Monday, July 23, 2007

Potemkin's Light Rail

The hilariousness of the light rail construction in Al-Quds is more than laughable. Someone else would say sad. I find it entertaining. Even to a person totally unfamiliar from civic engineering, watching the whole project would suggest that it is run either by nincompoops, or by a cohort of corrupt contractors.

Nobody can even guess why the Al-Quds Municipality totally ignored the possibility of using electric trolley buses. Instead, they went for a bare-bones light rail line running a pathetic fleet of Alstom's sleek, sexy Eurodesign short trains.

The Herzl Avenue that is already suffering from the fate of continuous excavation (for the ever-incomplete sewer, main, and cable rework), the circus on the supposed terminus of the line at the Mount Herzl can be described as a dig-pour cement-pour another layer-drill and insert rail fasteners-install rail track-uninstall-scrape the top layer of cement-wait procedure.

The continuous traffic jams are exacerbated by the construction of the Calatrava Bridge, which seems to be tinkered with by another team of contractors, that could have been the Keystone Cops moonlighting as construction company. They found a hugest crane in Israel, had it hoist the pieces of the curved bridge, paint it all white, only to cut it with blowtorches in places different from where the original pieces were welded. This whole construction show can teach an ignoramus how not to build bridges and railroads.

Maybe all of this is caused by a government bureaucrat driving around in car bought for him with the 120% new car tax, and due to his MS Outlook being full of X-rated, interoffice PowerPoint slideshows.

On top of it all, the municipality is all huffed up and proud of the pygmy rail line propelling the Al-Quds into the futuristic vision of socialist-dreamed up 22nd century.

I will wear a wide-brimmed hat while walking to Beit Hakerem, 15 minutes or so, along the route of this dog-and-pony show. Helicopter are buzzing, F-15 are roaring.

No comments: