Wednesday, May 22, 2019

A Tale Of Two Town's Bridges

I saw that which you see above this morning in the Seattle Times. Photos taken from atop the Seattle Wheel. The photo on the left was taken January 13, a few hours after Seattle's Alaskan Way Viaduct was closed to traffic permanently. The photo on the right, of the same view, was taken May 21.

As you can see a large expanse of the double decker Alaskan Way Viaduct Bridge is now gone, with areas of Seattle out of the shadows and exposed to sunlight for the first time in over a half century.

Meanwhile in Fort Worth, during the same time frame.

Simple little bridges being built over dry land, with construction beginning way back in 2014, can't seem to make much progress. Month after month with little to show for the money and time wasted.

During that same time frame whilst Fort Worth can't seem to build three little bridges, up north a double decker four lane tunnel was built under downtown Seattle, with the bridge Viaduct it replaced now being quickly removed.

I do not understand these Fort Worth bridges. In the above photo you can see one of the infamous cement V-piers, supporting the makings of a bridge deck. Why are all those vertical pilings required to help hold up the bridge deck, one can not help but wonder?

Is that one of the design stalemates? Is the contractor not agreeing that those V-piers are of a design sufficient to support a bridge deck? Or is the concern what will happen to the structures if that forlorn ditch is ever dug under the bridges, with polluted river water diverted into the ditch, finally giving a reason for the bridges connecting the Fort Worth mainland to an industrial wasteland's imaginary island?

Seattle's Alaskan Way Viaduct replacement project is costing a few billion bucks. The project was fully funded prior to going into dig and build it mode. This is an actual needed project, due to the fact the Alaskan Way Viaduct was an earthquake hazard. And removing this longtime barrier opens the Seattle Waterfront, which is an actual waterfront, not an imaginary waterfront.

Fort Worth's simple little bridges are just one part of what used to be known as the Trinity River Vision, before the name morphed into Trinity River Central City Uptown Panther Island District Vision, or just Panther Island project, or more commonly known as America's Biggest Boondoggle.

The Seattle project has been successfully ramrodded by qualified project engineers.

The Fort Worth project has been ramrodded by the unqualified son of a local congresswoman, a low level county prosecutor with no engineering experience of any sort. He was hired to motivate his mother, Fort Worth Congresswoman, Kay Granger, to secure federal pork barrel funds.

The federal money has not materialized, the hapless project has long been floundering. Yet, J.D. Granger is still being paid over $200K a year, plus perks, and other benefits, such as a cushy job for his most recent wife.

But, this type thing is what is known as the Fort Worth Way. Which, apparently most of the Fort Worth locals are okay with, because they keep electing the perpetrators responsible for multiple ongoing messes, such as non-existent urban planning resulting in actual flooding in areas which actually need infrastructure flood prevention improvements, unlike the area being messed up by J.D. Granger and his co-horts, with claims the project entails much needed flood control where no flood has happened for well over a half century.

This Boondoggle is so bizarrely perplexing...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Why are all those vertical pilings required to help hold up the bridge deck, one can not help but wonder?

Those supports are called falsework.

Wikipedia says that Falsework consists of temporary structures used in construction to support a permanent structure until its construction is sufficiently advanced to support itself.