Bill Allison on the Bridge to Nowhere


Sunlight’s Bill Allison was on Anderson Cooper 360° on CNN last night discussing the Bridge to Nowhere and the votes cast for the Bridge by Barack Obama and Joe Biden. Watch the video:

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  • Thanks to the creative reporting and editing by CNN, the number of posts on this topic have been too many to combat. However, the Delaware Department of Transportation would like to make the following comments to the CNN story:
    The story by Drew Griffin re US Sen. Biden’s support for a new bridge over the Indian River Inlet in Delaware cleverly left out key facts, to support the story’s assertion that earmarks for this bridge are similar to Alaska’s Bridge to Nowhere. Nothing could be further from the truth. Here are the points in the story that need elaboration/correction:
    CNN: “after tourists are gone it can seem like a bridge between two nowheres”
    DelDOT Fact: In the summer months, approximately 24,000 vehicles a day use this bridge. Non summer months, 14,000 to 15,000. It is the economic , freight and emergency link for lower Delaware to northern Delaware, and for southern states to state’s beyond Delaware such as Pennsylvania, New York etc.
    CNN: Sunlight Foundation said the bridge is not a priority project.
    DelDOT Fact: First, how would they know? The Sunlight Foundation never called us to check, and didn’t return my phone call when I questioned them about their comment in the story. The reporter, Mr. Griffin, was told it was a priority, but didn’t care much about facts. The fact is it is a structurally deficient bridge and is scored among the state’s 5 most deficient. It is the state’s #1 bridge priority, and we’ve stated this for years. Of course the bridge is safe… now… but it is structurally deficient and needs to be replaced. We have 40 such structurally deficient bridges in Delaware, and all are scheduled for repairs/replacement. Only 1 is actually closed at this point.
    CNN: 35 minutes detour without the bridge in place.
    DelDOT Fact: The kind of comment that could only be made by someone who doesn’t live here. Without the bridge, it’s a 26 mile detour through twisting, winding narrow roads. I am not sure who could drive this detour in 35 minutes… I’d like to meet them.
    CNN: “some erosion” is the comment made by Mr. Griffin as the problem with the current bridge. A grand oversimplification. The problem is called scour, and it is jeopardizing the piers in the water. Simply, the dirt around the piers is scouring away, leaving the piers exposed and vulnerable to collapse. There are scour holes as deep as 100 feet in areas near the piers. As it is now, large rocks, rip rap, were placed around each of the piers to prevent the scour from jeopardizing the piers. This is a temporary fix. The new bridge will not have piers in the water. If the Minnessota bridge collapse showed us anything, the time to replace a bridge is not when it collapses.

    CNN should have taken more care in reporting the facts of this story. Instead, Mr. Griffin used excellent editing and selective facts to make a connection that is simply inaccurate and wrong.


    we must wait. we can put a big dent in world hunger, water problems and a whole lot more for about 160 billion dollars. i think we should give more money to the american people, instead of that riddiculous 500.00 stimnulas package, maybe 25,000 that would PUT aboost to the economy instead of 700 billion to one place. this is the worst plan ever and way to much money to give to something that will not help absolutly everyone in the united states of america. imagine no more poor and homeless people in america. IT IS REAL TIME TO THINK BEFORE WE MESS UP AGAIN.

  • James Fieser

    Re: the CNN 9/24/08 “bridge to nowhere”. An important aspect of the new replacement bridge over the Indian River Inlet on Route 1, Ocean Highway, is the only direct route between Lewes, Rehoboth, and Dewey DE Beaches to the north, and Bethany, Fenwick, DE and Ocean City MD to the south. With much fanfare and a large kiosk with large color artists renderings, it has been under construction for 3 of a projected est. 6 years as of the end of ’07. Summer, ’08, we were amazed to see it being torn down, and the kiosk and all advertising removed. Various area Chambers of Commerce said it was because of faulty design and const. What a disgrace. What must Delaware have squandered in the millions only to tear down 3 years of construction and to now be back at “square one” with no replacement bridge for the current old one which has some structural issues. This was and is on Biden’s watch. So Joe Biden has his own “Bridge to Nowhere” and should have considerable explaining to do. No one seems to have picked up on this considerable waste of the Delaware taxpayers money.

  • Bryan

    Great way of having CNN cut off Carol of saying everything about the current Indian River Inlet Bridge. The bridge is safe now, but those erosion problems are more than just sand eroding from the sides of the supports. The erosion problem is the sand eroding from the bottom of the supports, leaving the bridge with nothing to stand on; kind of like Bill’s argument.

  • I notice that, at least on the front page of the website, most of the people you are “watching” are democrats and not republicans. How about some “transparency” on your obvious clandestine motives.