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Too Fast or Too Slow? Environmental Review of NY/NJ Bridge Project Criticized

Though it's been expedited, the cumbersome environmental review process for a plan to raise the deck of the Bayonne Bridge has New York area leaders fuming over impediments to economic development. Others contend the review is being rushed.

"The approval process for the Bayonne Bridge reconstruction has become a case study, critics say, in the bureaucratic roadblocks imposed by decades-old federal environmental regulations," reports Sam Roberts. Even though review of the 5,000 page environmental assessment has been expedited by a presidential directive, critics such as Patrick J. Foye, the executive director of the Port Authority, have assailed the cumbersome and lengthy process (which will take up nearly half of the project's full timeline).  

“The environmental process for public infrastructure is too long, costly and uncertain,” Foye said. “Public infrastructure ought to be treated differently, especially replacement of public infrastructure. And there ought to be someone in the process on the federal side who is looking at the impact of economic development and job retention.”

“In my 40 years, this is the fastest I’ve ever seen an environmental assessment get done,” project manager Joann Papageorgis said. “We’re being criticized for rushing it.”

Full Story: High Above the Water, but Awash in Red Tape

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