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Saturday, November 6, 2010

Can You Believe It, They Screwed Up The Sidewalks

In the rush to find "shovel ready" projects at which to throw stimulus money, the feds funded a sidewalk project in Warren, Rhode Island, one town over from where I live.

I featured this project in my post in early July, Miles of Sidewalks, and Empty Stores:
Warren, Rhode Island, has new sidewalks from the center of town down Rte 103 to the Massachusetts border, almost two miles away. Thanks to the Stimulus Plan.

I have driven that road hundreds of times, and also have cycled the route many times.

I never noticed any particular problem with the sidewalks. I also almost never noticed anyone using the sidewalks, particularly once you leave the very center of town.

The road is a local main road, not exactly a walk in the park. But there are new sidewalks as far as the eye can see.

I'm sure that the people who built the sidewalks are happy, as are the concrete companies. The people who live on the road also must feel fortunate to be the beneficiary of federal largesse.

But now that the project is almost over, the jobs will disappear. No long term economic activity was stimulated.

Warren, Rhode Island, also has plenty of empty storefronts. The sidewalks will not change that, and neither will the Stimulus Plan.
I was overly optimistic about this project.  As reported by a local news station, the sidewalks were constructed improperly:
Voters laid their wrath on congress this past week, voting Democrats out of power.

One reason for the backlash, the more than 800-billion dollars in federal stimulus spending, that critics say has failed to spark the economy.

2-million dollars of the stimulus money wound up in Warren, RI. The money was meant for sidewalk renovations, but people in Warren are outraged over how the project turned out.

$2 million of your stimulus dollars spent on unnecessary sidewalks rushed into construction so that the Obama administration could pretend to be helping the economy.

Just think what they will do with $1 trillion for health care.

Related Posts:
The Ultimate Walking Around Money
So We're Buying A Sidewalk To Heaven
Obama's Infrastructure Plan Is A Road To Nowhere

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  1. As I heard someone say recently, "Isn't the fence on our southern border a shovel-ready project?"

  2. Okay, so you have two problems. One, the construction jobs are now gone and two, empty sidewalks. Do I have to point out the obvious? Hire professional street walkers!

  3. I'm sure Cicilline will be right on top of it.


  4. In the People's Republic of Michigan, they've shut down several main streets in towns all across the state with "stimulus" projects of this type. Since only about 40% of the funding was released early on in the Spring (with the balance provided just before the election), most of the areas have been blocked-off for months with little actual work performed.

    Now it's November and the snow is getting ready to fly. Crews are rushing to finish paving the streets now that the money is finally available. Unfortunately, the temperatures this time of year are not adequate to permit asphalt pavement to be laid and cured properly.

    Of the lanes they've poured in just the last 2-3 weeks, the aggregate is already being pulled from the surfaces, and there are numerous pitted patches. By next spring, these should have formed some dandy potholes in the brand new pavement. That's what happens when you pour blacktop when the average daily high is only 45 degrees.


  5. You can't fool us, Professor. That's the background of the "Abbey Road" picture! All we need is the Beatles traversing the street.