It’s not all pork

Still think that all the money in Obama’s federal economic stimulus program is going for pork, which will do nothing to help the economy?

 Well, think again. Consider the news from the West Virginia Division of Highways that they’ll be using $14.9 million from the stimulus fund to move up construction of its portion of the Mon/Fayette Expressway.

Using the economic stimulus money will mean that the highway will be open a couple years before it would have been otherwise, according to Marvin Murphy, state highway engineer for the West Virginia Division of Highways.

He told the Herald-Standard the plans are to complete the construction to open the road in one construction season with a completion date of Dec. 28. Murphy said the road likely would be open by early 2010 at the latest.

That’s great news to the frantic folks who try to maneuver through the obstacles along Route 119 or 857 every day. The hope is that with the expressway open, Morgantown and Uniontown will be connected as never before. Planners envision some of Morgantown’s boom spreading northward giving developers much needed room to grow at Fayette County’s benefit.  Jobs and housing could give Fayette County’s economy a much needed stimulus of its own.

It’s great news overall for the expressway, which has been talked about  for 50 years or more and seemed at times to be headed for the dustbins of history. But now it appears destined to be completed from Morgantown to about 15 miles outside of Pittsburgh.

The entire Uniontown-to-Brownsville link of the Mon/Fayette Expressway is slated for completion in late 2011 or early 2012. After traveling on a new bridge across the Monongahela River in Washington County, the road will connect with the already built parts of Interstate 43 between California and Route 51 in Jefferson.

Overall, President Barack Obama said Tuesday that $28 billion from his economic recovery program that is being spent on road-building nationwide will save or create 150,000 jobs by the end of next year.

That’s greater than the number of jobs the Big Three automakers — General Motors, Ford and Chrysler — lost in the past three years, Obama said on his first visit as president to the Department of Transportation.

“Transportation projects that were once on hold are now starting up again as part of the largest new investment in America’s infrastructure since President Eisenhower built the interstate highway system,” said Obama, according to Associated Press.

Outlining his plans for department employees, Obama said that just two weeks after he signed the $787 billion economic stimulus bill into law on Feb. 17, “we are seeing shovels hit the ground.”

States can begin using their share of the $28 billion road-building investment immediately, he said. More than 200 highway construction projects also will be launched in the coming weeks, Obama said.

Wonder what those Republicans opposed to the stimulus project have to say about that? Kind of hard to be opposed to progress isn’t it?

 

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3 Responses to It’s not all pork

  1. CJ says:

    That’s not exactly true, is it?

    I read the same article and it said that it would connect us to WV, but not I68 like it has been promised, so the Mon-Fayette Expressway will still be incomplete as originally promised.

    “We will put the Mon/Fayette Expressway in service without direct access to Interstate 68,” Murphy said.

    So, it will not complete their portion of the project.

    It will only complete a incomplete portion of their project.

    Now, if we would get rid of the stupid and wasteful “prevailing wage” law, then that $14.9 million dollars would be enough to complete the entire expressway, including the bridge and I-68 interchange.

    What is this prevailing wage law?

    It is the law that the federal government sets the wage for construction workers to be paid, instead of allowing the free market to set wages.

    If a construction worker thinks that he deserves to be paid $40per hour to operate a bulldozer, but the contractor is only offering $20 per hour, then the guy won’t take the job, but hundreds of other guys will line up to take it.

    That’s how the free market works, but the Feds demand that contractors MUST pay $40 per hour to bulldozer operators or they don’t get the contract.

    This pushes up the price of everything which in the long run raises and wastes your taxes, so greedy democrats can get reelected by the unions who donate to them.

  2. Anna Frielman says:

    So let me understand what you just wrote. “Progress” at any price! Your fundamental premise here, albeit difficult to discern, appears to be that pork is good.

    And you use two statements to back this up.
    1. Great news to the frantic folks who try to maneuver through the obstacles along Route 119 or 857 every day
    2. Planners envision some of Morgantown’s boom spreading northward giving developers much needed room to grow at Fayette County’s benefit. Jobs and housing could give Fayette County’s economy a much needed stimulus of its own.

    Projected total Expressway cost, $6.2 billion.

    Traffic on I-79 from Morgantown to Pittsburgh is about as light as it gets. Are people really going to pay a toll to go to Pittsburgh when they can use wide open I-79 for free and make it in the same amount of time?

    Why do you think that Morgantown’s boom will spread northward? How about spreading south of Morgantown? That is the the trend, and in all likelihood, that trend is expected to continue regardless of a better road to Uniontown.

    The fact is that while 43 will allow better access to Uniontown, it will also allow an easier way to bypass Uniontown and this whole area. But that is already possible with I-79.

    Take a look at what happened with with the Uniontown bypass’s effect on Uniontown business. It, along with the Uniontown Mall, killed the downtown.

    The same thing will continue with 43 allowing further bypassing of this area. Say goodbye to the traffic dependent businesses in every little community along the way. Just as Hopwood has suffered, so will every other little community along the way.

    What will continue to happen is a north and south exodus from this area as we have already been experiencing. Throw in the city of Uniontown taxes and all that will remain in Uniontown proper is the courthouse, jail and not much more after everything eventually is lost to fires for lack of a fire department.

    Your love of pork and of social engineering will continue to kill this area and eventually the entire country.

    What will we do with all these great new roads when no-one will be able to afford to drive on them?

    Progress is a funny word. Sort of like the word “change.” Folks like Obama, have a way of using those words for self-gratifying political purposes.
    And I don’t think those purposes are intended for our benefit.

    Am I saying that the road is altogether bad?
    Not at all; a one way road out of here might just be the answer to our children’s future.

  3. Petr Gowzinya says:

    CJ’s logic might be a little out there, but Anna is right on with, “Your love of pork and of social engineering will continue to kill this area and eventually the entire country.” When you make deals with the devil, payback time is hell.

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