Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Biden's Bridge to Nowhere

Book ReviewIf you're not interested in the truth, don't watch this.

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Mike said...

I regularly go to the beach in Delaware and bicycle along route 1. I have seen the stalled progress on the Indian River Inlet Bridge for the past several years and did some research on it. I put a post on my blog on Joe Biden's Bridge to Nowhere

Darrell Cole said...

Thanks to the inaccurate reporting and editing by CNN, the number of posts on this topic have been too many to combat at one time. However, the Delaware Department of Transportation would like to make the following comments to the CNN story:

The story by Drew Griffin re US Sen. Biden's support for a new bridge over the Indian River Inlet in Delaware cleverly left out key facts, to support the story's assertion that earmarks for this bridge are similar to Alaska's Bridge to Nowhere.

Here are the points in the story that need elaboration/correction:
CNN: "after tourists are gone it can seem like a bridge between two nowheres"
DelDOT Fact: In the summer months, approximately 24,000 vehicles a day use this bridge. Non summer months, 14,000 to 15,000. It is the economic , freight and emergency link for lower Delaware to northern Delaware, and for southern states to state's beyond Delaware such as Pennsylvania, New York etc.
CNN: Sunlight Foundation said the bridge is not a priority project.
DelDOT Fact: First, how would they know? The Sunlight Foundation never called us to check, and didn't return my phone call when I questioned them about their comment in the story. The reporter, Mr. Griffin was told it was a priority, but didn't care much about facts. The fact is it is a structurally deficient bridge and is scored among the state's 5 most deficient. It is the state's #1 bridge priority, and we've stated this for years. Of course the bridge is safe... now... but it is structurally deficient and needs to be replaced. We have 40 such structurally deficient bridges in Delaware, and all are scheduled for repairs/replacement. Only 1 is actually closed at this point.
CNN: 35 minutes detour without the bridge in place.
DelDOT Fact: The kind of comment that could only be made by someone who doesn't live here. Without the bridge, it's a 26 mile detour through twisting, winding narrow roads. I am not sure who could drive this detour in 35 minutes... I'd like to meet them.
CNN: "some erosion" is the comment made by Mr. Griffin as the problem with the current bridge. A grand oversimplification. The problem is called scour, and it is jeopardizing the piers in the water. Simply, the dirt around the piers is scouring away, leaving the piers exposed and vulnerable to collapse. There are scour holes as deep as 100 feet in areas near the piers. As it is now, large rocks, rip rap, were placed around each of the piers to prevent the scour from jeopardizing the piers. This is a temporary fix. The new bridge will not have piers in the water. If the Minnessota bridge collapse showed us anything, the time to replace a bridge is not when it collapses.

CNN should have taken more care in reporting the facts of this story. Instead, Mr. Griffin used excellent editing and selective facts to make a connection that is simply inaccurate and wrong.

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