I love the The Dallas Morning News story about how the first Calatrava Bridge over the Trinity River downtown is going to cost half as much because of the changes in design the city has thought up. I was struck by the line in Emily Ramshaw's piece: "Other alternatives include using multiple, smaller beams to support the bridge instead of a few larger ones, and replacing a large steel drainage pipe with a PVC pipe."
I still think we need to have a direct vote of the people on this whole "signature bridge" plan for the Trinity, which involves tearing down bridges that don't need to be torn down and replacing them with fanciful suspension bridges designed by Spanish �ber-architect Santiago Calatrava. But now I have to admit, the election would have to allow three choices:
1) Calatrava Bridges.
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2) No Calatrava Bridges.
3) Crappy Calatrava bridges.
I personally have been around a lot of PVC pipe in my day, on account of being too cheap to call a plumber. If the people, in their wisdom, vote to have a Calatrava bridge but make it our of PVC pipe, fine, that is our political system at work. But I definitely am not driving on it. You know, most of the year the channel that this bridge will span is full of effluent from less than totally up-to-snuff upstream sewage treatment plants.
You wouldn't want to take a tumble, if you catch my drift. --Jim Schutze