Page 2 of 2 Previous

Continued: I-35W bridge may delay other projects

  • Article by: PATRICIA LOPEZ , Star Tribune
  • Last update: September 21, 2007 - 11:40 PM

"We wouldn't be in this situation of robbing Peter to pay Paul if we had adequate funds," Murphy said. "But the governor wouldn't bend."

No cash to cover costs

Legislators say they are concerned that if federal bridge funds get bogged down in Washington, the state will have stuck its neck out for $195 million with no cash to cover those costs other than what's already been allocated to needed transportation projects.

"I think it's very dicey," said Rep. Loren Solberg, DFL-Grand Rapids, who heads the House Ways and Means Committee. "I'd be very cautious about giving authority to spend money that's not there yet."

Solberg, who sits on the legislative commission, said he considered the MnDOT request "strange," and recalled that in post-collapse bridge hearings, MnDOT officials had assured legislators that the department could handle the emergency.

"I want to cooperate with the governor," Solberg said. "I want to see the bridge built. But I won't put the state in financial jeopardy."

'Numerous questions'

Kelliher said in her statement that the administration's proposal for authorizing funds is "a new and untried process" that by law must include an analysis of long-term effects on the trunk highway fund.

While the bridge collapse requires a speedy response, she said, "we also need to make sure that MnDOT is properly managed and operating with the necessary oversight in place to restore public trust.

In a hint of the legislative scrutiny to come, Kelliher said, "we have numerous questions that will be asked over the next few days regarding this request."

Patricia Lopez • 651-222-1288

Patricia Lopez • plopez@startribune.com

  • related content

  • The ordeal of 'Disaster Victim #16'

    Friday September 21, 2007

    A benefit will be held Sunday for Mercedes Gorden, who faces a long recovery from her injuries.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Who is your favorite Gophers head coach?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close