Friday, April 9, 2021

Fort Worth Opens One Of Its Bridges To Nowhere Over Dry Land


Yesterday a text message from Elsie Hotpepper pointed me to a video clip of a news segment on NBCDFW.

The news was that one of Fort Worth's pitiful bridges to nowhere is finally connecting vehicular traffic from Fort Worth's mainland to Fort Worth's imaginary island.

As you can see, via the photo above, the bridge was built over dry land. With construction beginning way back in November of 2014, with an even then astonishing four year project timeline, longer than it took to build the Golden Gate, which we have mentioned multiple times, and is also mentioned in the NBC story.

The above screen cap is from the Fort Worth Business Press article about this epic accomplishment.

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram also had an article about the bridge opening. And in typical Star-Telegram fashion reading it caused my eyes to roll.

For instance the first paragraph...

With no fanfare, the White Settlement Road bridge near downtown opened to traffic Friday, more than six years after Fort Worth dignitaries gathered for an explosive ceremony to kick start construction of Panther Island.

So, the first paragraph mentions there being no fanfare to mark the bridge opening. And then several paragraphs later we read this...

When Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price, U.S. Rep. Kay Granger and others gathered to celebrate the official start of the project in November 2015 with a ceremonial explosion, the bridges were expected to open between 2017 and 2018, according to Star-Telegram archives.

First off, I must be extremely clairvoyant because on Tuesday, November 11, 2014 I blogged the following a year before the Stat-Telegram thinks it happened...

A Big Boom Begins Boondoggle Bridge Construction Three Months Late.

I have on multiple times verbalized one of the reasons for my disdain for Fort Worth's sad excuse for a newspaper is the fact that I was not long in Texas, not all that familiar with Texas, or Fort Worth, when I would read something in the Star-Telegram which I knew was not correct. It happened so many times I got tired of pointing out the errors.

And I have mentioned multiple times that in all my years reading the Seattle Times, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Skagit Valley Herald, Burlington Journal and Bellingham Herald, covering an area with which I was quite familiar, I do not ever recollect reading something I knew to be an error.

Someone needs to purge those referenced Star-Telegram archives. Apparently they are worthless. According to this Star-Telegram article the reporter learned from the archives that the ceremonial explosion was in November of 2015, with the bridges expected to be open between 2017 and 2018.

Nope, way back in 2014, when that start of construction explosion ceremony was already three months late, the project timeline was four years to complete the three simple little bridges being built over dry land.

The rest of that paragraph with the erroneous timeline information...

Design issues held up construction and their opening was pushed to 2019. Then project officials said the White Settlement bridge would be finished by late summer 2020, but the date was pushed back again to the end of last year. COVID-19 and construction delays pushed the date into 2021 with speculation during Trinity River Vision Authority board meetings that White Settlement would open in February or March. TxDOT put the opening date in “early 2021.”

Now that you can see a photo of one of these bridges completed, it must puzzle anyone living in modern parts of America, or the world, how in the world this could take so long to build.

Design issues? The Star-Telegram has no investigative journalists doing what is known as investigative journalism, so we have never learned what these design issues are, and why they caused such an epic slowdown of construction.

The Star-Telegram has also never investigated what it is that Kay Granger's son, J.D., actually does for the Trinity River Vision Central City Panther Island District Vision which warrants paying him over $200K a year, plus perks, plus also paying his wife a healthy salary.

Looking at that completed bridge, am I the only one who wonders how a ditch can now be dug under the bridge, lined with cement, and then Trinity River water diverted into the ditch, thus making the imaginary island?

You in the rest of America, the more prosperous parts of America, did you know Fort Worth has been begging for federal funds for years now, for this ill begotten, ill conceived, ineptly implemented project?

The Army Corps of Engineers has told Fort Worth they will not be a part of this project, or approve of any funding, until Fort Worth pays for a feasibility study.

Which Fort Worth refuses to do.

Refuses, most likely, because some saner heads know such a study will determine the project is not feasible, and is certainly not needed for flood control in an area which has not flooded for well over half a century...

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