$7.2 million Minnesota rest stop wins think tank’s most wasteful spending award

The project that won “siphoned $7.2 million away from road and bridge funding,” said the Center of the American Experiment.

Goose Creek Rest Area (photo from VJAA website)

The Center of the American Experiment, a Minnesota-based think tank, announced the winner of its “Golden Turkey Award,” which is awarded semi-annually to “the most outrageous example of government waste.”

Four “bird-brained examples of waste” were nominated for the award, the winner of which was voted on by thousands of Minnesotans.

The Golden Turkey Award went to the $7.2 million Goose Creek rest area, which is located on Highway 35 between the Twin Cities and Duluth.

The rest stop “siphoned $7.2 million away from road and bridge funding,” wrote Bill Walsh of the Center.

The think tank announced “the coveted Golden Turkey” on Tuesday on the grounds of the rest stop.

John Hinderaker, president of the Center of the American Experiment, highlighted the “curving glass,” cement sculptures that appear to be a playground or picnic area, and the large metallic 3D art found at the rest stop.

He also pointed out the expensive and “exotic Brazilian wood” used for the project, despite the fact that the rest area is surrounded by woods and trees.

“One thing Minnesota does not lack for is wood and yet this wood comes all the way from Brazil,” he said.

The Center decided to advertise the Golden Turkey winner with two billboards along Highway 35.

Billboard put up by the Center of the American Experiment

The first Golden Turkey Award was awarded last fall to the $6.9 million warehouse purchased by Gov. Tim Walz and his administration for the purpose of a morgue in anticipation of an overwhelming amount of COVID-19 deaths. The building was never used for that purpose.

“As long as politicians keep spending our money on wasteful projects like this luxurious rest stop, American Experiment will keep handing out Golden Turkeys,” Hinderaker said.

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