Before dawn on Feb. 23, Darius Williams ran his Nissan Sentra off a North Carolina interstate at 80 miles per hour. A length of guardrail pierced his door, according to the police report, driving the 24-year-old’s body into the opposite back seat.
Three months before proposing in his Jan. 24 State of the Union speech to speed up construction projects, President Barack Obama designated replacement of New York’s Tappan Zee Bridge for “fast-track” approvals, saying he wanted to cut red tape and create jobs.
With New York’s aging and overburdened Tappan Zee Bridge in the background, President Barack Obama said the U.S. risks its economic supremacy by neglecting to repair and upgrade its transportation system.
North Carolina wants to spend $216 million, mostly in federal tax money, to rebuild a bridge to a ribbon-thin Outer Banks island even though the highway it leads to has been severed twice in three years by sea water and storms.
Senators in both parties said they are close to an agreement to authorize U.S. highway and mass transit projects for as many as six years, seeking to prevent funds from running out during the mid-year construction season.