Thursday, January 19, 2012

Ohio DOT Promised Billions in Road and Bridge Construction It Can't Pay For

Anyone concerned about the 15 Trillion dollar reported Federal deficit should know that it's the tip of a much larger iceberg of looming costs most people don't know about.

Remember, the fight over pedestrian access to the brand new Inner Belt Bridge, Cleveland was gonna get? Surprise, it now looks like a new bridge may not be built till 2020 or later even though the current one may have serious structural issues!

Turns out the State transportation folks just wish listed important projects with little knowledge of how they might be paid for.

For years, the state has "over-programmed" for the money available, Wray said. Project commitments total $3.3 billion through 2017, but only $1.6 billion in revenues is projected for construction, he said.

Meanwhile, revenue from federal and state gas taxes has remained flat, while the costs of maintenance and construction have inflated, he said.

He expects disappointment not only in Cleveland but across the state with the draft list.

The West Shoreway project also doesn't fare well. It is not on the funding list, Wray said, despite a concerted appeal from the city of Cleveland for another $21 million.

Expect this to be an ever growing story. Ironically, in many cases, failing infrastructure offers a grand chance for cities to reinvent themselves in more sustainable ways.

Remember that The West Side Highway, in NY and Embarcadero Freeway in San Fransisco were only removed after partial collapses.

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