|What a shitty idea.|
It started in the 80's but it wasn't until October of 1997 that the Delaware River Port Authority, an unbelievably corrupt organization, began mentioning the idea of a tram that would ferry people between Camden and Philadelphia 160 feet over the river (not even as tall as the deck of the Ben Franklin Bridge). From Day One, people laughed at such a ridiculous notion. First, why the fuck would you want to go to Camden? Second, even if you did, there's already a big fucking multi-modal bridge connecting the two cities.
The primary reason given for this stupid project was to allow people from South Jersey to park in Camden and take the tram over to a new $174 million dollar "entertainment center" that never got built. Back when the tram was first proposed, they all said they could do it for under $15 million wasted dollars and that it would be built by Fall of 2000. HA!
In March of 1998, $245,000 dollars were burned doing an engineering analysis. This price went up to 21.5 million for the 1,800-foot long structure. By June, a $1.5 Million dollar "study" was approved. One point five million dollars? They needed that much money to do a "study"? I would let them pay me that just to walk into a board room and say "It sucks. End of study."
|This is what they thought the Camden Riverfront was going to look like by now lol|
On December 6th, 2000, construction began on the foundations of the 250-foot towers that were to carry the tram across the river. This was a sideways maneuver by DRPA to spur development at Penn's Landing, which they were expecting by this point and wasn't happening. In September of 2001, shit started going downhill. Camden NIMBYs were getting into the mix (who knew Camden had NIMBYs?) and the land that the eastern tower was to be built on got tied up in legal shit.
|Meh, the towers actually look pretty cool.|
In June 2004, with $13 million already spent, the budget up to $42 million, and yet another $50,000 "study" under their belt, DRPA was still trying to convince people that the Skylink Aerial Tramway was still going to happen. By this point, the anchor for the tower had been standing for years as a pathetic monument to boondoggling corrupt-ass city and state officials everywhere. By October of that year, the budget was up to $46 million with $15 million already spent (on nothing), and rumors were swirling that the end cost for this thing was going to be over $100 million.
.... And that was it. After that, DRPA just said "fuck it" and the tram plan went kaput. No one knows the real number of dollars that were wasted on this shit. What a fucking travesty... not that it wasn't built, but that millions of public dollars were thrown away speculating about this thing. All we have left to show for it is the giant concrete pi that sits in the middle of an empty surface lot on the waterfront.
|The sign should say, "Yeah, sorry about that." or "This cost at least $15 million"|