In our final installment of our annual Highway Boondoggles series with U.S. PIRG., we look at bridge widening that circumvented the National Environmental Policy Act Environmental Impact Assessment process.
It’s sometimes said that Minnesota has two seasons: winter and road construction. In Duluth, an ongoing, multiyear highway project has sucked up millions of taxpayer dollars on a road that many residents believe shouldn’t even be there in the first place.
Federal funding could be spent on fixing our aging roads, making our streets safer, and making it easier to travel on transit, by bike or on foot, giving Americans real options for getting around without a car. But it will more likely be spent on expanding highways.
Officials have pointed to safety as a key reason for the need to expand the highway. Yet, in 2010, state officials raised speed limits to 70 mph along much of I-81, a move that likely made the road more dangerous.
Pennsylvania is moving forward with a plan to spend $300 million in order to widen I-83 in York County to eight lanes from four. But project documents fail to show how the project will solve any problems or bring clear benefits to the region.