October 2, 2014
A state panel has concluded that Nebraska road and bridge projects are almost always chosen based on need and not political pressure.
The Legislature's Performance Audit Committee said in a report that most projects are selected by a data-driven analysis of where they're most needed.
Former roads director Monty Fredrickson, who retired in August, told lawmakers that 90 percent of the projects during his 20-year tenure were chosen based on need, according to the report. Fredrickson testified that he could not recall a situation where an elected official had pressured him to choose or prioritize a specific project.
Fredrickson said that the remaining 10 percent were based on less predictable factors, such as available funding and public support for a project. But he said the public pressure was "miniscule."