Monday, July 28, 2008

Another Mississippi bridge....where?

This from the Commercial Appeal this morning:
But if a badly needed third vehicle bridge is to built anytime soon, it'll have to be funded at least in part by tolls, state and local transportation officials say.
I wasn't aware another bridge over the Mississippi was "badly needed" by Tennesseans, specifically Memphians. The CA used St. Louis as an example but the difference is the river is narrower there without a significant flood plain, and East St. Louis and Alton are directly across the other side. That's obviously not the case here.

OK, we all know the Hernando-DeSoto bridge is only a half-bridge because it's been in a state of construction since it was built. And we know the Memphis-Arkansas bridge is narrow. But where, praytell, would we even put another bridge?

The nearest logical spot would be connecting Tunica with Arkansas, but that's a Mississippi thing. There's really no place to put another bridge in Memphis proper, but a bridge somewhere west of Covington might eventually help the drive north. But there's already a crossing at Dyersburg.

Besides, if the bridge is to carry rail it will be limited by where the tracks are now--which is down at Channel 3 drive. So perhaps all this is just a smokescreen for a NEW bridge, one that would be tolled.

A few years ago they built a new bridge over the Mississippi at Cape Girardeau. It's really nice. Then they tore down the rickety old two-lane span after it was completed. That sounds prudent for Memphis, too, especially after they get the interchange fixed where I-55 dumps onto Crump Blvd, one of the most ridiculous civil engineering examples in America (the other is having I-40 turn into Sam Cooper).

Such a project might win favor with Memphians if presented honestly but instead it seems the politicians would rather convince us we "badly need" another bridge to support the toll initiative.

If you'd like to have some say feel free to attend the public hearing Tuesday the 29th at Central Station, 6 PM.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Air Obama

The New York Times had an article today about the support black radio hosts are generating for Barack Obama. They should have included the dichotomy here in Memphis, with several ardent admirers like Thaddeus Matthews and one outspoken critic, Andrew Clarksenior.

The Times seemed delighted to suggest these partisan commentators were in effect the anti-Rush, casually mentioning the factoid they claim their radio audience is exactly the same as MataRushie's, 20 million. There was no mention of the fairness doctrine. Hmm, guess they'll get to that one later.