The rapid explosion of rules, regulations and red tape that has taken place over the last several years has become a serious problem for our country's infrastructure.
According to a GAO report it now takes between nine and 19 years to plan, gain approval of, and construct a new major federally funded highway project.
Victor Mendez, administrator of the Federal Highway Administration, testified before the Highways and Transit Subcommittee recently, where I serve as chairman, that the average federal highway project takes 13 years from conception to completion.
Several years ago when I chaired the Aviation Subcommittee, we held a hearing in which officials said construction of the main runway at Atlanta’s airport at the time took 14 years from conception to completion because of all of the environmental rulings, regulations and red tape. But construction took only 99 workdays.
In fact, they were so happy to get all the final approvals, workers finished the project in 33 actual days working 24-hour shifts.
In a hearing in the Highways and Transit Subcommittee, officials testified that a nine-mile highway project in Southern California took 17 years from conception to completion, from 1990 until 2007.
We now take on average three times as long and incur three times the cost of any other developed nation to complete transportation infrastructure projects.
Excessive rules and regulations hurt the poor, lower-income, and working people of this country most by destroying jobs and driving up prices.
When you delay for years the widening and improving of highways in order to make them safer, excessive regulation also costs lives.
Limiting excessive regulations is a critical step in our nation’s Transportation policy, and it has long been high on my priority list for working Americans.