Sunday, 29 December 2002

Quality work from the CA

Sometimes I wonder if the Memphis Commercial Appeal actually is capable of reporting local highway news. Why? Well, for example, the CA neglected to mention at all that TDOT awarded a $23 million contract to Hill Brothers Construction for the extension of TN 385 between U.S. 72 and TN 57 (Poplar Ave.) in Collierville, as well as a $16 million resurfacing contract on I-40 east of I-240. Not to mention another TN 385 project let in October: $18.9 million for construction between I-40 and U.S. 64, awarded to Dement Construction. The CA reports on meetings of the Shelby Farms board on the Walnut Grove/Kirby-Whitten project but doesn't mention at all TDOT's public hearings on the proposal.

I can only assume the CA simply doesn't pay attention to this stuff (granted, TDOT doesn't seem to post press releases on highway project contracting, although they have Internet-accessible public hearing and contract pages); what little road material that does appear is written by environmental reporter Tom Charlier (who described I-69 in a lead paragraph as a swathe of “development and destruction,” hardly neutral language) or a poor slob on the neighborhood beat (who's just happy he's not covering the bridge club's latest sojourn).