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Old 12-06-2021, 06:39 AM
 
16,610 posts, read 22,708,047 times
Reputation: 14834

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Harris County to spend nearly $300M more to fix Ship Channel Bridge project, starting with demo of work already completed



This might explain why toll roads are not removed
somebody's gotta pay for this idiots mistakes


The new plan resolves design flaws, demolition of some parts of the incomplete bridge towers, changes to the construction and breach of contract claims against the county — at an additional cost estimated at $291.5 million. That is more than half the original cost of the span, estimated at $567 million as part of a $1 billion project to widen the tollway to four lanes in each direction north and south of the Houston Ship Channel and then replace the existing 40-year-old bridge. The project remains the county’s costliest single public works project, now topping $1.3 billion.
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Old 12-06-2021, 06:45 AM
 
16,610 posts, read 22,708,047 times
Reputation: 14834
Hopefully somebody gives credit to Adrian Garcia for pushing the investigation


The agreement comes with far less fanfare than the first try at the bridge. The Dallas office of FIGG Bridge Group designed the proposed ship channel span with a greater reliance on pre-cast concrete and less on steel for support. County officials called it an innovative approach that would lead to a sturdier bridge that would move the supports out of the waterway and deliver an iconic skyline-worthy design in Houston’s petrochemical complex.

Work had not even started before questions about the design arose following the March 15, 2018, collapse of a pedestrian bridge at Florida International University near Miami that killed six people. The focus quickly narrowed to FIGG Bridge Group, the firm that designed the span. Despite the firm’s ties to the failed Florida bridge, HCTRA proceeded, with toll road officials saying they were satisfied their bridge was different.

Doubts persisted, however. Shortly after taking office in January 2019, Garcia urged the county to hire COWI, another engineering firm, to verify the design.

“I could not understand how anybody in 2018 did not pump the brakes,” he said Monday.
By October 2019, COWI had returned with “significant” concerns related to the bridge’s design. Over the next few months, engineers identified design concerns, specifically at the base of the two enormous towers that will support the roadway via cables and the designers’ consideration of the effect of high winds on the structure.

That led to all work on the span stopping in December 2019, and a cascade of other concerns and setbacks that since have kept crews occupied rebuilding the tollway toward the bridge but stuck in the mud at the span itself. By March 2020, COWI identified 21 “significant” concerns related to the design and worked with FIGG to fix them.

In July 2020, following assessments of the causes for the Florida collapse, the Federal Highway Administration suspended and debarred FIGG — making the firm ineligible for federally-funded work. Harris County shortly thereafter started divorcing FIGG from the project and replaced them officially in October, with COWI.
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Old 12-07-2021, 07:49 AM
 
Location: Houston/Brenham
5,433 posts, read 6,215,079 times
Reputation: 11121
Note that this was approved under previous county judge Ed Emmott. Not that he was in the pockets of the contractors or anything...
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Old 12-07-2021, 08:49 AM
 
16,610 posts, read 22,708,047 times
Reputation: 14834
This kind of crp explains why the Beltway toll is not removed
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Old 12-11-2021, 06:37 AM
 
18,942 posts, read 11,718,888 times
Reputation: 10354
Quote:
Originally Posted by astrohip View Post
Note that this was approved under previous county judge Ed Emmott. Not that he was in the pockets of the contractors or anything...
WAs it Tom Bass who said the Commissioners Court is the last stronghold of the spoils system. IMO, the Harris county commissioners and Judge have been in the developers pockets since the beginning. Some are just more brazen about it.
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Old 12-12-2021, 01:44 PM
 
Location: Houston
4,494 posts, read 3,523,100 times
Reputation: 3591
Quote:
Originally Posted by crone View Post
WAs it Tom Bass who said the Commissioners Court is the last stronghold of the spoils system. IMO, the Harris county commissioners and Judge have been in the developers pockets since the beginning. Some are just more brazen about it.
It's not developers so much as engineers and contractors. The precinct commissioners (more so than county judges) very much have fiefdoms and buddy relationships with major engineers and contractors. The large contributors to the commissioners' campaigns or other designated causes very much expect contract awards in return, or at a minimum to make the cuts for consideration.
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Old 12-13-2021, 06:52 AM
 
Location: Memorial Villages
1,278 posts, read 1,356,792 times
Reputation: 1463
Yet again, the so-called "experts" screw up and the taxpayers are left holding the bag.
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Old 12-13-2021, 06:54 AM
 
1,771 posts, read 467,512 times
Reputation: 2216
I have to deal with this cluster f*ck of a bridge every day. The congestion and awfulness around this bridge during rush hours, trying to go south before work or north after is a total headache.


Someone ought to go to jail over this...but you know it won't happen!
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