You might want to ask the folks in downtown Ellicott City about environmental impact studies that were never done.This all goes back to all the upfront BS that is now required of these kind of projects that wasn't before. Even the most simplistic jobs require environmental impact studies which require review and comment. Then work needs to get blessed before even being largely designed, let alone bid. You have a bunch of people who know little to nothing about the work - or need for it - weighing in on whether or not it should happen. God forbid someone challenges the build. Then go to permitting where EVERY jurisdiction has a their own set of permits with new ones being required all the time. Add NPDES requirements, Clean Water Act requirements. Review by ACOE and MDE/EPA, etc., etc. .............. all for something as simple as replacing a bridge where it previously stood.
There is SOOOOO much money spent above common sense approaches (with some simple checks and balances) that not only substantially inflates costs but also inflates schedules. For the most part, building the actual work is the easy part.
The GGB was built in 2-3 years because it could be. They likely didn't have moratoriums on the work during "fish f&cking season" or restrictions tidal marsh access. They probably didn't have requirements about anchoring barges into the water over a set period of time or where they could placed into the water.
Even simple jobs are boggled down with red tape, political leverage and the "feelings" of those whose input shouldn't matter.