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Florida bridge funded by 'shoddy' Obama program

"Dr. Coburn and Senator Obama look over t..."Dr. Coburn and Senator Obama look over the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act" (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

On Twitter, President Trump is being blamed for wanting to build a wall while “our infrastructures are falling apart, for going out of his way to loosen building regulations and passing a tax-cut bill instead of doing “some REAL work for the country.”

While it’s too early to determine the causes of the tragic accident, which killed at least six people, Reason magazine assistant editor Christian Britschgi points out in a column Friday that, if anything, President Obama’s fingerprints are on it.

Installed only last Saturday, the bridge, she writes, was funded with $11.4 million from a federal grant program that has been criticized for a shoddy review process that puts politics ahead of technical and safety concerns.

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The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Transportation Investments Generating Economic Recovery, or TIGER program, was created as an economic stimulus measure under Obama and morphed into a permanent program, wrote Britschgi.

The program has awarded $5.6 billion in nine rounds of grants since 2009.

FIU received the money for the bridge in round five, or TIGER V, in 2013. It was among 52 projects that used a methodology that later was criticized by the Government Accountability Office for violating U.S. Department of Transportation standards.

The bridge was installed using a new method called “accelerated bridge construction,” or ABC, which was meant to minimize traffic delays and risk to workers.

At the time of its installation Saturday, FIU’s Accelerated Bridge Construction University Transportation Center boasted of the new project and the method of construction.

“This project is an outstanding example of the ABC method,” said Atorod Azizinamini, the center’s director, in a press release.