Redefining Infrastructure: “Inadequately And Expensively”

Bureaucrats are tying knots that make building new roadways significantly more difficult. The restrictions result from a letter issued by the Federal Highway Administration last month. States and communities are submitting infrastructure project ideas to the Transportation Department. Stephanie Pollack, Deputy Administrator, counseled employees on the sorts of projects they should approve.

States and localities that require additional capacity will be prioritized above those seeking enhancements. It is a bait-and-switch on Republicans who voted for the infrastructure bill primarily to expand and improve surface transportation.

In the type of the bill that passed, House Democrats led by Transportation Committee Chairman Peter DeFazio wanted similar restrictions on new construction. Senate Republicans managed to keep such restrictions out of the final bill, but he had no choice but to accept it. One of the Biden Administration features is regulations to circumvent the legislative process.

Moreover, according to a Transportation Department letter, any project needing a new right of way is ineligible for a fast-tracked NEPA assessment. By adding the One Federal Decision framework in the infrastructure package, Republicans attempted to avoid red tape. The regulation sets a 90-day deadline for projects under the National Environmental Policy Act to be approved (NEPA).

According to the Wall Street Journal, Republican states would be hit the most by the limits. Highway expansions are needed in the Sun Belt and Northwest to facilitate local commuting and commerce. It will be complicated to reconcile the goals of green new dealers (or those next to them) with economic growth.

They are “not a unique means of transit,” according to Ms. Pollack, and should be supplemented by other kinds of mobility. John Cochrane takes a look at the FHWA document on his blog. He examines what he finds with a gloomy zeal. The battle against the automobile continues. Roads, bridges, and other significant transportation initiatives received $110 billion out of a total of $1.2 trillion.