This commentary is from an article on the then-delayed I-35W/MN 62 "Crosstown Commons" reconstruction project. This was posted on June 16, 2006.

I-35W/MN 62 "Crosstown Commons" reconstruction delayed

Article in the StarTribune today....the long-awaited reconstruction of the I-35W/MN 62 "Crosstown Commons" has been delayed in part because nobody submitted bids this morning.

One likely reason why nobody submitted bids is because of the VERY unorthodox way MnDOT was proposing to pay for the project, which in part required contractors to provide money to keep the work going between state payments.

Big reason for that is the extreme cash crunch that MnDOT is facing due to a multitude of factors....much-less-than-expected Federal funding, an overuse of federal Advance Construction funding (used to fund some of the major projects currently underway), and arguments within the Legislature and Governor's Office about how to increase funding...the Governor and several legislators in the House have been adamantly opposed to raising taxes, including the gas tax which in Minnesota is Constitutionally protected for highways.

Short of MnDOT pulling the plug on other projects to fund the Crosstown, or the Legislature and Governor miraculously finding a way to provide extra funding for MnDOT, I see this project being delayed significantly...

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