Thursday, February 23, 2017

The Trials of Building a Bridge

In October, DPW Superintendent Rob Perry reported to the Common Council Public Works Committee that he had sent requests for an expression of interest in Hudson's Ferry Street Bridge project to four of the eleven engineering firms on the preapproved list of engineers for this region. It turns out, as Perry told the Public Works Committee this past Wednesday, he was supposed to send the request to all the preapproved firms, which, he said, total fifteen not eleven. This was done, and five firms responded: Barton & Loguidice, Creighton Manning, HVEA, GPI|Greenman-Pedersen, and Modjeski & Masters.

Perry told the committee that the firm chosen will be "in for the total project--from beginning to end." The first phase of the project is the preliminary design, which is primarily structural. Because the scope of the work and the amount of money available for it is fixed, the engineering firm will not be chosen based on lowest bid but rather on relevant experience and qualifications. According to Perry, he and the mayor, and probably also Public Works Commissioner Peter Bujanow, will be deciding which engineering firm will undertake the construction of the new bridge.

1 comment:

  1. Evidently, aesthetics were not a topic of discussion or interest, which tells us something right there.

    If your first choice is "primarily structural," and by thinking structurally you're not considering aesthetics (?), then you've automatically narrowed the range of aesthetic options by choosing one set of criteria over another.

    More likely than not, this would be an arbitrary choice.

    For example, wherever engineers are consulted it's a well-known occupational hazard that aesthetics come last. In my opinion, engineers should never be entrusted with aesthetic decisions. Ever.

    This will be everyone's bridge, and we'd be foolish to allow those with limited aesthetic sensibilities to commit to choice-limiting "phases" without garnering the people's say-so first.