Monday, April 30, 2007

I - 49 Boondoggle

The Associated Press reports on a major transportation story carried in today's Democrat-Gazette concerning a movement in the Louisiana legislature to fund the $200 million portion of I-49 in that state. The feds will match dollar-for-dollar. It is part of a proposed interstate highway from Kansas City to Shreveport. Still, questions remain.

How will it ever pay for itself?

Because of terrain, the Arkansas leg of this fiscal sinkhole amounts to a cool $1.8 Billion. That would put the cost at well over $2 billion.

Highway big spenders fail to take into account that the Kansas City Southern Railway already owns a right of way along the same general route which could carry the same amount of goods and many more passengers with less polution and greater energy conservation.

And let me tell you, $2 billion would pay for so much rail improvements that you would double over laughing. Many transportation deprived communities like Texarkana, DeQueen, and the Fort Smith area would get improved transportation.

This is another clear case of the undue influence of wealthy special interests.

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