WASHINGTON — Projects to repair or replace flood-damaged roads, bridges and infrastructure would be exempted from federal environmental reviews under legislation introduced by U.S. Sen. Ben Nelson.
The Nebraska Democrat said Wednesday there is little reason to require such projects to undergo lengthy reviews, given that the roads, bridges or projects in question already were scrutinized when built.
"It just doesn't make sense," Nelson said during his weekly conference call with reporters.
Nelson said he has heard from the Nebraska Department of Roads about dozens of projects resulting from last year's flooding in northeast Nebraska that have been held up by federal red tape and not completed.
The legislation also would help speed up the many projects that will be needed once the current flooding has abated, he said.
In particular, Nelson said he has heard from local agencies about the importance of quickly reopening Nebraska Highway 12 in Niobrara once the floodwaters recede.
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