By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
What is really going on now behind the scenes, critics claim, is a hurry-up redesign of the whole project to make it work in terms of flood-protection, along with a massive PR campaign, led by the News, to prepare the public for a doubling or tripling of the local cost of the whole project.
City Manager Ted Benavides says neither of those things is happening. Asked if there was any re-engineering of the project under way to accommodate the toll road, Benavides said, "I'm not aware of that."
But the critics do believe there is a re-design taking place, made necessary by the earlier duplicity of the Corps of Engineers on the subject of putting the toll road in the river.
"This is my opinion," Fritz says, "but what it comes down to is that we were misled. There was no mention in the Corps' draft environmental impact statement of the effect the tollway project would have between the existing levees. This amounts to an absolute misleading of the public by the Corps of Engineers.