Rep. Rick Berg (R-ND), locked in a close Senate race against former North Dakota Attorney General Heidi Heitkamp (D), visited the 55th Street bypass bridge construction site in Minot on Tuesday, touting the stop on his campaign’s Twitter feed:
However, Berg voted to strip funding for the bridge construction last year, nearly killing the entire project.
In just his second month after taking office, Berg and House Republicans voted to defund all stimulus money that had yet to be spent, including $14.13 million for Minot’s 55th Street bridge. The entire project was nearly scrapped after Berg’s vote put funding in jeopardy.
“I don’t know how they can award you money and then take the money away,” Dana Larsen, the local county highway engineer told the Minot Daily News at the time. “That’s really not a contingency we had planned for.”
The funding was eventually secured by the state’s two senators, Kent Conrad (D) and John Hoeven (R), allowing the project to move forward.
The ribbon-cutting ceremony takes place on Wednesday for a seven-mile portion of the road. The bridge will be completed next year.