A bridge to nowhere - over
Tempe Town Toilet in Tempe.
A $5.1 million pork project in Tempe that is a waste of our tax dollars.
This Federal pork project in Tempe has been compared to that "Bridge to Nowhere" in Alaska which is also a Federal pork project.
If the Royal Rulers of Tempe want this expensive pork project, they should pay for it by stealing the money from the citizens of Tempe, not using stolen Federal money.
Tempe Town Lake pedestrian bridge taking shape
Span will shade dam's west-end rubber bladders
by Dianna M. Náñez - Apr. 21, 2011 12:00 AM
The Arizona Republic
Tempe took a major step this week toward completing its biggest Town Lake project since the dam burst last July: a pedestrian bridge that when complete in August will be 912 feet long, 34 feet high and weigh more than 660,000 pounds.
Massive steel piping began arriving at the western end of the lake on Tuesday and Wednesday. The pipes will crisscross in an arc above the bridge and also serve as the bridge's bottom chord, or support.
The span will connect the northern and southern shores of the lake so thousands of bicyclists, runners and walkers won't have to compete with cars. The project is expected to cost $5.1 million. At least $3.4 million of that is being paid with federal funds.
Tempe city engineer Andy Goh stressed that the bridge also would shade the rubber bladders that make up the dam. The structure will include a sprinkler system that will keep the bladders cool and wet to prevent the kind of deterioration that led to the dam's collapse.
Such a sprinkler system was never installed over the rubber bladders that burst last summer, emptying a billion gallons of water into the Salt River. Tempe and Bridgestone Industrial Products Inc., the dam manufacturer, have argued over who is to blame for the sprinkler system never being installed. But in a legal agreement hashed out two years ago, Bridgestone agreed to loan Tempe the four rubber bladders that make up the west-end dam while the city looks for a permanent replacement.
The east-end rubber bladders, which have remained covered with water due to upstream flows, have not deteriorated, Tempe officials have said.
The work on the bridge pales in comparison to the task of replacing the west-end rubber bladders.
December 2015 brings "D-day."
That's when Bridgestone will start charging the city if it hasn't removed and replaced the bladders.
Tempe leaders say they are on track to meet the deadline to replace the dam - a project described as a massive undertaking that could cost as much as $84 million to construct, operate and maintain.
Tempe Assistant City Manager Jeff Kulaga said Wednesday that Tempe is reviewing the applications of six international engineering consultants. The consultants are vying to study three types of dams and recommend the best option for the lake.
Kulaga said Tempe expected to select a consultant in the next month.
Kulaga said that the consultant would review a 2008 study by another consultant that outlined three options to give Tempe a safe, reliable dam that could be lowered to allow the Salt River to flow and prevent flooding.
Tempe residents have complained that the list includes two options that incorporate rubber. One dam would be all rubber, another would be rubber and steel and one would be all steel.
At a recent budget meeting, Tempe resident A.J. LaFaro said he understood Tempe had no option but to replace the dam, but he said the city would be wasting money if it spent public dollars on another rubber dam.
City Manager Charlie Meyer said Tempe was considering safety, durability and cost. Tempe needs an option that, like rubber bladders, could lower quickly to prevent flooding, he said.
Michael Johnson, an assistant director with the Arizona Department of Water Resources, which is charged with dam safety, said Wednesday that the agency would have to review Tempe's dam proposal before approving a construction permit.
Although the agency could not speculate on that approval, Johnson said he knows of no reason why an all-steel dam wouldn't work at Town Lake.
The state Department of Water Resources is one of five regulatory agencies Tempe will have to clear to obtain permits for the replacement dam.
The others are the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Maricopa County Flood Control, the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality and the Federal Aviation Administration. The city would also work closely with the Salt River Project.
The design, construction and permitting process will be arduous, Kulaga said. But Tempe has allowed sufficient time to complete the task before the Bridgestone dams must be removed, he said.
Kulaga said the main concern Tempe has now was ensuring the future dam would be safe.
Tempe Center for the Arts
Tempe Cesspool for the Arts