According to Google Maps we are 4.6 miles away from the east bank anchor of the I-35W bridge. It is not a structure we use very much because the natural alternative routes are the more logical way to go. A friend called from California and was concerned about some friends who live straight south of us in Saint Paul. She hadn’t been able to reach them. I argued that for them, as well, I-35W is not a preferred route. It has been interesting to watch the blogosphere around here and discussion about other bridges in the immediate metro area that are at risk. One of them mentioned is what’s known as the Lafayette Street Bridge that carries U.S. 52 across the Mississippi just east of downtown Saint Paul.
According to one blogger it has a safety rating even lower than that of I-35W. The points about deferred maintenance are starting to be raised. My son Dylan today quipped that if a meteor were hurtling toward earth and the only way to stop it was to raise taxes, the Republikans who still control the executive branches both in Minnesota and Washington, DC, would choose to do nothing. The odd thing about this is I believe the Republikan reluctance to raise taxes is really only partially about the money. It has a lot more to do with the very notion of taxes. Taxes create a civil society. Taxes benefit the greater good. These are the things Republikans oppose. They are, in my mind, like a criminal organization that exists for one purpose and that is to assure the ascendency of their own kind to the detriment of all else. With respect to that meteor my guess is Republikans would charter airplanes so members of their exclusive club could high down to Australia or some other point on the opposite end of the earth that might not be affected, at least in the short term. And of course, short term gain is what Republikanism is all about. Especially in the current environment in which the Republikan Party is controlled by people who believe The Rapture is imminent.
Regrettably for Republikans their ideas about how to run the world do not work over the long run. They have been in charge too long and Iraq is coming back to haunt. They have neglected infrastructure issues too long and finally the bridges are starting to give out. My sister-in-law, teaching in Norway this summer, observes from a distance … it makes the United States SEEM like a Third World Country. Well I corrected her on that one. With Republikans in charge, the United States IS a Third World Country. Won’t be long and the Chinese will be hiring US to manufacture things for THEM.