"Keep a Journal: How else are you going to get a good look at who you were?"

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Karen posted a bit about the Patullo Bridge fire in her 'blog - entitled "The Times and Life". That's the title of the 'blog...not the article.

I posted a comment to the effect that the whole affair was somewhat "suspicious". Or perhaps it's just my paranoia talking.


The Patullo Bridge catches fire. More specifically: the only remaining timber support structure on the Surrey side of the bridge that hasn't yet been replaced was destroyed in a fire which was at first thought to be accidental. Some homeless individuals trying to stay warm. A day or so later, the RCMP spokessuit stated that they had found that the homeless person's campfire could not have been the cause of all the damage, and they were pursuing an arson investigation.

In the meantime, it was announced that the Patullo bridge would be closed for "four to six weeks" while the burnt timbers were demolished and hauled away, and suitable replacement materials were located and put in place.

Four days later...the homeless were again the cause of the "accident" and no mention of any arson investigation is to be found in the local papers.

And then: Fortunate Happenstance!

A steel bracing structure that had been used a few years back as part of the construction of the Canada Line commuter rail was located at a storage yard in rural Langley. A "turnkey" deal was instantly inked to allow the steel structure to be purchased and used as a suitable replacement for the destroyed timber supports on the bridge. The good fortune keeps on rolling as this lucky find just happens to be the right size to replace the timber structure and just happens to be certified by the city engineers to last for the next six to ten years; that being the window those same engineers are looking at as being the best time to replace, twin, or upgrade (or possibly some combination of the three) the Patullo.

The bridge re-opens in two weeks, instead of six. Celebration and accolades all around. Additionally, the project comes in well under it's 10 million dollar budget. Woweee...under budget AND ahead of schedule.

Ignoring the fact, of course, that neither the expenditure or inconvenience would have been necessary if someone hadn't lit the bridge on fire in the first place!

I don't know...but it sounds suspiciously to me like someone used a judicious spot of freelance arson to do an end run around a budget committee somewhere.

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