Although some press accounts have described Brent Spence as “crumbling,” and the White House says it’s an example of “ur gently needed” repairs, the bridge isn’t falling apart. In fact, it’s designed to last for decades more.
It is, however, “functionally obsolete,” which in this case means it’s too small to handle the daily traffic load. While designed to handle 85,000 cars and trucks, it now carries more than 150,000, leading to regular backups.
So the plan isn’t to do extensive repairs on the bridge, but to build an entirely new one right next to it and keep the old one in use.
The problem is that construction work on the $2.3 billion bridge isn’t scheduled to start for three or four years, according to the project’s official website.
That would appear to put it outside the “immediate” timetable in Obama’s jobs bill, which requires the Transportation secretary to “obligate” all the highway funds “not later than two years after enactment” of the bill.
Here’s video of him in front of the bridge today, following Maxine Waters’s advice to “fight” by stuttering his way to class-warrior glory. Speaking of things that are crumbling: His approval’s at 39/57 in Florida, which not long ago was a swing state if you can believe it, and a new Democratic poll of 60 battleground congressional districts held by Republicans finds that 50 percent support the GOP incumbent compared to 41 percent who support a Democratic challenger — a slight increase since the midterms last year. The One’s approval rating in those districts? Just 41 percent. Good luck, progressives. Exit quotation from a House Democrat who wanted to be anonymous for obvious reasons: “It didn’t have to be this way. Obama’s presidency has fizzled. It’s going to be every person for himself in 2012. There just won’t be any coattails, and any effect he does have on the ballot will hurt us.”