The Citizens’ Voice | Speed up process to start roadway projects

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Roadway projects are trapped in multiyear permitting processes while Americans are stuck in horrific traffic costing us $140 billion annually. Taxpayers should care about the onerous and duplicative process a simple roadway project must go through to get approval. On average it takes seven years to complete approvals for highway projects. But sometimes it’s worse. It took 25 years to begin construction of the Basnight Bridge in North Carolina while it only took three years to build that bridge. This is unacceptable.

Many Pennsylvanians drive the I-81 corridor regularly and the sighting of new orange cones is not uncommon. Commuters are often forced to drive in one lane for miles and miles through sections of the Interstate that are in desperate need of repair. Imagine if that work was coordinated or completed with more efficiency and speed. Streamlining the long and costly National Environmental Policy Act review process is important to expedite critically needed infrastructure projects such as those on I-81. Roadway project delays increase costs and create uncertainty over the future of important infrastructure improvements — even those projects that save lives.