Hwy funding bait-and-switch: How Transportation Dept is enforcing what Congress couldn’t pass

Get the latest BPR news delivered free to your inbox daily. SIGN UP HERE

You would think that if your government is planning to spend $1.2 trillion on an infrastructure bill, the money would go to making your drive time easier, but this is Joe Biden’s America we are living in, and that means there’s always going to be some fine-print “gotchas” to scrutinize.

One such “gotcha” came last month in the form of a memo from Stephanie Pollack, Deputy Administrator of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).

The memo’s subject, “Information: Policy on Using Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Resources to Build a Better America,” promises to lay out how the influx of taxpayer money allocated by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law should best be spent.

The BIL “presents the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) with a unique opportunity: to exercise our stewardship and oversight responsibilities and evolve the century-old relationship with State departments of transportation and other stakeholders in a way that takes advantage of the tools Congress has provided and prioritizes investments that align with the underlying policies evident throughout the BIL to help our states and communities Build a Better America,” the memo reads.

Sure, some of that money will be going to making sure bridges don’t continue to collapse and  making streets and highways safe for all users, but the FHWA also plans on updating them, not so much for safety, but for equity.

At the same time that the FHWA is fixing roads in dire disrepair, they will also be modernizing them, “so that the transportation network is accessible for all users, provides people with better choices across all modes, accommodates new and emerging technologies, is more sustainable and resilient to a changing climate, and is more equitable.”

Because, as the federal government knows, when you’re stuck on a freeway during rush hour, the one thing you are wondering is “how could this freeway be more resilient to climate change?”

But it’s not a joke.

The memo includes a laundry list of restrictions that will make it less likely that new highways will be built.

It details which kind of projects will be given a green light and which will see a stop sign.

For example, projects that “future-proof our transportation infrastructure by accommodating new and emerging technologies like electric vehicle charging stations, renewable energy generation, and broadband deployment in transportation rights-of-way” are a good thing.

Projects that would “add new general purpose travel lanes serving single occupancy vehicles,” not so much.

“This guidance is a bait-and-switch on Congressional Republicans who backed the infrastructure deal mainly because it would expand and improve surface transportation,” reports The Wall Street Journal.

The restrictions that were kept out of the legislation in order to gain the “bipartisan support” Biden boasts about have been reintroduced and will now be enacted by the FHWA.

“Now highway skeptics in the Transportation Departments are imposing restrictions like those that failed to pass Congress,” WSJ reports. “Road construction will also be tied up by environmental reviews”

For example, according to the memo, any highway expansion that requires the “acquisition of more than a minor amount of right-of-way or that would result in any residential or non-residential displacements” will be denied a speedy NEPA review, meaning any state that wishes to widen a highway with federal funds could be sidelined for months or even years.

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

Clearly, the goal of BIL and the FHWA is not so much to ease a traveler’s commute but to once again further a progressive agenda that prioritizes electric charging stations and climate change over the needs of actual Americans.


Please help us! If you are fed up with letting radical big tech execs, phony fact-checkers, tyrannical liberals and a lying mainstream media have unprecedented power over your news please consider making a donation to BPR to help us fight them. Now is the time. Truth has never been more critical!

Success! Thank you for donating. Please share BPR content to help combat the lies.
Melissa Fine


We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, profanity, vulgarity, doxing, or discourteous behavior. If a comment is spam, instead of replying to it please click the ∨ icon below and to the right of that comment. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain fruitful conversation.

PLEASE JOIN OUR NEW COMMENT SYSTEM! We love hearing from our readers and invite you to join us for feedback and great conversation. If you've commented with us before, we'll need you to re-input your email address for this. The public will not see it and we do not share it.

Latest Articles