Massachusetts’ “Shovel Ready” Projects May Refer to Dead Motorists


2 September 2009

Massachusetts had, at last report, received $ 1.02 billion of an expected $8.7 billion from the Obama-Pelosi “stimulus money.” The state is asking for a total of $ 25.5 billion, so some projects are SOL. Unfortunately, some of the less politically powerful projects are getting the last several cars on the stimulus gravy train, whether shovel-ready or necessary or not.

A look at all the “shovel-ready” projects in Massachusetts shows that the state continues to give all its resources to the cities and shut the door on smaller towns (with one very interesting exception.) Massachusetts has received approximately $ 560 million for “shovel-ready” building and road improvement projects (BTW, where is the rest going?) With few exceptions only cities with large populations are getting any meaningful money. One interesting exception: Northampton, MA, the self-proclaimed “Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered capital of the United States” With a population of under 29,000 people there is no way other than state and federal favoritism to explain its receipt of $ 33.5 million from the stimulus trough while the rest of the state’s smaller towns go hungry.

Below are several pictures of an underpass for the Massachusetts Turnpike, I-90 (the state’s premiere highway). This underpass is located in a small, politically moderate, town in Worcester County. The underpass is falling apart, with large chunks of concrete having fallen from the structure, the rusted-through rebar underneath clearly visible. This underpass is typical of the state of the road system throughout most of rural Massachusetts. An accident will happen and then the taxpayers will have to pony-up millions of dollars for the inevitable court settlement.

In a time of economic uneasiness, the misuse of stimulus money that over 70% of the taxpayers now wants back is just another broken promise from “The most open and honest administration in American history.”