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Friday, July 9, 2010

 9:44 AM 

Moore says diverting rail money for Hoan Bridge 'just not possible'

U.S. Rep. Gwen Moore advised Milwaukee and state officials to apply for a federal transportation grant to fix the city's crumbling Hoan Bridge, telling a pair of state lawmakers that diverting high-speed rail funds for bridge repairs is "just not possible."

State Sen. Jeff Plale, D-South Milwaukee, and Rep. Christine Sinicki, D-Milwaukee, wrote to Moore Wednesday requesting a portion of the $810 million rail line set for construction between Milwaukee and Madison. State DOT officials said such a move would require acts of both Congress and the state Legislature, while Gov. Jim Doyle said of the lawmakers Thursday, "They know that this is a nonsense proposal, and that's what it is.”

Moore, D-Milwaukee, suggested applying for the TIGER II grant program, under which the federal DOT can award $600 million in discretionary grants in fiscal year 2010. The deadline to apply for the grants is next Friday.

"We can all agree that the bridge needs to be safe. It needs to be repaired. It needs to be maintained," Moore wrote. "That’s the bottom line. And I am as committed as anyone to making sure that it can safely meet the needs of our communities for years to come."

Moore also reiterated Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett's request that the state use some of the $105 million in extra federal highway funds to repair the Hoan. But Doyle also called that proposal unlikely this week, saying the Legislature has already determined how that money will be spent.


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