A Bridge Too Far
By: Mark W Adams

I'm sensitive to the fact that it may be far, far too soon to begin to point fingers regarding the Minneapolis bridge tragedy. But my memory keeps going back to the embarrassingly pork laden $286 Billion highway bill, the one that brought us the Bridge to Nowhere, the one signed into law about the same time the I-35W was determined to be a 50 on a scale of 120 for structural stability.

More people fell off the I-35W bridge than live in the Knik Arm region the Bridge to Nowhere joins to the mainland, including Senator Steven's Chief of Staff and two former aides.

Hell, there were more kids on the bus that (thank god) escaped the catastrophe than live in the Knik Arm region. Fifty people are going to be served by Steven's disgraceful $200 Million pet project -- there were more than that number injured by the bridge collapse in Minneapolis. Is there any doubt that our priorities are completely out of whack?

The bridge-collapse tragedy is a teachable moment: This is your government on conservatism.

This year two Democratic Minnesotan legislatures passed a $4.18 billion transportation package. Minnesota's Republican governor vetoed it because he had taken a no-new-taxes pledge, Grover Norquist-style. That's just what conservative politicians do.

The original bill would have put over $8 billion toward highways, city, and county roads, and transit over the next decade. The bill he let passed spent much less.

Now four people are dead, and counting.
Weirdly enough, the "Knik Arm" of the Cook Peninsula area that is now home to Anchorage Alaska was first explored by Captain Bligh of the Bounty fame. (I live for such trivia.)

Typically, wingnuttystan doesn't want anyone jumping to conclusions, mainly because this looks like yet another reason to denounce conservatism in its current incarnation as an utterly failed philosophy, and is already blaming the media which hasn't even made up its mind where their group-think will take them, and laughing at KOS for pointing out the obvious, that reporting the facts is equivalent to blame -- because the facts have a liberal bias.

Senator Al Franken does indeed have a good ring to it. Mysteriously absent from Senator Coleman's (R-MN) braggadocio about bringing home the pork, is no mention whatsoever about doing anything about this span which apparently had already been labeled structurally suspect.

Since the blog wars over this issue have already started, I guess it's not too early to point fingers, just tasteless. But my god folks, we've spent so much money blowing up and incompetently rebuilding bridges in Iraq, and we've let our own house go to hell. It's got to stop.
This is a tragic reminder that America must be vigilant to ensure the safety of our nation's infrastructure." -- John Edwards.

1 Comment:

Ara said...

It's ironic that nearly two years later, at the other end of the Mississippi River, another avoidable disaster has occurred.

This IS a teachable moment. So it would be important to remember that the disaster in New Orleans was not due to wind or rain; it was the collapse of the levees, built and maintained by the Federal Government and the US Army Corps of Engineers.