Jump to content


Photo
- - - - -

Trinity River Vision

Panther Island Redevelopment North Side Flood Control Infrastructure

  • Please log in to reply
977 replies to this topic

#51 gcarey

gcarey

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 66 posts
  • Location:Dallas

Posted 10 December 2004 - 11:28 PM

Uhhhmm, that is awesome.

#52 ghughes

ghughes
  • Guests

Posted 11 December 2004 - 07:47 AM

a bunch of the affected property owners - primarily those upset with the project - asked some typically questions. I think it's a vocal minority - but obviously some folks are not happy.

If I owned property there and was forced to sell it into a project that would significantly raise its value, without having the opportunity to realize the profit potential, I would be upset, too.

#53 mosteijn

mosteijn

    Skyscraper Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,908 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:FW/Cincy
  • Interests:Architecture, Photography, Swimming, Soccer, Spanish

Posted 11 December 2004 - 09:30 AM

I thought the affected property owners were all the people in the way of the bypass channel. I'm not sure how lucrative their property would be if it was underwater...

On another note, if you haven't been to the TRV website recently (www.trinityrivervision.org), check out the "Trinity Uptown Plan". It's a document from the public meeting, I'm guessing, and it will leave you speechless.

#54 360texas

360texas

    Skyscraper Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,427 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:SW Fort Worth, Texas USA
  • Interests:Digital photography, computers since 1980, Panorama imaging, world travel. After 37 years retired Federal Service 1999.

Posted 11 December 2004 - 12:44 PM

We visited the model today (Saturday 11Dec04) and took several images. Most were 2048 x 1536 9mb each TIF's. I cut this one down for the forum. Its taken from the opposite direction. Just right click on the image and save it to your hard drive. While we were downtown this morning I took couple of other panoramas - the Tower and the Christmas Tree. Ill be posting them on our site next few days.

Dave

Posted Image

Dave still at

360texas45x145.png
Visit 360texas.com


#55 UrbanLandscape

UrbanLandscape

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 137 posts
  • Location:Huntsville | 77340
  • Interests:Chrisitianity | photography | digital arts | writing | fire | architecture | film

Posted 11 December 2004 - 01:09 PM

Excellent! I can't wait to see more. I am really quite impressed by all of this.

#56 360texas

360texas

    Skyscraper Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,427 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:SW Fort Worth, Texas USA
  • Interests:Digital photography, computers since 1980, Panorama imaging, world travel. After 37 years retired Federal Service 1999.

Posted 11 December 2004 - 02:04 PM

Ok... here is a close up of the lake area.

Dave

Posted Image

Dave still at

360texas45x145.png
Visit 360texas.com


#57 grow_smart

grow_smart

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 144 posts
  • Location:FTW Original Town

Posted 11 December 2004 - 09:22 PM

a bunch of the affected property owners - primarily those upset with the project - asked some typically questions. I think it's a vocal minority - but obviously some folks are not happy.

If I owned property there and was forced to sell it into a project that would significantly raise its value, without having the opportunity to realize the profit potential, I would be upset, too.

View Post


It's the chicken or the egg here...without the bypass channel, there is no opportunity for this type of development with the existing levee system. Someone has to lose their property in order to build said channel.

Maybe they could get creative in how they buy peoples property by giving them market value plus moving expenses now...and then cut them into a portion of the increased property values down the road. I do agree it's somewhat unfair that some slumload who has owned property on N. Main Street for all these years now will get to reap the benefits of owning property in the area to benefit from the bypass channel. I have no clue how they could work out this type of deal, but that way TRWD (or whomever is actually buying the property) does not have to increase their property acquisition expenses now should the project somehow fail.

#58 SurplusPopulation

SurplusPopulation

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 194 posts
  • Location:Fort Worth

Posted 15 December 2004 - 04:49 PM

The company I work for is located off of White Settlement and is on the western edge of the bypass channel for the Trinity River Vision. According to the model and all the drawings our building would be spared. However, our company president had a recent visit with city officials who said that the model and corresponding plans are now outdated, and the city will be buying our building. Now evidently, the bypass channel will now stretch westward beyond the railroad tracks. Does anyone have any further information about this?

#59 cjyoung

cjyoung

    Skyscraper Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,708 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Stop Six/Echo Heights/Eastwood/Forest Hill/Meadowbrook/Fossill Creek

Posted 23 December 2004 - 11:05 AM

How will this affect downtown's density? Do we expect to get many new towers as a result of this project?

#60 AndyN

AndyN

    Skyscraper Member

  • Moderators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,949 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Midland, Tx. for now

Posted 23 December 2004 - 11:48 AM

I see a lot of historic buildings about to be lost. Those of you in the "knock down the Purina Mill" crowd won't be unhappy, but there are some significant railroad structures whose days are numbered.
Www.fortwortharchitecture.com

#61 John T Roberts

John T Roberts

    Administrator

  • Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 11,757 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:South Fort Worth
  • Interests:Architecture, Photography, Bicycling, Historic Preservation

Posted 23 December 2004 - 03:33 PM

Andy, I'm sure you are referring to the railroad bridge just south of Oakwood Cemetery as one of the significant railroad structures. It was placed on Historic Fort Worth's 2004 CAPP list back in October. If you have information on other structures that may be lost, please inform us.

#62 360texas

360texas

    Skyscraper Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,427 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:SW Fort Worth, Texas USA
  • Interests:Digital photography, computers since 1980, Panorama imaging, world travel. After 37 years retired Federal Service 1999.

Posted 14 January 2005 - 05:03 PM

So far this is the only vantage point I can find with some altitude.

Click on

http://360texas.com

then below the image find two clickable links: 1 for dial up folks.. the other for broadband folks.

The panorama was taken from the Heritage Park Overlook platform near the Paddock Viaduct Bridge.

Out of 3 days we picked the 'Cloudy Day' to visit the overlook. We will have to try visiting on another beautiful blue sky day and replace the images.

If anyone has noticed our image quality ... we have upgraded our camera equipment from a 3.34mp Nikon 990 to 8.25mp Canon 20d digital camera and lens.

Dave

Dave still at

360texas45x145.png
Visit 360texas.com


#63 gcarey

gcarey

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 66 posts
  • Location:Dallas

Posted 14 January 2005 - 05:40 PM

^ Nice pics 360Texas.

#64 choobler

choobler

    Newcomer

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 6 posts

Posted 13 April 2005 - 12:03 PM

Was this part of Granger's plan, or is it a problem for the big vision?

Fort Worth Star-Telegram

#65 mrowl

mrowl

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 65 posts
  • Location:Grapevine

Posted 21 May 2005 - 08:57 AM

check out this site, http://www.bingthoma...s.com/home.html go to "urban design" then "trinity point" and click through all of the art, it is amazing.

#66 RD Milhollin

RD Milhollin

    Surrounding Cities Moderator

  • Moderators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,542 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Haltom City

Posted 21 May 2005 - 09:14 AM

Great web page, nice illustrations, although I think I have seen all of them before, although not all in the same site. I wonder if any preliminary planning has addressed how future streetcar or light rail would be routed from downtown into and through the river-bottom development. I would have thought that a new bridge to the east connecting Commerce (Rusk) or Jones would have been the logical route, but the new TCC campus will be in the path. I would think that tracks and trains on the Main Street Bridge (Paddock Viaduct) would impede traffic, and that seems to be one of only two connecting bridges between the new development (with what seems to be a lot of housing) and downtown. Could the old Subway tunnel be used to carry urban train traffic with a bridge going up from the bluff opening?

Pup

#67 John T Roberts

John T Roberts

    Administrator

  • Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 11,757 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:South Fort Worth
  • Interests:Architecture, Photography, Bicycling, Historic Preservation

Posted 21 May 2005 - 12:19 PM

Pup all of the drawings and the actual model were on display in the Community Arts Center throughout the spring. I don't think a light rail line would be a problem on the Paddock Viaduct (Main Street). It was there earlier, so I don't see any reason why it couldn't be put back into the street. Granted, the density of the Trinity River Vision might put so much automobile traffic on Main that the streetcar/light rail might be hazardous. It would seem easier to use the public transportation when going downtown than it would be to hop into the car and drive 1/2 to 1 mile to work.

#68 DrkLts

DrkLts

    Skyscraper Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,092 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:S. Fort Worth

Posted 21 May 2005 - 10:53 PM

In the big picture of this TRV thing, its all good. I just dont seemed to be hyped up by a plan that will happen by the time I hit retirement with grandkids. Some might not even be alive to see this, so I rather see faster projects than this lifetime project. :D

#69 Biggins

Biggins

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 140 posts
  • Location:Austin

Posted 23 May 2005 - 08:58 AM

In the big picture of this TRV thing, its all good. I just dont seemed to be hyped up by a plan that will happen by the time I hit retirement with grandkids. Some might not even be alive to see this, so I rather see faster projects than this lifetime project.  <_<

View Post


Rome wasn't built in a day! -_-

#70 David Love

David Love
  • Guests

Posted 13 June 2005 - 09:37 PM

Trinity / Uptown ? Not sure which thread this should go in.

Posted on Sun, Jun. 12, 2005

Finding $435 million A look at how the project is being financed

Federal funds

$217.5 million

Congress has authorized $110 million for the flood control. The money will be provided in portions, as long as lawmakers approve each request. Congress is considering providing an additional $16 million for bridge work. Project organizers believe they can get the remainder from various federal sources, including the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Property taxes in the project area

$115.9 million

Fort Worth has created a tax increment finance district. It captures 80 percent of new property tax revenue generated by improvements -- such as new stores, condos and restaurants -- and uses it to pay for the project. The remaining 20 percent goes to the public bodies that would normally receive it: the city, Tarrant County, the Tarrant Regional Water District, Tarrant County College and the hospital district. The Fort Worth school district is not participating and gets its full share of all property tax money.

Tarrant Regional Water District

$64 million

The district maintains flood control along a portion of the Trinity River and provides water to numerous cities and counties. This money comes from the flood-control side of its operations. The bulk will be from profits generated by oil and gas discoveries at two of the district's reservoirs. Much of the remainder will come from property taxes collected within the district, which encompasses most of Fort Worth, River Oaks and Azle, and all of Edgecliff Village, Westover Hills and Westworth Village.

City of Fort Worth

$26.6 million

About $5 million was authorized in a 2004 bond referendum. The remainder will come from future bond issues voters will be asked to approve and from water and sewer funds.

Tarrant County

$11 million

Much from road and bridge funds.

Breaking down the costs involved with the Trinity Uptown plan

Designers of the Trinity Uptown project have a grand vision for the area immediately north of downtown Fort Worth. The $435 million project would rechannel the river to provide flood control and pave the way for economic development in the areas shown in white above. The elements listed are included in the proposed budget. The interior canals are among features that planners hope will come but that are not financed through the budget.

1 Bypass channel

Land will be excavated for the channel, which will be about 1 1/2 miles long and about the width of a football field. A retaining wall will be built and walkways and trails created.

Cost: $63 million

Estimated completion: 2012

2 Property acquisition

About 80 parcels will be bought to make way for the channel and bridges. Buildings will be demolished, and property owners will get money toward relocation.

Cost: $83.3 million

Est. completion: not available

3 Samuels Avenue Dam

This dam on the Trinity will ensure that the channel, lake and river running through the project area have a constant water level. The dam would be opened during heavy rains.

Cost: $42.1 million

Est. completion: 2014

4 Isolation gates

Three gates will be closed during flooding, sealing off the uptown area and diverting floodwaters down the bypass channel.

Cost: $37.4 million

Est. completion: 2014

5 Environmental cleanup

Hazardous materials and other pollutants -- a legacy of the area's industrial past -- will be removed from the channel and lake areas.

Cost: $32.9 million

Est. completion: not available

6 Road bridges

Three roads will span the channel. They will also cross over railroad tracks that will run along the channel's north side, eliminating the need for the existing railroad crossings on the three streets.

Costs: Henderson Street bridge, $17.2 million; White Settlement Road bridge, $13.2 million; Main Street bridge, $20 million.

Est. completion: 2009

7 The lake

Officially dubbed an "interior water feature," the small lake -- about 900 feet long -- will be created at the confluence of the Clear Fork and West Fork.

Cost: $21.8 million

Est. completion: 2015

8 University Drive

A segment of the street, from the intersection of Jacksboro Highway and Northside Drive almost to the Trinity River, will be raised to lessen the risk of street flooding. This also creates a natural holding area for floodwaters during a catastrophic storm; at such times, the street is designed to flood.

Cost: $5 million

Est. completion: 2013

Natural flood control

The bypass channel would create flooding downstream. To fix the problem, planners will buy about 250 acres in several locations to provide natural flood storage. This is in addition to the University Drive project.

Cost: $51.2 million

Est. completion: not available

Other items

ē Utility line relocation, $21.6 million

ē Other road work, including extending White Settlement Road, $14.1 million

ē Storm water pump station to help drainage, $8.4 million

ē Two pedestrian bridges, $2.3 million

ē Geotechnical work, $1.1 million

SOURCES: Tarrant Regional Water District, City of Fort Worth

A century of flooding

May 25, 1908: Floodwaters roar down the Clear Fork of the Trinity, prompting a state law providing for levee districts. Fort Worth is the first of the larger cities to organize one.

1915: Fort Worth completes its levee system after floodwaters sweep down the West Fork, pour over the Lake Worth spillway and break through a gap in a levee, inundating the area around West Second Street.

April 25, 1922: A flash flood sweeps down the Trinity and covers much of the city's north side, killing at least 35 and leaving nearly 1,500 homeless. More than 75 homes are demolished, and the First Street bridge is destroyed.

May 18, 1935: Flooding along the Trinity forces residents to higher ground as their homes are swamped. Concerns are raised about cracks in the levee near LaGrave Field.

1940s: Fort Worth works on a number of flood-control projects, even as a series of floods batters the city.

May 7, 1949: A flood that inundates 10 square miles kills 10 and leaves thousands homeless.

1950s: Extensive flood-protection projects are completed. A new levee system is built and four reservoirs are added, including Benbrook and Grapevine.

1960s: Further flood control includes channel improvements, more reservoirs and rerouting the Clear Fork flood way.

1970s: The Army Corps of Engineers begins a major study of the Trinity.

1980s: The Corps finds that flooding would be exacerbated by development in the flood plains. Local governments decide that trying to control land use would be unrealistic.

March 1990: The Corps recommends construction of a massive reservoir north of downtown to catch flood waters that would normally enter the West Fork and Clear Fork. The Corps proposes a detailed study to determine additional flood-control measures.

May 1990: Tarrant County is declared a disaster area after severe flooding is blamed for four deaths in Fort Worth.

1994: Fourteen proposals to improve flood control along the Trinity and its tributaries are considered, including a concrete wall and a levee on the north bank of the Clear Fork at University Drive and a pool to hold storm water at Boyd Reservoir on the West Fork.

2002: The Corps begins studying how to address concerns that the levee system in central Fort Worth is no longer adequate.

2004: The study is stopped and merged with the Trinity Uptown project. At the request of U.S. Rep. Kay Granger, R-Fort Worth, the Corps drafts legislation for authorization of federal funding.

#71 David Love

David Love
  • Guests

Posted 13 June 2005 - 09:39 PM

Posted on Sun, Jun. 12, 2005

GRAND VISIONS

Promoters of a plan to prevent flooding along the Trinity have painted a picture of a vibrant riverfront. But what is the dream and what is reality?

By Scott Streater and Mark Horvit

Star-Telegram Staff Writers


FORT WORTH -- It's a bold offer: Give us $435 million and we'll protect the area just north of downtown from catastrophic flooding. And while we're at it, we'll remake the face of the city.

That's the proposal by an influential coalition of elected leaders, administrators and urban planners promoting Trinity Uptown, the sweeping plan to rechannel the Trinity River. If all goes as planned, construction will begin next year.

More than $9 million in public money has already been spent to launch the project.

In contrast, a bare-bones solution to the most severe flooding threat would have cost about $10 million, according to estimates expected to be made public later this week.

The price disparity between the bargain-basement approach and the penthouse plan goes to the core of questions about the project as it gains momentum: Why is the budget so high? Is this economic development masquerading as flood control? What will the project actually deliver?

Some answers are hard to sort out. But an examination of the project shows that while millions of dollars are spent eliminating serious flood risks, millions more would be used to offset problems created by a proposed bypass channel -- the central flood-control tool. Millions more would go to aspects intended to attract development. And to meet the budget and schedule, several elements must fall perfectly into place during the estimated 10-year timetable for the project.

The project aims to transform flood control into the spark that ignites an economic renaissance in what planners are calling uptown Fort Worth, the area between downtown and the Stockyards. It would be one of the biggest local economic development projects since D/FW Airport. Organizers have dazzled the community with gleaming images of more than $1 billion in development they believe will follow.

Fundamentally, though, the project is about safety, backers have told Congress and the dozens of property owners who would lose land in the deal.

In a catastrophic flood, engineers say, big chunks of the dirt levees that protect the uptown area could be washed away, submerging large swaths of land.

Repairing the existing flood-control system -- the cheaper option, devised by the Army Corps of Engineers -- is unacceptable, project backers say. That's because it would require building up some levees. Instead, planners want the levees removed because they act as barriers between residents and the river.

The cheaper option also would not eliminate a more common type of flooding created by poor drainage.

"The $10 million Corps option is straight-up flood control, no frills, ugly," said Jim Oliver, general manager of the Tarrant Regional Water District, which is responsible for controlling flooding along much of the river in Fort Worth.

The more expensive answer is to cut a new river channel that would carry floodwaters harmlessly downstream. And while they're at it, the plan's advocates say, why not create a small lake across from the new RadioShack headquarters and ensure that water always remains deep enough for boats.

"It will create an urban waterfront that will be unique in North America," said U.S. Rep. Kay Granger, R-Fort Worth. "To me, the overall importance is that it will change the river to make the Trinity River the asset that I thought it always should be."

The Corps will endorse the more elaborate project in a preliminary report expected to be released this week. Final approval by the Corps -- which could come this fall after the public weighs in -- is the last regulatory hurdle before construction begins.

A grander plan

Wedged between levees that rise 22 feet in places, the Trinity River snakes north of downtown, its tea-colored water creeping along so slowly that it's hard to determine which direction the river is moving.

For decades, those levees have prevented central Fort Worth from flooding.

And they're still in excellent condition, according to the Corps, which inspects them every year.

But there's a problem. Over the past 25 years there has been an explosion of development in and around the floodplain, from Benbrook Lake to Dallas. All the new roads, driveways, sidewalks and parking lots allow much more water to wash into the Trinity than if grassy plains and wetlands were still there.

As a result, it takes less rain today to cause a devastating flood, said Mike Danella, a civil engineer in the Corps' Fort Worth office. And some levees throughout the city are no longer tall enough -- especially if the big one hits.

Federal regulators are required to design flood protection to handle a catastrophic deluge, no matter how rare. "Noah's flood" is how Richard Sawey, the project's chief engineer, describes it.

In North Texas, it would probably take a series of huge storms, hitting one after the other, to create such a flood.

It may happen this year, maybe next.

It may not happen for 1,000 years.

If it comes, though, and if the flood-control systems along the Trinity aren't adequate, "untold" numbers could die and more than $4 billion in property could be damaged, according to a government study.

According to federal engineers, two of the areas at greatest risk in Fort Worth are uptown and the Cultural District.

In early 2002, the Corps began developing plans to upgrade the levee system in the central city, said Rebecca Griffith, chief of the Corps' planning branch. Engineers determined they could restore flood protection by replacing a flood wall near the old Texas Utilities plant with a levee. Other levees would be raised in several locations, mostly along the river's Clear Fork. Gates would be placed on one or more bridges to close them and contain water during catastrophic flooding.

The cost: $10 million, Griffith said.

The plan was abandoned in early 2004, though.

That's because local leaders had already been working on another idea.

They wanted an urban oasis to replace what many see as a collection of mostly aging commercial and industrial sites in the North Main Street corridor.

Organizers of the Trinity River Vision, an ongoing effort to plan for development, recreation and other uses along an 88-mile stretch of the Trinity, envisioned the central Fort Worth area as a bustling mix of condos, parks and restaurants, with the river as the centerpiece.

They wondered: What if local money could be matched by federal funding, easing the burden on taxpayers here?

Public planning sessions were held. And Trinity Uptown was born.

Corps officials say they willingly switched gears.

"What we were able to determine is the traditional Corps process is not going to deliver the kind of product the city is looking for," said Gary Loew, programs director of the Corps' Southwestern Division in Dallas.

The project won over some, like Robert Goode, the city's transportation and public works director, who initially wondered about other priorities, including road improvements. But, Goode realized, Fort Worth would only be chipping in a small percentage of the budget -- about $26 million, plus some tax proceeds from the project area.

"For that kind of investment, you're getting how many millions in private development," Goode said, "and you're changing the face of the city."

High hopes, high costs

Picture San Antonio's famed River Walk on steroids.

The Trinity River, no longer hemmed in by dirt levees, is rechanneled to create two islands that combined are roughly equal to the size of downtown. Between the islands is a small lake.

Rows of new condominiums, each typically six stories tall, stand alongside canals. Parks and wide walkways line the river banks.

This is the grand vision, rendered in minute detail in the model created by architects and project planners to promote Trinity Uptown. It fires the imagination with images of Sunday strolls, afternoons playing waterside and evenings dining dockside.

But those same images have critics wondering just how much of this project is for flood control, and how much is for economic development.

"I think we're doing an economic project, then we're doing flood-control work to preserve the economic development," said outgoing City Councilman Clyde Picht.

James Toal of Gideon Toal, the chief urban planner for the project, said the plan is designed to do both.

"You have to do flood control, and you should do it right," he said. "And that's what this project is about."

In some ways, it's difficult to determine which major costs are for flood control and which are for economic development. That's because the channel system is integral to the redevelopment that planners believe will follow.

The 1 1/2-mile bypass channel would essentially be another arm of the river but would be designed to handle more water during torrential rains. At those times, three flood gates would close, sealing off the uptown area. All the water would be forced through the channel, which would carry it downstream. Griffith said that would protect the uptown area and the Cultural District.

Digging the channel and building the gates would cost about $100 million.

That's the basic flood control. But the channel can't be built without a lot of related expenses. Buildings and businesses in its path have to be removed, and their tenants relocated. Pollution created by decades of commercial and industrial operations must be cleaned. Utility lines must be moved.

Roads that used to go through the channel area now must span the water, so three bridges must be built.

The preparation work costs more than $165 million.

Once the channel is built, a new flood risk would be created that will cost millions more to avoid.

Floodwaters will move more quickly through the channel than down the river's current path. The water will have to be slowed or serious flooding could occur downstream. So project sponsors would purchase about 250 acres along the river where the water could safely flow. They'll also raise a section of University Drive to help trap the waters.

Cost: about $56 million.

Millions more go for elements that have nothing to do with flood control.

A 33-acre lake -- or "water feature," as planners call it -- would be created where the Trinity's West Fork and Clear Fork meet. The water running through the development area would need to be deep enough for recreation. So a dam will be built just downstream of Samuels Avenue.

Cost: $64 million.

The dam would also help ensure that the river doesn't become stagnant and remains healthy for fish, said Sawey, with the Massachusetts engineering firm Camp Dresser & McKee.

Whenever there's a risk of flooding, the dam will release water.

The channel itself ultimately becomes a key economic development tool. That's because property lining it gains a waterfront view.

The Water District will control the prime property available for development because it's part of the land being purchased for channel construction.

What $435 million buys

George Shannon stood in front of the Fort Worth City Council in April and explained why the levee system must come down. Shannon, president of the Water District's board, decried the levees as having "divided the citizens from the river."

The uptown project, he promised, "will bring them back."

That image of the uptown area without the levees is depicted in the elaborate model promoting Trinity Uptown.

But the $435 million project will only eliminate the need for the levees -- it won't pay for removing them. That work would be done by developers or perhaps the Water District.

"When we say it allows us to eliminate the levee barriers, that's from an engineering perspective, it allows us to remove them," Toal said. "And frankly, moving dirt is not expensive."

The levees are emblematic of confusion over what the project will and won't deliver for the price tag.

Interior canals for extra waterfront? Essential elements, says one of the project's architects, Vancouver, British Columbia-based Bing Thom, but not included. New neighborhoods for the area? Sure, but the project won't pay for the road and utility work needed.

A new road that would run along the river by the bluffs was originally included in the plan and is featured on the model. But it was removed as planning proceeded and the budget climbed from $360 million to $435 million.

Another point of confusion: Residents may not understand the extent of protection the project will provide.

Almost every flood in Fort Worth for the past 50 years would have happened even if this project had been built. That's because its focus is on preventing a catastrophic flood in which the river overtops the levees.

But much of the city's flooding is created by an outdated stormwater drainage system, which leads to difficulties getting water off streets and into the river.

The Trinity Uptown plan does fix drainage problems in the project area that would not be addressed by the Corps' cheaper option. Federal regulators estimate that could save almost $5 million in damage to buildings and businesses in one big storm alone.

It could also help fix broader drainage shortcomings in the Cultural District west of downtown, but only if the city spent more money.

Sawey said the project represents a good start on a drainage and levee system that needs help.

"The project never was thought of or intended to fix every flooding, every drainage problem in Fort Worth," he said.

Keeping costs in check

Plans call for work to begin next year on three bridges spanning what will eventually become the new channel.

It's a $50 million commitment to span a riverway that won't yet exist, symbolizing the leap of faith the project embodies.

So is the Water District's decision to spend more than $9 million for engineers and architects to design preliminary plans and create models of what economic development could look like. About $7 million was earmarked for Sawey's firm and is part of the overall budget. The rest, for Toal's and Thom's firms, isn't, according to district officials.

Nowhere is the leap of faith clearer, though, than on the project's bottom line, where two fundamental questions remain: Can the work be done for $435 million, and will project planners get the money they're counting on to pay for it?

"I expect costs will easily reach $700 million before it's done," Councilman Picht said after one briefing. "We always underestimate the costs and overestimate the economic benefits."

Councilwoman Wendy Davis has said the benefits will more than make up for the project's estimated costs. As new development occurs uptown, for example, the revenue generated could "decrease the tax rates eventually for everyone," Davis said during a council work session.

There are warning signs that the project's costs could grow, but organizers said they are taking steps to control the risks.

Pollution is one factor that makes predicting costs difficult. The extent of contamination hasn't been determined. That's because the Water District does not yet own the private parcels through which the channel will flow, so engineers have not tested soil and groundwater.

Project planners have budgeted $32.9 million -- about 7.5 percent of the total -- and believe that's more than enough to cover pollution, based on what they do know is there.

Another factor is inflation.

Budget estimates are forecast based on what it would cost to build today, even though work on some components -- including the dam and the lake -- isn't scheduled to begin until 2013.

Based on the Corps' formula to budget for inflation, at least $30 million would be added to the project's cost.

Organizers say they have budgeted a $70 million cushion that should cover any additional costs, an amount recommended by the Corps because of the difficulty in predicting expenses. That cushion is one reason the budget grew to $435 million this year, they said.

To get the funding that backers are counting on, several things have to fall into place.

The project is ahead of the game because Congress has authorized $110 million for the flood control work. But that doesn't guarantee that Fort Worth will get the full amount. Each year, the city will have to compete with other flood-control projects nationwide. Because Granger sits on the powerful House Appropriations Committee, Fort Worth may have an inside track.

Planners will also need to line up sources for more than $80 million in additional federal money. They believe that the project will qualify for grants and other funding from agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency.

And the project area itself will need to generate more than $100 million in new property taxes. Planners believe they've underestimated that revenue potential, pointing to several new development projects already spurred as planning on Trinity Uptown has proceeded.

But what if the money falls short or doesn't come through on time?

"It might just take a little longer to do it," said Oliver, with the Water District. "Any time you're relying on federal funds, you're at the mercy of Congress."

Ultimately, Oliver said, backers might seek more local money: from the city, Tarrant County or the Water District, or by borrowing based on future development potential.

Toal is confident the money will be there.

"The taxpayers will not be left holding the bag," he said.

IN THE KNOW

Names to know

Sorting out the various project names:

Trinity River Vision A master plan for 88 miles of the river and its major tributaries.

Trinity Uptown The part of the plan that focuses on what city planners call the uptown area -- between downtown and the Stockyards. It envisions major development and recreational opportunities such as parks and water sports.

Central City Plan The $435 million infrastructure proposal to provide flood control and make the development envisioned in the Trinity Uptown plan possible. It includes creating a bypass channel and lake.

#72 ghughes

ghughes
  • Guests

Posted 21 June 2005 - 04:55 AM

Over in the Smokestack discussion
http://www.fortworth...wtopic=888&st=0
there's been some chat about comparisons between TRV and the Riverwalk in San Antonio. Seems like a worthwhile question/perspective, but it also seems broader than a question of smokestacks so I bring it here.

There was a question of sidewalk width... is Riverwalk too narrow? I haven't spent a lot of critical thinking time there, just enjoyable strolling. But there is something nice about the way a narrow passage is usually shaded by overhanging buildings and trees. The "vision" seems to present a lot of wide-open spaces which will not be condusive to shade and therefore will be empty of pedestrians during the summer months.

#73 courtnie

courtnie

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 474 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Fort Worth Texas
  • Interests:History, Historic Preservation, Art, Antiques

Posted 21 June 2005 - 08:17 AM

I think having narrow sidewalks are more intimate but if you get thousands of people on them at one time it will be a mess...Fort Worth is known to do things big so massive sidewalks really doesnt surprise me at all..

#74 John T Roberts

John T Roberts

    Administrator

  • Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 11,757 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:South Fort Worth
  • Interests:Architecture, Photography, Bicycling, Historic Preservation

Posted 17 July 2005 - 09:28 AM

A story in today's Fort Worth Star-Telegram discusses how the project is speeding through the approval process.

http://www.dfw.com/m...al/12154754.htm

#75 Now in Denton

Now in Denton

    Elite Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 982 posts
  • Location:Fort Worth Denton Co.Tx. The new Fort Worth

Posted 17 July 2005 - 11:47 AM

A story in today's Fort Worth Star-Telegram discusses how the project is speeding through the approval process.†

http://www.dfw.com/m...al/12154754.htm

View Post



Has anyone seen the model? It's at the Downtown Library .The web site is cool, the model is better. The layout as I talk to people say it looks like New York. with our own Battery park! :swg: Also looking at the model I see a Canterlevered (Did I spell that right? ) type bridge. I rather let Dallas keep that type bridge. Other than that its awsome!

#76 John T Roberts

John T Roberts

    Administrator

  • Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 11,757 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:South Fort Worth
  • Interests:Architecture, Photography, Bicycling, Historic Preservation

Posted 17 July 2005 - 12:03 PM

I have seen the model when it was on display at the Community Arts Center (Old Modern Art Museum). The correct spelling for the bridge is "cantilevered".

Welcome to the forum. We have received quite a few new members lately.

#77 Biggins

Biggins

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 140 posts
  • Location:Austin

Posted 18 July 2005 - 11:16 AM

I'm still having some trouble differentiating the TX Legislature's stance on eminent domain in the TRV case versus all other "economic development" schemes. It seems as if the TRV is getting a green light for property acquisition, but I'm left wondering how that could be the case. If our government is only supposed to provide basic infrastructure, how does a half-billion dollar urban lake get a pass? IMHO, it has to be because of the aggregate "economic development" and added value that will come with the project.

#78 John T Roberts

John T Roberts

    Administrator

  • Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 11,757 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:South Fort Worth
  • Interests:Architecture, Photography, Bicycling, Historic Preservation

Posted 26 July 2005 - 06:37 AM

There have been a couple of articles in this week's Fort Worth Star-Telegram regarding eminent domain and taking of some property for the project.

Monday's Article: http://www.dfw.com/m...al/12216511.htm

Tuesday's Article:
http://www.dfw.com/m...al/12224786.htm

On July 26 and 27, there will be a public viewing session of the project and a public hearing. The viewing will start at 4:00 PM each day and the public hearing will be at 7:00 PM each day. The location will be at the YWCA at 512 W. 4th in downtown.

#79 AndyN

AndyN

    Skyscraper Member

  • Moderators
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,949 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Midland, Tx. for now

Posted 26 July 2005 - 09:45 AM

This topic is being discussed on the Mark Davis show currently. WBAP AM 820.
Www.fortwortharchitecture.com

#80 Willy1

Willy1

    Elite Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 552 posts
  • Location:Fort Worth, TX

Posted 30 July 2005 - 12:01 PM

I think having narrow sidewalks are more intimate but if you get thousands of people on them at one time it will be a mess...Fort Worth is known to do things big so massive sidewalks really doesnt surprise me at all..

View Post


REALLY? You think FW does things big? Like what? I guess it's a perspective thing... To me the only thing FW does big is the Main Street Arts Festival. Other than that, the central city doesn't seem to do much on a grand scale. In fact, to me, everything in FW seems smaller than in other Texas cities. Sure we have a few big things, but to me those are rare in FW... Texas Motor Speedway and Lockheed Martin. But, those are also sort of out of the way, never seen, parts of FW in that they're not near the central city so you have to actually "go there" to see them. They're disconnected from the core. Here are some examples of why I feel everything in FW is done on a smaller scale rather than on a big scale.

* Fort Worth's atmosphere - small town feel despite the city's size.
* Downtown - smaller than most other cities of similar size.
* Skyscrapers - I'm not sure we even have any true skyscrapers... 40 stories is pretty small if you ask me.
* Convention Center - improving, but smaller than it needs to be.
* Arenas - we don't have any big arenas in FW. Therefore we don't get big concerts.
* Freeway infrastructure - 35 North of town and 820 are WAY too small for FW.
* Hotels - we don't have any really big ones.
* Hospitals - we have Harris, which is big but not compared to Parkland.
* Universities - TCU hardly qualifies as a big school. At least it's pretty.
* The Zoo - okay we score points on that one regardless of size.
* Museums - MOFW (LOL) is big, but that's the only large musuem we have.
* Airports - we can't claim DFW as only FW... but we get points for size on that one.
* Jobs - FW really lags behind other big cities when it comes to employment. Salaries are lower and there seem to be fewer big employers in FW...
* Corporate Headquarters - we have a few good big ones. AA being the biggest. Yet somehow they seem to have built the AA Center in Dallas. Hmmm...
* Sports - we don't have any major pro sports teams in FW.
* Entertainment complexes - Billy Bobs, TMS.... we get points for those. But, they're limited in their appeal to "everyone". I don't enjoy either of those places although I'm glad we have them in FW. Sundance Square is basically the only "entertainment zone" in FW and as great as it is, it's limited.
* BATS - we killed half of the small colony we had. Hopefully we'll have some great bat shelters soon.
* Explosions - this week's chemical fire on the North Side certainly ranks as big.
* Natural Disasters - the March 28, 2000 tornado certainly put us on the map.
* Media - I wish we had a superstation here - like TBS or CNN.

Okay, I think you get my point. It just seems to me that FW lacks the "bigness" that other cities have. Driving around Dallas and Houston you get a sense of being in a really big city. Everything seems big - the buildings, the streets, the density... Dallas actually seems a lot bigger and denser than it really is. FW seems just the opposite to me - smaller than it really is. I like the small town feel of Fort Worth in that there are sort of communities within communities here. But I also look forward to the day when FW feels like a major city with a completely urban feel to it. I like the way Dallas just seems huge when you look across the city and see all those different clusters of endless mid-rise and high-rise buildings everywhere. I love the way that DT DALLAS sort of nicely blends into Uptown density to the North. It give the city a feeling of being very urban. San Fran is another city that feels a lot bigger than it really is because of density. Seattle is another.... In fact, Seattle is smaller than FW and feels like it's as big if not bigger than Dallas.

#81 mosteijn

mosteijn

    Skyscraper Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,908 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:FW/Cincy
  • Interests:Architecture, Photography, Swimming, Soccer, Spanish

Posted 30 July 2005 - 12:51 PM

I agree with you on most of those points, but a few of them I just have to talk about. All the comparisons I make below to "other cities" are referring to major cities with metro populations between 1 and 2.5 million, because I think those are the cities that Fort Worth really shares the most in common with.

Downtown: you talking about physical size or space? Either way, I think with a downtown of about 2 sq miles and 10 million sf of office space, we're not that much bigger or smaller than other cities. I know Charlotte has 12 million sf of office space and a low vacancy rate, but I'm not sure about the other cities. Most of them have much higher vacancy rates than we do, so that's a plus.

Skyscrapers: I don't think the problem is with the height of our skyscrapers, it's with the lack of new skycrapers. Take a look at these diagrams from skyscraperpage.com of buildings over 400 ft here and in the other cities.


http://www.skyscrape...grams/?11965711
http://www.skyscrape...grams/?11965863

The first one shows that there are only 9 buildings legitimately taller than FW's tallest building (currently) and also shows how only 3 buildings in the mid-sized cities are taller than 600 ft. But the second diagram reaveals something interesting...all the proposed and U/C towers over 400ft in those same cities. The number of buildings taller that Burnett doubles and Chase Texas is pushed off the page. Birmingham, New Orleans, Sacramento all getting NEW taller buildings than FW? Hm...

Freeways: do we really need big freeways? Maybe if we leave our freeways alone they'll get so congested that we can justify light rail, something that really helps development and something about half of these cities have or are getting.

Universities: maybe more would be nice, but how many large cities are truly known for their universities? Capital cities maybe, but otherwise all of the recognizeable, large schools are in small "college towns" like Harvard, Princeton, and Yale.

Bats: lol I'm sure that isn't really a big deal...

Media: not even Dallas or Houston has a large, superstation-like media facility, but it would be great if Fort Worth had a truly LOCAL media :angry:

But yeah, otherwise you're right about FW really not doing things on a big scale, often times not even at a scale proportional to the popultion of the city (it's an embarrassment that some victims in FW have to be transported to Dallas because facilities for their level of injury don't exist here).

#82 John T Roberts

John T Roberts

    Administrator

  • Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 11,757 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:South Fort Worth
  • Interests:Architecture, Photography, Bicycling, Historic Preservation

Posted 07 August 2005 - 05:27 PM

The Draft Environmental Impact Study is available on the web. The link to the overall page is: http://www.trinityri...esentations.asp

There are links contained within on all reports for the Trinity River Vision. One of the more interesting links that I found was the Historic Context, Inventory, and Assessment of the Central City Segment of the Trinity River Vision Plan

That URL is: http://www.trinityri...oricContext.pdf

#83 DrkLts

DrkLts

    Skyscraper Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,092 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:S. Fort Worth

Posted 07 September 2005 - 11:56 AM

:D

Officials say Katrina may delay Fort Worth funding

By Scott Streater

Star-Telegram Staff Writer


FORT WORTH - The widespread devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina could slow federal funding for the sweeping Trinity Uptown project.

Top Army Corps of Engineers officials acknowledged Tuesday that it is possible that millions of dollars in federal money will need to be diverted in the next few years to the hurricane rebuilding effort.

That could throw the proposed $435 million project -- which would rechannel the Trinity River in an effort to improve flood control while revitalizing the area north of downtown -- off an ambitious schedule for completion in the next 15 years.

"Obviously, priorities may change because of this," said Tommy Knox, acting programs director of the Corps' southwestern division, headquartered in Dallas.

While no decisions have been made to change priorities to deal with Katrina, "I think that there probably will be," said Knox, who oversees Corps projects worth more than $1 billion a year in seven states.

Fort Worth Mayor Mike Moncrief said he is concerned that the Gulf Coast disaster could divert funds needed locally.

"It's a major concern and one that our staff is already talking about," he said.

"We realize that federal resources will be stretched to try to help the Gulf Coast," Moncrief said. "We have yet to have any evaluation on how the ripple effect could impact projects in our city, including the Trinity River Vision and highway and infrastructure needs."

Knox said funding decisions will be made by Congress each year.

Trinity Uptown's chief congressional backer, Rep. Kay Granger, R-Fort Worth, was not available for comment Tuesday, two of her staff members said. She traveled to Washington, then was busy in meetings, said Pat Svacina, her Fort Worth-based spokesman.

While a short-term delay in funding is possible, Corps officials and project backers say that in the long run the tragedy in New Orleans could focus congressional attention on flood-control projects nationwide.

Most of the damage in New Orleans was caused by breeches in the city's decades-old levee system. The Corps has estimated that it could take months to pump all the water out of the city.

Trinity Uptown is designed to eliminate the need for the outdated dirt levee system that protects central Fort Worth. The levees, built in the 1950s, no longer offer protection against a catastrophic flood.

If such a flood were to occur, engineers say, big chunks of the dirt levees that protect the uptown area could be washed away, submerging large swathes of land north of downtown and in the Cultural District to the west.

"I think [Katrina] demonstrated what happens, or what may happen, when you don't get the funding to protect an area like it needs to be protected," said Jim Oliver, general manager of the Tarrant Regional Water District, which is spearheading the project. "That storm was improbable, but it did happen. It's similar to our situation here, where the storm that could overtop our levees is improbable, but historically they have happened."

The Corps had developed a much cheaper flood-control alternative that would address the flooding concerns in the central Fort Worth area. The plan, which the Corps abandoned last year, would have cost $9.1 million.

Project backers say that alternative is unacceptable because they want to remove the levees that have long obscured views of the river.

Congress authorized $110 million for Trinity Uptown last year. That did not guarantee Fort Worth would get all -- or any -- of that money. Each year, the project will have to compete with other flood-control projects nationwide for portions of the $110 million.

In addition to the congressional money, planners will also need to line up sources for more than $80 million in additional federal money. They have said that the project should qualify for grants and other funding from agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency.

That was before Katrina devastated the Louisiana and Mississippi coasts.

Rebecca Griffith, chief of the Corps' planning branch in Fort Worth, said funding delays are possible. "But exactly how much that is and whether or not it has anything to do with this project is totally in the hands of Congress," she said.

IN THE KNOW

Deadline today for comments

Time is almost up to tell federal regulators what you think of the Trinity Uptown project -- the $435 million proposal to rechannel the Trinity River and revitalize the area north of downtown.

The deadline to comment on an Army Corps of Engineers study of the project is 5 p.m. today, said Rebecca Griffith, chief of the Corps' planning branch.

Preliminary results of the study concluded that the project should move forward despite the protests of more than 80 property and business owners who would lose all or part of their property to Trinity Uptown.

The best way to ensure that your comments are included is to e-mail them to Griffith. The address is rebecca.s.griffith@ swf02.usace.army.mil.

Mailed comments must be postmarked by today and should be sent to:

Rebecca Griffith, CESWF-PER-P

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Fort Worth District

Box 17300

Fort Worth, TX 76102-0300

Or submit comments by fax: (817) 886-6525


--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Staff Writer Anna M. Tinsley Contributed to This Report.
Scott Streater, (817) 390-7657 sstreater@star-telegram.com

#84 ghughes

ghughes
  • Guests

Posted 10 September 2005 - 05:32 AM

I sent my comment to the Corps:

The proposed Trinity Uptown project is not about flood control, it is about economic development. The Corps of Engineers has an $11 million solution to a problem that has a very small likelihood of occurrence. The City of Fort Worth has a $435 million solution that is technically feasible, but financially foolish. The Corps own analysis anticipates loss of wetland and wildlife habitat if the project goes forward. The city's proposal requires a surge area upstream that removes many acres of very desirable land from the local market. And it creates an oversized pond, not a lake, downtown with little if any recreational potential.

Why does the downtown pond have so little potential? First, it is currently illegal to posses fish caught at or below the confluence of the Trinity River due to hazards in the water. So don't look for an active fishing pier. Second, the inflow of debris into the river system will provide a constant supply of trash for the shore of the pond. Not a scenic picture, but look at the current situation. And third, during droughts, the pond will either shrink to a mud flat or will need to be supplied by dropping the levels of true recreational lakes: Benbrook, Lake Worth, and/or Eagle Mountain. As an extension of the third point, the added surface area of the pond with respect to the river will result in increased evaporation and less water to flow downstream. And it's proposed size does not support any boating, no matter how many slips are rendered by artists.

With the country in need of every dollar for critical projects, please do not allow the Corps of Engineers to be duped into supporting this load of pork. Spend $11 million if necessary and improve the flood control. But please don't waste $400 million on this project.

#85 safly

safly

    Skyscraper Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,069 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:ALAMO!
  • Interests:Restaurants. Golf. Garlic. FIESTA. Beer ME.

Posted 10 September 2005 - 03:26 PM

I agree. Wow!

I have been against those phases of the project since day 1. Or since my first year living here in FW. I remain supportive of protecting the area wildlife and river stability. One of our most precious resources must be protected. This project underway will greatly affect many of resources and recreational downstream. It seems that Mr. Oliver respectfully only cares about this project going through to solely stimulate area business interest. Hence, every time the TRV is plastered on the airwaves or local TV stations, the common repetitive theme is economic impact. Well, is that not the faulty attitude that has allowed NOLA to fail Mother Nature's course? We should harness not hamper, and be resourceful not restricitve. I too am against this, and I would certainly hope that intelligent humans that have influence on this project will ABSOLUTELY learn from the Katrina catastrophe and put away their blinders.

I also agree that while at the Gideon Toals community presentations some 4 years ago, I had sensed that the renderings were a BIT overdone on the whole "LAKE" idea with sail boats, beach life, and all sorts of marine entertainment. Very UNREALISTIC to say the least. A stretch of a sale IMHO.
COWTOWN! Get your TIP ON!
www.iheartfw.com

#86 David Love

David Love
  • Guests

Posted 10 September 2005 - 09:26 PM

Regardless of merits, funding is going to be tight for the next couple of years. I am worried about the large amount chemical dumping going into the Trinity, when it occurs so regularly that they pull their trucks up during the day and drop their pipes and pump away. Stopped or slowed only if someone has them on camera in the act. I could see some increased pressure on the pollution issue if a recreational body of water existed downtown.

I donít see slips being of any use, the water area would have to be at least 3 or 4 times as large as proposed or connected to a larger body of water in its current renderings. Donít know about the flood control issues, Iím sure it was designed into the project to qualify for funding, much like someone renovating in a TIFF area.

#87 ghughes

ghughes
  • Guests

Posted 11 September 2005 - 08:35 AM

I am worried about the large amount chemical dumping going into the Trinity, when it occurs so regularly that they pull their trucks up during the day and drop their pipes and pump away.

Where would that occur? There's almost no street access to the river except for bridges over it, at least within Fort Worth.

#88 David Love

David Love
  • Guests

Posted 11 September 2005 - 10:30 AM

Iíve seen a couple articles of a, not sure if it was a single person or a company, with a chronic record over several years of dumping violations. Just because you donít see direct access doesnít mean you canít easily gain access, for instance, my office sits directly above a small creek complete with snapping turtles, nesting fish, cranes, etcÖ that empties directly into the Trinity. A paved road runs along side it and at one point goes directly across it. The Trinity is about 200 or so meters down stream.

Just because you donít see direct access doesnít mean someone with a little creativity and common sense canít easily gain access to it. My office is technically in Fort Worth, 76155. If I were a rogue hazardous material disposer, I grab my truck, fishing pole and tackle box and scout the marked, unmarked roads that surround nearly every highway bridge that crosses a waterway.

#89 djold1

djold1

    Elite Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 689 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:76179

Posted 11 September 2005 - 06:41 PM

The comment(s) about toxic dumping are serious. And if true, something should be done. However, I am always cautious about off the cuff 3rd and 4th party comments like this. Anyone that you or I know can make statements like this. But until there is some proof and names are named I think it is irresponsible to assume that they are true.

There certainly could be toxic dumping. And there have been instances in the past where these things were discovered, proved and action was taken.

Certainly the news media is always looking for something like that and city and county governments could not afford to overlook it, if it was happening. Pretty hard to conceal this stuff from the media and with satellite imagery and more continuous water supply testing it gets harder and harder. Not impossible, but less likely that it is happening from big black trucks in the middle of the night.

Before I believe it, I want some credible evidence

Pete Charlton

Pete Charlton
The Fort Worth Gazette blog
The Lost Antique Maps of Fort Worth on CDROM
Website: Antique Maps of Texas
Large format reproductions of original antique and vintage Texas & southwestern maps
 


#90 safly

safly

    Skyscraper Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,069 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:ALAMO!
  • Interests:Restaurants. Golf. Garlic. FIESTA. Beer ME.

Posted 11 September 2005 - 08:27 PM

From my understanding anyone can become a water tester. Heard about it during a documentary on good ol PBS. It was about Texas Rivers. I believe you get your kits and info. from the TxPWand Fisheries. People do this kinda stuff all the time, strictly volunteer I believe, but well worth it. <_<
COWTOWN! Get your TIP ON!
www.iheartfw.com

#91 courtnie

courtnie

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 474 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:Fort Worth Texas
  • Interests:History, Historic Preservation, Art, Antiques

Posted 11 September 2005 - 09:15 PM

actually dumping could happen pretty easily if they wanted to because they have closed off a road that runs along the river and the way the rivers eating up the bank down there its easy access to the river..its behind greenwood cemetary..no one goes down there much except bikers on the trails but they would have keys to the gates....anythings possible..we probably have 3 eyes blinkies in the trinity.......

#92 David Love

David Love
  • Guests

Posted 12 September 2005 - 08:26 AM

Have I witnessed anyone dumping? No. If I had I would have reported it, as would anyone, I'd hope. Do I think that it occurs on a regular basis? Yes.

Testing water directly can give you immediate results, but typically happen as a result to something suspicious. Donít know if they have full time monitoring devices or not, but it might be an idea worth implementing. Kind of like a river weather report.

My guess is the major item intentionally dumped directly into the river or its feeders is raw sewage. You canít just leave that stuff anywhere, people tend to notice. The item I mentioned earlier, the news crew that caught the guy on tape is referenced at the bottom and he did eventually get 5 months for it. But the fact that it happens enough to be taped worries me. Those purposely dumping into any river will be relegated to items that donít cause immediate fish or wildlife kills because once they find their good dumping areas theyíd probably like to use them more than once and a fish kill would bring immediate attention to the area, so sewage and a few other items that donít immediately cause a problem but could compound over time and eventually become serious.

Itís the really nasty stuff that gets dumped out in a ravine somewhere, perhaps on leased or public land even. By the time it seeps into water tables or finally reaches a runoff vector the person or persons are long gone. I think this category of violators is the most dangerous and nearly impossible to catch.

Then we have the decades of pesticides and heavy metals that have leached into the soil and may lay in layers along river bottoms just waiting to be disturbed by some unsuspecting construction project.

Hereís some info to get you started:

http://www.tsha.utex...es/TT/rnt2.html

Over the past century the waters of the Trinity have become increasingly polluted. Runoff containing pesticides and herbicides and dumping of industrial and human waste-particularly in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex-have combined to cause serious deterioration of water quality. The most severely affected area is the 250-mile-long stretch that extends from Dallas-Fort Worth to the headwaters of Lake Livingston. By the early 1960s the river below Dallas for 100 miles was so polluted that the United States Public Health Service described it as "septic." Since that time efforts have been made to clean up the river. A water quality management plan was adopted in the 1970s, but in the early 1990s pollution problems continued.

http://www.nctcog.or...work_Dallas.asp

Both the public land and vacant private tracts are subject to substantial dumping. This historically underserved quadrant of the city would be the initial target area for a Groundwork Dallas.

Published on January 7, 2005, Page , Fort Worth Star-Telegram (TX)

DALLAS--A 47-year-old Mesquite man convicted of illegally dumping waste taken from portable toilets into a creek that feeds into the Trinity River will spend the next five months in jail. Judge Vickers Lee Cunningham Sr. of the 283rd District Court on Thursday added the five months of jail time to the jury's sentence of five years' probation and a $10,000 fine for Jimmy Wayne Lashley. Last January, a KDFW/Channel 4 news crew filmed Lashley draining waste taken from portable toilets into a creek that feeds into the Trinity River

#93 Sam Stone

Sam Stone

    Skyscraper Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,036 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Overton, then Monticello, now expat in OC, CA

Posted 12 September 2005 - 09:31 AM

I sent my comment to the Corps:

The proposed Trinity Uptown project is not about flood control, it is about economic development. The Corps of Engineers has an $11 million solution to a problem that has a very small likelihood of occurrence. The City of Fort Worth has a $435 million solution that is technically feasible, but financially foolish. The Corps own analysis anticipates loss of wetland and wildlife habitat if the project goes forward. The city's proposal requires a surge area upstream that removes many acres of very desirable land from the local market. And it creates an oversized pond, not a lake, downtown with little if any recreational potential.

Why does the downtown pond have so little potential? First, it is currently illegal to posses fish caught at or below the confluence of the Trinity River due to hazards in the water. So don't look for an active fishing pier. Second, the inflow of debris into the river system will provide a constant supply of trash for the shore of the pond. Not a scenic picture, but look at the current situation. And third, during droughts, the pond will either shrink to a mud flat or will need to be supplied by dropping the levels of true recreational lakes: Benbrook, Lake Worth, and/or Eagle Mountain. As an extension of the third point, the added surface area of the pond with respect to the river will result in increased evaporation and less water to flow downstream. And it's proposed size does not support any boating, no matter how many slips are rendered by artists.

With the country in need of every dollar for critical projects, please do not allow the Corps of Engineers to be duped into supporting this load of pork. Spend $11 million if necessary and improve the flood control. But please don't waste $400 million on this project.

View Post



Thank you, Greg, for explaining some of these things. I have been both excited and cynical about this project. Excited for obvious reasons--the town lake and all that does sound great, doesn't it? And cynical because, though I know nothing of the engineering issues, its feasibility sounds dubious. And beyond that, what are the chances they could actually get this "vision" right in practice? I do have to say, though, I don't really have a problem with the pork aspect of it. Pork makes the world go 'round and I'd much rather see our pols garnering popularity from district spending than from supporting misbegotten ideological policies. The great thing about a town lake is that its not a Democratic or Republican town lake. It would just be nice if the pork was spent on something that would work.

#94 David Love

David Love
  • Guests

Posted 12 September 2005 - 10:52 AM

Would you not have the exact same issues with any small recreational lake or really big pond? Unless the Trinity totally dries up, evaporation shouldnít be an issue, itís not like they have to run hydro electric generators which require steady water flow.

How do other lakes deal with the debris issue?

#95 ghughes

ghughes
  • Guests

Posted 12 September 2005 - 02:36 PM

Yes, and small ponds and lakes have that problem, too. But they aren't usually the centerpiece of an expensive development project.

And they are also built in places where a dam makes sense to provide depth. In other words, the ratio of surface area to volume means that the amount of water in most lakes available for evaporation is relatively small. In this case the depth will be minimal so the water available to evaporate is a large part of the water there. With a strong sun on dark water it will heat up and go away. The main problem with that is a reduced flow downstream which I know nobody cares about because that's East FW and Arlington and Dallas.

As to trash there's usually some pickup by volunteers or park employees or convicts. But we don't have much experience with recreational waterways in urban settings. Urban rivers carry a lot of trash. In SA they drain the riverwalk once a year for cleaning, right?

I'm not saying it can't be done, but when I look at the shoulders of our freeways and at the river confluence today I am not hopeful that Fort Worth will suddenly begin picking up after itself.

#96 redhead

redhead

    Elite Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 718 posts
  • Location:Cultural District

Posted 12 September 2005 - 03:22 PM

But Greg, the level of the lake will be raised significantly, so the issue of evaporation as well as turn (stagnation) will be minimized. Below Nutt Dam, the water level will come up approximately 18 from its current level, and above it, approximately 12 feet higher. Water quality for the lake is one of the priorities of the TCRWD as well as the Corps.

I understand both sides of the argument, and am generally opposed to pork, but hey, it's our turn! Boston could have raised its freeway rather than suffer through the "Big Dig" at mostly federal expense.(A BILLION dollars if memory still serves me.) And didn't we just fund a biodome in Kansas last year? And the list goes on...

If we can both solve our flood problem, create an urban lake with four times the frontage of the SA Riverwalk and double the effective size of downtown, is that meritorious of some federal help? I for one would say "YES." (OK, so maybe I'm a little biased.)

#97 safly

safly

    Skyscraper Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,069 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:ALAMO!
  • Interests:Restaurants. Golf. Garlic. FIESTA. Beer ME.

Posted 12 September 2005 - 05:17 PM

I think the "Big Dig" in "beantown" was deemed a bit more necessary than what FW is trying to accomplish here. What financing that will be NEEDED in NOLA and surrounding towns of Katrina's Path will too be necessary. Good point on the SA Riverwalk scale in comparison to the TRV, but wouldn't you agree that it's scale for the size of it's city and tourism numbers just makes for a PERFCT intimate setting. So why need a river themed frontage strip 4 x that of one from a much bigger city and tourism market?

I oppose EXCESSIVE PORK of any kind.

What has been FW's flood problem(s) exactly?

Urban Lakes are weak and a bit dirty too. Besides, what makes DTFW an URBAN match?

I vote NO!

Water quality for the lake is one of the priorities of the TCRWD as well as the Corps.


Honestly, I think they are chewing on too many priorities than they can swallow here. GULP! :D
I say create a lake in some other part of FW, one more PRACTICAL. B) Ahh, there's a word we haven't used on this topic discussion.
COWTOWN! Get your TIP ON!
www.iheartfw.com

#98 JBB

JBB

    Skyscraper Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,388 posts
  • Location:Bedford

Posted 12 September 2005 - 08:23 PM

This may have been addressed earlier in the thread, but what is keeping FW from developing the riverfront without the bypass channel, the lake, etc.? Is there a cheaper alternative that allows for similar development at a cheaper price without the massive land grab? I suspect that the removal of the levees made possible by the massive flood control measures is key to the success of the current TRV, but I'm no expert or engineer.

#99 mosteijn

mosteijn

    Skyscraper Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,908 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:FW/Cincy
  • Interests:Architecture, Photography, Swimming, Soccer, Spanish

Posted 12 September 2005 - 08:30 PM

I think the "Big Dig" in "beantown" was deemed a bit more necessary than what FW is trying to accomplish here. What financing that will be NEEDED in NOLA and surrounding towns of Katrina's Path will too be necessary.

View Post

You must be using two different definitions of the word "necessary" then. Yes, a freeway in downtown Boston is probably necessary to help traffic, but burying the freeway, as I understand it, had more of an aesthetic goal than a practical one, because it would have been WAY cheaper to expand the elevated freeway than dig a new one. New Orleans is an entirely different situation.

#100 ghughes

ghughes
  • Guests

Posted 12 September 2005 - 09:16 PM

JBB, as I undertand it you can't take away the levees to get to the river without doing some other sort of flood contol work.

As to the water levels... a 12 foot increase from current would come way into Radio Shack's irrigated tall grass prairie. Are we sure about those numbers?

And, yeah, bring home the pork. Everybody does it. Great. I love being part of our decline as a nation. Woohoo!





Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Panther Island, Redevelopment, North Side, Flood Control, Infrastructure

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users