Report: Minnesota lags far behind in bridge spendingby Fred Frommer, Associated Press
Washington D.C. — (AP) - A U.S. House report says Minnesota was tied for last in the percentage of federal bridge funds it actually spent on bridges over a five-year period.
The House Transportation Committee reports that from 2002 through 2007, Minnesota spent only 51 percent of its available Highway Bridge Program funds on bridges.
That's tied with Arizona for last. The rate for all states during that period was 89 percent, the committee said.
Last year, 13 people were killed and more than 100 were injured in the Interstate 35W bridge collapse in Minneapolis.
The report was prepared in connection with legislation by the committee chairman, Minnesota Democrat Jim Oberstar.
Among other things, the bill would allow a state to transfer Highway Bridge Program funds to other programs only if it has no structurally deficient bridges on the federal highway system. The bill is expected to get a vote in the House next week.
A message left with the Minnesota Department of Transportation was not immediately returned.
(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)