Thursday, November 15, 2012

Hey CRC, Pay me! Pay me!

The comic stylings from those zanny folks at the Columbia River Crossing just dont stop. Here is the latest from their desk which might as well be accompanied by a cartoon strip:
For tall sailboats and yachts, the CRC proposes pulling them out of the water and towing them around the bridge. Another idea: acquiring the vessel and “taking it out of service so that the user no longer has a vessel that needs to transit under the new bridges.” - wweek

Also they want vessles to just take their mast down.

They have not yet suggested that boats float in from the other direction, possibly taking a cruise around Tierra del Fuego or the Cape of Good Hope, but I figure that suggestion will be forthcoming soon.

So now I am left wondering, how do I get a job at the Columbia River Crossing? I am sure I could do just as good a job as they have done ignoring advice, thumbing their nose at government officials and generally offending the local population. That plus I am also qualified at creating things that are absurdly dysfunctional.

Hire me! CRC! I have lots of experience and will need health care from all the cars you are planning on cramming down my throat.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

President demands bridge... also wants pony

This article in the Willamette Week reveals a happy truth to the startling news that President Obama has given the Columbia River Crossing "Expedited Status"

'Obama is not the first president to offer such encouragement to the CRC', the Wweek noted, 'President Bush ordered the same expedited status in 2008. But neither Bush nor Obama offered anything more than encouragement. 
Permitting has not been the issue, as local, state and federal agencies have rubber-stamped the plan developed by the Washington and Oregon Departments of Transportation.

What is preventing construction is that no one wants to pay for it. And why should anyone want to pay to replace a working bridge that is rated better than the bridge, which a few miles south of the CRC as you leave Portland on I-5 (the Marquam Bridge)
But Congress—which is supposed to provide a third of the $3.5 billion cost—is not looking to send money to blue states these days; neither Washington or Oregon's Legislatures have approved the $450 million each state is supposed to provide; and the projected toll revenues that are to provide the final third have been found to be wildly inaccurate.
 Even looking at USA Today's coverage the press release stating support from the White House seemed tepid, even passive. (note the other projects listed request 25 million for a bridge in Maine and 89 million for railroads in Washington, as opposed to the 3500 million for the CRC. That's TWO extra zeros if you weren't paying attention.)

Finally our favorite economist, Joe Cortright offered some scathing words for the project costing taxpayers a million dollars each month:
"The sooner the CRC faces its day of reckoning, the sooner we can stop wasting money on a project that we don't need, can't afford, and doesn't solve the region's transportation problems," says Portland economist Joe Cortright, a longtime critic of the project.
 Thanks for setting the record straight!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Back That Quotable Ass Up

  "Simply put, it's Orwellian -- our tax dollars are being used to deliberately hide inconvenient facts from the public's eyes," said Evan Manvel who has worked against the CRC project for the Coalition for a Livable Future. "Taxpayers and legislators should be outraged."

This quote via an article in the Columbian that calls into question the role of the Oregon Dept Of Transportation (ODOT). Are they the states auto mechanic, or are they a car salesman?

Oh. They are both.

Now unless you have a close, trusting relationship your mechanic/salesman you probably want to have them be separate entities. If not, you would certainly raise an eyebrow if every time your car needed a repair their suggestion would be to scrap it and buy a hummer-limo.
Forget "picking the kids up from the pool" try putting a pool in your car!

But even Hummer-limos are cheap compared to the cost of the Columbia River Crossing. Estimates hover between 3-8 billion dollars, which might seem like a lot for a bridge, but then this is more than just a new bridge, its a massive freeway expansion project.

ODOT spokesman Don Hamilton said both the northbound span, built in 1917, and the southbound span, finished in 1958, were rated as functionally obsolete in their 2011 inspections.

Manvel called the definition of a 'functionally obsolete' bridge a "term of art."

"I just think their spin machine is in full cycle," Manvel said. "They're working to remove anything that undermines their case. If we can't trust the information they're putting out on their own web page, why would we trust them in their new reports?"

He pointed out that the states lack money for the maintenance they need to do now, let alone find more funding for large new projects like the CRC.

ODOT is in a difficult place.  On one hand this governmental body is advocating for taxpayers to pay for the largest, most expensive infrastructure the region has ever known, and on the other hand it is responsible for providing info about the status of the current infrastructure to be replaced. For those following the project, this sort of conflicting interest, along with the numerous inconsistencies (such as their models showing traffic levels increasing over the next 20 years when they have also reported that traffic has decreased over the past 20 years)  has caused a significant credibility gap in our regional planners.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Drilling Holes In Their Arguments

They claim they are not building anything yet, that this is just a test. However considering the "hell or high-water" stance the pro CRC folks have been using I wouldn't be surprised if the building equipment that has appeared on the Oregon banks of the Columbia river near the I-5 bridge just stuck around for a while, slowly getting us all used to its presence so that we wouldn't be at all alarmed when we hear:
"The bridge? Oh, we have already started building and can't stop. But don't worry we will have a lot of people you can trust making sure it is done right."

Curious thing, trust. It is something that is usually earned rather than simply given. Moreover when trust is broken it usually takes twice as much work to regain the lost trust.

This organization of bumbling bureaucrats has already spent $140 million of your tax dollars on the project. So far they have tried to deceive us by telling us that traffic is getting worse, when their own projections prove otherwise.  They say it will make traffic smoother, when their own projections say that at best drivers will save one minute.

Never mind that they have avoided answering questions pertaining to how they will protect, fish and wildlife the original source of currency in the region, how it will affect air quality due to moving the bottle neck closer to the city (because all 8-12 lanes become 4 at the Rose Quarter, just where their construction stops), or even something as simple and tangible as how they plan to pay for it.

But we are to trust them because even though they have lied to us in the past and continue to lie to us now, they are really telling the truth about the future when they promise they will stop lying to us.

We may be in an abusive relationship...

Sunday, March 4, 2012

The bridge that couldn't get it up

Heyo, its been a while since we checked in but as it turns out the powers that be have still not given up on this embarrassment they call a "public works project." Im all for spending money to build things, but it would be nice if those things didn't cost us

A) massive, untold environmental destruction
B) 3-10 BILLION (thats NINE zeros people )

 What factor could be worth all this?

Clearly this bridge is about jobs...  killing the few jobs we have left that is:

A pretty damning article if we have ever read one. 

YIKES! What do you suppose we can do to make it more absurd?

well since we are not updating this blog very often you may want to join a Facebook group where we got this bit of news: