Infrastructure: A Tangle of Red Tape
Many of our bridges are 50-100 years old and our outdated facilities are polluting air and water. We can and must do better. America's decaying infrastructure is costing jobs, it is costing lives, and it is long past due for an overhaul.
Our Solutions In Brief
The federal government could introduce a program that incentivizes states and localities to streamline and improve their procurement processes and take such procedural steps that will speed up the delivery and lower the costs of vital infrastructure projects.
The president and Congress could increase the effectiveness of every dollar of funding by creating a single entity with the authority to coordinate disparate infrastructure review processes and to resolve disputes among agencies and levels of government in a timely fashion.
Congress could reintroduce S. 3017 and S. 2585 to improve on current permitting legislation and ensure that review processes for infrastructure projects are as quick and efficient as possible.
Too much federal infrastructure funding is allocated with overly prescriptive rules as to where states should spend the money. States could be given more flexibility to spend federal infrastructure funding on the projects that they deem to be most important.
In a time of constrained resources, the federal government could benefit from focusing investment on the infrastructure projects that are most essential to public safety and economic competitiveness.
The Permitting Dashboard website is a valuable tool that provides transparency to the public about the status of certain infrastructure projects. The Department of Transportation could expand it to include all types of infrastructure projects under NEPA review.
Four to Six Years
The average time it takes to complete an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS).
Average age of bridges in the United States
In project cost each year a project is delayed
Infrastructure Grade: D+
Report card rating on America's infrastructure from the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).
Infrastructure funding gap per year
59 Potential Environmental Impact Permits
Needed in order to comply with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)