Several years ago, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) built an interchange at the intersection of SH71 and I-35/US290 in South Austin. In typical fashion for Austin, the entire interchange was planned, but only a portion was built. (Interchanges all over Austin have only part of the ramps built. This way, you get years of construction, a new interchange, but still the same old traffic jam. Totally cool. :rolleyes:) Anyway, now TxDOT may have come up with some funding to build the remaining parts of the interchange. According to this article in the Austin American-Statesman, however, the project may be delayed while the plans are revised.
My GQ: Why do the plans have to be changed at all? When TxDOT lets out the bids, can’t they just tell the contractors “Hey, this is in metric.”? Obviously, everyone on the project has to agree on the units to use lest bridges fail to meet in the middle (witness NASA’s mission to Mars that ended in disaster because of unit confusion). However, as long as everyone is on the same page, why does it matter what the units are? Build the thing using cubits. Who cares?
So what’s the big deal? Just build the thing already!!
(In a truly inspired example of half-assed highway building, check out my favorite example of the bridge to nowhere. Those columns have been there for nearly thirty years. They are supposed to hold a four lane overpass comprising northbound US183. The southbound bridge was built, but you’ll notice that, while it can hold four lanes, it only is striped for one lane. That’s because, at the southern end of the bridge, is an abutment for the Montopolis Drive underpass. So, it’s a bridge into a wall. Brilliant.)