Thursday, August 16, 2007

Pepsodent administration releases preliminary bridge design

Here is is, boys and girls. Ain't it a beauty?

Pepsodent, Molnau, and the Republicans are so hell bent on getting something up to cover their embarrassment at RNC convention time next year that no telling what they'll try to shove down our throats. Luckily, the City of Minneapolis does have some say in the matter:

Eager to send a message of unity and cooperation, the Minneapolis City Council moved today toward adopting a statement of principles for rebuilding the Interstate 35W bridge across the Mississippi River.

Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak said the city wants to move "quickly to make sure we speak with one voice."

The council appears likely to easily endorse at its meeting Friday morning the broad set of principles that encourages the replacement bridge be designed and built to meet current and future transportation needs. The second principle said the bridge should be designed to improve vehicle capacity and provide transit capacity.

The bridge design should also incorporate, and certainly not preclude options for future transit improvements, including light rail and bus rapid transit. The bridge should also be built to meet all current environmental standards.

The city's role in rebuilding could be pivotal because, under state law, Minneapolis will be asked to provide what is called municipal consent for the bridge layout as submitted by the Minnesota Department of Transportation. The city could confer consent quickly, move slowly or withhold consent, which could dramatically slow the project that the state [meaning the Pepsodent administration] is aggressively trying to complete by the end of 2008.

One City Council member, Diane Hofstede, actually thinks that aesthetics should be a concern:

Council Member Diane Hofstede, whose northeast ward includes neighborhoods near the bridge, said she remains concerned about aesthetics for the gateway bridge as well as a memorial to those who died and were injured. She also said she [is] to push for pedestrian and bike options on the new span.

Spotty thinks you're on the right track on that first one, Diane, but he's not so sure about the second. Maybe.

Anyway, all this stuff needs to be thought about.

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