Saturday, February 22, 2014

Save the 110 year old HMB bridge and let it fall down by itself, then what?

This article is about competing interest in a city, and the wasted time, energy and resources caused by that. This is a bridge that cannot be saved, yet those who would save it push forward increasing civic cost and delaying the replacement. And yes, replacing the deteriorated bridge is also a safety issue.

San Mateo County Times/Aaron Kinney, 2/19/14.  "Half Moon Bay bridge controversy headed for citywide vote."

Half Moon Bay Mayor Rick Kowalczyk walked the bridge area the day of the City Council meeting last week. Photo: Christa Bigue
The bridge is cracked, and potentially
so is the effort to save this 110 year old bridge
"Faced with a prospective ballot measure from citizens who oppose the city's plan to tear down and replace the century-old bridge, the City Council may put forth a competing measure and let residents choose.

The council will decide March 4 whether to simply place the save-the-bridge group's measure on the June ballot, allowing the preservationists to forgo a signature-gathering campaign. The council will also consider putting its own measure on the ballot that would allow the city to pursue its preferred plan.  Read article.

Related - Half Moon Bay Patch/Christa Bigue, Editor, 9/26/13.  "5 reasons why Half Moon Bay Mayor wants to replace Main Street Bridge."  "On a recent tour of Half Moon Bay’s historic Main Street Bridge, mayor Rick Kowalczyk outlined his rationale for why he favors replacing the bridge over fixing it, a decision that he says was “extremely difficult to make” in light of the blowback from a collective group of residents and merchants, part of the "Save Your Bridge" campaign, who say they would rather see the bridge restored instead. 

“If restoring the bridge would take care of the safety issues, then of course I would consider that option. But it can’t be restored and solve the safety issues,” said Kowalczyk. “I am listening to the people but I have to go against the grain for safety, and that’s a big part of my rationale for supporting the replacement of the bridge. It is my responsibility in a leadership role to factor in safety above all else, and having a safe bridge is critical to me.”  Note:  photograph by Christa Bigue from this article.

Half Moon Bay Review, two pictures of the 110 year-old bridge by Lars Howlett.  The second picture shows another major crack across the structural bridge arch.  Good luck with that!

Posted by Kathy Meeh


Anonymous said...


Is everything you read or hear about involve a conspiracy?


Jesse Ventura

Kathy Meeh said...

1005, Conspiracy definition.


Minnie Mouse

PS: Your comment is idiotic. The process is all perfectly legal. Since the HMB bridge is failing (and beyond repair), the effort to "save the bridge" is illogical and needlessly expensive (taxpayers pay). With a slight brain stretch, its noteworthy that other similar examples of such counter civic improvements exist, even in Pacifica. Imagine that! The goal would be to move beyond the controversy to affect the common good.

Anonymous said...

Ah, but it's the definition of "the common good" wherein lies the rub. For some, quality of life is the highest common good.

Kathy Meeh said...

1127, "Quality of life" and "the common good" are not necessarily contradictory concepts. Example when an old concrete bridge is full of cracks and will collapse, replacing it is a safety and traffic mobility priority. A somewhat related local example: the San Pedro bridge is currently being replaced. (Past councilmember Jim Vreeland was a proponent of that needed replacement which is being completed without controversy).

Want cultural affectations in such a functional and infrastructure update? Worthy community input could contribute to such area and design elements.

But if your "quality of life" comments are also referring to the highway 1 modernization in Pacifica and along the coast, not sitting in highway traffic for increasingly longer back-ups periods is another example of improvement for "the common good". And that "quality of life" issue includes road safety, personal time utilization, air quality, etc.