The great Michael Lindenberger’s exegesis yesterday of Tom Leppert’s statements in the 2007 campaign for the Trinity toll way shows a newly elected mayor putting a positive spin on the Army Corps of Engineers’ levee concerns. Leppert’s gung-ho, “get-the-dirt-flyin” optimism in the face of the Corps’ Delphic pronouncements can be read either generously or conspiratorially. Angela Hunt takes the former tack:
“The mayor is a salesman,” Hunt said. “I was there, telling him the corps had not approved this thing. He knew that what he was saying was not accurate. But I think he believed he could make it accurate, given some time. He sincerely believed this project would win approval and that, a year down the road, everything would be just fine.”
What neither of them knew was that sand would be discovered in the levee base. Nor did either of them know that enginering studies would determine that waterÂ seepage from the bridge piers could undermine the levees. Even though the Federal Highway Administration continues to support the project — and says these problems can be fixed — what the rest of us are beginning to figure out is that the cost of fixing them will cause the costs of the toll way option to skyrocket. For now, all we can do is wait for engineering studies to tell us by how much and whether the FHA is willing to foot the bill. Meanwhle, how is that Plan B coming?