NewsNight Maryland; 459; Wilson Bridge
Thousands of commuters hoping for reconstruction green light at the Wilson Bridge wait out the gridlock. Plus new ways to reduce anxiety and the Rockville stock market.
Good evening have you ever felt on edge to the point where you experience sweaty palms sleeplessness or chest pains.
You could be suffering from an exile UTI disorder. Today is national anxiety disorder. Screening day in tonight's newsmaker. Holly Bartlett from the Sheppard Pratt health system.
Is here to tell us about. Today's screening and about anxiety disorders. How has today's screening gone.
Very welcome. A lot of people who have not sought treatment or feel that they may have some symptoms that indicate that they may be suffering from an anxiety disorder have come out to places sponsored by Sheppard Pratt and other mental health providers and general health providers throughout the country to answer a simple questionnaire which is then evaluated by mental health clinician and can give them an idea as to whether further evaluation may be warranted.
When you talk about anxiety disorders what are you talking about doesn't run the gamut.
It does run the gamut but there are some symptoms that are common through through the whole realm of anxiety disorders. Stress is a good thing in life we all experience some stress when we're about to give a presentation or maybe when you're about to go on the air whenever you really need to get yourself up for a performance. That's the butterflies in the stomach maybe a little sweaty palms maybe a little nervousness but there's a reason for it and the symptoms are under control and they really do actually enable you to perform better. But when that's out of control and the symptoms are extreme and often someone with an anxiety disorder there's not a cause for it really it can be come on suddenly and without an apparent reason. That's when it's it's not a positive thing and when it interferes with functioning.
In fact I read somewhere that 14 percent of the gentle yet public suffers from some kind of anxiety disorder.
Each year yes anxiety disorders are actually the most common mental illness in America. A lot of people have suffered.
We talked about some of the symptoms what are some of the other symptoms be I mean we talked about sleeplessness and sweaty palms and chest pain.
Yeah those would be increased respiration a feeling of panic a feeling of excessive fear. Some of them are physiological symptoms and some of them are psychological symptoms. But in general it's it's it's a shortness of breath a feeling like you can't breathe with any any of those this is interesting.
Because the symptoms you're mentioning are symptomatic rather of many other illnesses. So is anxiety is an anxiety disorder difficult to diagnose.
Sometimes an anxiety disorder is difficult to diagnose and people will not have something as concrete as say nosh or a fever or another kind of illness that would be more concrete in its diagnosis. And often people with a dying anxiety disorder will go from doctor to doctor and say I just don't feel well I'm very upset I'm very nervous and very tense. And they'll be told away you know get a hold of yourself get a grip. Not necessarily by a doctor but by friends or by family or doctors who are not familiar with the diagnosis. So what treatments are available. Well the good news is there is treatment available and people with anxiety disorder should not feel that it's a weakness or on their part or a character flaw because it's not anxiety disorders are physiological. They're chemically based in the brain. They are not something that a person can choose to have or not to have. So basically we're talking possible treatment would be psychotherapy and some kind of medications there's very good medications nowadays to along with therapy treat anxiety disorders.
Really briefly if people miss today's screening.
What can they do if they think that they're suffering from this type of disorder if they're think this if they think they're suffering they should be in touch with either their general practitioner or their family doctor or with a mental health provider such as Shepherd Pratt or others whatever may be in their area and they can certainly call Shepherd Pratt at 4 1 0 9 3 8 3000 and be referred for a diagnosis for evaluation.
Holly Bartley thank you very much Angela in NL certainly.
And now for another source of anxiety of the Woodrow Wilson Bridge. It's not falling down it's more of a slow crumble. The Capital Beltway span connecting Maryland and Virginia is almost four decades old.
Replacing it is the region's number one transportation priority. But a federal judge has thrown a roadblock into the plans agreeing with a lawsuit filed by a group of citizens in Alexandria Virginia.
We have two reports.
First NEWSNIGHT senior correspondent John ABA Shon gives us a close up look at the State of the bridge in tonight's Planet Maryland.
We're on a catwalk high above the Potomac and directly beneath and intimidating pressure of high speed steel rubber freight and D.C. Beltway traffic crossing the Woodrow Wilson Bridge.
And it was never meant to carry virtually all the North-South traffic of the East Coast. But it does because Interstate 95 was forced onto the Beltway when another highway project was blocked in the 1970s sounding the threat really over the past five years highway officials afforded more than seven million dollars into a major strengthening and reinforcement of the bridge. But it hasn't been enough.
The draw span decking this metal grating won't last until the bridge is replaced. Welds are failing.
This way the underside of the bridge shows battle scars of the fight with countless Russia obviously a combination oyster ration and time to get a sense of the vibration. Look at the effect on structural components of heavy trucks passing overhead.
It is safe for now structurally sound some of what looks bad under here is merely cosmetic but the traffic hounds away day and night seven days a week.
So the question is how long can this bridge take that kind of.
Engineers responsible for maintaining that 244 put span can't or won't answer a direct link.
But here's the position of the replacement bridge project.
Well we really don't know for sure. It is possible that. And we we know right now that we may have to ban truck traffic from this bridge starting in 2004 we're really not certain this is not an exact science.
But even the thought or nightmare of thousands of big trucks finding other ways to get through D.C. Maryland and Virginia send shutters through local officials to water a new bridge where you're battling the feds over who would pay how much of the 2 billion dollar cost they reached a compromise with the city of Alexandria for a 12 lane bridge that would open only with 10 lanes at first even with the court ruling some bridge design studies can continue on this barge they're drilling core samples out of the river bottom to see how big and how deep the supports for the new bridge will have to be.
Primarily become a river mine.
So much for playing in a shell fragment this is far below the surface. Seventy six people were top of the water.
Forty seven with this barge sits right in the path of the new bridge on schedule they need to be pouring concrete here by October of next year.
But the four ruling that was left as bloody as the river bottom at the Woodrow Wilson Bridge with a look at the opposition to the 12 million replacement bridge. Here's NEWSNIGHT.
Thirty eight years ago the Wilson Bridge was four lanes wide and carried 75000 cars a day. Today it's six lanes and carries 200000 vehicles a day. The Coalition for a sensible bridge agrees a new bridge is needed. But the group says news of the bridge is imminent demise is grossly exaggerated. It's all nonsense.
Pure nonsense. It's all part of a scare campaign to drive forward the start of a 12 lane bridge which I might add. They don't have the funding for Contrary to many published reports in recent months. The Wilson Bridge is not flowing down the Wilson Bridge in fact is being very well maintained has been well maintained and will continue to be well maintained which means there will be absolutely no need for the foreseeable future out to at least hear 2010 for any kind of weight restrictions on the bridge.
Virginia Transportation engineers back up their claim. The bridge is not falling apart. They've steadily maintained a 15 year rehabilitation plan. The Alexandria activists want a 10 lane bridge instead of the 12 lanes and four Beltway interchanges proposed now. They say the wider bridge would destroy most of the fields trees and wetlands at Jones Point Park and displace hundreds of mostly elderly moderate income folks living in the hunting towers apartment buildings. And there's the issue of funding.
One point eight billion dollars versus less than 900 million I care because I worry about what a massive expansion of the beltway of the interchanges of the bridge will do to the fabric of Alexandria. But I also do believe very strongly that more roads wider roads are really going to increase traffic congestion in the Washington area and worsen some already serious air quality problems. We need to start finding solutions other than just more roads more cars more driving.
Keep the bridge maintenance has apparently made one widely feared question whether to divert trucks away from the bridge in 2004. Grave concern to neighboring jurisdiction.
Well now that may not be an issue after all and a federal judge halted bridge replacement plans last month and called for more environmental studies. Whatever plan is eventually approved construction could start in October of 2000. I'm Karen Allen. NEWSNIGHT Maryland.
And joining us now are Charles Dukes of the Greater Washington Board of Trade. Parker Williams the administrator of the State Highway Administration in Maryland. And Judy McVeigh of the Coalition for sensible bridge and you can join our discussion this evening just give give us a call the numbers on the screen. Mr. Williams let me ask you first because of the judge's order.
Do you have any idea how long it will take to come up with this supplemental environmental information that he's ordered.
Well that is the. Right now there's people that are meeting including members of the congressional delegations of both Virginia and Maryland who are very very concerned about the judge's order and impact on a timely replacement of the bridge. I don't believe that they have come up with a strategy yet. It covers the full range of potential congressional action potential appeal of the case or additional environmental studies or some combination of the three. And they're deliberating on this now the judge's decision was handed down in April 13th and there are a lot of folks that are looking very very hard at the issue right now.
OK well these processes are being explored whether or not to appeal or to comply with the order and do more studies whatever will planning for the current approved plan continue as well at the current time that design continues along whether or not that's going to be possible in the near term based upon whatever action is going to be taken as a result of the judge's decision has not yet been determined.
We had a solution that would result in the design the construction in the first span being open in 2004 which the engineers have estimated to be about the end of the useful life of the existing span.
We are still on that course but certainly the judge's decision is causing us to rethink that because McVeigh one of the biggest objections your organization has to the present plan the one that's been approved by the states.
Biggest objection we have is personally I can say at any rate is the loss of punning towers in over 500 people being put out of their homes these are moderately priced apartments and a third of those people are elderly and there is no equivalent in the city of Alexandria there's the relocate them where there's nothing like that in the city of Alexandria. We also think it's excessively large it's going to have dramatic impacts on the Earth air quality in Alexandria we already deal with the Beltway and so we're not NIMBYs we're not we're not saying take the bridge away although that would be nice. It's not going to happen we realize that we. We do think that the bridge they're talking about is excessively large and it's not necessary.
There's been talk too about concerns about historical areas in Alexandria. What are those.
Well Alexandra you know the Old Town section and I might say by the way I'm president of the old town Civic Association also. Alexandria was one of the first three nationally named designated historic districts in the United States along with Charleston South Carolina and New Orleans Louisiana. So we have we have a very special place there they did the nation has a special place there we have a lot of history there. There are an enormous number of historic buildings all through Alexandria and the the environmental impact study does not take that into consideration is it. There's something called the area of potential effects in the of the original plan before they came up with this troubling bridge theory of potential effects covered the old historic district. Now it goes to three or four blocks off the bridge.
OK let me get to get to that a little bit later on. Mr. Dukes I'm interested in knowing what the Board of Trade sees as the potential economic impact of the delay in construction of the bridge.
Well the bridge down carries 14000 tractor trailers a day over 70 percent of those are local distribution services all of various things are gonna need to live. The bridge was designed for about 75000 troops a day. It's currently carrying close to 200000 troops a day and the projection for 2020 is about 300000 Fips a day. The cost is enormous. The bill is delayed. The cost estimates on the bridge are frequently quoted which you don't see very often as a cost in consumer time. If a person sits for an extra 30 minutes the rush hour to go over the bridge that cost money and cause home disruption. I don't want to give you specific economic numbers because I'm too happy to have you do that. But I think we get it off the track. The bridge itself but the bridge is not only the principal link between North-South traffic in the United States. I mean it's I-95 coming right across from New York to Maine. And but it also traverse traverses almost all of the economic impact for transportation in the area.
Let's go to the phones now Martha is on the line from Montgomery County. Hello mother.
Hi I'm I'M. My question is since Maryland down the river how come Virginia Department of. Patients are doing the maintenance on the breakdown and how involved and how did that happen anyway that responsibility.
Let's say that's a product really of history there is an agreement that was developed and has been modified over the years that assigns responsibilities to the various jurisdictions Maryland and the citizens from Maryland used to bridge Virginia and of course the District of Columbia as well all of the sharing responsibilities under this agreement that we've worked out. So there are Virginia travels that use that bridge as well as Maryland travelers and we we think we have an equal responsibility.
But that brings up the question about the assertion I believe it was this week or maybe late last week by some Virginia highway engineers who basically said you know this idea that by 2004 it's not going to be handled. Truck traffic is an exaggeration. What's your response.
You know there was a there was a study that was done by a very reputable engineering firm for the Coordination Committee the group that selected the 12 lane alternative that we're now dealing with. It said that based upon their projections at the time that they felt that they had about a 10 year useful life left in the bridge which 1994 with the taking in 2004 now some have said that the effect of 2004 what that means is that we're going to have to post bridge to truck traffic and divert that truck traffic to other areas so that we can maintain a continuing useful life for the vehicle traffic the other vehicle traffic on the bridge. In reality what we would be doing is we would be spending albeit increasing amounts of rehabilitation dollars to maintain the bridge in such a way that we would avoid any truck restrictions on the bridge. But again you're spending perhaps 10 to 15 million dollars in additional rehabilitation dollars. There's the potential traffic disruptions associated with that rehabilitation. And we've got congestion problems now that are getting worse in the future so we we don't think that by spending those kinds of dollars and with the traffic disruptions that will result that it's a prudent investment of tax dollars has been very you biting your tongue.
Yes I need to get to all of the and the engineers that maintain the bridge. Other words that that say this bridge is fine until after the year 2010. At least that's the conservative estimate. The. Mr. Williams spoke of it's the hardest he had to report. There were 19 items listed in the hardest here to report. And depending on how many of these maintenance and rehabilitative items you perform. You get either a 15 year 25 year 40 year extension of the useful life of the bridge beyond the year 2004. They are completely through with the 5th with the everything. All the items on the on the 15 year lease list they have done some items that are on the 20 and 40 year list. Replacing the gratings is part of the 40 year plan for the bridge. So you're looking at. And that's without diverting any truck traffic at all. And they're not even going to have to look at it until after the year 2010 Now that's according to their to the. The engineers that that take care of the bridge that are responsible for it. They've done a wonderful job.
Let me just interject here I have to comment on this. We have bridges in hers that are working with the bridge and your bridge are generous in this as well. I don't believe you're going to find a bridge engineer that will certify that that bridge is OK for the year 2010. They may talk about the need to rehabilitate the bridge but I I can't believe that a bridge engineer is going to given the traffic that is coming on that bridge. Given the truck traffic that's coming over it's given it the kind of work that need to be done in the bridge in the future to keep it open to traffic. He's going to say that under present circumstances without spending an additional some of the rehabilitation dollars and traffic restrictions Depor it is going to get through 2010 I'd Let's give Mr..
Chance was upon that I wasn't at the interview but I read the story.
It doesn't say anything close to what Miss Million's just suggested. He was asked a question about whether or not the bridge is safe and he said he believes it's safe. He was asked a question about whether or not there are any present plans to take truck traffic off the bridge and the answer was No. You're asking the person who's responsible for the safety of the bridge I would be surprised if he would if he weren't stopping traffic on the bridge if he didn't think it was safe. That's not the appropriate question. The appropriate question is when asked and sometime in 2003 or sometime in 2004 by an elected official the various governors the mayor sector transportation. Are you willing to give us a certainty that is going to be no structural problem is going to cause an injury or death. Let the officials look at problems very differently than engineers engineers deal with numbers and problematic issues. I don't believe that there's any elected official is going to take the chance of somebody being hurt. And I don't believe any engineer in the world will stand there in 2004 and say there's no chance of a structural problem with this bridge.
Let's go back to the phones now Caroline's been waiting from Prince George's County Hi Caroline. Thank you for taking my call thanks for waiting.
I have a specific concern about this new bridge proposal. Can someone please explain to me why in the name of God they would propose that there be a drawbridge with the amount of traffic that it carries and compared to that. Bridge and over more under which any gun is shipped in hand and no traffic impacted by a drop. Ban when someone please all of you address this. Thank you.
Let me start if I might. First of all the viewers should know that there was a coordination committee of 14 members that represented jurisdictions and both Maryland Virginia that worked with very very renowned consultants experts in their field in developing what the solution should be for the Woodrow Wilson Bridge and there were a series of compromises over that four year period that resulted in the 12 lane draw span that was eventually selected a hybrid was conserve but one of the compromises that was made for Old Town in the city of Alexandria is the high bridge was dropped and the reason it was it dropped is there was concern on The View shed of the high bridge represented from the city of Alexandria going to Gates good enough Sam Cisco but not really that you know there is a mall and there is a chance that there is also a problem with the grading and trucks going up and having to rise up.
That that was the major problem with the high bridge it was going to be a big problem for the truck traffic that that was a big reason we have this bridge. What Alexandria wanted was a tunnel. Where were the when you look at that project we were the first dish addiction that's most seriously affected by this this runs right through our city. We want we wanted a tunnel there were 14 people in that original committee two of them were from Alexandria. We got struck down on everything we had we didn't have a chance that the cards were stacked against us from the get go.
Let me ask why we ended up having to go to court you know 70 Million Dollar Park they're going to get 35 million dollar exchange we're not getting a lot of lingo down but we're not getting the feds you know members of our members of congressional delegations from both sides of the river have expressed some possibility that they might try to circumvent the judge's order by simply legislating around it.
What are the odds of that do you think.
Well there's some there's different proposals that have been put forth by various members of the delegation on doing that. But there are some members of the delegation they're very concerned about exempting this project from the environmental regulations. And I don't know what type of legislative fix all that only they might be looking at. There are various proposals but I think there are some concerns with an outright exemption of the bridge from all the environmental processes is that teams are going to say you know this isn't even a necessary thing to do.
We the coalition supports a bigger bridge we support a bridge that's actually bigger than the American Legion Bridge. That's a big bridge. We have the money to build that bridge right now. The project doesn't have to be held up and yet all the money that they're sent.
Yes we do not yes we don't. 100 million dollars it's not enough but well that's to build a 10 lane bridge I'm sorry. When we look at the people who were to design for the bridge design I was on said Miss USA I was on the coordination committee that selected this alternative I can tell you that the 10 lane alternatives that we consider were priced at one and a half ago have said oh you're tendering let's let's let's try to get one more caller in here in the time left Joe from animal counties on the line hydro.
Hello I want to talk about whatever I am a truck driver and years ago they were talking about a bypass to go completely around with your Wilson North Virginia area. Whatever happened to that.
Mr. Jukes maybe I'm not sure which pop as he's talking about there are plans in various stages dealing with both a Northern Cross in them some con and a 3 0 1 General BOP as 3 0 1 seems to be making some progress there is. Another one would have gone out of sight but you know it was a lot of support in Northern Virginia. Almost total opposition McGovern County and nobody knows exactly this point what point the governor I think supports a point of rock crossing but all of both of the suggestions that he's asked about I believe are in various stages of consideration.
What was the other thing you have to remember is that 70 percent of the traffic that using the Woodrow Wilson Bridge either gets on or gets off at one of the four interchanges in Maryland Virginia and we actually looked at a southern crossing somewhere between a very nice bridge which carries three and one from Maryland Virginia and the Woodrow Wilson Bridge and found that it would only divert about 10 percent of the total traffic so that it really was a poor investment of dollars to build a bridge that was going to carry 10 percent so that wouldn't that wouldn't take any of the pressure off the Woodrow Wilson out according to traffic studies that were performed which is also why the 10 lane bridge on the cheaper number doesn't work because you do have to do it in changes you can't just do the bridge and not fix interchanges McVeigh one final question to you.
Will your organization continue to pursue this appeal in court basically to try to finally you know get either more representation or to get your way on this.
Well that's where we have to say it depends on what the government does I don't know.
Thank you all very much for joining.
Thank you. Do you feel tired too often. Next Wednesday is chronic fatigue day in Maryland and we'll bring you the newest treatments and advice from the experts. That's next Wednesday.
In the Maryland BIZ TONIGHT the Rockville stock market you've heard of The New York Stock Exchange maybe the Philadelphia Stock Exchange but did you hear about Rockville the Nasdaq stock market the nation's second largest links traders around the nation. There is no trading floor but there are two sets of central computers. One is in Connecticut the other is in Rockville as Jack recently considered changing that location for an upgraded console where they could settled on a new site. Also in Rockville I spoke with Nasdaq president al Berkley.
We've committed and we are doubling the size of our data center in Rockville and that construction's underway now the headquarters issue is a little more complicated because we were purchasing the American Stock Exchange than the American stock exchanges become part of the NASD family. And I've ended up spending about half my time in New York and I do that now and I have an office in New York and I have an office here. And essentially we have co-located headquarters.
The Nasdaq its parent organization the National Association of Securities Dealers and its regulatory arm share a K Street headquarters building in Washington. Mr. Berkley says the part of the organization that regulates stock brokers and brokerage firms will keep Washington as its sole base of operations. Meantime Bloomberg News reports that Nasdaq officials are considering selling stock in the market to the public. It is currently owned by member firms a decision on that could come this summer.
This transcript is machine-generated and has not been corrected. It is likely there will be errors.
- NewsNight Maryland
- Episode Number
- Wilson Bridge
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- Maryland Public Television
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- Maryland Public Television (Owings Mills, Maryland)
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- This episode features segments on anxiety screening and information of anxiety disorders, the deterioration of the 40 year old Woodrow Wilson Bridge and how a Federal Judge agreed with preservationists from Alexandria, VA who filed a lawsuit to impede construction. The opponents of a new bridge argue that it is not deteriorating and rebuilding with the new bridge proposal would destroy the surrounding parks and displace members of the community. The last segment discusses the Rockville Stock Market and how NASDAQ considered channing locations but compromised to stay in Rockville, MD.
- NewsNight Maryland is a local news series that covers current events in Maryland.
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- Copyright 1999 Maryland Public Television
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Producing Organization: Maryland Public Television
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Identifier: NNMD 459 (MPT12529) (Maryland Public Television)
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- Chicago: “NewsNight Maryland; 459; Wilson Bridge,” 1999-05-05, Maryland Public Television, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed April 18, 2019, http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip_394-89280rhk.
- MLA: “NewsNight Maryland; 459; Wilson Bridge.” 1999-05-05. Maryland Public Television, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. April 18, 2019. <http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip_394-89280rhk>.
- APA: NewsNight Maryland; 459; Wilson Bridge. Boston, MA: Maryland Public Television, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from http://americanarchive.org/catalog/cpb-aacip_394-89280rhk