CNN is doing a report right now on the first project funded by the stimulus, replacing a bridge in Tuscumbia, Missouri. The bridge had to be closed to large trucks in 2007 because of structural concerns.
If you’re wondering where that is, it’s about three hours from St. Louis. The population in the 2000 census? 218.
No, I didn’t forget a number in there. The town’s population is “several hundred” now.
They’re quoting the mayor of St. Louis, complaining that the first project in the state is using the money for a site, “in the middle of nowhere, and nowhere on the road to recovery.”
From the AP’s report: “It’s so remote that Missouri transportation officials brought a special satellite truck to allow highway commissioners to meet and award the bridge construction contract.”
$8.5 million well spent!
UPDATE: Obama, back in June 2008: “Instead of building bridges to nowhere, let’s build communities that meet the needs and reflect the dreams of our families.”
Apparently, using federal funds to build a bridge between Ketchikan and the island that houses the city’s airport was a laughable mockery and a waste of taxpayer dollars. But using federal funds to repair a bridge in a city that had 223 people as of 2007 isn’t waste, it’s stimulus!