Here follows my reason for recalling Wheeler: This week Tribune article about replacing the Burnside Bridge began with a pretention of cost cutting and ended with another pretention about public input being anything more than a formality. Oregon departments of highway robbery have a disgraceful record of deliberately jacking up the cost of roadway infrastructure while pretending to care about public concerns that begin with public health and safety and a fully transparent dissemination of pertinent information.
Cost savings in the hundreds of millions are possible by retaining the existing bascule lift span. Weak sections of the bridge are the numerous support piers on east and west side. Clearly, ODOT wants to widen another highway at any expense with complete disregard for public safety. Widening State Hwy 99W Barbur Blvd would’ve horrifically worsened traffic hazards and air pollution as would widening I-5 through the Rose Quarter and widening Hwy 217 and I-205 between Beaverton, Tualatin and Oregon City. ODOT is on a highway widening binge that borders on criminal malfeasance.
The design for the new Burnside Bridge preferred by Portland’s vain starchitects is the “tied arch” trio of arches like the Fremont Bridge even though it looks for all the world like a monstrous flying insect. “The emperor’s new bridge is beautiful” says everybody who’s anybody. Never mind its comic design, it replaces the weak support piers. Only the “Cable stayed” design like the Tillikum Bridge eliminates most support piers and is probably the least expensive option especially combined with retaining the existing Bascule lift span.
The Rose Quarter I-5 widening project has been in the works for at least 9 years. Likewise, the 9 years (2004-2013) of time and effort and money were wasted on the Columbia River Crossing (CRC) I-5 Bridge widening project. The planning agencies involved, including Metro, Tri-Met and PBOT, despite claiming to be transparent, blatantly refuse to inform the public what went wrong with their designs nor whether their horrific structural engineering design flaws have been corrected. I'm supporting the Recall Wheeler campaign because he is entirely complicit in these criminal violation of public authority. If Wheeler goes down, ODOT director Kris Strickler and Metro Council president Lynn Peterson will go down with him. Former Tri-Met director Doug Kelsey may have quit for the voter rejection of his terrible plan for MAX light rail on Barbur Blvd, but he is complicit and cannot avoid the same criminal charges.
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