(Independent Institute) -- The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) has won the Independent Institute’s second California Golden Fleece Award, given out quarterly to state or local agencies or government projects that swindle taxpayers or break the public trust.
With primary responsibility for highway maintenance projects in California, the irresponsible Caltrans has wasted billions of taxpayer dollars and even lied to lawmakers to cover its tracks.
Caltrans’s history of wasting taxpayer money, while at the same time demanding more funding, justifies drastically scaling back the agency and transferring all highway and bridge maintenance to private contractors who submit winning competitive bids. This change should accompany broader reforms to modernize California’s highways, such as privatizing the public highways and bridges, which would stimulate new investment; adopting systems that adequately fund road repairs while also reducing traffic congestion and pollution; and preparing for the long-term switch to electric vehicles.
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