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Author Topic: Infrastructure Bill 2021  (Read 34937 times)

tolbs17

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Re: Infrastructure Bill 2021
« Reply #350 on: January 14, 2022, 09:51:03 PM »

Fix the bridges over I-95 in Johnston County! Very dated and low quality...



What exactly is wrong with them? I see one "Poor" with a sufficiency rating of 35, but most bridges over I-95 in Johnston County appear to be in good condition, even those constructed in the 1950s.
Well, they are just old looking and this has happened before because due to their age...

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.cbs17.com/news/local-news/johnston-county-news/exposed-cables-on-major-bridge-over-i-95-in-smithfield-force-3-week-closure/amp/
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Big John

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Re: Infrastructure Bill 2021
« Reply #351 on: January 14, 2022, 10:01:26 PM »

^^ That was a failure in part of the deck.  The deck is the riding surface of the bridge.  The deck rating doesn't affect the bridge rating very much as it is more easily rehabbed/replaced than the superstructure or the substructure.

Bridges with a sufficiency rating under 50 are eligible for federal funds to rehab or replace the bridge.
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Re: Infrastructure Bill 2021
« Reply #352 on: January 14, 2022, 10:10:37 PM »

What exactly is wrong with them? I see one "Poor" with a sufficiency rating of 35, but most bridges over I-95 in Johnston County appear to be in good condition, even those constructed in the 1950s.
Well, they are just old looking and this has happened before because due to their age...

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.cbs17.com/news/local-news/johnston-county-news/exposed-cables-on-major-bridge-over-i-95-in-smithfield-force-3-week-closure/amp/

Isn't the bridge in "poor" condition the one discussed in the article you cite? Which has received some repairs, and was planned (even before the infrastructure bill passed) to be replaced soon anyway?

Anyway, "just old looking" is a lame excuse for replacing bridges in fair or better condition, unless they need to be replaced anyway such as for widening the bridge or I-95. Almost certainly not enough money in the infrastructure bill to go down that far on the priority list.  Besides there are lots of other alternative uses for the funds needed to replace "just old looking" bridges, including but not limited to leaving that money in us taxpayers' pockets.
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tolbs17

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Re: Infrastructure Bill 2021
« Reply #353 on: January 14, 2022, 10:19:01 PM »

What exactly is wrong with them? I see one "Poor" with a sufficiency rating of 35, but most bridges over I-95 in Johnston County appear to be in good condition, even those constructed in the 1950s.
Well, they are just old looking and this has happened before because due to their age...

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.cbs17.com/news/local-news/johnston-county-news/exposed-cables-on-major-bridge-over-i-95-in-smithfield-force-3-week-closure/amp/

Isn't the bridge in "poor" condition the one discussed in the article you cite? Which has received some repairs, and was planned (even before the infrastructure bill passed) to be replaced soon anyway?

Anyway, "just old looking" is a lame excuse for replacing bridges in fair or better condition, unless they need to be replaced anyway such as for widening the bridge or I-95. Almost certainly not enough money in the infrastructure bill to go down that far on the priority list.  Besides there are lots of other alternative uses for the funds needed to replace "just old looking" bridges, including but not limited to leaving that money in us taxpayers' pockets.
Yes, if you have read the article, it says it will be replaced sometime in 2023.
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Big John

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Re: Infrastructure Bill 2021
« Reply #354 on: January 14, 2022, 10:22:31 PM »

What exactly is wrong with them? I see one "Poor" with a sufficiency rating of 35, but most bridges over I-95 in Johnston County appear to be in good condition, even those constructed in the 1950s.
Well, they are just old looking and this has happened before because due to their age...

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.cbs17.com/news/local-news/johnston-county-news/exposed-cables-on-major-bridge-over-i-95-in-smithfield-force-3-week-closure/amp/

Isn't the bridge in "poor" condition the one discussed in the article you cite? Which has received some repairs, and was planned (even before the infrastructure bill passed) to be replaced soon anyway?

Anyway, "just old looking" is a lame excuse for replacing bridges in fair or better condition, unless they need to be replaced anyway such as for widening the bridge or I-95. Almost certainly not enough money in the infrastructure bill to go down that far on the priority list.  Besides there are lots of other alternative uses for the funds needed to replace "just old looking" bridges, including but not limited to leaving that money in us taxpayers' pockets.
Yes, if you have read the article, it says it will be replaced sometime in 2023.
That looks like the bridge with the 35.0 sufficiency rating.
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tolbs17

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Re: Infrastructure Bill 2021
« Reply #355 on: January 14, 2022, 10:23:21 PM »

What exactly is wrong with them? I see one "Poor" with a sufficiency rating of 35, but most bridges over I-95 in Johnston County appear to be in good condition, even those constructed in the 1950s.
Well, they are just old looking and this has happened before because due to their age...

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.cbs17.com/news/local-news/johnston-county-news/exposed-cables-on-major-bridge-over-i-95-in-smithfield-force-3-week-closure/amp/

Isn't the bridge in "poor" condition the one discussed in the article you cite? Which has received some repairs, and was planned (even before the infrastructure bill passed) to be replaced soon anyway?

Anyway, "just old looking" is a lame excuse for replacing bridges in fair or better condition, unless they need to be replaced anyway such as for widening the bridge or I-95. Almost certainly not enough money in the infrastructure bill to go down that far on the priority list.  Besides there are lots of other alternative uses for the funds needed to replace "just old looking" bridges, including but not limited to leaving that money in us taxpayers' pockets.
Yes, if you have read the article, it says it will be replaced sometime in 2023.
That looks like the bridge with the 35.0 sufficiency rating.
Yes
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vdeane

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Re: Infrastructure Bill 2021
« Reply #356 on: January 31, 2022, 08:51:45 PM »

It looks like there might not be nearly so much new construction as many roadgeeks would have hoped.  New roads and widening will be at the bottom of the priority list and projects requiring new ROW are ineligible for fast-tracked environmental review.  Per an article from the Wall Street Journal:

Quote
If you hoped President Biden’s infrastructure spending might bring a smoother drive to an area near you, it’s worth reading the latest fine print. Before funds are disbursed, bureaucrats are attaching strings that make it far more difficult to build new highways.

The restrictions come from a memo last month from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). The Transportation Department agency is fielding infrastructure project proposals from states and cities, and it has sway over regulatory approval. Deputy Administrator Stephanie Pollack advised staff on the types of projects they should give the red light.

According to the memo, proposals should be sent to the bottom of the pile if they “add new general purpose travel lanes serving single occupancy vehicles.” She means cars. That includes construction of new roads and highways, or expansions of existing ones. States and cities that need new capacity will take a back seat to those seeking upgrades.

This guidance is a bait-and-switch on Congressional Republicans who backed the infrastructure deal mainly because it would expand and improve surface transportation. House Democrats led by Transportation Committee Chairman Peter DeFazio wanted similar limits on new building in the version of the bill they passed, but Senate Republicans kept those limits out of the final draft. Rep. DeFazio staged a public tantrum, but he had to accept it.

Now highway skeptics in the Transportation Department are imposing restrictions like those that failed to pass Congress. Road construction will also be tied up by environmental reviews. Republicans tried to pre-empt the red tape by including the One Federal Decision framework in the infrastructure bill. The policy imposes a 90-day limit on approval for projects reviewed under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

But the FHWA is doubling down on other green restrictions. Its memo declares that any project requiring a new right of way is ineligible for a fast-tracked NEPA review. States planning to widen clogged highways using federal funds could face months or years of scrutiny. We warned that the bill’s permitting reforms were insufficient, and here we are.

The restrictions will likely fall hardest on red states. Fast-growing areas in the Sunbelt and Northwest need highway extensions to improve local commuting and commerce.

Take North Dakota, where traffic on the Highway 85 corridor has caused an increase in fatalities. The state transportation department plans to widen part of the two-lane route with new federal funds, but the new restrictions could jam up the process. Texas also needs new interstate highway capacity, especially north from Laredo and from the Rio Grande Valley to the Houston area.

Disdain for highways is common among progressive regulators, who see blocking road improvements as a virtue that will assist mass transit and climate-change goals. Upon her appointment as the interim highway administration leader, Ms. Pollack promised “an agency that supports people rather than a singular mode of transportation.” Her boss, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, has said that traditional highway designs are racist.

States and cities will continue to seek highway expansions, and some may secure funding. But don’t be surprised when federal agencies continue to steer “bipartisan” infrastructure funds toward progressive priorities.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/highway-funding-bait-and-switch-agencies-bipartisan-infrasctructure-new-capacity-cars-public-transportation-11643576500
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Plutonic Panda

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Re: Infrastructure Bill 2021
« Reply #357 on: January 31, 2022, 09:18:19 PM »

As much as I don’t like that we still need this bill to rebuild our infrastructure so as long as it can go to rebuild what we have that is in disrepair I’ll be happy.
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kernals12

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Re: Infrastructure Bill 2021
« Reply #358 on: January 31, 2022, 09:35:12 PM »

It looks like there might not be nearly so much new construction as many roadgeeks would have hoped.  New roads and widening will be at the bottom of the priority list and projects requiring new ROW are ineligible for fast-tracked environmental review.  Per an article from the Wall Street Journal:

Quote
If you hoped President Biden’s infrastructure spending might bring a smoother drive to an area near you, it’s worth reading the latest fine print. Before funds are disbursed, bureaucrats are attaching strings that make it far more difficult to build new highways.

The restrictions come from a memo last month from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). The Transportation Department agency is fielding infrastructure project proposals from states and cities, and it has sway over regulatory approval. Deputy Administrator Stephanie Pollack advised staff on the types of projects they should give the red light.

According to the memo, proposals should be sent to the bottom of the pile if they “add new general purpose travel lanes serving single occupancy vehicles.” She means cars. That includes construction of new roads and highways, or expansions of existing ones. States and cities that need new capacity will take a back seat to those seeking upgrades.

This guidance is a bait-and-switch on Congressional Republicans who backed the infrastructure deal mainly because it would expand and improve surface transportation. House Democrats led by Transportation Committee Chairman Peter DeFazio wanted similar limits on new building in the version of the bill they passed, but Senate Republicans kept those limits out of the final draft. Rep. DeFazio staged a public tantrum, but he had to accept it.

Now highway skeptics in the Transportation Department are imposing restrictions like those that failed to pass Congress. Road construction will also be tied up by environmental reviews. Republicans tried to pre-empt the red tape by including the One Federal Decision framework in the infrastructure bill. The policy imposes a 90-day limit on approval for projects reviewed under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

But the FHWA is doubling down on other green restrictions. Its memo declares that any project requiring a new right of way is ineligible for a fast-tracked NEPA review. States planning to widen clogged highways using federal funds could face months or years of scrutiny. We warned that the bill’s permitting reforms were insufficient, and here we are.

The restrictions will likely fall hardest on red states. Fast-growing areas in the Sunbelt and Northwest need highway extensions to improve local commuting and commerce.

Take North Dakota, where traffic on the Highway 85 corridor has caused an increase in fatalities. The state transportation department plans to widen part of the two-lane route with new federal funds, but the new restrictions could jam up the process. Texas also needs new interstate highway capacity, especially north from Laredo and from the Rio Grande Valley to the Houston area.

Disdain for highways is common among progressive regulators, who see blocking road improvements as a virtue that will assist mass transit and climate-change goals. Upon her appointment as the interim highway administration leader, Ms. Pollack promised “an agency that supports people rather than a singular mode of transportation.” Her boss, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, has said that traditional highway designs are racist.

States and cities will continue to seek highway expansions, and some may secure funding. But don’t be surprised when federal agencies continue to steer “bipartisan” infrastructure funds toward progressive priorities.

https://www.wsj.com/articles/highway-funding-bait-and-switch-agencies-bipartisan-infrasctructure-new-capacity-cars-public-transportation-11643576500

Hopefully protests from Democratic Senators and Governors who don't want pet projects in their states derailed will get FHWA to back off.
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Bruce

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Re: Infrastructure Bill 2021
« Reply #359 on: January 31, 2022, 10:17:15 PM »

Good. We should be repairing and replacing what we already have before even thinking of expansions (unless states are willing to raise those funds themselves, as they should).

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Re: Infrastructure Bill 2021
« Reply #360 on: January 31, 2022, 10:22:35 PM »

"Screw rural areas, amirite?"

As left-leaning as I am, some of the transportation policies of that side of the aisle are...um, inequitable when it comes to impacts on rural areas.
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Re: Infrastructure Bill 2021
« Reply #361 on: January 31, 2022, 11:23:59 PM »

Good. We should be repairing and replacing what we already have before even thinking of expansions (unless states are willing to raise those funds themselves, as they should).

Except in the eyes of the policy makers here, "expansion" can mean anything between "add some lanes to an urban 12 lane freeway in large city" or "four-lane a dangerous winding narrow 2-lane rural highway with high crash rates and fatality counts".

tolbs17

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Re: Infrastructure Bill 2021
« Reply #362 on: February 01, 2022, 02:15:47 AM »

Hope that bridge collapse gets the attention of that bill.
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Scott5114

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Re: Infrastructure Bill 2021
« Reply #363 on: February 01, 2022, 02:34:06 AM »

Good. We should be repairing and replacing what we already have before even thinking of expansions (unless states are willing to raise those funds themselves, as they should).

That's a pretty high and mighty approach to take. Might make sense if you live in a city with a mature transportation system. Doesn't make sense in places like Oklahoma. To ODOT's credit, they've actually spent most of the last decade fixing deficient bridges, so there's not a whole lot of them left...but we've fallen behind on actually supplying good roads to the places people are moving to.

Hope that bridge collapse gets the attention of that bill.

How exactly do you get the attention of a bill?
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tolbs17

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Re: Infrastructure Bill 2021
« Reply #364 on: February 01, 2022, 08:16:17 AM »

Hope that bridge collapse gets the attention of that bill.

How exactly do you get the attention of a bill?
[/quote]Because they tell you what they are going to do. All the money will go to highways, bridges, airports, rail, etc.
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Flint1979

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Re: Infrastructure Bill 2021
« Reply #365 on: February 01, 2022, 10:22:04 AM »

Hope that bridge collapse gets the attention of that bill.

How exactly do you get the attention of a bill?
Because they tell you what they are going to do. All the money will go to highways, bridges, airports, rail, etc.
[/quote]
What they say they are going to do usually isn't what they end up doing.
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tolbs17

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Re: Infrastructure Bill 2021
« Reply #366 on: February 01, 2022, 10:54:42 AM »

Hope that bridge collapse gets the attention of that bill.

How exactly do you get the attention of a bill?
Because they tell you what they are going to do. All the money will go to highways, bridges, airports, rail, etc.
What they say they are going to do usually isn't what they end up doing.
[/quote]Ah. so plans could change. Either way, this is a rather disappointing change.
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triplemultiplex

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Re: Infrastructure Bill 2021
« Reply #367 on: February 01, 2022, 11:22:25 AM »

^^
Ah, fix y'alls quotes!! :P


I don't see this as that big of a barrier to the infusion of federal money leading to the kind of projects that get us roadgeeks excited.  All a state has to do is send that money into their regular and backlogged maintenance so they can use their state funds for their expansions and new facilities.  Assuming they have the discretion to do so, that puts states wherever they want to be with 2021 infrastructure money.

I can appreciate not wanting to fast track EIS for greenfields projects since there are more things to consider with those projects versus projects that just add lanes or repave within existing r/w.  That seems sensible to me.
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Re: Infrastructure Bill 2021
« Reply #368 on: February 01, 2022, 11:34:18 AM »

This is what we mean when we make reference to "the deep state." No matter the legislative intent, there's an entrenched bureaucracy that shapes and molds things to its own desires. In this case, there's obviously an anti-car, anti-roads faction within FHWA that got hold of the bill and changed the parameters to fit an agenda.
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HighwayStar

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Re: Infrastructure Bill 2021
« Reply #369 on: February 01, 2022, 11:39:02 AM »

This is what we mean when we make reference to "the deep state." No matter the legislative intent, there's an entrenched bureaucracy that shapes and molds things to its own desires. In this case, there's obviously an anti-car, anti-roads faction within FHWA that got hold of the bill and changed the parameters to fit an agenda.

An exceptionally accurate and concise summary of the problem.  :clap:
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vdeane

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Re: Infrastructure Bill 2021
« Reply #370 on: February 01, 2022, 12:45:34 PM »

This is what we mean when we make reference to "the deep state." No matter the legislative intent, there's an entrenched bureaucracy that shapes and molds things to its own desires. In this case, there's obviously an anti-car, anti-roads faction within FHWA that got hold of the bill and changed the parameters to fit an agenda.
Except I don't think we're talking about career civil servants who are experts in their field here.  These policies sound like they came straight from Biden's appointees - in other words, they reflect the priorities of an elected official.
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HighwayStar

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Re: Infrastructure Bill 2021
« Reply #371 on: February 01, 2022, 12:56:41 PM »

This is what we mean when we make reference to "the deep state." No matter the legislative intent, there's an entrenched bureaucracy that shapes and molds things to its own desires. In this case, there's obviously an anti-car, anti-roads faction within FHWA that got hold of the bill and changed the parameters to fit an agenda.
Except I don't think we're talking about career civil servants who are experts in their field here.  These policies sound like they came straight from Biden's appointees - in other words, they reflect the priorities of an elected official.

"career civil servants" "experts in their field"
That is being exceptionally generous. Bureaucrats that in many cases have never had to make anything work in the real world for so much as a single day in their life. Ever been to the post office or DMV? I seriously doubt the so called "experts" are much better. And what is to say that they don't march with the elected official either? They are quite capable of creating policies that fit the party line. 
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kalvado

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Re: Infrastructure Bill 2021
« Reply #372 on: February 01, 2022, 01:11:16 PM »

This is what we mean when we make reference to "the deep state." No matter the legislative intent, there's an entrenched bureaucracy that shapes and molds things to its own desires. In this case, there's obviously an anti-car, anti-roads faction within FHWA that got hold of the bill and changed the parameters to fit an agenda.
Except I don't think we're talking about career civil servants who are experts in their field here.  These policies sound like they came straight from Biden's appointees - in other words, they reflect the priorities of an elected official.

"career civil servants" "experts in their field"
That is being exceptionally generous. Bureaucrats that in many cases have never had to make anything work in the real world for so much as a single day in their life. Ever been to the post office or DMV? I seriously doubt the so called "experts" are much better. And what is to say that they don't march with the elected official either? They are quite capable of creating policies that fit the party line.
Point is, change in funds distribution is endorsed by political top brass. It is really irrelevant who wrote particular document - it is about who pushes the policy.
And there are 2 issues for me in this case: first, bait-and-switch mentioned in the article. Happens way to often when someone basically thinks their oppinion is the only one that matters. Sure such tricks would help any non-partisan deals in future.
Second is situation when ideology supersedes realities of the situation. Of course, spending every penny on a new road would be another bad extreme - but recognizing that change in population, travel patterns, transportation requirements  can cause a very real need for new roads (or decommissioning some old ones!) and ignoring realities of flyover states... Well, we'll see how that would turn out. I am not optimistic.
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Rothman

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Re: Infrastructure Bill 2021
« Reply #373 on: February 01, 2022, 01:51:44 PM »

This is what we mean when we make reference to "the deep state." No matter the legislative intent, there's an entrenched bureaucracy that shapes and molds things to its own desires. In this case, there's obviously an anti-car, anti-roads faction within FHWA that got hold of the bill and changed the parameters to fit an agenda.
Except I don't think we're talking about career civil servants who are experts in their field here.  These policies sound like they came straight from Biden's appointees - in other words, they reflect the priorities of an elected official.

"career civil servants" "experts in their field"
That is being exceptionally generous. Bureaucrats that in many cases have never had to make anything work in the real world for so much as a single day in their life. Ever been to the post office or DMV? I seriously doubt the so called "experts" are much better. And what is to say that they don't march with the elected official either? They are quite capable of creating policies that fit the party line.

Post Offices and DMVs work pretty well around here.  Not sure what your point is there.

I can't remember the last time I had a serious issue with either of them.  I suppose there was a couple of people ahead of me one time at the Post Office...

Then again, outside of appointing a Postmaster General, not sure how else the Post Office counts as being part of government...

Point being, anyone who thinks career civil servants aren't in the "real world" is ignorant of how government operates.

Appointees...totally different matter...which makes you wonder if no one likes them, then why do we keep letting politicians appoint them...and if they keep doing so despite our objections, do we really have a voice in the matter...
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HighwayStar

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Re: Infrastructure Bill 2021
« Reply #374 on: February 01, 2022, 02:03:49 PM »

This is what we mean when we make reference to "the deep state." No matter the legislative intent, there's an entrenched bureaucracy that shapes and molds things to its own desires. In this case, there's obviously an anti-car, anti-roads faction within FHWA that got hold of the bill and changed the parameters to fit an agenda.
Except I don't think we're talking about career civil servants who are experts in their field here.  These policies sound like they came straight from Biden's appointees - in other words, they reflect the priorities of an elected official.

"career civil servants" "experts in their field"
That is being exceptionally generous. Bureaucrats that in many cases have never had to make anything work in the real world for so much as a single day in their life. Ever been to the post office or DMV? I seriously doubt the so called "experts" are much better. And what is to say that they don't march with the elected official either? They are quite capable of creating policies that fit the party line.

Post Offices and DMVs work pretty well around here.  Not sure what your point is there.

I can't remember the last time I had a serious issue with either of them.  I suppose there was a couple of people ahead of me one time at the Post Office...

Then again, outside of appointing a Postmaster General, not sure how else the Post Office counts as being part of government...

Point being, anyone who thinks career civil servants aren't in the "real world" is ignorant of how government operates.

Appointees...totally different matter...which makes you wonder if no one likes them, then why do we keep letting politicians appoint them...and if they keep doing so despite our objections, do we really have a voice in the matter...

They don't live in the real world. The government never goes bankrupt, no matter how poorly it does its job. In the private sector companies that are inept, inefficient, or lazy go out of business.
I spent the better part of a month trying to get my packages out of the post office after the driver failed to deliver them to me. Never had that happen with an Amazon truck.
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There are those who travel, and those who travel well

 


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