President Obama came to my tiny home state of Delaware on Thursday with a “new” initiative to repair deteriorating infrastructure around the country (and to repair his declining polling numbers).
His announcement was a channeling of Captain Obvious: there are thousands of U.S. bridges and roads in disrepair and he’s going to fix them.
As expected, Obama also falsely excoriated Republicans in Congress, questioning their willingness to repair the country’s roads and bridges.
Remember, even his more ardent political adversaries, such as Republican Michele Bachmann, acquiesced to his “stimulus” spending under the condition that the money actually be used for its intended purpose, which was infrastructure repair. Typically, billions went to political cronies, campaign bundlers and wasteful political projects, including bridges only a few people use, a fence around a lake that doesn’t exist and the infamous “turtle tunnel,” while some roads got an asphalt slather.
The President framed his speech around a federal highway bridge in Wilmington that is leaning so dangerously from its support trestles it’s been closed for over a month. But just like your billions of dollars going to Democratic Party campaign bundlers in failing “Green Scheme” companies like Solyndra, there’s more to the I-495 Bridge problem than meets the eye.
There is a serious Democratic Party scandal surrounding the I-495 Bridge in Delaware.
The I-495 bridge has not been closed to its 90,000 vehicles per day due to wear and tear. It has been closed due to proven incompetence and likely corruption of the one party that controls all of Delaware’s politics.
The incompetence is exhibited by the Delaware Department of Transportation ignoring a 911 call by citizen Charles Allen Jr. in April of this year. He tried to call DelDot, but was unable to reach anybody. So, he called 911 to report a dangerous tilt in the bridge.
A 911 operator called DelDot. DelDot snoozed.
On May 29th, an engineer with a private firm working on an unrelated project noticed the same danger and successfully contacted at DelDot. This time, someone listened. The Secretary of DelDot, Shailen Bhatt, decided to wait until the following Monday to have inspectors take a look and report to him.
This was especially dangerous as thousands of NASCAR fans descended upon Delaware for the NASCAR race that weekend.
Not to worry, they’re just NASCAR rednecks who don’t vote Democrat, right?
Good news: no one died. Bhatt ordered the bridge closed, as he should have in April. As he should have done that Friday!
I guess everyone in DelDot was at the beach. A failing bridge can wait.
While Shailen Bhatt is a Democrat and former Obama administration official, he may not have known about the dumping at the failing bridge.
He was hired to try to reduce the corruption in the department. The problem is that under former Governor Ruth Ann Minner (D), DelDot was so corrupt that problems created during her two terms may pop up for decades.
The belated inspection revealed years of piling dirt accumulated 55,000 tons deposited under the bridge, causing the trestles to shift.
As Charlie Copeland, past Republican State Senator noted, government officials knew the dirt was being dumped there.
“They had to,” he told Philadelphia Magazine. “I mean 55,000 tons doesn’t just pile up overnight. That happened over several years and no one noticed?”
Copeland is calling for a federal investigation. He says, “The state of Delaware has no vested interest in finding that they were at fault.”
Democratic Governor Jack Markell is an Obama golden boy, so there is no impetus for a federal investigation.
It’ll take a Republican Governor or President to investigate.
Meanwhile President Obama delivers an infrastructure speech on ground shaking from Democratic Party incompetence and corruption.
Rick Jensen is Delaware’s award-winning conservative talk show host on 1150AM WDEL and 93.7FM HD3, Streaming live on WDEL.com from 1pm - 4pm EST. Contact Rick at email@example.com, or follow him on Twitter @Jensen1150WDEL.