Roads, Bridges, and Rail Runner

I have been remiss in not saying anything about the tragic bridge collapse in Minnesota. If you have been living under a rock, on August 1 the I-35W highway bridge over the Mississippi River in Minneapolis collapsed during evening rush hour killing several people.
Naturally, some politicians are using the opportunity to call for higher taxes, ostensibly to fund bridge inspection and maintenance. Of course, if politicians are serious about preventing future events like this, they should consider their own practices of earmarking and diverting gas tax revenues to transit. The earmarking problem has become especially prevalent in recent years which led directly to the “Bridge to Nowhere” in Alaska. Perhaps funds from that wasteful project could have been used to maintain existing infrastructure?
The other major problem is the practice of using highway funds to pay for transit boondoggles. While New Mexico has a relatively good system of highways, Minnesota, at least according to this study, was not that bad either. Of course, investing $400 million in a commuter rail project won’t help New Mexico maintain its roads and bridges.

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