Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Second Causeway, A Boondoggle?

Recently there has been a big push for a second causeway on the north side of the Island. The traffic volumes don't support it right now and the Town's "position paper" is riddled with faulty conclusions and misleading assumptions. To be clear, I'd like to see a second causeway but the way we're doing it is all wrong, wrong, wrong.

The people who want a second causeway more than any other group are the developers of expensive condo property on the north side. They don't give a damn about hurricane evacuations, health, and all those silly justifications ... and to the buyers, paying five to ten bucks for the tollway to avoid the gruesome Padre Boulevard while speeding in luxury cars is appealing. Last I checked only one large condo tower was going up - if it doesn't fall down because it's leaning, or at least the garage already is. Simply stated, nobody lives up there now except a few coyotes and birds.

I'm certainly not paying big bucks like that and our friendly Winter Texans and Valley residents aren't either. Like the last Texas Legislature dictated, we're tired of all these tollways and want them stopped. Yet down here in La-La Land we think that's exactly the way to go, with a regional authority that has no representation from SPI. Folks, this is way out of control and signing some petition you don't understand is sheer stupidity. Of course we support a second causeway! It is all in how it gets done in the details.

It's a great reason to elect a new Governor because with Perry in place, such madness will continue amongst the Republican profiteers. And if you think a bridge twice as long as the Queen Isabella Causeway will only cost a hundred million, dream on teenage queen. Williams, Zachary, and others will gladly double or triple the price for you by the time the project is actually let out for bid in maybe five years.

I'm not that gullible and I'm fighting against the SOB right now, as is proposed.


Anonymous said...

It is all somewhat hopeless.

Will Davis

Anonymous said...

I am far removed from my roots in the Valley and on SPI, but I can say I was one of the first 250 people to walk across the "new" causeway the day before it opened for traffic. There are family photos of my grandfather on the isalnd in the '30s - long before the first causeway. So with that history out of the way, what the heck are they thinking they need a new causeway for anyway? In case the old / new one gets knocked out ala Katrina? I am just wondering what the reason is - besides spending money. Yes, I think a boondoggle. shannon drawe / texasflycaster.com

Sam said...

I certainly didn't mean to sound too depressing or "know it all" in my post but gosh, my friend Will and Shannon who walked over the bridge when it was opened ... in the early 70's way before my time. I'm almost overcome.

It is so strange how the politics worked on this. The Town had a chance to apply for a grant with TxDOT - which they viewed very favorably - but the idea of an emergency ferry and ferry landing was killed on the spot. Were these people drunk or what? That was cheap, quick, and clean.

So the mantra is "new causeway" and all other options be darned. Have you looked at the map? I have nautical chart # 11301 and it shows a northern route as being TWICE as long as the Queen Isabella.

Somehow I have this lurking feeling this is another "bridge to nowhere."

Anonymous said...

Yeah, Sam, I don't see any compelling reason build a second causeway other than to subsidize private development with scarce public money. The QIC has not even come close to maximum utilization. Building that second causeway will not significantly shorten response time for emergency vehicles to get people to mainland hospitals either. Has anyone discussed how much the emerg. response time would be reduced? I bet you could build a medical center in Port Isabel for much less and help more people, but that wouldn't do anything for development, would it? As to hurricanes,there is so much warning provided that everyone would have plenty of time to evacuate using the good old QIC.