So here’s the latest childish bullying from the state Highway and Transportation Department: It says now that, if it doesn’t get its way, it is going to pick up not only its ball, but every danged ballfield in several counties, and go home.
It says it must proceed apace to destroy the Broadway Bridge and build anew, as it plans, no matter the objections and different idea of the uppity mayors of the connected towns, or, otherwise, all federal money for all road work for a year in all of Central Arkansas would be ended, or at least at severe risk.
Here’s the Highway Commission’s spiel: It has to submit periodic plans for spending to the Federal Highway Administration. It has submitted its plan for the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1, and destroying the Broadway Bridge and buiding anew is on it. So now, if it doesn’t blow up the Broadway Bridge and build anew, the Federal Highway Administration could well say, “OK, Arkansas, y’all can’t build nothin’.”
It might not be quite so dire, though.
Because, you see, a highway official also acknowledged that the annual plan could be amended, though time is of the essence with August bearing down on September which would then bear down on Octobe.r
I wish to offer a possible solution:
Rather than fret, or posture, or make like Chicken Little, the Highway Commission might draft today a letter to the federal people people making a small amendment to that plan for the next fiscal year.
I’ll propose a draft:
“Dear Federal Highway People:
We’ve got a couple of smart-aleck mayors down here who don’t want that new Broadway Bridge we put on our approved plan. We don’t know what to do with them.We’ve never had any push-back before. I guess what we need to ask is whether you will let us amend our project list for the next year to take that bridge off. We’d sure appreciate it. We’ll work on these lame-brains between now and next year. Thanks.”