December 05, 2006

Can y'all do anything right?

I guess I'm not the only one who noticed just how much was screwed up on the tollways. Thanks to EOW, I now know that Ben Wear has been getting messages about the missing flyways at the intersection of the 45 Tollway/35. And the missing flyways at 290/35 South. And the missing flyways at 183/35. And the missing flyways at 35/290 in midtown.

Damn, is it just me or does NO one at TXDoT know how to design and build a freeway interchange?

Apparently, the excuse I said they would use is actually only being used for the public freeway interchanges. The excuse for the 45 Tollway/35 interchange is actually more retarded than any of the excuses I've ever heard:

No, said Bob Daigh, the Austin district engineer, but rather there was a bureaucratic snafu on getting environmental clearance on the four that remain unbuilt.

OK, so rather than acknowledge the mistake and fix it, you've decided to stick with this BS? WOW. That's pretty ballsy, Mr. Daigh. I gotta hand it to you. You really know how to handle PR on a pretty colossal screwup. So, if it was just an oversight why not go ahead, get the clearances and build the flyways? I mean, it sounds like it wasn't money but simply a planning misstep. That's what YOU said, Mr. Daigh.

Turns out, Mr. Daigh's just bullshitting. Of course, the ever hapless Wear misses the point (here's a quarter, Ben. Go buy yourself a clue) and goes on to write this in his insipid little column.

As for when any of these phantom bridges might get built — at a cost of about $10 million to $15 million apiece — Daigh said none of them is in any of the agency's short-term financial plans. Other priorities. Daigh has said in the past that excess toll revenue from some of the proposed Austin turnpikes that we've all been arguing about would help raise money for more bridges.

So, even though the money for the construction of the Tollway flyovers was allocated, it's mysteriously dissapeered? WTF, Mr. Daigh? What would have happened had the plans been filed? Are you saying the Tollway was MORE expensive than advertised? Huh?

As for the rest of it, that excess toll revenue will pay for the flyways at the freeway interchanges, that's just not good enough, Mr. Daigh.

It would appear that Austin is NOT well served by the TXDoT District Engineer. I mean, if the man can't be bothered to oversee a project until it's done and done right, on schedule and on budget, then maybe it's time we get a new DE. That's something I'd like to see the city council and our Travis County Legislators make happen.

Let's not even talk about the projects TXDoT just recently killed.

You know, from everything we've seen, it should be obvious that there should be some major changes in personnel and business practices at TXDoT. Next item on the list should be banning Zachry Construction from all future projects. They built the 45 Tollway and, IMHO, some or most of the blame lies with them.

Didn't get the clearances??!?! That's like a loan officer saying, the day you're closing on your house, "Oops! I Forgot to order your appraisal".

(as a side note, EOW has a great post up about an editorial in the SAEN eviscerating toll roads and Somervell County Salon is talking about the impact of the TTC on tractor-trailers. Both are great related pieces.)

Posted by mcblogger at December 5, 2006 10:28 AM

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you noted: Didn't get the clearances??!?! That's like a loan officer saying, the day you're closing on your house, "Oops! I Forgot to order your appraisal"

Or, it's like going in for brain only to have the doctor announce, "oh, shit! we forgot to do an MRI!"

Well, I tried to come up with something entertaining and it just fell flat on its face. Shows what I get for trying.

Posted by: Vince at December 5, 2006 12:09 PM

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