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TheStreet Open House

10 Cities That Bent Over Backward For Big Projects

NEW YORK ( MainStreet) -- Remember the good old days of buying something you knew was a bit out of your price range but enjoying the rush despite the newfound debt?

Yep, the years and even decades leading up to the housing crisis, credit crisis and latest recession were a dumb, covetous time. Unfortunately for some American towns and cities, there's still a price to be paid for those spendthrift ways.

The New Bay Bridge between San Francisco and Oakland is just one example of projects that have cities, towns and counties around the country aching from effort to get them done, pay for them or even justify them after the fact.

Federal Reserve data show that overall municipal bond debt was up to $2.9 trillion by the end of 2010. While final 2011 numbers haven't been released, $2.5 trillion of that 2010 debt was issued by state and local governments and is sticking around for the long haul.

The promise of revenue and the lure of shiny new stuff to play with was just a bit too great for some towns, cities and landowners to resist. It's only when those toys don't worked as advertised, come without batteries included or just make a big mess out of the surrounding area that most folks remember how high a price was paid and start grumbling about the bill.

We took a look around America and found 10 communities that bent over backward for big projects and just about had their spines snapped in the process:

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