Houston Street and Corinth Street Viaducts Are Not!
thing already had been achieved in the aftermath of the 1908 flood:
the construction of an all-weather viaduct linking Dallas to Oak Cliff
that could defy the greatest of floods. Voters had approved a bond
election for $650,000 to build the viaduct, and when it opened in 1912
some 58,000 spectators came for the spectacular opening ceremony.
The Oak Cliff viaduct, later known as the Houston Street Viaduct, was
billed as the longest reinforced concrete structure in the world.
p. 34, Big D: Triumphs and Troubles of an American Supercity
in the 20th Century (revised edition) (2000), by Darwin Payne.
Houston Street Viaduct
|Now, this a bridge. It
has character, it has history. It is sound. It is not a replica of
some bridge spanning a river in Europe or Asia. It is our bridge, and it
does its job of getting traffic from Downtown into Oak Cliff. One reason
the Houston Street Viaduct is so sound and you feel safe driving over it is
because it is not soaring high up in the air to allow for mighty ships to pass
underneath it. At times, the water is so low, a canoe might drag bottom.
Well, not this year, but in many past years.
8/6 Bob Hosea:
Anyone who votes for the *#%&*
Calatrava things or the river bottom toll
road, never gets my vote again.
Period, the end. There are darned few
things I am single item litmus about. This Trinity mess is one of them.
The government has wasted enough of my
money. I do not need this to be added.
The Houston Street Viaduct is beyond beautiful. It is significant.
Our Downtown Betters (the ODB) want to tear it down. You know why? They
want to put a toll road right in the middle of the river and do a bunch of
excavation that will force the river to run harder and faster, which will wipe
out the support pillars of all the existing bridges. See Jim Schutze's
The Bridge to the Truth,
The ODB and Belo are comparing the Corinth
Bridge to the 35W bridge that collapsed in Minneapolis. This is
how the 35W bridge looked before it's failure. Lots of metal,
which means lots of screws and bolts and opportunities for rust and
Claim to fame: was built with a single 458 foot long steel arch to avoid
putting any piers in the water to impede river navigation.
Historic I-35W Mississippi River Crossing,
Week before last - before the
Minneapolis Bridge collapse, I was in Lake Charles, LA, visiting my niece and
her daughter, and the casino in my hotel -- with great frequency. There
are two horrific bridges over Lake Charles. The I-10 Bridge is just a
nightmare. The I-210 bridge is more like a freeway, but also scary.
There was a time when I
could actually drive over these bridges myself. The last couple of
trips to Lake Charles, I could not do it. The I-210 Bridge feels
more stable under your vehicle, but most of the time when you are
ascending, you are looking directly out at a vast expanse of water.
The locals drive it very fast.
The I-10 Bridge is a whole other horse. It goes straight up with
only a couple of lanes going either direction. It does not feel
stable under your vehicle.
Two things in this world make
me weak in the knees: water and height. These two Lake Charles
bridges are my worst nightmare come true. Both bridges withstood Hurricane
Rita, which smashed lots of stuff into their support piers. So, hopefully,
both bridges are going to keep standing. Still, the solid concrete I-210
Bridge gives me much more confidence than the I-10 Bridge.
Metal bridges vibrate. Metal bridges shake. Sometimes metal bridges
break when the vibration and shaking combine to make a perfect storm.
The Bridge to the Truth,
UnFairPark, DallasObserver.com, Jim Schutze made several thought-provoking
comments. The one that got to me most:
Keep this in mind. We
obviously do have
bridges at the top of
the list that need
money on signature
bridges instead takes
money away from the real
priorities. This is why
bridges like that one in
St. Paul don?t get
I went to a baseball
game not too long in a
big stadium -- I think
it's called the Hubert
Humphrey Apologist for
the Viet Nam War
Memorial Stadium --
right by that bridge up
there. What if the good
Minneapolis-St. Paul had
spent their money
instead on fixing the
It?s always the same
question: Fix my roof or
buy a jet-ski? Tough,
tough question. Safe
bridges? Art bridges?
This is the same issue that
left New Orleans devastated after Katrina. Fix the boring old levees, or
pay off a constituent or politician. Worse, build the old levees right
with good material, or pay off some politicians and use cheap, inferior or
The bids on the Calatrava Bridges came in way higher than the city's outrageous
budget, so the contractors were ordered to try again. The bids that came
in the second time were millions of dollars less because Calatrava "redesigned"
the bridge, using CHEAPER material. These bridges are not going to be on
sturdy concrete piers. They are going to be suspension bridges -- bridges
that shake and vibrate. I guess when one fails, you don't have so much to
worry about if you manage to ride down the fall ON TOP of the bridge, inside
your car. Probably won't be so great if the bridge tilts, dumps you in the
river and falls on top of your car.
What is the matter with us? Why would we spend billions to put a toll road
in the river that will force us to replace three perfectly good bridges?
Belo and the ODB will be beating a drum from now until the election in November
that we must replace our Trinity River bridges/viaducts because they are old and
deficient. The drum beat will go on to say we might as well build "pieces
of art" since we need to replace our solid, substantial bridges anyway.
Let's look at all this in a different way. The Houston Street Viaduct
(formerly the Oak Cliff Viaduct) was built by Texans. The Calatrava
Bridges are designed by a guy from Spain. What was the last important
thing that came out of Spain in the past 200 years?
The only reason anyone would even consider spending huge amounts of tax dollars
to replace perfectly good bridges with ugly string things is because the same
morons want a toll road down the Trinity River.
The ODB and Belo keep telling us it would be cost prohibitive to put the toll
road/reliever down Industrial Blvd. That is hog wash. The Trinity
Project is now exceeding billions, not millions before any work is done, and we
don't even know how much it will cost to maintain the whole thing. The
Trinity Project is so convoluted, that no one knows if all the parts will fit or
I was at a function a few days ago with several people who do not support the
Trinity Toll Road. One lady (who I think is brilliant and really an
authority on all things environmental) said something that really shook me me.
She said "Margaret McDermott is not going to be happy when she learns a toll
road is going to be built beneath
her bridge." Margaret McDermott paid for her name to be on
the bridge. She is not paying for the bridge. It will not be
her bridge, but try
telling that to Our Downtown Betters or the artsy fartsy crowd or the the
wannabe's of either group.
We don't need to do the Trinity Project at all. We don't need new bridges.
We don't need a toll road inside the Trinity River levees. This is all
about want, not about need.
I'm going to throw something out that's been bothering me since a very smart
friend put the bug in my ear. Maybe, we have been looking at the Trinity
Project conflict of issue concerns from the wrong perspective. Rather than
worrying about who owns Trinity River area property and who will benefit from
the Trinity Project, maybe we should worry about who owns property along
Industrial Blvd. Those property owners stand to benefit from any
development in the Trinity River corridor. If some of their property is
taken by eminent domain to build a toll road, they stand to lose a lot.
Those Trinity River corridor/Industrial Blvd. property owners are probably the
same people. They don't care about wasting taxpayer dollars. They
care about lining their own pockets. They have absolutely no shame in
exploiting the Minneapolis tragedy for their own gain.
So, get ready for loud drum beats and chest beating and chants of concern about
our very dependable Trinity River bridges and viaducts. Don't be fooled.
Once upon a time, London Bridge was falling down, but our viaducts are not.
Save our Viaducts.