One of the frustrations vented by News Cut commentators since the Highway 43 bridge in Winona closed a week ago is: Why can't they keep it open for bicycles?
The bridge, MnDOT announced today, will reopen on Saturday for automobiles, pickups, vans, SUVs and emergency vehicles. But not to bicycles.
During repairs to the gusset plates on the bridge, the sidewalks will be closed.
The ferry service across the Mississippi River will end a week from Friday.
Excuse me, but did the legislature not just raise taxes by six billion of our dollars? Why then can this bridge not be replaced for seven years? I'd like to see an itemized list of what else my future tax dollars will be spent on that are deemed more important than a bridge in danger of falling down.
When Republicans said before the increase that government needs to do a better job setting priorities, this is exactly what they were talking about. There will be a train down university avenue before there will be a new bridge in Winona. That is absolutely shameful.
If the bridge can be repaired rather than replaced, isn't it fiscally prudent to repair it?
A train on University Avenue is much more important than a new bridge in Winona - provided that I can still (safely) cross the old bridge.
A bridge doesn't have to be new to be functional. Have a little trust in your public servants. If they say a bridge is safe (after one fell down) it probably is. With $4/gallon gas, light rail in a area of 500,000 people is far more important to the public good than a new bridge in a city of 30,000.
Also, I live in Winona and use the bridge 2-3 times per week (often to buy beer on Sundays :)