So, living here in the land of ALL BRIDGE ALL THE TIME, I’m getting a close-up view of how messed up US transportation policy really is.
A lot of infrastructure’s been neglected, or taken for granted, in the era of ‘no new taxes’ and small government. One bridge collapsed. Others are on the line for replacement, and were even prior to this collapse.
A 10-lane bridge with a bicycle crossing has been proposed to replace the I35-W bridge. That’s fine. I’m in favor of building as many roads with suitable infrastructure for cyclists as possible. There’s debate about building the bridge to accomodate light-rail transit (LRT) as well. A line is under consideration to run very near there, over a bridge that is basically fine… but would need a huge overhaul to handle trains.
It’s being said that the feds won’t help fund such a construction project, but will only replace the bridge with a similar bridge (no rapid transit). This is pretty messed up. If when infrastructure needs drastic work — and many highways, as well as bridges, do and will — if we cannot adapt them to forward-looking uses, what’s the freaking point? We can add lanes for more car traffic, but not mass transit, under this formula. What?