What can taxes do?

What can taxes do, well fund infrastructure improvements.

Back in February I had blogged the construction on the Devil’s Triangle was going to be delayed for a year (to 2009) because of a lack of funding. Well, that construction project will start this July 16th, as reported in the Strib.

A MnDOT construction project that begins July 16 will create a diamond interchange that should relieve congestion and reduce accidents. But it won’t happen overnight. The project is expected to be completed in 2011, raising new concerns along with the sighs of relief from drivers who have had enough already.

I am not sure why the original reporting had a start date of 2009 and completion date of 2011, while this has a start date of 2008 and still ending in 2011. Probably a change in how the project will be done.

A bypass will be built the first year, Roy said. Once traffic moves onto that, then Hwy. 169’s new southbound lanes will be built — between Brooklyn Boulevard and 93rd Avenue on County Road 81. After that, the northbound lanes will be built.

The Devil’s Triangle isn’t the only construction project that has it’s start time moved up, a number of bridge projects do to.

Nearly 90,000 drivers a day got welcome news Monday, when the Minnesota Department of Transportation announced a major bridge improvement plan that would move up by a year the replacement of the Lafayette Bridge, which spans the Mississippi River in downtown St. Paul.

Construction of a replacement for the bridge, which carries Hwy. 52 drivers into the heart of downtown and has a lower sufficiency rating than the Interstate 35W bridge had before it collapsed last summer, is now slated to begin in 2010.

You would think that replacing an urban bridge, less than 1 mile from the RNC at Xcel would get some priority, but it costs money. Where did that money come from?

State Transportation Commissioner Tom Sorel appeared before a House-Senate panel on Monday to share the proposed bridge improvements and other plans for a $6.6 billion transportation package the Legislature put into law over Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s veto this year.

It is amazing when you invest your money, for the government that is called taxes, what can be done.

By 2018, 120 bridges that lack structural redundancies or rank poorly on a federal bridge rating system would be repaired, replaced or under construction.

Replacing the 11 major bridges would consume about three-quarters of the money. Work has already started on a replacement for St. Cloud’s Hwy. 23 bridge, which officials closed in March. But another bridge that closed recently and reopened on a restricted basis — the Hwy. 43 bridge in Winona — would have to wait until 2014. Crews are set to repair the bridge’s gusset plates this year.

Yeah, that is right, folks in Winona can be happy to know they don’t have to wait 6 years for their work.

I just don’t get the anti-tax crowd, that want to starve government. For our society to function we need to invest in infrastructure to make things work. Fortunately 6 Republican state represents overrode Governor No Pawlenty’s veto.



1 Comment

  1. SoypeFleell said,

    August 3, 2008 at 1:38 am

    Thanks for the post

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