I was reading the Seattle Times this evening and I came across an article about the 520 Evergreen Point Floating Bridge. If you live in this area then you know how important the 520 Bridge is for the daily commute. The Bridge is one of two that span Lake Washington connecting Seattle to the vibrant Eastside. Citizens in Bellevue (an affluent suburb), Redmond (the home of Microsoft) and Kirkland (another affluent suburb) all depend on the bridge to make their daily trips to and from the city. Built in 1963 to relieve traffic from the I-90 bridge that spans the lake a few miles south, it has meant a lot to the infrastructure of our highway system.
Well this little article came with some great new video that the state has paid to have made up. The video, which the state has uploaded to Youtube, as well as hosting it on their site, is meant to show the public what would happen in a "catastrophic failure" as caused by a huge windstorm or earthquake.
Take a look
Now don't get me wrong, I am all for the idea that visual images help to stimulate the mind. They can certainly give the viewer a better idea of how a particular event may unfold, but seriously $21,000 for that?? Why not utilize the University of Washington and it's students looking for real world experiences to help with a video like this. I'll bet a couple of starving students would have done it for $5,000.
The State Department of Transportation has said that it will cost between 4.4 and 5.3 BILLION to replace the current four lane bridge with a six lane bridge (and if you've ever sat in traffic at 5pm on a Friday night headed to Seattle from the Eastside you know this needs to be done). Never fear though, the state has identified 1.6 BILLION in funding for the replacement. The other 2.8 BILLION (on the low end) I suppose will be donated after the public sees these new videos and is so paralyzed by fear of being stuck on the bridge when it happens, decides to step up to the plate. At least that's how it works in your town right???
There is little reason for concern however as the article lets us know that the bridge would be closed during a windstorm (which is true, I've sat in traffic for three hours for a similar closing). Oh wait........there's still those darn earthquakes.................
I guess if I had the answers though, I'd be bound by my duty as an American to run for office.............wait, is that a duty as a citizen? Or is it ok to just sit back and gripe?