Saturday, March 26, 2016

Fort Worth or Dallas

We really can’t decide which Boondoggle is more laughable these days.  Both are a joke which no one finds funny since we’re all paying for it.  Both are full of screw up’s (project and people wise).   It’s like reading a bad script, it just keeps getting worse.

While Durango has always been the Star Reporter on America’s Biggest Boondoggle, the Trinity River Vision, (also known as Panther Island with no island) Jim Schutze at the Dallas Observer does an excellent job keeping up with the downstream boondoggle and its failures.

We will share some of both, from just this week, below.  Seriously, the amount of insane material these two river projects produce, well, you just can’t make this up.  We do have a question for both cities – WHO screwed up?  Names, people,  we want names.

And speaking of names, who’s name keeps coming up in both project’s?  The Corp of Engineers.  Those who should be more concerned with flood control than the BS they are “overseeing” and “approving” now.  So tell us, WHO should be accountable for all these boondoggle failings?  WHO is accountable for keeping lives and properties from being wiped off the map?  We’re waiting…

And one more thing, the ever sinking Fort Worth Star Telegram says about the latest TRV screw up, “This one time, they (critics) might even be just a little bit right”.  Well, they also said that when the cost ballooned to almost a billion dollars and when Tim Love was given a no-bid restaurant contract by the Tarrant Regional Water District.  Do their own reporters not even read that rag?

Durango –
It was six months ago that America's Biggest  Boondoggle and it co-propagandizer, the Star-Telegram, breathlessly touted the wonder to behold of wooden V pier forms being something that people could see.

The way propaganda works is basically a lie gets repeated over and over again til it becomes believed to be the truth.

The bridges are not being built over dry land to save money. The bridges are being built prior to the flood diversion channel being built because there is no money, currently, to pay for the digging of the ditch under the bridges. There will be no water under  those bridges until the Trinity River is diverted into the flood diversion channel.

Propaganda peddler, Fort Worth Star-Telegram –

The construction of three bridges over dry land north of downtown Fort Worth is being delayed as officials fix a design problem that was noticed as workers began to pour the concrete piers.

The delay involves a miscalculation in the amount of steel that would be needed to reinforce the structure’s piers, a Texas Department of Transportation spokesman said.

The project has been highly controversial since it was proposed almost 15 years ago. Anything that goes wrong is highly sensitive, another reason for legions of critics to harp about a boondoggle.

But the part about taking extra care to “deliver the highest-quality project possible” is lipstick on a pig.

Somebody screwed up. The original design was faulty — or it was so “novel” that it just didn’t work in the real world of bridge construction.

The overall Panther Island project, a combined “flood control” and economic development effort, still needs a $340 million allocation from the Army Corps of Engineers.

(We added our own quotes around "flood control" since the FWST left them out.)

 None of this is cheap.

Panther Island bridge design: Someone goofed

Dallas Observer –

Mother Nature says: “Try to fix it, and I will utterly destroy you.” That’s a paraphrase, of course. I have not actually spoken directly with Mother Nature. But I have looked at her stuff.

If you have driven over the Trinity when it’s flooded, you have looked at her stuff, too — gigantic cottonwood trees tumbling along like twigs in a rain-swollen gutter, enormous sheets of water pushing thousands of tons of silt down the river like fog, massive forces ripping and shoveling everything before them.

That plan was nixed for reasons never revealed, probably because, like the fake “sailboat lakes” City Hall promised voters in 1998, the full water park would have gotten in the way of the expressway they really wanted to build along the river.

(Hey! We have fake “sailboat lake” renderings too! – FW)

Yeah. Let me point something out to you. Their having input throughout the process is exactly how we got into this mess. The city hired a Colorado company to do the basic design for the water feature. Then the staff decided that the completed design, based on piling boulders in place in the river, was too expensive because there weren’t any boulders around.

City engineers decided to redesign the white water feature using gabion, a system of wire cylinders filled with gravel and concrete used in erosion control projects. When the city asked the original designers in Colorado to sign off on the cheap gabion substitute, the Colorado firm refused. The city hired a second engineering company to certify that the now thoroughly bastardized project would work.

Sims pointed out a thing that gets lost in all of this — that the city was able to build the white water feature in the first place because the Corps of Engineers approved it.

But, wait. If the Corps approved it, how can the Corps turn around now and tell Dallas to tear it out or fix it? One reason. The Corps can do that, because the Corps is the Corps.

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