Brother, Can You Spare a Billion

Dallas receives federal highway loans

By Bruce Felps
|  Wednesday, Jun 23, 2010  |  Updated 3:30 PM CDT
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 Brother, Can You Spare a Billion

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U.S. Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson’s website boasts of a $1.465 billion loan Texas, specifically Dallas, received from the U.S. Department of  Transportation.
 
The money, according to her site, will be used to reconstruct a stretch of Interstate 635 and another portion of Interstate 35 and add toll lanes — gee, what a surprise — to the freeways.
 
Start researching alternate routes because that is going to be one mega traffic nightmare.
 
The loan, or loans break down into $850 million from the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act, the second-greatest amount under the auspices of the act, and my, aren’t we blessed.
 
“The remaining $615 million loan,” says the site, “will come from tax-exempt private activity bonds,” and bigger brains than mine can explain that.
 
I’m all for easing freeway congestion. That’s why I spend 99 percent of my driving time on the side streets. But man, God help the people who use LBJ Freeway and Stemmons Freeway for their daily commutes.
 
And just how much interest becomes due on a $1.465 billion loan, and where’s that money coming from?
 
Oooooh, right, the tolls.
 
Bruce Felps owns and operates East Dallas Times, an online community news outlet serving the White Rock Lake area. Seriously, he could easily live his life within a five-mile radius centered at Skillman Street and Richmond Avenue.

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