Western Gateway Bridge’s abbreviated lifespan is real issue
All the talk about the design of the “New Western Gateway Bridge” has made me wonder why people are not concerned about how many times this bridge has been rebuilt!
Originally built in 1923-25, and replaced in 1971, it is now costing $16.9 million to rehabilitate only 42 years later. It is ludicrous for a bridge to be rebuilt twice after the original construction and only 88 years of service.
Traveling through Europe, through places with harsh conditions, I have crossed bridges built during the time of the Roman Empire. There are bridges that have stood for 2,000 years carrying heavy traffic in Italy and elsewhere, while here, in the greatest country the world has ever seen, we can’t build one to last more than a few short years.
Some 45 years ago, I worked for Bethlehem Steel, the company that fabricated and laid the steel for the bridge spanning the Hudson River from Albany to Rensselaer, replacing the old Dunn Memorial Bridge. A Bethlehem engineer told me while working on the bridge that it would have problems because of the design; a few years ago this came to pass. Doesn’t anyone wonder why our bridges fail after such short lives, while many in the “Old World” have withstood the test of time? Even bridges that were bombed during WWII are still standing after repairs in many European cities, while ours simply rust away.
While I am not an engineer, I am a taxpayer, and it seems America is building bridges with dollar bills instead of stone. I think those complaining about how the view is obstructed by the new design should be more interested in what it is costing. Many of us won’t be here in 44 more years, but if history repeats itself they will be building another Western Gateway Bridge and it will cost several times the $16.9 million it is costing now.
How’s that for a view?
Gary P. Guido
Motorists need to be on the lookout for all
Letter writer Peter Frank [Sept. 19] says he doesn’t want to be a jerk, but will also “not make any special effort to look out for motorcyclists,” while noting the proliferation of yellow lawn signs asking drivers to “Look out for us. Please.”
The reason these signs are there is because the overwhelming majority of car/motorcycle accidents are caused by cars making left turns into motorcyclists’ right of way, with the driver most often saying: “I never saw the motorcyclist.” Since this is often a much more serious event for the motorcyclist, these signs are simply begging drivers to be a little extra careful.
Mr. Frank says it’s motorcyclists’ responsibility if something terrible happens because bikes are “more difficult to see” than autos. But it is imperative that a good car driver attempt to see everything in his path, including cars, pedestrians, bicyclists, kids running after balls, etc.
Motorcyclists do use “extra caution” — we wear boots, helmets, gloves, good jackets and more. While motorcyclists are not perfect — many of us have bikes that are way too loud and some of us do ride too fast or perform stupid moves in traffic — we use much less gas and take up less parking space than cars. Plus we are a huge boon to the local economy. Just ask the folks in Lake George how much we spend on fuel, food, lodging and souvenirs at Americade each year.
If you really don’t want to be a jerk, please, please, please, just try to pay more attention when driving your huge, heavy automobile, especially when making left-hand turns. Smaller and less-protected road users like motorcyclists, bicyclists and pedestrians will really appreciate it.
Frank L. Palmeri
Shootings no more tolerable one at a time
As the news dribbles out about this latest murderous rampage in Washington, we don’t understand the why behind these occurrences. Strangely we have come to expect this in America, at least once or twice a year.
A [Sept. 19 Huffington Post] article that stated, “Nationals’ Stadium reopens after shooting at Navy yard” intrigued me. Has Wrigley Field in Chicago or Comerica Park in Detroit “reopened” lately from the carnage that builds on their [cities’] streets daily? The number of murders and shootings on a daily basis in those cities is mind-boggling, yet no one there has the decency to reopen those stadiums around those crime scenes. They never close.
We’ve become a nation of ceremonial observers. The real tragedy is the individual person does not measure up to the crowd. It’s not exciting or important enough to know the mother on the sidewalk who was pushing a baby in a carriage, got shot and was killed. No, we need the sensational to become incensed about killing. We think we need feelings that someone cares enough by observing the tragedy immediately, but the next day we are back to business as usual. What can be done on the aggregate level? I do not know.
Maybe on the individual level, we need to start caring about people right outside our door, and not only the group far away that is suffering. You want to change the world, start with yourself! Then let that change permeate your immediate environment and let God take it from there.
Tough crossing bridge in wheelchair or stroller
I am surprised that the Sept. 15 Viewpoint, “Dangerous crossing,” made no mention of the difficult, maybe even impossible, task of crossing the bridge in wheelchairs or pushing a stroller.
Over the years, I have seen several of these. I have yet to go over the newly surfaced bridge, but it sounds like I am giving myself a treat by avoiding it.
Perhaps, Gov. Cuomo should take back his decision to give “contractors the right to make the decisions.”
Lois A. Borst
Solution to pit bull problem too extreme
I am quite distressed over Linda Knightes’ Sept. 17 letter, “Outlaw pit bulls to end their abuse, exploitation.”. Her simplistic and horrific solution for all pit bulls made me shudder.
Due to the ignorance of a few dog owners, Ms. Knightes wants all pit bulls to be outlawed (euthanasia!). What breed is next?
If an irresponsible dog owner can no longer obtain a pit bull, will they then go to a Rottweiler or a boxer and, when they are banned, a poodle?
Hysteria is not a solution!
Parents paid for more back in ‘good old days’
The Sept. 14 editorial, “Nickel-and-diming parents for school supplies,” tells of the woes of parents having to buy school supplies, such as pencils, notebooks and glue sticks.
Now let me tell you about the “good old days.” In 1932, when I was 6, I walked about one mile to Milton No. 8 — a one-room school. [Later] my parents paid tuition and bus expense for two years so I could start junior high in the seventh grade, as did village pupils. Not only did they buy my school supplies, but also paid for all required books.
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