ACCORD – Move over Great Wall of China. Accord goes it one better with a soon to be completed Great Wall and Bridge. Yep … a bridge and wall across the five-foot-wide Rochester Creek. It is a marvel, having been under construction for the last year and a half or so. It even has an artificial stone wall!
Readers, this bridge/ wall is impressive! The entire project is hundreds of feet long, designed to mitigate highway flooding which occurs once every four years or so. Millions upon millions of dollars spent so that on rare flooding events traffic does not need to be rerouted to a secondary road for a few hours.
I also understand that this monumental undertaking is supposed to mitigate flooding from the Rondout and Rochester Creeks to adjacent lowlands. Unfortunately, there are still low-lying areas on the south side of bridge that can and will flood. It makes one wonder what the motivation was for establishing the project in the first place. Why did the DOT authorize this massive undertaking and why did it award the contract to ECCO, a New Jersey construction conglomerate?
This whole project will soon be done. The huge cranes, bulldozers and Cats will disappear. Accord will have its Eighth Wonder of the World. But why? There are thousands of derelict bridges in New York State that are dangerous. I can think of three or four within a mile or so of my home that are in very poor condition. It seems to me that funds could have been much more wisely spent on bridges that are truly unsafe.
I would hope that any additional county, state or local bridge building projects would face greater scrutiny and stringency than this Accord debacle. The Accord project is a public policy failure of the worst order. Someone should be held accountable for this classic boondoggle.