Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Looking for a scapegoat

A negative news story like the recent ones about Skydance Bridge can't go without finding a good scapegoat, so allow me to assist in helping to find one.

A lot of people piled onto some folks for bad reasons when it first came out that the Skydance Bridge isn't happening. People piled onto Hans Butzer for "cheating the city" by purposely working outside of the project requirements. That's not true, he was within the bounds of the same requirements given to everyone else that competed in the design competition (safe to call it a charrette? Idk) and just won it with what was by far the most impressive submission.

If anything, it seems as though city engineers are to blame for this one. The people who were taking the bids did not understand the different stipulations behind projects receiving this much federal funding. All of the materials to be used in construction must be American-made (American steel = $$$). Then the feds increased the loading requirements (for a PEDESTRIAN bridge!!). I guess they are also refusing to allow the bridge to be constructed in front of Union Station, which will ruin the entire effect of having a continuous pedestrian axis through the Core 2 Shore area. But at least the effect of Union Station being surrounded by desolate nothingness will be preserved.

I would point to city engineers as the ones who were at fault for the Chamber debacle as well (the bad design of the proposed Chamber Forum). But city engineers are not accountable to the public, so good luck getting anywhere out of scapegoating them.

Could it get any screwier?

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