Monday, July 06, 2009
The $6.6 million 28th Avenue corridor project would increase future traffic flow in the southwest corner of Waite Park by connecting Minnesota Highway 23 and a realigned Stearns County Road 137, Waite Park City Engineer Terry Wotzka said.Highlight added. Why does it have to be? What is it about 3.5 acres of wetlands that is worth however many jobs this project was supposed to "create or save"? We had Sheriff Joe Biden up here a few months ago. Can't he move a little red tape for us? He's supposed to be on the job.
�It�s a project of regional significance,� he said. �We�re ready to go on it.�
But Federal Highway Administration officials have not cleared the project to receive nearly $2.8 million in federal stimulus funding because of concerns about its potential environmental impact.
...Waite Park officials almost lost the stimulus funding last month, when a Minnesota Department of Transportation deadline to clear the necessary bureaucratic hurdles passed.
But some political arm-twisting convinced state transportation officials to give Waite Park more time. Now, they have until July 25 to satisfy federal officials that the project is worth the environmental impact of putting the extension through about 3.5 acres of wetlands, said Doug Hecox, spokesman for the Federal Highway Administration.
�Environmental reviews are rigorous because they have to be,� he said. �Whether it receives (stimulus) money or not, we only have one shot to make sure we do it right.�
This is a perfectly good example of how the regulatory state supported by the Democrats ties itself in knots. And how, when faced by a revolt from its base supporters in the Greenocracy, the more mundane things like jobs and cars fall aside.