Wednesday, February 18, 2009

A Piece of the Action

Arkansas will be receiving approx $370 Million in highway stimulus money. Unlike Missouri, no one knows how it will be spent yet. In the meantime, everyone seems to want a piece of the action.
According to Kiplinger, there are several projects that are major candidates for funding including:

  • Widening US 67 northeast of Newport
  • Widening US 167 from Little Rock to El Dorado,
  • Reconstruction on the I-430/I-630 interchange
  • Construction of I-49 from Texarkana to the Louisiana state line
But other projects are wanting money too:

  • Springdale wants $20 Million to build an exit on I-540 for the Don Tyson Parkway
  • Siloam Springs wants an unspecified amount to move utilities along US 412 in preparation for widening.
Funny thing is: both Springdale and Siloam Springs previously committed to paying for these projects out of their own pockets. Yet, now they want government money? If they do get federal money for these projects, what happens to the money already set aside? Another project? Or will they simply pocket the money?

While I agree (albeit somewhat reluctantly) that working on infrastructure may help revive the struggling economy, I disagree with people who believe their project is more worthy than anyone
else's and they should be first in line for a handout like a cheap Welfare mother.

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