Saturday, April 27, 2019

Grapple Fort Worth's Bizarre Bridge Battle Boondoggle

This last Saturday morning of the 2019 version of April I woke up my computer to soon see I had been pointed to a post on Facebook, or tagged, or whatever the nomenclature is which means someone has stuck ones Facebook handle on a post so as to get ones attention.

This tagging was Elsie Hotpepper pointing me to yet one more article about America's Biggest Boondoggle. This one is in the Fort Worth Business Press, titled Bridge battle: Businesses, local officials grapple with project delays.
I read the article, then opined on Elsie Hotpepper's Facebook post something along the line of being really tired of this nonsense. I read these articles to find myself annoyed at mention being made of one thing or the other which just is not true.

At least this article did not repeat the ridiculous assertion that those pitiful little bridges being built in slow motion are being built over dry land to save money, and to make for easier construction, when the fact is there will never be any water running under those little bridges until a ditch is dug under them, with Trinity River water diverted into the ditch.

This particular article's worst instance of repeating nonsense without questioning it was repeating the idiocy that that ditch will "add flood control protection as well as carve out an 800-acre center island, which would create waterfront economic development opportunities. The bridges will cross the channel."

Add flood control protection? There has not been a flood of the Trinity River in the location in question since well over a half century ago when levees were built. Waterfront development opportunities? It's a ditch. It's a polluted river. How can anyone think someone this is going to end well, with any sort of viable waterfront opportunities?

I really don't know why I continue to bother opining about this, other than I just find it so aggravating to be eye witness to something so embarrassingly inept. With the nonsense just going on and on, year after year after year.

A couple days ago I blogged about the ridiculous Fort Worth Star-Telegram TRWD board endorsements in a blogging titled Fort Worth Star-Telegram Bizarre TRWD Board Endorsements. That blog post has only had a little over 800 page views when I saw the stats when logging in to write this current post. It feels like preaching to the choir. And never to the numbskulls who might benefit from wising themselves up to their civic reality.

As the Bridge battle: Businesses, local officials grapple with project delays title suggests this latest FW Business Press article about America's Biggest Boondoggle is mainly about the most visible symptom of the problem, that being the simple little bridges being stuck being built in slow motion.

The article points out various elements of the delay, such as "malfunction of design" problems, conflicts with contractors, conflicts with the management of the project. Yet, just like in a Star-Telegram article about this subject, we get zero details about what the precise design problems have been.

The article brings up the the recent revelations posted by the Texas Monitor, about emails discovered from 2016 in which it is clear J.D. Granger mucked around with the design of the bridges, thwarting a preferred design which the state agreed to pay for in total. Read the entire article for all the details, but suffice to say, why is Mary Kelleher the only current TRWD board candidate calling for the obvious? That being the firing of the ineptly unqualified J.D. Granger?

This latest article about America's Biggest Boondoggle is also about all the damage done to businesses affected by the long, messed up construction timeline. In my Facebook comment I opined that in addition to those currently being damaged there were also the hundreds damaged way earlier in this century by the Trinity River Vision's abuse of eminent domain, one of whom is a Fort Worth native, Bob Lukeman, who had his place of business taken, bulldozed whilst still awaiting a hearing in court, left damaged and not whole.

Criminal corruption, in my opinion, on the part of various elements of what passes for government in Fort Worth. And one of the reasons I hold the town in such low regard.

Bob Lukeman also commented on Elsie Hotpepper's Facebook this morning, after I commented.

The Lukeman comment in its entirety...

Wrote this in reply to Mark Greene’s post of the recent FWST article casually calling the levees obsolete and fostering the notion that I guess, we all agree with that.

Well! This is not what the Corp originally said (from the article)...

“The Panther Island project will replace levees the Army Corps of Engineers says are obsolete and pull about 2,400 acres out of the flood plain for what the Corps calls a “standard project flood,” which is the most severe flood considered possible for a region. This is a more traditional flood, such as when a river runs over its banks.”

The first idea about the state of the existing levee system from the Corp came after they routinely examined the current levee system and concluded that they needed to be raised in key areas to comply with the standard project flood requirements. This was budgeted at around 10 million dollars, and if initiated, would have been completed over a decade ago. This plan was disregarded with the ushering in of the TRV development plan and the Central City Corp plan adapted to comply with and compliment the TRV development plan. The statement that the levee system is obsolete is incorrect. These levees work as designed and implemented in the early 1950’s following the disastrous flooding in 1949. It’s the flooding along smaller tributaries and low lying areas that are damaging homes, property, threatening lives and in some cases causing deaths do to high fast flood waters.

I have copies of the Corp maps that show where their studies told them to bolster the existing levees. Anyone who categorizes these levees as obsolete is in the thrall of the development plan that takes down the levees to allow mixed use development right up to the waters edge in the TRV development plan.

Just like the promises of this new urban development, delivered to us via pretty pictures and the illusion of a San Antonio style river walk, the effectiveness of the flood control capabilities of the proposed bypass channel, with its mitigation of large and fast moving flood waters being downstream of the project, are unproven and are part of the same initial plan that submitted bridge designs that needed to be re-engineered at additional cost and are a part of the further delays in getting these bridges built over dry land, with the project claiming that this is a faster and less costly method.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

From the article: The contractor building three bridges as part of Fort Worth’s Panther Island development says the project has been bungled and "woefully mismanaged from the top."

Bungled & woefully mismanaged is an exquisite combination that is all too typical for the Fort Worth Way. The Fort Worth Way is, frankly, not a gem in this regard.