In 1991 the Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) received a $14.6 million federal earmark to reconstruct a highway interchange in downtown Mobile. After spending a portion of the funds on feasibility studies, engineers found that the project would require a great deal of additional federal and state money to complete. What’s more, their studies showed the proposed improvements would only increase highway speeds by an average of five miles per hour.
So they halted the project. And nineteen years later, $10.6 million of that original earmark remains unused ... Continue reading
Last week Rep. Betsy Markey, D-Colo., introduced a bill that would redirect some $700 million in funds that have been languishing in Transportation Department accounts, designated to fund projects earmarked by members of Congress more than a decade ago and long since forgotten.
Sunlight's Reporting Group has been tracking these "disappearmarks"--projects requested by members of Congress that are never completed--or, at times, even begun. In some cases, that's due to changes in federal programs, in others, due to local opposition, to projects being ineligible for the earmarked funds, or because state and local authorities simply couldn't ...