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Posts Tagged ‘federal lands construction’

The USDOT was about to shut down construction projects and furlough about 2000 employees on Monday.  Who is to blame?  Senator Bunning who should, as Laura Ingram pointed out on her show yesterday, should win some kind of an award for trying to avoid further debt spending..

The Department of Transportation (WAS EXPECTED- Sic) will furlough nearly 2,000 employees without pay Monday, temporarily shutting down highway reimbursements to states worth hundreds of millions of dollars, national anti-drunk driving efforts, and multi-million dollar construction projects across the country.

The action comes as a result of Kentucky Sen. Jim Bunning’s decision to block key legislation that would have extended several critical priorities for middle class families. That legislation covered tax credits for COBRA health coverage, unemployment insurance for 400,000 people, as well as the short-term extension of the Highway Trust Fund. The Fund supports all surface transportation programs for the nation – highways, bridges, transit and safety inspections, as well as efforts to encourage seat belt use and to fight distracted and impaired driving.http://www.dot.gov/affairs/2010/dot3610.htm

We understand some of these projects are probably necessary, but when it comes down to putting in sidewalks in the Virgin Islands and making the entryway more appealing at Sequoia National Park- you have to stop right there and say enough is enough.  These are not projects that we would define as critical as LaHood claims.

LaHood saying, “The action comes as a result of Kentucky Sen. Jim Bunning’s decision to block key legislation,” is politics at its best.  The action comes on the heels of the largest debt the U.S. has ever-seen with President Obama signing away billions in federal funding.

The mention of spending  federal funds for seat belt education just boils my blood.  Mandatory seat belt laws gave police the right to pull you over and cite you with a ticket if they see you driving with out being buckled up.  Click it or Ticket.   In our state you are required then to attend a government sponsored traffic and education program that you are also required to pay for. 

We wear our seat belts not because the government makes us but because it saves lives. In fact we were rear ended by a drunk who managed to literally leave tire tracks on the driver side doors.  Kids in the car seats with adults buckled up thankfully.  We were okay, he on the other hand flew through the window.  Jackass.  MADD- Mother’s Against Drunk Driving has good intentions but to receive federal funding at a time when many Americans can’t afford to buy a new car? 

“The Senate acted late tonight to break its logjam, extending the Highway Trust Fund for another 30 days,” wrote Ray LaHood http://fastlane.dot.gov/2010/03/senate-extends-highway-trust-fund-dot-employees-back-on-the-job-wednesday.html.

Here’s a look at some of the “critical” construction projects that you are paying for:

Federal Lands Construction Affected By Furlough  
State Project Cost
Alaska Tongass National Forest road clean up $1,100,000
Alaska Coffman Cove Dock construction $885,000
Arizona Coronado National Monument main park entrance $1,500,000
Arkansas East Fly Gap and Gunner Pool Roads landslides restoration $923,000
California Sequoia National Park main entrance $15,000,000
California South Fork Smith River $13,800,000
California Golden Gate National Recreation Area road construction $8,700,000
District of Columbia 9th Street Bridge replacement $50,000,000
Georgia Chicakamauga & Chattanogga National Military Park constrution $634,000
Idaho Salmon River Road Nez Perce National Forest consctruction $20,133,000
Idaho Little Salmon River Bridge Nez Perce National Forest intersection $3,800,000
Idaho Fernan Lakes Idaho Panhandle National Forest $14,600,000
Illinois McRraven Road reconstruction $1,100,000
Maryland Great Falls Park entrance road construction $3,100,000
Maryland Piscataway National Park erosion and slope damage repair $89,000
Mississippi Natchez Trace Parkway resurfacing $8,100,000
Mississippi Natchez Trace Parkway trail construction (Ridgeland County) 5,600,000
Mississippi Vicksburg National Military Park road rehabilitation and resurfacing $5,000,000
Mississippi Natchez Trace Parkway trail construction (Madison County) $4,700,000
New Mexico Carlsbad Caverns National Monument roadway rehabilitation $9,000,000
North Carolina Newfound Gap road rehabilitation $9,900,000
North Carolina Blue Ridge Parkway reconstruction and resurfacing $6,000,000
North Carolina Goshen Creek Bridge replacement $3,000,000
Ohio Fitzwater Road bridges replacement $4,400,000
Oregon Beaver Creek Road Ochoco National Forest $6,200,000
South Carolina Ft. Sumter Historic Site entrance road and parking area rehabilitation $262,000
Tennessee Cades Cove Loop Road rehabilitation $6,700,000
Tennessee Shilo National Park tour roads and parking area rehabilitation $3,000,000
Tennessee Catossa Wildlife Management Area bridge replacement $1,000,000
Utah Bear River Access Road $13,800,000
Virginia/DC George Washington Parkway Humpback Bridge replacement $36,000,000
Virginia Blue Ridge Parkway reconstruction and resurfacing $12,000,000
Virginia Petersburg Park tour road relocation $1,500,000
Puerto Rico Vieques National Wildlife Refuge road and bridge reconstruction $6,000,000
Puerto Rico El Yonque National Forest slide repair $3,000,000
U.S. Virgin Islands Christiansted Bypass construction $14,000,000
U.S. Virgin Islands Centerline Road reconstruction $9,000,000
U.S. Virgin Islands St. John roundabout construction $7,200,000
U.S. Virgin Islands Long Bay Road reconstruction $5,500,000
U.S. Virgin Islands University of Virgin Island sidewalk construction $988,000
U.S. Virgin Islands North Shore Road reconstruction $448,000

Enough with the national monuments and national parks, how about fixing some simple potholes on the nation’s highways first?

Note that 37.5 million is being spent in Nancy Pelosi’s home state of California, and 37.2 million in the Virgin Islands.  Yes, the Virgin Islands- must be all that snow that they are getting from global warming tearing up the road surfaces.

All those projects and only 2000 employees were going to be effected?  What?  Are these the people that sit in offices or the actual construction workers themselves?  How much money are we talking about in salary for these 2,000 people? How much money did everyone of those stupid dot gov recovery gov signs cost?  There’s some savings for you!

More information is also available at Secretary LaHood’s twitter account, www.twitter.com/RayLaHood, and at his facebook page, www.facebook.com/sec.lahood. should you want to ask him why the investigation of Toyota has taken so long as well.

As for Bunning, pretty disgraceful of the Republicans to not stand by his side.  He may be long off the pitcher’s mound, but don’t think for one minute he isn’t going to throw another curve ball when it comes to spending.

Next time around, we would hope the Republicans, and hope against hope that some Democrat would rise up and catch the foul ball in the debt game that the Senate is playing. 

  flag tounge

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