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Why Bridges Are Falling Down

President Biden used his visit to Pittsburgh last week to visit a just-collapsed bridge and tout his new $1.2 trillion “infrastructure” bill. Biden promised that when it comes to the 40% of bridges in Pittsburgh that are in poor condition: “I will fix them all.”

We’ll believe that when it’s done. If fixing bridges and roads is the priority, then why is at most 20 cents of every dollar in the infrastructure bill is for roads and bridges? Why do hundreds of billions go for mass transit, Amtrak, windmills, and solar panels?

If politicians really wanted to fix crumbling roads and bridges a solution is simple. First, drop Biden’s absolute insistence that every single infrastructure job be held by a union member or pay union-scale wage. Such Davis-Bacon requirements add between 25% and 35% to the cost of every federal project. Lengthy litigation involving questionable Environmental Impact Statements add far more to the cost of U.S. project than they do in Europe or Asia.

But you could wait a lifetime for Biden and his left-wing allies to question those orthodoxies. The real power in the Democratic Party is held by those who hate America’s car culture and still want to promote mass transit – which the general public is increasingly rejecting in the age of COVID.

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