Without long-term road funding, a Minnesota group has resorted to duct tape

Updated May 22, 2015
Still from the KARE 11 newscast shows the campaign’s giant roll of duct tape during a stop in St. Paul..Still from the KARE 11 newscast shows the campaign’s giant roll of duct tape during a stop in St. Paul..

Duct tape is a go-to problem solver in many situations. But it’s usually a temporary fix. No one is going to keep fishing out of a boat patched up with duct tape.

And duct tape isn’t going to fix the Minnesota’s lack of transportation funding, no matter how big. But it is holding together a campaign in protest of the failure of state lawmakers to pass a long-term funding bill.

KARE 11 reported that Move MN held a press conference Tuesday in front of the Capitol in St. Paul to kick off a tour around the state to raise awareness for the state’s need for a long-term fix for transportation funding. The centerpiece of the tour is a giant roll of duct tape sitting upright on a truck featuring a sign proclaiming “Emergency Bridge Repair Team.”

“We are using this giant roll of duct tape to help illustrate the fact that we do not have the resources to take care of our crumbling roads, bridges, and inadequate transit system,” Move MN co-chair Margaret Donahoe said. “So, we are reverting to trying to keep things together with duct tape, but we know that really will not work.”

The Minnesota Senate approved a bill in April that would have raised the state’s gas tax 16 cents and provide about $11 billion for transportation funding through 2025. But negotiations between the Democratic-Farmer-Labor party and the Republicans went nowhere, and the bill never made it to Gov. Mark Dayton’s desk. The GOP wanted to shift funds from existing taxes without raising the gas tax, according to the Owatonna People’s Press.

The Legislature did eventually pass a transportation bill in this year’s session, but it only allowed the Minnesota Department of transportation to continue its current work. No new money will be allocated for the other projects needed in the next 10 years.

Move MN – a group made up of 200 Minnesota businesses, organizations and local government officials – completed their 10-city, three-day “Duct Tape Tour” across the state today (May 21).