Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Kentucky bridge shuts down, McConnell down on infrastructure investment
While McConnell Opposes Infrastructure Investment, Major Kentucky Bridge Shuts Down Over Safety Concerns
By Travis Waldron from Think Progress.org
Sherman Minton Bridge in Louisville, KY
Yesterday, ThinkProgress published a report detailing Republican Congressional leadership’s opposition to infrastructure investments even as structural deficiencies in bridges and roadways persist in their home states. Among those is Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, where 34 percent of bridges are considered structurally deficient or functionally obsolete.
The Sherman Minton Bridge, one of three major bridges spanning the Ohio River between Louisville, KY and southern Indiana, was among the Kentucky bridges listed as deficient. And last night, the Sherman Minton Bridge was closed after further deficiencies, including cracks, were found in a load-bearing part of its structure. The Louisville Courier-Journal reports:
The Sherman Minton Bridge was closed late Friday afternoon and will remain shut down indefinitely after officials discovered cracks in the span.
But while McConnell insists that Republicans “agree that we must bring America’s infrastructureup to 21st century standards,” his recent record doesn’t show it. When progressives and Democrats argued that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act should be geared toward infrastructure, the GOP under McConnell’s leadership fought to focus it on tax cuts. The Senate GOP derailed a 2010 jobs plan focused largely on infrastructure investment, and if McConnell’s post-speech rhetoric is to be believed, he will be at the forefront of the Republican Party’s opposition to this plan too.