Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Zoo Interchange: It's Still Doyle (and Barrett's) Potential Manslaughter

No matter how Tommy Barrett's flack tries to spin this article, here's what counts:

Republicans in control of the Legislature in 2005 sought to move the Zoo Interchange project ahead by putting $38 million for engineering into the 2005-'07 budget, but Doyle vetoed all but $3 million. He then changed course, first seeking money to start the Zoo project in 2012, then pulling back on the funding when the transportation finances dried up in the last budget cycle.

"The governor made the decision," Kanavas said. "He made the call on it, and it was a bad call."

Tommy-the-Highway-Engineer Barrett was scared to death of a woman named Gretchen Schuldt--an ex-JS reporter--who endlessly screeched about the "destruction of Story Hill." So Tommy-the-Highway-Engineer told us that 'the bridges would be just fine until 2020.'

Buy a clue, Tommy.

Story Hill figured into the Zoo disaster because an I-94 widening would have impacted her neighborhood, according to Gretchen, who held a zen-spell over Tommy the Highway Engineer. (Selfishness is supposed to be the province of Eeeeeeeeeevil Suburbanites, not oh-so-lefty City residents, remember?) So Barrett actively opposed any Zoo interchange work. All for the greater good, you know.

...Patrick Curley, chief of staff for Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, said any lobbying from the mayor's office focused on protecting homes and businesses without influencing the timing of the projects. Barrett also has joined the race for governor, potentially lining up against Walker in 2010.

Trying to pin the current crisis in the Zoo Interchange on a political push from the mayor's office is misguided, Curley said.

In fact, Barrett's opposition to an improved I-94 was driven by the same mentality which drove Henry Maier's and John Norquist's opposition to an improved I-94. It's the same mentality which inspired the East Germans to build the Wall. They want to trap people in the City of Milwaukee. To them, suburbs are cancers on Their Fiefdom.

This mess is VERY serious.

Aside from doubling-up the costs--replacing the bridges now and replacing them again before 2020--there is a real possibility that chunks of a bridge could fall through car windshields or roofs.

Or a catastrophe: a bridge-sector could collapse, dropping trucks and cars onto active lanes of I-94. It'll look just like Minneapolis, or San Francisco.

Now you know why Tommy and Jim Doyle are running away from their decision. Dead and mangled bodies impact elections and popularity. Accountability? They don't want that.
Manslaughter looks bad on the resume.


Headless Blogger said...

I agree that we are also looking at a massive waste of OUR money. The repaired bridges are going to be of the same design/layout as the existing bridges. But the 2014 interchange replacement is likely to be a right-side exit design, as the DoT is implementing elsewhere on WI's I-system. So we'll either have to keep the exiting unsafe left-exit configuration or tear down two 4 year old bridges in 2014.

I'm also surprised the request for bids didn't require a couple of roundabouts to be integrated in the exit bridges.

Anonymous said...

It will be the same layout, but they'll most likely be actual girders rather than the box girders that they are now.

If Tommy the Taxer/Highway Engineer/Milk Carton gets elected governor, those three bridges will be declared as "replaced" for the next 40 years, with just the underlying concrete on the land portions of the interchange and a fourth bridge of the same design as the other three (the northbound US-45 bridge over westbound I-94) actually getting replaced.