Schutze

Hunt to Corps of Engineers: Really, Take Your Time With That Levee Remediation Thing

After the jump, you'll find a letter Angela Hunt sent today to the Fort Worth District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, in which she begs Troy D. Collins, the deputy district engineer, not to hurry up the approval process for the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge. She wants the Corps to be as careful as it needs to be about making sure Oak Cliff doesn't get wiped out by a flood.

Does somebody not want the Corps to be careful? Well, yeah! The mayor and city staff and state highway officials have been all over The Dallas Morning News bitching about what a bitch it is to have to wait while the Corps decides if its bridge project is going to kill families. The people complaining say they have contracts to keep, and miles of road to build before they sleep. They can't be held up by a thing like dead families.

I am writing on a related theme in my column for next week's paper. The News has a story today by Michael Lindenberger saying the legal issues involved in last week's blockbuster court ruling on a Corps project in New Orleans have scant relationship with the Trinity River project. I'm saying the opposite is true: There is a long paper trail leading back into the 1990s showing that the Corps is up to its neck in things here that have nothing to do with flood control.

The judge in New Orleans said the Corps's immunity applies only to its flood control projects. When it gets into stuff that isn't flood control, and when that stuff goes bad, you can sue the Corps, he said. I say a good plaintiff's attorney could argue that the Trinity River project is precisely that case.

Angela Hunt's Letter to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

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Jim Schutze has been the city columnist for the Dallas Observer since 1998. He has been a recipient of the Association of Alternative Newsweeklies’ national award for best commentary and Lincoln University’s national Unity Award for writing on civil rights and racial issues. In 2011 he was admitted to the Texas Institute of Letters.
Contact: Jim Schutze