Friday, August 03, 2007

Minneapolis River Bridge

The world we live in today has truly revolutionized the way we communicate as evidenced by the news this week that the Interstate 35 bridge through Minneapolis collapsed killing at least four people. We live about a 20 minute drive from this bridge in a suburb of St. Paul (the other city in the Twin Cities of Minnesota) but I was reading books with our daughter in her room with no TV or radio on so we had no idea what had happened. Word of this disaster came via a telephone call from my brother who lives nearly 5 hours away from us in Iowa.

Since this tragedy two days ago we have been saturated with 24 hour media coverage and numerous press conferences focused on providing status reports and to explain the planned review process being used to determine what caused this disaster.

The libertarian in me comes out when these things happen. Aside from the empathy I feel for the families involved my next thought is -- "why isn't government focused on doing just a FEW things VERY WELL instead of doing many things VERY POORLY?" For example -- instead of building the light rail train system (the "Hiawatha Line") which cuts through Minneapolis and runs to our airport why wasn't the money spent for this mass transit train ( -- reportedly $715 million in total costs) spent fixing/replacing the Interstate 35 bridge instead?

Apparently Congress has already allocated $250 million to Minnesota for replacing the bridge -- money that should have been spent years ago instead of being spent to create the Hiawatha Line.


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