In a new report, “Sliding Past Sequestration,” Taxpayers for Common Sense have outlined a program to cut $2 trillion in federal spending over the next 10 years without touching entitlements. Among the many ideas are proposals to delete low Return on Investment transportation projects.
Along with the likes of the Upper Mississippi River Navigation Locks Project, the Juneau Access Road, the Columbia River Crossing and other boondoggles, the TCS highlights the Charlottesville Bypass. Cut the project, the group says, and save $244 million.
Write the Taxpayers for Common Sense:
The proposed Charlottesville Bypass is a 6.2 mile, four lane limited access highway intended to act as a reliever route for the congested U.S. 29 corridor. This bypass is extremely expensive as compared to similar projects and will cost almost $40 million per mile. Furthermore, state transportation officials found that none of the bypass alternatives would have much, if any, impact on the “F level of service” rating on the existing U.S. 29 corridor. More fiscally responsible alternatives such as overpass and design improvements have shown promise of achieving the same goals without the local opposition that has developed against the bypass. Congress should block any federal funding for this wasteful roadway.
For the record, the $244 million in savings is a bit overstated. It’s an outdated estimate. The winning bid for the construction portion of the project has come in lower than estimated, thus reducing the overall cost of the project. As for Congress blocking federal funding on the project, good luck with that. Congress has not shown any inclination to get involved. But the larger point remains: There are likely many ways to get more bang for the buck on $200+ million.