Thursday, March 19, 2009

New Math, 6+(2)=$8B

In the Seattle Times editorial, Building a bridge between Highway 520 combatants, Joni Balter makes it sound like a 6+(2) alternative has produced a compromise both "sides" (east vs west) can live with. In part she says "It is absurd to build a bridge with the same limited capacity as the existing one... The reasonable compromise is the six-plus plan that has garnered support from almost all sides." Putting aside the fact they're still $tuck on $inking bridge technology from the 1920's this design goal sounds reasonable.

Just a couple of problems. First it seems like the "plan" is to continue with dark of the night construction of the pontoons before design, funding or any EIS is in place. This is on course to build a raft that won't support anything heavier than two additional bicycle lanes. Second, there's no plan in place that would allow anything but bicycles to actually connect with anything on the west side.

If there really is an agreement to accept the 6+(2) design doesn't it make sense that the bridge actually be able to support the addition of light rail (the most stressful case). Otherwise this is nothing but the eastside being hoodwinked into believing this bridge will ever have anything but gridlock from the time it opens to the time it sinks.

When is building a bridge not building a bridge? Answer, when you're the Washington State Legislature. RCW 47.01.408 is the equivalent of telling a contractor to go ahead with pouring the foundation of your house before you decide how big it's going to be or where the doors go. The funny (funny as in fishy not funny ha ha) is that the other provisions of this statute, tolling before construction and using bridge money only for the actual bridge are being totally ignored. I guess when you make the law you don't have to follow the law.

1 comment:

Mikey said...

"Otherwise this is nothing but the eastside being hoodwinked into believing this bridge will ever have anything but gridlock from the time it opens to the time it sinks."

Heh heh, but it can't happen here! Oh wait...