Lawmakers in one state are shoving a wad of cash into the ground.
And one shocking construction accident has proven their latest scheme may be more trouble than it’s worth.
But that’s not stopping them from shelling out $25 million on something that left taxpayers livid.
There was a bit of a panic and Virginia’s Capitol building was briefly evacuated after a contractor excavating to create a tunnel accidentally broke into the Capitol café.
Ironically, the project that was supposed to make the Capitol more convenient ended up shutting down the kitchen and café until the project is completed in December.
In 2020, lawmakers approved the $25 million dollar project so lawmakers and visitors wouldn’t have to go through multiple security checkpoints.
The project was funded through bonds issued by the Commonwealth.
The completed tunnel will be 600 feet long – which means every foot is costing taxpayers $41,666.
That’s a steep price for something likely to benefit lobbyists more than anyone else.
Virginia’s Capitol was designed by Thomas Jefferson and Frenchman Charles-Louis Clerisseau.
According to Architecture Richmond, “The Virginia State Capitol is the world’s first neoclassic temple. It is also arguably the first legislative building to recall a past architectural style to convey its form of government, a republic.”
Considering that it was fairly grand in the first place, you’d think expansion wouldn’t be necessary, but if there’s one thing we can count on it’s that the government will always find a way to grow.
Two wings were added in the early 20th century and in 1960 it was designated as a national historic landmark – which means anything done there will be exponentially more expensive as construction crews jump through bureaucratic hoops to meet rigid historic standards.
Today the Capitol is a campus with a shocking spider’s web of 24 state-owned buildings and 3.3 million square feet of floor space.
That seems like the kind of wild government overgrowth that would have even the extravagant Jefferson turning in his Monticello grave.
Stay tuned to Blue State Blues for any updates to this ongoing story.