The $1 Trillion Infrastructure Bill Spends a Lot More Money on the Same Old Highway Programs
The $1 trillion infrastructure bill that President Joe Biden signed into law earlier this week dumps a lot of new money into existing highway programs to be spent by state departments of transportation (DOTs).
The price tag of the bill—which includes $550 billion in new spending, $110 billion of which is earmarked for highways and bridges—has seen it be described as a “historic” investment by supporters and a “monstrosity” by critics.
But by mostly topping off existing programs, it will largely maintain a status quo where some states deploy their highway dollars effectively, while others continue to set them on fire in the hopes that that will produce better roads.
“I don’t think it’s going to change a whole heck of a lot,” says Baruch Feigenbaum, a senior managing director of transportation policy at the Reason Foundation (which publishes this website). “There’s no limit to the amount of money a [state DOT] that’s poorly run can waste. So, in some regards, it could make some of these bottom states even more wasteful.”
That would include places like New Jersey, which ranked last in a report on state highway performance released by the Reason Foundation today.
The Garden State, per the report, spent $1,136,255 per mile of state-controlled road in 2019 while also having some of the worst urban congestion and pavement conditions in the country.
That’s well above more cost-effective states like Virginia.
Article from Latest – Reason.com