Republican John McCain blames deadly Minnesota bridge collapse on pork-barrel spending.
... McCain, while campaigning in Pennsylvania, told reporters: "The bridge in Minneapolis didn't collapse because there wasn't enough money. The bridge in Minneapolis collapsed because so much money was spent on wasteful, unnecessary pork-barrel projects."
And here is the pork, from McCain's potential Vice Presidential Candidate, it is Republican Minnesota Governor Pawlenty Pork: The New Minnesota Twins Stadium
The New Minnesota Twins Stadium
Cost: $544.4 million (including site acquisition and infrastructure)
Public financing: $392 million from a 0.15 percent sales tax in Hennepin County
Private financing: $152.4 million from the Twins
Lease: 30 years
Cost of the New 35W bridge:$234 million
Governor Pawlenty would have had to propose and provide some financial support for the"structurally deficient" 35W bridge replacement before the federal government could act!
And the Republican Governor Pawlenty knew or should have known from the "structurally deficient" rating reports coming out his Minnesota Department of Transportation:
Highlight pink lines were added by me to this ABC photo to show the bending of the gusset plate before the 35W bridge fell.
Old photos of the Interstate 35W bridge show two steel connecting plates were visibly bent as early as 2003 — four years before the span collapsed into the Mississippi River, killing 13 people.
Minnesota Department of Transportation officials declined to say when the state first knew about the bending in the pieces of steel, called gusset plates.
Two photos, part of a report issued earlier this month by the National Transportation Safety Board, reveal slight bends in gusset plates that hold beams together at two separate connecting points. The plates are in areas believed to be among the first points of failure when the span collapsed.
The NTSB's Office of Highway Safety confirmed that the bowing is part of the investigation into why the bridge collapsed Aug. 1, the Star Tribune newspaper reported Sunday. (ABC News)
Add to a buckling bridge, a Republican administration mismanaged project:
But earlier this week, the board said the bridge was stressed after workers had put 99 tons of sand on the roadway directly over two of the bridge’s weakest points. Stress at one of the two weakest points was 83 percent more than the bridge could have handled, according to an interim report released earlier by the Federal Highway Administration.(New York Times)
There are so many bad bridges in Minnesota, that actually the Hastings bridge was expected to fall first
In May 2006, two MnDOT inspectors completed their annual review of the steel-beamed Hastings Bridge that crosses the Mississippi River between Dakota and Washington counties. It was a crucial task.
The bridge, the busiest two-lane span in Minnesota, is covered with corrosion and cracks. And it's a fracture-critical structure: If one load-carrying part fails, the entire bridge will plummet into the river.
Back in the office, the inspectors filed their report. They flagged numerous structural problems on the 57-year-old bridge: thinning steel, corroding beams, frozen bearings, damaged girders. Many of the deficiencies had been reported a decade or more ago....
Repairs to the state's worst bridges and roads are being put off year after year, sometimes for more than a decade, as the transportation agency contends with massive budget shortfalls and aging infrastructure...(Star Tribune)
While Republican Governor Pawlenty was willing to push through the new Twins stadium without even the traditional referendum, the Republican Governor Pawlenty also vetoed efforts to improve transportation both before and after this tragedy. The Democratic Minnesota congress removed Lt. Gov. Carol Molnau from her post as transportation commissioner last month after years of concern about the department’s performance. The Minnesota people approved an amendment to the state constitution that locks the state government into spending more money on roads and public transit by restoring all money collected from the sales tax on motor vehicles to transportation. The Minnesota house and senate with great courage and great leadership by the Democrats and the support a few brave responsible Republican legislators passed a significant transportation bill. Those few brave responsible Republican legislators were chastised by the Republican party.
Accountability! We the people of Minnesota have the right to demand accountability of our state government and we will! Republican Presidential McCain has the pork part of this problem exactly right, exactly right from his potential Vice Presidential Candidate Pawlenty.