“There’s an old saying in Tennessee — I know it’s in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can’t get fooled again.”
President George W. Bush, 2002
Yeah. What he said. . .
On Tuesday, Halifax area residents and business owners had the rug pulled out from under them once again.
The long-anticipated May 19 opening date for the interminably delayed Orange Avenue Bridge came and went – and, for the umpteenth time, that red-faced rube, Volusia County Engineer Tadd Kasbeer, was forced to stare at his shoes, shuffle his feet, and sheepishly announce that Orlando-based contractor Johnson Bros. Corporation fooled him again. Again.
If you ask me, that joke is getting old. . .
Apparently, the Johnson brothers are a couple of fun-loving guys who build high-level concrete arch bridges on weekends in their spare time – then entertain themselves by pulling arbitrary completion dates out of thin air and watching government engineers squirm.
According to a report by the intrepid Eileen Zaffiro-Kean writing in The Daytona Beach News-Journal, it has now taken almost as long to construct the Orange Avenue span as it took to complete the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco – which is four times longer. . .
Our project began way back in June 2016 with an initial estimated completion date of December 2018.
In the Johnson’s defense, they weathered three hurricanes, a lightning strike, unstable ground, a toppled crane, bad engineering advice and at least one violation of the old “measure twice – cut once” apprentice rule when the height of the bridge railing was apparently “miscalculated”. . .
So, now the ‘he said/she said’ finger-pointing has begun in earnest – with Johnson Bros. telling us the bridge is ready to go – they’re just waiting on the high sign from Volusia County – while Kasbeer claims another Florida Department of Transportation structural inspection is required.
As a result, estimates for opening day range from next week to August or beyond.
The only thing for certain is, like a guy who finally discerned the connection between a hot stove and his singed finger, Tadd Kasbeer has given his last hard date for opening.
I guess after being publicly humiliated time-and-again Volusia County has decided it is infinitely easier to just stop communicating with their constituents altogether.
“We’re not giving out any more dates,” said Kasbeer, the county’s director of engineering and construction. “It’s up to the contractor to tell us when they’ll open.”
Look, watching Tadd Kasbeer get pranked never gets old.
But waiting for the Orange Avenue Bridge to open does.
Now that we’ve all had another good belly laugh at Volusia County’s expense – perhaps the Johnson Bros. and FDOT will open the bridge?
Happy motoring, y’all!