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Public Statements

Letter to the Honorable Patty Murray, Chair Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies

October 16, 2007

The Honorable Patty Murray
Chair
Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies
Committee on Appropriations
U.S. Senate
Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable John W. Olver
Chair
Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies
Committee on Appropriations
U.S House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515

The Honorable Christopher Bond
Ranking Member
Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies
Committee on Appropriations
U.S. Senate
Washington, DC 20510

The Honorable Joe Knollenberg
Ranking Member
Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies
Committee on Appropriations
U.S House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Chairman Murray, Ranking Member Bond, Chairman Olver, and Ranking Member Knollenberg:

During consideration of H.R. 3074, the FY08 Transportation and Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies (T-HUD) appropriations bill, the Senate adopted an amendment appropriating $195 million for the reconstruction of the I-35W Bridge in Minneapolis, Minnesota that collapsed on August 1, 2007. We urge you to include this provision in the final conference report on H.R. 3074.

The sudden collapse of the I-35W Bridge was nothing short of a national tragedy. In response, on August 3, 2007, Congress passed and the President subsequently signed Public Law 110-56, providing initial funds for the recovery effort and authorizing an additional $250 million for reconstruction. In the wake of the bridge collapse, Minnesota has increased transit options to serve commuters, set up detours to restore traffic flow, cleared structural debris, and begun laying the general framework for reconstruction. The U.S. Department of Transportation has allocated $55 million of Federal-aid Highway Emergency Relief funding to Minnesota to begin the I-35W Bridge reconstruction. As Minnesota continues to clear the path for a new bridge, we urge Congress to ensure that the additional authorized funds are made available for rebuilding.

During consideration of H.R. 3074, the Senate passed the Klobuchar-Coleman Amendment appropriating $195 million for reconstruction of the I-35W Bridge. These funds are vital to Minnesota; the Minnesota Department of Transportation estimates that the loss of the I-35W Bridge costs our economy $400,000 per day. To that end, we respectfully request that you support the inclusion of the Klobuchar-Coleman Amendment in the final T-HUD conference report.

Thank you very much,

Norm Coleman
United States Senator

Amy Klobuchar
United States Senator

James L. Oberstar
Member of Congress

Collin Peterson
Member of Congress

Jim Ramstad
Member of Congress

John Kline
Member of Congress

Michele Bachmann
Member of Congress

Keith M. Ellison
Member of Congress

Tim Walz
Member of Congress


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