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Behold the incredibly long flowchart of federal building permissions Trump showed today

AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais
The long way to the highway.
  • Annalisa Merelli
By Annalisa Merelli

Senior reporter based in New York City

Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

This item has been updated.

“Crumbling infrastructure will be replaced with new roads, bridges, tunnels, airports, and railways gleaming across our very, very beautiful land, ” Donald Trump promised in his first address to Congress. But to do so, he has to overcome a very complex set of federal regulations and requirements, making sure for instance that there is no contamination of water reserves, for instance, or confirming the public interest of the project.

To show just how long the path from idea to reality is, he used a visual device: A flow chart supposedly showing all the many permissions and steps required to build  a highway, laid out in many colors and with an abundance of arrows—including some pointing to nothing, or to other arrows.

The president had showed this chart in April, and he did so again today (Aug. 15), together with a shorter version without the many steps he plans to cut.

Below is the chart in all its long glory. It hasn’t been fact checked, and if the quality of the visualization is any indication, its accuracy should not be taken for granted. 

Update: Below is the shortened chart.

📬 A periodic dispatch from the annual session of the United Nations General Assembly in NYC.

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