Good morning. I wanted to bring to your attention a news item in BigGovernment.com from a Congressional race in New Hampshire. Sean Mahoney, a conservative Republican candidate in the primary to face Rep. Carol Shea-Porter, has identified an embarrassing waste of stimulus money to resurface a bridge that doesn’t go anywhere. Quite literally, this is a Bridge to Nowhere.
The pictures and video would be comical if they did not depict such a foolish waste of money.
I thought you might be interested.
Many thanks for your time,
BigGovernment: Stimulus Money Wasted on a ‘Real Bridge to Nowhere’
The New Hampshire Department of Transportation sought and on August 28, 2009 was awarded $150,045 to refurbish <http://www.recovery.gov/Transparency/RecipientReportedData/Pages/RecipientProjectSummary508.aspx?AwardIDSUR=15714&AwardType=Grants> “a historic stone arch bridge [which] will be preserved and resurfaced to better accommodate pedestrians and bicycles.”
The NH DOT lists the following for the rationale for the project <http://www.recovery.gov/Transparency/RecipientReportedData/Pages/RecipientProjectSummary508.aspx?AwardIDSUR=15714&AwardType=Grants> : “Facilities for Pedestrians and Bicycles. Preserve/Create jobs; and economic recovery. Invest in transportation.”
The project is nearly complete now but you still can’t cross the bridge to get to the other side. That’s because there is no other side.
As can be seen from the photos from Hillsborough, NH the word “bridge” does not adequately describe the structure. It’s really more of a pier. Nor does it appear there will ever be a bridge. The railing at the lopped-off end of the structure seems pretty permanent.
An actual bridge that crosses the Contoocook River is about 100 feet away.
Despite the $150,000 of stimulus money spent to resurface a bridge that doesn’t go anywhere, the state of New Hampshire does not have sufficient funding to repair the many functioning bridges that are falling apart. A recent report by TRIP <http://www.tripnet.org/New_Hampshire_Report_June_2010.pdf> indicates that almost one-third of all New Hampshire bridges are either “structurally deficient” or “functionally obsolete.”
Conservative congressional candidate Sean Mahoney (NH-01) has made New Hampshire’s “Bridge to Nowhere” an issue in his campaign <http://www.mahoney2010.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=217:mahoney-releases-web-video-on-nhs-bridge-to-nowhere&catid=1:latest-news&Itemid=188> .
He’s calling on incumbent Democrat Carol Shea-Porter “to come clean and explained to the American people how $1 Trillion dollars was spent on projects like this” in a new web video:
Mahoney has urged Congress <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T9X7ZwI1-1U> to stop payment on the balance of the stimulus and to use the remaining money to pay down the national debt.