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Old Posted Nov 18, 2010, 2:44 AM
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Traffic Bridge

A city report recommends tearing down the iconic Traffic Bridge and replacing it with a modern replica.

The highly-anticipated report, released Wednesday and set for debate Monday night by council, says the bridge should be replaced with a modern steel truss replica with wider lanes, at a cost between $27 million and $34 million.

A modern replacement “balances the needs of the community while reducing engineering and financial risks,” the city report says.

The entire structure, including three-metre-wide bike and pedestrian walkways on either side and significantly wider traffic lanes, would be close to double the width of the current bridge, at roughly 13.5 metres.

“One hundred years from now the new bridge will be the historic bridge,” Mayor Don Atchison said in an interview.

“This is a bridge right now that we’re not sure how much work needs to be done on it (to save it). We know 60 to 70 per cent of the bridge cannot be saved already. So when we start working with the rest of it. . . maybe it’s 100 per cent, we don’t know, and the costs can escalate. If it ends up being $50 or $60 million, people are going to say, ‘Why would you have done that?’ ”

The city’s administration is recommending a design-build process that would ensure a new bridge would be designed to meet modern engineering standards and incorporate the “heritage and architecture of the existing bridge.”

The bridge would cost $130,000 less per year than a rehabilitated Traffic Bridge, the report says. It would be built on refurbished piers, which need $4 million of work to bring them up to the 80-year lifespan expected for any of the options.

Increasing the width of the bridge will allow fire trucks and buses to use the bridge, which isn’t currently allowed, and will reduce the chance of sideswipe collisions, the city report says.

The other remaining options for the closed-down bridge — rehabilitate the 103-year old structure for $24 million to $34 million or replace it with a conventional girder and deck bridge for between $26 million and $35 million — are not recommended in the report but could be revived if they receive majority support from council.

Preserving the Traffic Bridge had benefits, the report said, mainly as a heritage icon. The city’s founding bridge, it’s also the last surviving Parker through truss bridge. As such, the city could access senior government funds for national historic recognition it may otherwise not be able to.

But it wasn’t recommended because of the high risk of cost increases, more expensive annual maintenance and the risks with the old steel not being up to modern standards.

The city will have to come up with a strategy either through borrowing or other government programs.

The future of the bridge has become one of the most polarizing issues in the city since it closed in late-August after inspectors found it was at risk of collapsing.

The closure expedited an ongoing public consultation process that narrowed the bridge future to three options.

Meanwhile, opposition among heritage groups is growing to any option that doesn’t save the Traffic Bridge in its original design.

The entire core faculty of the University of Saskatchewan’s planning program — Ryan Walker, Avi Akkerman, Jill Gunn and Robert Patrick — co-signed a letter urging council to give the bridge official heritage designation and rebuild it according to its original design.

“A decision by (council) to re-construct the current bridge according to its authentic heritage characteristics will be looked back on as an investment in the public history of this city,” the planning professors write.

dhutton@thestarphoenix.com
© Copyright (c) The StarPhoenix


Read more: http://www.thestarphoenix.com/Tear+d...#ixzz15b9Qaas4
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Old Posted Nov 18, 2010, 5:01 AM
Measuring Stick Measuring Stick is offline
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Traffic Bridge

I think that the City report hits the nail on the head for what needs to be done with the traffic bridge a replica is a must. This bridge will be one of the main entrances to River Landing and it must be functional for buses as well be functional for increased pedestrian and bike traffic.

As for the historical society they would be much better off putting their efforts into ideas in how to maintain some of the bridge heritage in a different way.

I believe it would be great to the the East section of the bridge that the City is now saying they will remove be incorporated into one of the walk ways along Meewasin close to the existing bridge. Or possible somehow incorporated into a path leading to Nasser's River Landing Village. I think this would be an excellent way to commemorate Saskatoon's historic traffic bridge as well as tying our future to the past.

Now if the historical society took an idea like that and ran with it I think they would find much more support. The current bridge layout just isn't functional for the next 100 years for Saskatoon, especially if we want our Downtown to grow in density.
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Old Posted Nov 18, 2010, 5:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Measuring Stick View Post
I think that the City report hits the nail on the head for what needs to be done with the traffic bridge a replica is a must. This bridge will be one of the main entrances to River Landing and it must be functional for buses as well be functional for increased pedestrian and bike traffic.

As for the historical society they would be much better off putting their efforts into ideas in how to maintain some of the bridge heritage in a different way.

I believe it would be great to the the East section of the bridge that the City is now saying they will remove be incorporated into one of the walk ways along Meewasin close to the existing bridge. Or possible somehow incorporated into a path leading to Nasser's River Landing Village. I think this would be an excellent way to commemorate Saskatoon's historic traffic bridge as well as tying our future to the past.

Now if the historical society took an idea like that and ran with it I think they would find much more support. The current bridge layout just isn't functional for the next 100 years for Saskatoon, especially if we want our Downtown to grow in density.
I agree completely. As much as I'm all for preserving the few historical aspects of Saskatoon, I don't think the width of this bridge should be one of them. Ensuring that all possible transit connections are made for future growth is a must within the city.

A side note, I went to see Carme Pinos give a lecture on some of her projects today and one interesting one was a park that is being built in Madrid over removed railway tracks. This space separated the old city from the new city and is now a doorway to both. I instantly thought of Saskatoon and the warehouse district and the possibilities if the city can remove the rails.
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Old Posted Nov 18, 2010, 10:11 AM
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I do not like the idea of a replica, mainly because it would not be a replica; it would be stylistically similar to the current Traffic Bridge at best. Even worse, it is more expensive to both build and maintain than a conventional bridge. It is a half-assed solution that will placate neither the historical society (they view it as pale imitation of the original) or people who think the traffic bridge is ugly.

That said, I do not want to rehabilitate the current bridge. First, doing so is too expensive (150k maintenance per year). Second, given the bridge's recent history, I am reluctant to trust any estimates regarding its future lifespan or cost associated with its future lifespan; engineers told us in 2005 that it would last another 20 years, and they were clearly wrong. Finally, I want Saskatoon to become a more bike-friendly city, and the current Traffic Bridge is anything but. A new bridge will have bike lanes and widened vehicle lanes, not to mention two pedestrian paths on either side. For those who wanted a bridge dedicated to pedestrians/cyclists, this is the next best option.

Our growing city clearly needs a new and reliable bridge with enhanced features. A "replica" steel truss bridge is not my preferred option for the reasons I have discussed, but it is far better than sinking more money into a bridge that no longer wants to stand.

Oh, and maybe the city will take this as a lesson to maintain is infrastructure? We wouldn't be losing our 100-year-old+ bridge if the city applied a coupe buckets of paint to the bridge every couple years. Disgraceful.

edit: I like the above suggestion for incorporating sections of the bridge into the Meewasin Valley! We need to do something to preserve the bridge... something that does not involve rehabilitating it .
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Old Posted Nov 18, 2010, 4:58 PM
WoodlandCritter WoodlandCritter is offline
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If people want to save part of the bridge and incorporate it somewhere along the river my problem is that I have a feeling it may look tacky and out of place. But if they can make it work and look good then i'm all for it.


On a side note, all of you who post photos on here, how do you keep them at a reasonable size? I would like to post some, but all my previous ones have been enormous sizes, is there a scale thing on this site or do you have them on a seperate blog and import them smaller? a little help? I tried looking on this website for info but came across none.
thanks.
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Old Posted Nov 18, 2010, 7:39 PM
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I think the replica is making the best of a bad situation. The bridge should never have been allowed to deteriorate to the condition it's in now, but years of neglect and inaction from city councils past made it happen. Now as a result, we've lost yet another piece of our history.

Like you, I don't trust the assessment of the original bridge's future lifespan after a rehab. We got burned before, and my gut feeling is that we'd just be throwing good money after bad. I'd be afraid that four years later, we'd be told it's unsafe again and be right back in the same situation.

The girder bridge option was a bad idea from the get-go. We don't need yet another ugly, flat bridge that looks no more attractive than an overpass. We already have one and another one's under construction.

The truss replica will at least give us a new, functional bridge with a bit of aesthetic value and historic symbolism. The cost difference between it and the girder bridge is marginal, so people can't really bitch about the price tag.

Link: Traffic Bridge Study

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Originally Posted by Cicero View Post
I do not like the idea of a replica, mainly because it would not be a replica; it would be stylistically similar to the current Traffic Bridge at best. Even worse, it is more expensive to both build and maintain than a conventional bridge. It is a half-assed solution that will placate neither the historical society (they view it as pale imitation of the original) or people who think the traffic bridge is ugly.

That said, I do not want to rehabilitate the current bridge. First, doing so is too expensive (150k maintenance per year). Second, given the bridge's recent history, I am reluctant to trust any estimates regarding its future lifespan or cost associated with its future lifespan; engineers told us in 2005 that it would last another 20 years, and they were clearly wrong. Finally, I want Saskatoon to become a more bike-friendly city, and the current Traffic Bridge is anything but. A new bridge will have bike lanes and widened vehicle lanes, not to mention two pedestrian paths on either side. For those who wanted a bridge dedicated to pedestrians/cyclists, this is the next best option.

Our growing city clearly needs a new and reliable bridge with enhanced features. A "replica" steel truss bridge is not my preferred option for the reasons I have discussed, but it is far better than sinking more money into a bridge that no longer wants to stand.

Oh, and maybe the city will take this as a lesson to maintain is infrastructure? We wouldn't be losing our 100-year-old+ bridge if the city applied a coupe buckets of paint to the bridge every couple years. Disgraceful.

edit: I like the above suggestion for incorporating sections of the bridge into the Meewasin Valley! We need to do something to preserve the bridge... something that does not involve rehabilitating it .
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Old Posted Nov 19, 2010, 2:04 AM
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New bridge No. 1 pick
City recommends steel truss structure over other proposals

By David Hutton, The StarPhoenix
November 18, 2010


A city report recommends tearing down the Traffic Bridge and replacing it with a modern steel truss structure.

The highly anticipated report, released Wednesday and set for debate Monday by council, says the bridge should be replaced with a similar-styled steel truss bridge with wider lanes, at a cost between $27 million and $34 million.

A modern replacement "balances the needs of the community while reducing engineering and financial risks," the city report says. [...]

Read more: http://www.thestarphoenix.com/bridge...#ixzz15gpezWhy
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Old Posted Nov 19, 2010, 10:36 AM
Cicero Cicero is offline
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Originally Posted by drm310 View Post
New bridge No. 1 pick
City recommends steel truss structure over other proposals

By David Hutton, The StarPhoenix
November 18, 2010


A city report recommends tearing down the Traffic Bridge and replacing it with a modern steel truss structure.

The highly anticipated report, released Wednesday and set for debate Monday by council, says the bridge should be replaced with a similar-styled steel truss bridge with wider lanes, at a cost between $27 million and $34 million.

A modern replacement "balances the needs of the community while reducing engineering and financial risks," the city report says. [...]

Read more: http://www.thestarphoenix.com/bridge...#ixzz15gpezWhy
A conventional bridge offers 3.7m lanes with 1.5m bike lanes for $26M - $35M. This steel truss bridge does not offer bike lanes at the quoted price.

I want my 1.5m bike lanes!
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Old Posted Nov 19, 2010, 2:39 PM
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A conventional bridge offers 3.7m lanes with 1.5m bike lanes for $26M - $35M. This steel truss bridge does not offer bike lanes at the quoted price.

I want my 1.5m bike lanes!
It has a 3m wide bike and pedestrian lane which I'm assuming will have a 1.5m bike lane or something similar.
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Old Posted Nov 19, 2010, 5:46 PM
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Regarding the replacement Traffic Bridge:
When they say "replica" I believe they mean stylistically the same, not _exactly_ the same. I'm all for it - it's like keeping the original asthetic while incorporating useful functionality. To the Heritage Society that's complaining they want an _exact_ replica, get a grip.

This is an exciting precedent for the city to take asthetics into account when building a large piece of infrastructure. Maybe the hero worship they get for doing this may inspire them to consider it more often?

Re bus barns: Yahoo! Great plan. That spot right next to the train yards would be unfavourable to residential development anyway, so I think it's an excellent location for bus barns and city yards. If they do add a recycling depot there, it'd make an incredible single location for Doors Open Saskatoon, if that ever happens again.

KGC, I don't see why this would impact the development of a ski hill at the landfill. No parking? Poor access? Seems like the extension of Circle Drive would impact that area more than some neighbouring city yards...
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Old Posted Nov 19, 2010, 7:04 PM
Cicero Cicero is offline
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Regarding the replacement Traffic Bridge:
When they say "replica" I believe they mean stylistically the same, not _exactly_ the same. I'm all for it - it's like keeping the original asthetic while incorporating useful functionality. To the Heritage Society that's complaining they want an _exact_ replica, get a grip.

This is an exciting precedent for the city to take asthetics into account when building a large piece of infrastructure. Maybe the hero worship they get for doing this may inspire them to consider it more often?

I don't think the Historical Society wants a replica of any sort. Anything less than preserving the current bridge is a failure in their eyes. Many of them think the "replica" is ugly, actually ... go figure.

I would prefer a traditional slab of concrete at this point for three reasons. First, I don't think steel truss bridges are aesthetically pleasing. Second, the steel truss bridge is more expensive. Third, the steel truss bridge offers less functionality; I prefer the 1.5 bike lanes on both sides of the road as opposed to placing cyclists and pedestrians on the 3m pedestrian pathways. In any case, it sounds like we will be getting a new bridge, which is the most important thing, so I will quit my bitching. I just wish it was something more interesting... I would totally get behind a more expensive bridge with an impressive design!

Quote:
Re bus barns: Yahoo! Great plan. That spot right next to the train yards would be unfavourable to residential development anyway, so I think it's an excellent location for bus barns and city yards. If they do add a recycling depot there, it'd make an incredible single location for Doors Open Saskatoon, if that ever happens again.

KGC, I don't see why this would impact the development of a ski hill at the landfill. No parking? Poor access? Seems like the extension of Circle Drive would impact that area more than some neighbouring city yards...
I have no attachment to the land bordering Dundonald and Valley Road. It's a barren field at the moment. But the land to the west is forested, filled with some pretty sloughs (one the size of a small lake), and borders Cedar Villa. I'm guessing the city won't encroach on that area for some time, but it really did have potential as a golf course, equestrian field, etc. There's also a small wildlife preserve next to Cedar Villa. I will be disappointed to see it go. That said, 180 acres is a very large space, so the bulk of the land likely will not be developed for a very long time.

edit: I am not worried about the bus barn increasing traffic on Dundonald. Why? Because Circle Drive and Dundonald are separate. Originally, Circle was going to cut through Dundonald Avenue (the city purchased several homes adjacent to Dundonald Ave years ago), but it now projects through Holiday Park Industrial. Pat Lorje lives in the area and played a role in the change of plans (I can't remember if she was still an MLA at the time or not). Dundonald Ave. will be closed at Valley Road. I am worried about the increase in traffic along 11th street, although thankfully 11th street will be partially spared as the new road is being built north of 11th street's present location wherever possible (Agpro Grain prevents the entire road being shifted north).
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Old Posted Nov 19, 2010, 10:11 PM
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Traffic Bridge idea

Hi Everyone, this is my first post on SSP, but I've been reading your posts on this Saskatoon thread for a long time (and the Regina thread before that).

The reason for breaking my silence is because I view the Traffic Bridge replacement as an opportunity to do something unique and innovative and I have an idea about it that I have never heard mentioned from anyone else:

What about a covered bridge?

My thoughts are to build a concrete girder bridge, and put a nice shiny curvilinear steel structure overtop. Or maybe instead of using steel we could use some other durable or flexible material.

Think about it - would deflect snow and rain off the deck eliminating the need to plow or salt thus increasing the lifespan of the bridge, would offer protection from the elements for cyclists and pedestrians, and would be a unique architectural feature not found on any other modern vehicular river crossings.

Such a bridge diverges from the heritage element, and ideally the structure would have enough openings to let in natural light and have decent ventilation, yet still shed the precipitation.
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Old Posted Nov 19, 2010, 10:59 PM
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Originally Posted by Arts View Post
Hi Everyone, this is my first post on SSP, but I've been reading your posts on this Saskatoon thread for a long time (and the Regina thread before that).

The reason for breaking my silence is because I view the Traffic Bridge replacement as an opportunity to do something unique and innovative and I have an idea about it that I have never heard mentioned from anyone else:

What about a covered bridge?

My thoughts are to build a concrete girder bridge, and put a nice shiny curvilinear steel structure overtop. Or maybe instead of using steel we could use some other durable or flexible material.

Think about it - would deflect snow and rain off the deck eliminating the need to plow or salt thus increasing the lifespan of the bridge, would offer protection from the elements for cyclists and pedestrians, and would be a unique architectural feature not found on any other modern vehicular river crossings.

Such a bridge diverges from the heritage element, and ideally the structure would have enough openings to let in natural light and have decent ventilation, yet still shed the precipitation.
I think your idea of shelter is interesting but it wont be happening. The three options proposed are final it seems. Which is truly unfortunate. I don't think a covered bridge, with walls and roof, would be wise seeing as Saskatoon has such high crime. I could see this becoming a tunnel of doom for anyone. I think it would detract from the view for many residents along the river. Perhaps something more delicate giving the illusion of shelter could be put in place? With modern materials and maintenance I don't think the lifespan of materials is as large of a problem.
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Old Posted Nov 22, 2010, 2:28 PM
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Covered Bridge

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I think your idea of shelter is interesting but it wont be happening. The three options proposed are final it seems. Which is truly unfortunate. I don't think a covered bridge, with walls and roof, would be wise seeing as Saskatoon has such high crime. I could see this becoming a tunnel of doom for anyone. I think it would detract from the view for many residents along the river. Perhaps something more delicate giving the illusion of shelter could be put in place? With modern materials and maintenance I don't think the lifespan of materials is as large of a problem.
I agree it is unfortunate that the the proposed options seem final, as this project seemed to have blasted through the conceptual process for sake of simplifying it to the paying customer. I also have thought about the tunnel of doom perception, which is why I think it needs to be open/airy enough to prevent it from obstructing sight lines or being closed in. Perhaps more delicate, as you put it, is what I have in mind, like a stretched fabric or PVC canopy.
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Old Posted Nov 22, 2010, 6:31 PM
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I agree it is unfortunate that the the proposed options seem final, as this project seemed to have blasted through the conceptual process for sake of simplifying it to the paying customer. I also have thought about the tunnel of doom perception, which is why I think it needs to be open/airy enough to prevent it from obstructing sight lines or being closed in. Perhaps more delicate, as you put it, is what I have in mind, like a stretched fabric or PVC canopy.
perhaps something organic that looks like it's just massing out of one of the river banks? That would be interesting.
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Old Posted Nov 23, 2010, 1:11 AM
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Future of the Traffic Bridge?


Source

Predictions?

I'm for restoration, but I think it will swing towards replica.

Should have just went for a signature bridge. Actually, someone wrote in the SP that they should scrap the bridge, and use the piers for a hydro power project!

The MVA would be all for it

Last edited by Ruckus; Nov 23, 2010 at 1:22 AM.
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Old Posted Nov 23, 2010, 1:13 PM
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Time runs out on council meeting, Traffic Bridge future to be decided at next meeting

By David Hutton, The StarPhoenix
November 23, 2010


The Traffic Bridge received a stay of execution Monday night after the clock ran out before debate could begin and a long list of speakers could be heard.

After months of public uproar and input on the future of 103-year-old steel bridge, a decision wasn’t made at city council on Monday night after debate ran up against an 11 p.m. deadline after a report on taxi industry regulation went more than 2-1⁄2 hours.

Councillors voted against continuing past the deadline, which needs unanimous approval.

The decision on the fate of the bridge will be picked up at the next council meeting in two weeks time. [...]

Read more: http://www.thestarphoenix.com/news/T...#ixzz166wJ94p6
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Old Posted Nov 23, 2010, 2:22 PM
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Time runs out on council meeting, Traffic Bridge future to be decided at next meeting

By David Hutton, The StarPhoenix
November 23, 2010


The Traffic Bridge received a stay of execution Monday night after the clock ran out before debate could begin and a long list of speakers could be heard.

After months of public uproar and input on the future of 103-year-old steel bridge, a decision wasn’t made at city council on Monday night after debate ran up against an 11 p.m. deadline after a report on taxi industry regulation went more than 2-1⁄2 hours.

Councillors voted against continuing past the deadline, which needs unanimous approval.

The decision on the fate of the bridge will be picked up at the next council meeting in two weeks time. [...]

Read more: http://www.thestarphoenix.com/news/T...#ixzz166wJ94p6
I was really hoping the city would create a new future with an iconic bridge, but we know that is not going to happen so I really hope they go the heritage route. A faux replica is an insult to our heritage and displays a non visionary outlook for the present city.
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Old Posted Nov 23, 2010, 2:44 PM
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I completely agree kgc087. Building a replica doesn't make it any more historic than building a new iconic bridge. I wish they would have looked into options for a modern aesthetic bridge more closely.
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Old Posted Nov 23, 2010, 3:21 PM
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Yea, by going the replica route they were trying to please everyone and may well end up pleasing no one.
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