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  1. #1
    Atomic Punk
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    Default The Brent Spence Bridge

    Obama's Jobs Bill Pitch: A Bridge To Nowhere?


    President Obama on Thursday visited the Brent Spence Bridge, which has been called "functionally obsolete." The president pressed Congress to pass his jobs act, arguing that if the country doesn't invest in restoring the bridge and other infrastructure now, it will pay for it later.

    President Obama continued his tour in support of his jobs bill Thursday. The latest stop: Cincinnati, at the base of the double-decker Brent Spence Bridge.

    The bridge sits on one of the busiest trucking routes in the country, and it's considered functionally obsolete.

    Gerardo Claudio lives in Augusta, Ga., and works all over the U.S. He spends about three weeks on the road every month, which gives him a good look at the nation's infrastructure.

    "The roads are in real, real awful condition, should I say," says Claudio, who was in Cincinnati on Thursday.

    That has consequences for the type of work he does.

    "The van that I drive, I mean right now going through all these potholes and this and that, it takes away from the vehicle value," he says. "It takes away in wear and tear."

    Obama: Invest Now, Or Pay Later

    The infrastructure deterioration that Claudio experiences is Fred Craig's specialty. Craig, an engineer, works on the Brent Spence Bridge Project.

    Craig says the bridge was designed for 80,000 vehicles a day. Today, it carries double that number. The shoulders have been turned into traffic lanes, so when there's an accident, the cars back up for miles. Even so, roughly 4 percent of the country's gross domestic product crosses the bridge.

    "Locally, it's very important because it connects northern Kentucky and southwestern Ohio," Craig says. "But nationally it connects the Great Lakes to the Gulf."

    Obama argues that if the country doesn't invest in restoring this kind of infrastructure now, it'll pay for it later.

    "Cincinnati, we are better than that; we are smarter than that," he told a crowd Thursday. "And that's why I sent Congress the American Jobs Act 10 days ago."

    As the crowd cheered "Pass this bill," Obama took his Republican critics head-on.

    "You know, we've got a lot of folks in Congress who love to say how they're behind America's jobs creators," he said. "Well, if that's the case, then you should be passing this bill. Because that's what this bill is all about, is helping small businesses all across America."

    A short walk from the end of the bridge, Greg Cook runs a sporting-goods store. He says he thinks infrastructure jobs are a Band-Aid for the unemployment problem, and he's not interested.

    A Short-Lived Fix?

    "It's a short-lived fix," he says. "I mean, the guys will be working on the bridge for a couple years, and then they're out of work again."

    The truth is, construction on the Brent Spence Bridge would not begin right away even if the bill passes tomorrow. The White House says it never claimed this project was shovel-ready. One reason it was chosen was its political symbolism.

    The Brent Spence connects House Speaker John Boehner's home state of Ohio with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell's Kentucky. On the Senate floor Thursday, McConnell said it would be great to fix this bridge, but the president's jobs bill won't get it done.

    "Don't patronize us by implying that if we pass the second stimulus, that bridges will get fixed right away," McConnell said. "The American people heard the same thing when the administration was selling the first stimulus."

    But small-business owner Jeffrey McClorey says the first stimulus really helped this community. He runs Bromwell's Fireplace and Art Gallery, which calls itself the oldest business in Cincinnati. He says the first stimulus helped spur a mixed-use condo development along the river, called The Banks.

    "There's 300 new families living down at The Banks, and more coming. And those people are buying products from me and other people downtown and in the region," McClorey says. "And it also benefits and helps to repopulate the city center, which I think is very important."

    This Cincinnati trip is the latest in a series of jobs events Obama has held across the country. Before this he was in Raleigh, N.C.; Richmond, Va.; and Columbus, Ohio. No coincidence those are also swing states he wants to win to get re-elected in 2012.
    "Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack.” -- Gen. George S. Patton

  2. #2
    Atomic Punk
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    Default

    Flying Air Force One on a four-hour round trip at $181,000.00 per hour for a 17 minute speech in front of a bridge that does not need fixing. There will be a new bridge built beside the old one. starting in 2015, and the old one will stay in use.

    OK



    Although some press accounts have described Brent Spence as "crumbling," and the White House says it's an example of "urgently 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.

    http://news.cincinnati.com/apps/pbcs...9220327&Ref=AR
    "Watch what people are cynical about, and one can often discover what they lack.” -- Gen. George S. Patton

  3. #3
    Atomic Punk Wruff_ajax's Avatar
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    Default pushing his "son of failed stimulus" bill in Denver today.

    This shitty president was campaigning in Denver today and pushing his so-called "jobs" bill, speaking at a high-school in downtown Denver.
    I-25 was literally shut down,, off limits. The entire city was one giant traffic jam with traffic accidents way up.
    Not to mention I was late getting into town this morning since nobody could get anywhere while he was here, and has made rush hour this evening a complete nightmare for everyone.
    What a mess... the traffic, as well as this president.
    YOU SUCK!
    _-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_-_

 

 

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