Stimulus Spending on Local Road
It's been a rough road for Governor Charlie Crist, who has been criticized for not moving quickly enough to spend federal stimulus money on road construction projects.
So far, only two percent of 1.3 billion dollars has been spent. One of those projects is here in north central Florida, and the new road will take many travelers to jail.
Between stretches of what appears to be north Florida's unclaimed land, lies union county road 231. Two lanes curving and lifting, with cracks that tell of a road well used. "It's cracked, it's rudded, it's in really bad shape," says Gina Busscher, spokeswoman for the Florida Department of Transportation, "a lot of people use it to commute between Gainesville and the Lake Butler Union County area."
231 is also the end of the road for people heading into the state prison system. Every Florida inmate goes through the RMC, or Reception and Medical Center, which if off 231. "That's where they process all of the inmates going into the department of corrections prison system. All of those inmates are transported right at the beginning of the construction area of the project," says Busscher.
Uncle Sam is giving this road a face lift. The first resurfacing project funded by economic stimulus funds in north Florida, starts in Union county.
This is just one of the 41 local projects using stimulus money. The cost? $454,000. "This is just one little project out of an entire 150 million dollars of extra funds that came to the state to do this type of work," says Busscher.
Crews now working on the drainage structures, will start paving operations in about two weeks.
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