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Monday, February 10, 2014

Bridge Under Budget Waters

The Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge over the Mississippi River opened this week, on time and under budget. I've given MODOT and IDOT some grief over the years, but they deserve kudos for this project, as they did for the Highway 40 rebuild and the Page Avenue Extension -- which also came in on time and under budget. They used incentives to get contractors to complete the work on a deadline, and the construction crews responded.

It's a pleasure to see quality upgrades of our infrastructure, but I wish they weren't rare occurrences. There shouldn't be any place in America where the roads and overpasses are crumbling because politicians can't find the money to repair them. No bridge should ever fall down out of disrepair or budget cutbacks -- forget about the complaints over orange cones and think about the long-term benefits instead. We should not live in a fixer-upper nation.

Also, a note to the media: no one is going to call it The Stan Span, despite your repeated efforts to force that phrase into the lexicon. In fact, I don't know anyone who refers to a bridge as "a span" in normal conversation. Call it The Musial Bridge and we'll all know what you're talking about.