Sometimes, it is the job of a legislator to lead his constituents; other times, to follow them. On an issue like the U-Med Road (variously called the Bragaw Bypass or Northern Extension), where there is a near uniformity of opinion in opposition, and all impacted community councils adamantly oppose the extension, my job becomes a relatively simple one.
At the close of the 2013 session, I offered an amendment to remove the $20 million appropriation for the road extension. If, as is recently reported, the road needs an additional $22 million to be satisfactorily completed, I will continue to oppose this project. Given that deficit spending is now projected at $2.2 billion, I am hopeful that others will see the wisdom in indefinitely delaying its construction.
As an aside, the road’s designers, DOWL-HKM, have done a stand-up job of communicating with the public about road construction and design options. Indeed, I have heard their presentation at least half a dozen times — I could likely give it myself. But, notwithstanding their good work, my opposition will continue.
— Rep. Andy Josephson