August 14th, 2010 at 04:49pm
The RiotACT brings word that the Gungahlin Drive Extension’s 2nd stage bridge, which is currently under construction, has collapsed on to the Barton Highway.
Thankfully nobody has been seriously hurt. One person was trapped and had to be freed with up to ten people being taken to hospital. (Update: In one breath the Emergency Services Agency says that there were no serious injuries, and in the next says that “The injuries range from limb to suspected spinal”. That sounds pretty serious to me.)
I’m sorry, but I can’t mince words here. Regardless of what may or may not have happened on-site, I have no doubts that the people ultimately to blame for this ar e the loopy greenies and socialists from Save The Ridge, the very people who caused delays and massive budget blowouts in the original GDE construction, which effectively prevented the second lane each way from being built at the time. If it weren’t for these people, the bridge in question would have been built at least a couple years ago, and would therefore have not collapsed during construction today.
“But it could have collapsed back then!” you say? Well, no, I don’t agree. Data from Darren Giles’ Gungahlin Weather Centre (which is closer to the bridge collapse than the Bureau’s airport measuring devices) shows that over the last few years we have had:
2006: 366.8 mm of rain
2007: 499.0 mm of rain
2008: 503.2 mm of rain
2009: 390.2 mm of rain
2010: 328.8 mm of rain to the end of yesterday (225 days of the year, which once extrapolated to a full year gives us 533.39 mm.
This makes this year our wettest of the years in which construction has been undertaken on the GDE. Rain can severely affect the integrity of setting concrete, and it is reasonable to say that, had the bridge been built in a previous year, it would have had less chance of being adversely affected by rain. Therefore, the delays caused by Save The Ridge are to blame for this bridge collapse.
Just another reason why we can’t let people like this be in charge of important infrastructure projects.