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Article published April 23, 2013
Oren M. Spiegler Upper Saint Clair
Given his traditional contrarian, on-the-fringe posture, I suppose one should not be surprised that state Rep. Daryl Metcalfe, R-12th, objects to the bipartisan General Assembly plan that would hike driver fees and, most likely, the cost of fuel, in order to fund road and bridge repair and construction, maintenance, and public transit, stating that proponents of the legislation are “out of touch with reality . . . people are struggling in this economy.” Yes, people are struggling. However, does that mean that we must ignore a basic safety issue such as repairing a rotted and crumbling bridge? Heaven help us if it does. I take a back seat to no one in my fiscal conservatism, but I am sensible enough to recognize the penny-wise and pound-foolish nature of failing to maintain our state’s infrastructure. If Metcalfe’s view prevails in the General Assembly, I pray that neither his family nor mine suffers the fate of the people who plunged off the defective Interstate 35 bridge in Minneapolis in 2007. Could that happen here if we continue this neglect? You bet it could. And if it does, there will be blood on the hands of those who placed saving us a few dollars over public safety.