Kevin Hellriegel's Blog of Worthless Advice

The only blog that you really want to read…or ignore.

Oops…more taxpayer’s money wasted because someone didn’t want to do their job!

If you haven’t heard, the Washington State Department of Transportation engineers didn’t test the 520 floating bridge pontoon design like they were supposed to do.  Oops.  But not to worry, good taxpayers of Washington State, the DOT set aside $200 million for mistakes and unforeseen problems that might arise.

Keep in mind, there aren’t a lot of floating bridges in the world and Washington State has three of them.  I think there are only like four or five in the whole world.  Do you think that maybe we should be paying attention to the design since we are setting the floating bridge standard?

I have to ask about this cost overrun: “Are you kidding me?”  I don’t mind having a $200 million emergency fund for unforeseen problems or conditions that might arise.  I can understand that if you were building a bridge and discover the ground wasn’t stable and you had extra costs to make sure it was safe, I can understand that.  However, when it was your job to test the design but you didn’t do it (didn’t do your job in other words), that isn’t “unforeseen” problem.  You screwed up.  You didn’t do your job.  But hey, that is OK.  Your bosses figured you’d mess up and planned a $200 million fund to pay for your laziness.

And you wonder why people are so upset when these “cost overruns” come up?  You wonder why people don’t like taxes or paying the bridge tolls?

I’m not a moron.  I know things cost money and that government isn’t free.  I just get a tad bit upset when someone doesn’t bother to do their assigned job.  I get more upset when there is a whole division of professional engineers (with fancy college degrees) that don’t do their job.  It  is their job to test the design prior to approving it because, well, it is their job!  They are professional engineers that are overseeing a new floating bridge and it is a new design.  Hmm, it is kind of important considering hundreds of thousands of cars and people will be travelling across this new bridge everyday entrusting their lives on this design.

Gee, should we test the design?  Should we do our job and test it?  Nah, let’s approve it.  Screw good engineering practices that we should believe in, screw the taxpayers and money they pay us!  Stamp the approval on those plans and let’s start building those untested pontoons for one of the few floating bridges in the world!

Thanks for reading!  But next time just push the “like” button without reading my blog…it is the easier thing to do!


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