A new study finds cash from Biden’s $1.2tn infrastructure bill has overwhelmingly been spent on widening roads for automobiles.
A new study finds cash from Biden’s $1.2tn infrastructure bill has overwhelmingly been spent on widening roads for automobiles.

The dominance of highways in US infrastructure spending

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A new study finds cash from Biden’s $1.2tn infrastructure bill has overwhelmingly been spent on widening roads for automobiles.

Introduction:

Despite efforts to address the US’s crumbling infrastructure, the focus on expanding highways over public transport in recent infrastructure bills has raised concerns among critics. 

The landmark $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure law, championed by President Joe Biden, has allocated a significant portion of funds to road maintenance and expansion, perpetuating the dominance of cars at the expense of communities and the climate.

Highway Expansion Over Public Transit:

Analysis of funds dispersed to states reveals that a substantial portion, approximately $70 billion, has been directed towards the resurfacing and widening of highways. 

In contrast, only a fifth of the funds have been allocated to public transit, with additional resources primarily facilitating increased car usage, such as bridge refurbishments.

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Climate Implications:

Critics warn that this disproportionate investment in highway expansion poses a significant climate threat. 

Planned expansions are estimated to emit over 178 million tons of greenhouse gases by 2040, exacerbating the ongoing climate crisis. 

Despite some emissions-reducing measures included in the bill, the overall impact on carbon emissions remains concerning.

Transportation Policy Concerns:

Transportation for America, a leading transport policy group, highlights the lack of consideration for climate concerns in current infrastructure investments. 

The persistent focus on highway expansion is deemed both unsustainable and ineffective in addressing traffic congestion, a longstanding issue exacerbated by continued road development.

Federal Funding and State Priorities:

Federal funding grants states broad flexibility in infrastructure spending, leading many state authorities to prioritize car-centric projects. 

While the Biden administration’s Department of Transportation encouraged states to prioritize road repairs over expansion and consider marginalized communities affected by highway construction, the trend towards highway-centric infrastructure persists.

Conclusion:

The emphasis on highway expansion in recent infrastructure legislation reflects ongoing challenges in transitioning towards sustainable and equitable transportation systems. 

As concerns over climate change and community impacts grow, there is a pressing need for policy reforms that prioritize public transit and address the broader environmental and social implications of transportation infrastructure investments.

Jean Martin

Jean Martin, a seasoned Correspondent Author at USA Guardian Magazine, specializes in transforming complex subjects into engaging narratives. With a keen eye for detail and a commitment to truth, her work spans politics, culture, and technology, enriching the magazine's diverse content. Jean's reporting not only informs but also inspires readers, showcasing her belief in journalism's power to drive change.

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