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Stink over stimulus

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High Five
Wednesday, July 01, 2009

The project to widen Highway 97 garnered praise from VP Joe Biden and others. But the stimulus-funded project – while adding jobs and expanding a road – may be taking the funds from other needed improvements, opponents say.

When Vice President Joe Biden and U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood praised Oregon for starting federal stimulus projects ahead of schedule, they singled out the Highway 97 project in Deschutes County. That $15.5 million project will widen the highway and create an interchange to get cars on and off the highway easier.

It’s a great example for two different groups, and for opposite reasons. State and federal officials say the project will improve safety, reduce congestion and put people to work. But some planning and conservation groups call the project an unnecessary road expansion at a time when other roads need repair and people need public transportation.

Read the full article in the Daily Journal of Commerce.

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