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Washington County bridges need funding now, official says

  • September 25, 2007 - 8:19 PM

State bridges in Washington County came under criticism Tuesday when a commissioner took issue with ongoing construction delays and maintenance shortcomings.

Myra Peterson, who serves on several transportation alliances in the east metro region, displayed a photograph at the weekly board meeting that she said was taken from the underside of the Hastings bridge on Hwy. 61.

"There's a large hole that goes all the way through the bridge," she said.

Peterson said that probable delays in ongoing construction of the Wakota Bridge on I-494 -- as the state looks for money to replace the collapsed Interstate 35W bridge in Minneapolis -- will cause further inconvenience to residents of Hastings, Newport, Cottage Grove and other nearby cities.

Peterson encouraged fellow commissioners and other public officials in Washington County to lobby legislators and Gov. Tim Pawlenty for a comprehensive transportation funding package for Minnesota.

The current approach, she said, amounts to "a shell game" of moving money around.

KEVIN GILES

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