Bridge to nowhere

What's in a name? Plus, a curious consultant, and bashing Obama.
By PHILLIPE and JORGE  |  June 10, 2009

The Department of Transportation has taken quite a few knocks in this space over the years. So to try to offset that, spurred by the story in the June 8 Urinal about the Pawtucket River Bridge, let us throw them a compliment: they do a hell of an artist's rendering.

Sure, they can't build them without a cost overrun, if they get finished at all — a shout-out to Barrington and Warren: how's that baby coming? — and they can't find a good name for them — hey, anybody know the way to the "Jamestown-Verrazano Bridge" — but those drawings of how the spans are going to look would make Leonardo da Vinci envious.

The state lottery should have a game where you guess what years the Sakonnet River bridge and Pawtucket River bridge will be completed. (Hint: best odds include the years numbered 202-.) The bridge construction company execs are already putting down payments on new Cadillac Escalades and yachts in anticipation of the cost overrun windfalls. The structures are already falling down, complicating the whole situation and, since DOT has a minimal amount of engineers, who might — repeat, might — be able to handle a bridge across a small stream, chances of any rapid resolution is woeful. Jeez, remember the good old days when Ed DiPrete showed you how to really get something done, despite the fact the cost overruns represented the amount of the GDP of Brazil and there were no clauses in the contracts holding the builders liable?

The naming situation is not entirely a DOT problem at the Sakonnet River, where the new bridge has been proposed by legislators to carry the name of anyone from pioneering Vo Dilun lasses such as Amy Hutchinson or any number of war veterans. P+J would propose to name it "Call Brian Cunha If You Get Into an Accident On This Bridge" in honor of the noted Aquidneck Island rescue vehicle pursuer, or perhaps, "Hey, Did You Know They Filmed Evening in Tiverton Bridge," but we might not find sufficient backing for either of those notions.

But DOT can indeed take the fall for the use of a half million in taxpayers bucks for a public relations effort to try to not get the "IWAY" called the "Little Big Dig" or "IWAY to Hell." We can't wait to see what they come up with for the Pawtucket River Bridge (if it's ever finished), but "Gateway to the Bucket Bridge" deserves some consideration, as does the "Ben Mondor Bridge," which P+J would definitely lobby for in honor of the PawSox' legendary owner.

On the other hand, there are plenty of old school pols in Pawtucket who might want to go with a salute to, say, Harry Curvin, the former iron-fisted, authoritarian House Speaker (1942-64). We suspect that to do this in the proper Curvinesque way, there would have to be a lifetime contract for painting the bridge proffered to a current public official or member of his family.

Gee, what nice artist's renderings!


CALL WHO?

Pardon us, but with Governor Carcieri's FY2010 budget not yet submitted, we find ourselves terrified by a story by the Other Paper's Kathy Gregg in "Political Scene. When Gregg inquired of the The Don's office about his proposed deficit reduction plans, press secretary Amy Kempe referred her to an insurance broker named Anthony Bucci, who runs TransformRI, a non-profit that The Don serves as a spokesperson for on a radio ad.

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