Have we learned nothing?

Before I was even in elementary school, I learned from Mr. Rogers to “take my time and do it right.” In short, it’s better to take a bit longer to do something, and do it well, than to rush through just to get it done.

And yet, based on this Washington Post article, MnDOT seems not to have learned a similar lesson.

Teams of designers and builders are racing to meet a dawn Wednesday deadline for showing they are qualified to bid on the bridge replacement project, which the state has put on a fast track.

I can understand putting the project on the “fast track,” but to me that simply means giving it priority over other projects, not adding undue haste to the project itself.

State transportation officials hope to award contracts next month, with the goal of having a new bridge standing at the end of 2008….

Erecting such a bridge would ordinarily take about three years, even if the design and building phases were overlapped to save time, said Bill Cox, owner of Corman Construction Inc. in Annapolis Junction, Md., a road and bridge construction firm.

So not only are we moving so fast as to have a “dawn” deadline, less than a week after the collapse, to get initial proposals in, but we plan to have the bridge up and operational in less than half the time an accelerated schedule would normally require. (Oh, and correct me if I’m wrong, but wouldn’t overlapping the design and build phases necessarily mean that they’d start building it before it was completely designed?)

I hate to say it, but I’m already reluctant to drive on that new bridge.