by 2016 and cover any cost overruns beyond the original $72.5 million estimate.

Long ago I asked why the three little bridges were not designed to look like the highly regarded West Seventh Street Bridge. That is one cool looking bridge any town would be happy to have.

But, incompetent, untrained, unqualified J.D. Granger, for reasons unknown, was determined to have the V-pier bridges, which have been being built in slow motion since 2014.

Again from the Star-Telegram...

But J.D. Granger — who as executive director of the Trinity River Vision Authority bears ultimate responsibility for the Panther Island flood control and economic development project — disagreed with the proposal to use the West Seventh Street bridge design. Instead, he wanted to keep the bridges’ original design, which calls for flat-top structures with V-shaped piers — a design that he and others felt would focus more attention on the underside of the bridges, which was important because the bridges would serve to create a river-walk atmosphere along the Trinity River banks.

Yeah, that's what you wanna base a design decision on, what some Frat boy "feels" would focus more attention on something.

So, these bridges could have been completed, and paid for, a couple years ago, with a cool design matching the West Seventh Street bridge. But, J.D. Granger thwarted that and imposed the failed design now slated to possibly be completed by 2021.

And these four damning paragraphs from the Star-Telegram article...

Reached Friday afternoon, J.D. Granger said he and other Trinity River Vision Authority officials initially favored the idea of building the bridges like the West Seventh structure. But he said that after consulting with Army Corps of Engineers officials the group determined the idea could greatly complicate the project and add more years to the construction schedule.

One key factor was that the West Seventh bridge relies upon numerous piers in the water, whereas the V-pier design requires only one section in the water. That’s crucial, he said, because the bypass channel needed to have as few obstructions as possible in the center of the water.

“The bypass channel was modeled specifically to accommodate the bridge models you see on the ground now, and that model took seven years to create,” he said.

Once those complications surfaced, J.D. Granger said, the idea of using the West Seventh design “started falling apart on its own.”

J.D. must be a Trump fan, just making up lies to support the un-supportable.

There are not numerous piers in the water supporting the West Seventh Street bridge.

The V-pier bridge model took seven years to complete? Really? The non-existent bypass channel was modeled to fit under the V-pier bridges?

Using the West Seventh Street bridge model would have added years to the construction schedule? More years than the failed V-pier design?

What has started falling apart on its own is the Trinity River Vision, largely due to having someone like J.D. Granger having any sort of leadership role in making decisions about a project which should have been directed by someone qualified to ramrod such a project.

And now, in the past couple days, the latest of the October of 2018 Trinity River Vision surprises.

Fort Worth Mayor, Betsy Price, has now verbalized her concerns about the management of the Trinity River Vision, asking that an audit of the project be conducted.

It's about time someone of the official sort said enough is enough about that which has become America's Biggest Boondoggle....

UPDATE: Here is a photo of the Trinity River flowing under the West Seventh Street bridge. Do you see any piers in the water? Is a lie such as this enough to finally get J.D. Granger fired from the job for which he is so totally unqualified?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Huh. How many piers in the water in this image of a Panther Island Bridge, compared to the above photo of the W7th bridge?