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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Steve Drazkowski (R)

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MANY AREA ROADS UNDER REPAIR THIS SUMMER

Wednesday, April 14, 2010
With winter now (hopefully) behind us, it won’t be long before the Department of Transportation begins its summer construction projects. In fact, MnDOT released its construction plans for 2010 recently, and as several area roads are scheduled for repair, I thought I’d share the list with you. The biggest project will take place near Pine Island, as MnDot is going to construct a Highway 52 interchange and frontage road near the community. At a cost of $30 million, construction is scheduled to take two years, and local residents can expect temporary lane closures. An overlay project will also be taking place on Highway 74 between Chatfield and St. Charles from July to September. This road improvement will cost roughly $3.5 million, and drivers who travel this stretch of roadway this summer can expect to find daily land closures with flaggers. Beginning in June, you can expet to see the bridge and box culvert replaced over the Zumbro River in Zumbrota along Highway 58. This project will cost nearly $1.5 million and construction will last into September. Obviously, the current bridge will be closed when work begins, so expect to take a detour if you’re driving in this area. The Department will also be making some separate intersection and safety improvements along Highway 52 between August and September. During this time, you’ll likely find intermittent land closures. And for those who travel along Interstate 90, you can expect to see crews resurfacing the eastbound lanes with concrete along the stretch between Highway 74 and Highway 43. This improvement will last from May to November, and will result in lane closures and heat to head traffic. But more importantly for our local residents, this construction will mean the County Road 29/Lewiston interchange will be closed, along with the Enterprise Rest Area. TAX FREEDOM DAY April 13 marks Minnesota’s “Tax Freedom Day” this year, or the day Minnesota’s workers earn enough money to pay their tax obligations at the federal, state, and local levels. In short, this news means you basically have to work for three and a half months out of the year before you’ll have enough to pay off your annual tax burden. In fact, our date is actually later than all but seven other states in the nation due to our high tax rates. The experts say most Minnesotans will likely pay more taxes in 2010 than they will spend on food, clothing and shelter combined. And yet the liberals here in St. Paul continue to propose tax increase after tax increase in order to further inflate the cost of state government. For more information on Tax Freedom Day, go to www.taxfoundation.org/taxfreedomday.