Well, that didn't take long.
As soon as the city unveiled its master plan for finally fixing the Crosstown, people started lining up to explain why it won't work.
Unfortunately, they are probably right.
Mayor Joe Riley's $154 million solution to the drainage issues on Lake Crosstown is largely dependent on $88 million from the State Infrastructure Bank. For the math-challenged, that's a good bit of the project. More than half.
Dana Beach of the Coastal Conservation League says there is no way to get that much money -- or any money -- out of the Infrastructure Bank as quickly as the city wants it. State Rep. Chip Limehouse, who had a lot to do with creating the bank, agrees with that assessment. Won't happen.
Now, these guys aren't Riley's campaign opponents. They are people who know what they are talking about. So what does the city need to do?
Start working on Plan B.
Show us the money
The mayor and City Council say there is no greater priority in Charleston than fixing the Crosstown.
If that's the case -- and if it isn't, it should be -- then city officials should start bird-dogging money. You know the old joke, why do people rob banks? Because that's where the money is.
Well, the only government that can shell out $154 million without noticing is the federal government. Perhaps it's time for a trip to D.C.
Just last week, Sen. Jim DeMint and U.S. Rep. Tim Scott sent staffers to Folly Beach to look at the horrible erosion problems out there. Now, they didn't make any promises -- because Lord knows it's not the government's job to keep the nation in shape -- but they said something about trying to get a line item for Folly in the next federal budget, assuming those morons in Congress can ever pass one. That would be nice.
So how about one for the Crosstown? It is technically a federal road and at one point some genius in Washington had to sign off on the brilliant plan to build a federal highway, and hurricane evacuation route, on top of a tidal creek.
Friends in high places
Of course, what the Crosstown really needs is an earmark.
The delegation could get one of those attached to the budget easily, assuming Lindsey Graham can hold his hands over DeMint's and Scott's mouths long enough for it to get through.
Maybe DeMint himself should sponsor the, ahem, amendment. He owes Charleston after sabotaging the port. But the political reality is that betting the future of Charleston's most important infrastructure need on an earmark is almost as dangerous as hoping the state can kick in $88 million.
Perhaps a line item in the federal budget is the way to go, but forget Congress -- you can't count on those guys for anything but laughs.
Mayor Riley seems to have a good relationship with the White House. After all, the president gave him a medal. Maybe he should see if Obama will fix the Crosstown.
That's just the kind of stimulus we need.
Follow Brian Hicks on Twitter at @BriHicks_PandC.