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    Diversity is at fault, too


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    Diversity is at fault, too

    Post  sinister_midget on Fri Mar 16, 2018 11:00 pm

    Collapsed bridge, courtesy of Obama program

    "This project is an outstanding example of the ABC method," the press release about Florida International University s pedestrian bridge touted on Saturday.

    On Wednesday, the bridge collapsed, killing six people.

    The Miami Herald reported, "A pedestrian bridge under construction collapsed Thursday, just days after crews had dropped an elevated 950-ton span in place on a signature project that was intended to give Florida International University students a safe route across the busy roadway."

    The $14 million project was partly federally funded through Obama's Tiger program (Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery).

    "The 174-foot, 950-ton section of the bridge was built adjacent to Southwest Eight Street using Accelerated Bridge Construction (ABC) methods, which are being advanced at FIU’s Accelerated Bridge Construction University Transportation Center (ABC-UTC). This method of construction reduces potential risks to workers, commuters and pedestrians and minimizes traffic interruptions. The main span of the FIU-Sweetwater UniversityCity Bridge was installed in a few hours with limited disruption to traffic over this weekend," the press release said.

    It went up quickly.

    It came down even quicker.

    University President Mark Rosenberg defended the bridge installation.

    "I have not spoken directly to Munilla Construction, but I am satisfied that the testing that was occurring was consistent with best practices. I’m not an engineer, so I'm not privy to those details. I know that tests occurred today. And I know, I believe, that they did not prove to lead anyone to the conclusion that we would have this kind of a result. But I do not know that as a fact," the Miami Herald reported Rosenberg said.

    What is interesting is the project took five years from the time the federal government approved the grant in 2013 until it was installed on Saturday. What was the rush? As it is "an outstanding example of the ABC method," let us never use this method again.

    Christian Britschgi at Reason magazine wrote, "On 2013, the FIU was awarded $11.4 million in TIGER money for its University City Prosperity Project, which included the pedestrian bridge. Some 52 projects were awarded $458 million in that round of TIGER grants—known as TIGER V—using methodology that was later criticized by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) for violating DOT's own standards."

    Both parties milked the program for all it was worth, Britschgi said.

    He quoted Democratic Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz gushing over the project in 2013.

    She said, "More jobs will be created in our community thanks to this grant, and I look forward to celebrating the project's success with everyone in South Florida."

    What we need now is a review, and not just to find out why it collapsed.

    Who approved the project? Who oversaw it? Who designed the bridge? Who inspected it? Who tested it? Who signed off on allowing traffic to flow beneath it?

    And the biggest question of all is who goes to jail for this?

    Engineers know there is no such thing as an accident. This was not deliberate, but it was not an act of God.

    It was an act of men. Incompetent ones.

    This was a combination of multiple things.

    One was it was "minority" work. It wasn't awarded because the owners/contractors are minority, although that is true. It was because the promise was to use women for all of the major parts: design, planning and implementation. Minority women in particular.

    The second big reason is because the owners contribute a lot of money to Florida politicians. I had an article earlier (my browser was messing up and I had to kill it, now I can't find the article) that mentioned one city in which the company contributed to every incumbent. And every incumbent worked to help get them a contract. I can't recall if it was this one or another one, but that probably relates here at least partially as well.

    When someone decides to look at somebody's sex or color instead of their qualifications, nobody should be surprised when the bridge collapses. Or the battery in the car catches fire. Or the planes landing gear doesn't work. There are certainly women who could have done this. Probably non-white women as well. But nobody was looking to competence. They were looking to tick the box for diversity.

    In addition to that, this particular company has had several fines against it for poor workmanship and safety, and for using bad quality materials. Which makes them a perfect selection when you're trying to do big projects with a lot of the "right" people.

    But I wonder. That Californian-turned-Floridian (Hogg) and his lesbian co-actor seemed to be worried about kids' safety not long ago. This was going to be a walkway for students. Where are those concerned citizens now? Doesn't kids' safety matter any more? Or does it only matter when you can trample the Constitution and the rights of law-abiding people?

    The American Dream is to be Donald Trump.
    -- Barack Hussein Obama

      Current date/time is Wed Jul 18, 2018 11:02 pm