Obama uses bridge as backdrop for new jobs bill, but the bridge couldn't start to be built until 2015
A presidential visit is a big deal, but will it actually guarantee funding for the aged and overused Brent Spence Bridge? Not really, say transportation experts and highway officials. That's not how highway funding works. . . .
The bill itself contains no mention of the Brent Spence bridge, or any other specific projects. Even if the bill is passed, it's not clear funding included in the bill for stimulus or the creation of a national infrastructure bank would ever reach the bridge.
That's because if the point of the jobs bill is to create jobs now, then the Brent Spence Bridge may make a nice backdrop for a speech, but it's not the best example of a shovel-ready project.
According to highway officials in Ohio and Kentucky, the bridge is still in the preliminary engineering and environmental clearance phase. In a best case scenario, the earliest that workers would be hired would be in 2013, but more likely 2015. . . .
UPDATE: Andrew Malcolm has this note:
Obama's own Democratic Party controls the Senate and won't put their leader's jobs bill on the schedule because more wild spending like this doomed bill could also doom some Dem senators next year.
So here's how the ex-state senator from the Chicago machine reacts: At an operating cost of $181,000 per hour, he flies Air Force One nearly four hours roundtrip for 17 minutes of remarks touting infrastructure repairs by a bridge that doesn't need them.
The real reason he's at the Brent Spence Bridge is because it links the home states of both congressional Republican leaders, John Boehner and Mitch McConnell. So Obama can cutely blame Republicans for holding up his jobs bill, even though it's Nevada Democrat Harry Reid. . . .