When a road project takes just three years to build, but 25 years to begin construction because of permitting and legal delays, the regulatory system is not working for the taxpayer. That was the case with the Basnight Bridge in North Carolina, a 2.8-mile replacement to the aging Bonner Bridge connecting the Hatteras and Bodie islands in the Outer Banks. Despite widespread support from the community, the project was relentlessly delayed by lawsuits.
While the bridge was eventually approved, this is just one of a growing number of infrastructure projects that have fallen victim to the delays resulting from the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Thankfully, though, through the diligent work of the Trump administration, commonsense improvements to NEPA will be finalized this year. These improvements will still protect our environment while creating much-needed jobs during the pandemic recovery.