Living in the City — Silly Government Costs

One government issue that always gets to me is when state legislatures spend far more time on fringe issues rather than do things like, oh, pass budgets. And then… the things they pass budgets FOR… oy!

Living in Minneapolis, with the I-35 bridge collapse a few years ago, I really focus on government providing for BASICS.

But, no… even when it comes to bridges… we just can’t do “basic.”

Consider my neighborhood. We had an ancient steel bridge that was two lane and crossed the Mississippi near my neighborhood. I hated that bridge for a few reasons, but it was sturdy. When the I-35 collapsed, the city then shut down the Lowry Bridge as well for safety reasons.

The state then went through and immediately inspected all the bridges. One main bridge that was needing desperate replacement was the Hastings Bridge. The traffic on that bridge in the southeastern part of the metro carried 31,000 cars per day.

The Lowry Bridge carried probably 31 cars per day. (I know it was more. Give me a break!)

The Lowry Bridge stayed closed and our fair city then argued over the DESIGN of a new bridge. The cost ballooned from $36 million for a good bridge to carry traffic over the river… to well over $105 million for a really nice looking bridge to carry same traffic.

The Hastings Bridge, which actually carries traffic will come in at $120 million… for a much wider expanse… more traffic… and it doesn’t look bad, either.

The Hastings Bridge had state and federal money. The Lowry Bridge has my tax dollars. No federal. No state. (Unless they came up with something in the last session.)

Two bridges with similar costs that do VERY different things and have VERY different traffic patterns…

You just HAVE to love government!

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