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The magnitude of the I-35W project, he said, is beyond the scope of such a small commission.
"Less than three weeks ago the lieutenant governor said they didn't need legislative help," Murphy said, referring to Carol Molnau, who also serves as transportation commissioner. Now, he said, "they're telling us projects will be delayed or canceled unless they get this approval. The fact is, they need new revenue and we need a special session on transportation to deal with this."
Washington County Engineer Don Thiesen said that if the rebid of the eastbound Wakota Bridge slipped by a couple of months, "we would work like the dickens" to keep the scheduled opening date of 2009.
"Can we accomplish that?" he said. "I don't know. There is no doubt there is frustration in Washington County and Dakota County. It's time to get this bridge done."
McFarlin said that if the department's request is denied, "our message is very simple. We will have to move forward at some time in the near future with decisions to defer projects."
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