As many as 200 Minnesota road projects could be mothballed in a state government shutdown, Republican lawmakers said today.
MPR News reporter Tim Nelson writes:
Republican Sen. Joe Gimse of Willmar says the budget impasse at the Capitol has contractors getting ready to leave the work they're already doing on Minnesota roads. He says the Department of Transportation is saying they can't use state right of way during the shutdown.
"I know what they're telling the contractors, and they're shutting them off of all of the projects. Take, for example, the Highway 14 project by Owatonna. They're telling them that by Monday morning, there can't be anybody on that project, either on the road right of way or anywhere else. They have to button that up."
Gimse said he feels that Gov. Mark Dayton's administration is forcing work to stop in an effort to strengthen his hand in budget negotiations. Democrats say passing a Republican budget plan could imperil funding for transit and other transportation priorities
Read all of Nelson's report with documents at MPR's Capitol View blog.
A couple of thoughts:
- It's easy to understand the need to "wrap up"...but Monday? Seems a bit early.
- One can probably assume that the contractors are going to remove as much of their equipment from their worksites to avoid possible vandalism or theft.
- I'm curious on the Senator's quote about contractors being told by MnDOT that they cannot "use state right-of-way during the shutdown."