Stimulate US: Where the rubber hits the road

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For the first time in many months, I finally have cause to feel good about two very important things. Those two things are employment and construction. The Obama administration's stimulus package is already beginning to create meaningful chatter in government chambers across the nation. State and local governments are feverishly making decisions about where they shall invest their individual shares of nearly $50 billion which the stimulus bill is providing for local transportation improvements.

A recent article from The New York Times, gives us a good overview of how some of these local transportation improvement funds are being allocated. Each state is free to use the money in whatever manner it deems appropriate. For some states, it has been decided that the money shall be used to fast-forward a few high profile projects, such as the rebuilding of a bridge or the digging of an important new tunnel. In other locales, the money will be put to less glamorous uses, including pothole filling, painting, and the installation of guardrails. Of course, in some regions there are disagreements about exactly how these funds should be spent.