Streamline Infrastructure Approvals
About the Problem
America’s roads, bridges, and public transportation systems are in increasingly poor condition.
On average, highway projects take eight years to get regulatory approval.
About the Policy
To accelerate the construction of important infrastructure, the federal government should designate officials to streamline the regulatory process for infrastructure projects such as roads, bridges and highways.
Polling data derived from three national surveys conducted by Cohen Research Group in February and March 2016. Each survey had a sample size of at least 1,000 registered voters with a margin of error of +/- 3.1%
When it comes to infrastructure, time truly is money. Analysis by the nonpartisan reform group Common Good found that delays in regulatory approval for U.S infrastructure projects cost our nation $3.7 trillion, which is more than twice the cost of fixing them.
Despite an urgent need to fix roads, bridges and other critical infrastructure, the U.S. government takes it sweet time approving new projects. For example, it takes an average of eight years to achieve approval for a new federal highways project.
Maybe this would be justifiable if U.S. citizens were made safer, or our environment made cleaner by these lengthy reviews. But we aren’t. European countries often have tougher environmental standards and regulatory requirements for building infrastructure than we do, yet somehow they manage to run the approval process a lot faster.
In America, the problem isn’t any one individual regulation. It’s the accumulation of decades of state, local and federal regulations that are often contradictory, redundant or outdated. To accelerate the construction of important infrastructure, the federal government should designate officials to streamline the regulatory process for infrastructure projects such as roads, bridges and highways. Funding for infrastructure is tight already and America can’t afford to be wasting critical resources on unjustifiable red tape.
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