Kudos to Minnesota Rep. Mark Buesgens (R-Jordan) for his commentary in the Strib, "Let's be wary of raising taxes during a period of high emotion," in which he cautions against a hastily-called special session of the Legislature to pass a hastily-crafted gas tax bill to pay for replacing the collapsed 35W bridge:
A special session would not be a magic wand that would suddenly cure all the woes of our neglected infrastructure. Raising the gas tax in September would not bring in huge amounts of revenue before the Legislature is set to reconvene in February. Of course, immediate cash is necessary, and the governor has emergency powers to allocate the necessary revenue from any of the numerous reserve funds that the state has socked away for just such incidents.
The Strib reported that Sen. Ann Rest (DFL-New Hope), Sen. Rod Skoe (DFL-Clearbrook), and U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN 4) are all questioning the "frenzied rush to replace the bridge [McCollum's words]." Of course, no one is questioning the frenzied rush to raise taxes.
Like a good homeowner's insurance policy, the federal government will fund the replacement of the bridge with an equivalent bridge, with up-to-date safety, durability, and traffic standards. The Dems want to add light rail, and need more time to come up with funding, conduct environmental studies, and engineer a new bridge that would support light rail. So they're using fear to put the brakes on getting metro area drivers off the post-collapse detours.
Considering the circumstances, I have no doubt that the new 35W bridge is going to be the safest, longest lasting bridge built since the Interstate system was created. Frenzied rush, indeed.