Monday, June 3, 2019

Anonymous Leads Us To Fort Worth Bridge's Falsework

I know what you might be thinking looking at the photo you see here.

That being thinking that this photo is a look from a new angle, looking at one of the Trinity River Central City Uptown Panther Island District bridges, with the stunning skyline of beautiful downtown Fort Worth hovering above one of the bridges which may one day connect the Fort Worth mainland to an imaginary island.

Well, you would be incorrect if you were thinking this was one of America's Biggest Boondoggle's bridges which have been stuck in slow motion construction mode since 2014, with the current construction completion date some point in the next decade.

What you are looking at is not a Fort Worth bridge in the making, what it is is an elevated track for a Link light rail line heading into a tunnel in a suburb of Seattle. Which would make that part of the stunning skyline of beautiful downtown Bellevue you are looking at. The absence of any old buildings in the photo was likely a good clue this was not Fort Worth.

Bellevue is a relatively new town.

There is a good reason this photo was of interest to me. We will get to that particular "falsework" subject later in this blogging, but first I want to make note of the article in the Seattle Times in which this photo appeared.

The article's title is Don’t derail Sound Transit 3, Seattle and is a classic example of the differences I see in a real newspaper, such as the Seattle Times, and the extremely lame reporting I read in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, about similar subjects, such as local public works projects and the ongoing status of those projects.

The subject in this Seattle Times article is the current project status of the Sound Transit 3 part of the ongoing Link light rail construction in the Puget Sound zone.

One does not read any sort of detailed examination of the current stymied status of Fort Worth's Trinity River Vision public works boondoggle, which the public did not approve of via the voting method, unlike how things actually get done in modern America.

Fort Worth's pitiful excuse for a newspaper has never told its readers what exactly are the design problems which have caused the multiple construction halts to these simple little bridges being built over dry land.

Read the entire Don’t derail Sound Transit 3, Seattle for the full experience of the difference between a Star-Telegram article and a Seattle Times article, and also make note of the dozens of cogent comments on the subject in the Seattle Times.

Back to that aforementioned "falseworks" subject mentioned above.

Last week, Wednesday, May 22, 2019 to be precise, I blogged yet again about Fort Worth's bridge boondoggle, and in that blogging I asked a question about those bridges which generated an interesting question, which, when I thought about it, raised more questions.

First the comment, and then my questions...

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post "A Tale Of Two Town's Bridges":

"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.


So, apparently that is falsework holding up that Bellevue section of the Link light rail under construction. And that is falsework holding up the road deck of one of Fort Worth's pitiful freeway overpass-like imaginary signature bridges we see above.

That looks like a lot of falsework helping those imaginary "signature" V-piers hold up that road deck.

Falsework seems like an ironically appropriate term to apply to Fort Worth's hapless slow motion Trinity River Vision project.

So, is removing that falsework the source of one of the many delays in bridge building? Are the project engineers not sure those imaginary "signature" V-piers can hold up the road deck?

Without Fort Worth having a real newspaper there is no legitimate journalist finding out what the actual problems are which have caused these simple little bridges to be a construction congestion nightmare for years.

I remember in the previous century when the now long gone Kingdome was being built in Seattle. There was a point in the construction where there was this thing called an "O ring", which all the ribs which made up the dome's roof came together. The design called for the "O ring" to be removed with the roof's concrete ribs then coming together in compression, holding the dome up.

The original construction company was not confident this would work, and balked at pulling the "O ring" until further design analysis indicated it would work as planned. Eventually the original construction company continued to balk, and was replaced by a construction company willing to pull the "O ring".

And it worked.

But, myself, and many others, really never forgot that controversy and any time I was in the Kingdome I would look up at the high point of the ceiling, where those concrete ribs came together and wondered what would happen in a strong earthquake.

I have long wondered regarding what sort of foundation those Fort Worth bridge's V-piers are built upon. I don't remember HUGE amounts of dirt being removed and big foundations being poured.

I have also long wondered how it works to have these little bridges built, and then to dig a ditch under them, without compromising the structural integrity of the bridge.

These are the sort of questions the citizens in a town with a real newspaper would get the answer to.

I can't imagine a town like Fort Worth building anything complicated, like a domed stadium, or a transit tunnel, without the project turning into a hapless boondoggle...

1 comment:

Stenotrophomonas said...

I recently saw some imagery of a similarly useless construction project, only it seems to be progressing faster: