Surprise: the Heritage Foundation is against Transportation Enhancements.
Perhaps it would help if they knew that states were not forced "to build bike paths, 'highway beautification,' and transportation museums." They are free to spend it on any one of the other 9 project categories. They can choose to spend none of their money on these things. In fact most don't. States have a lot of leeway and most of the time, they can use this money to pay for things they had to pay for (because of various regulations or local need) anyway. And because of frequent recissions, states often have an opportunity to send this money back - which some states do.
Maybe there is something wrong with me, but I see both of their boondoggle examples as pretty good projects. The Lake Jackson Ecotunnel project will help to keep alligators out of the road. And alligators cause crashes because they never yield the right-of-way. Stabilizing the wildlife will help to keep Lake Jackson a tourist destination. That sounds like something worth investing in, even if you don't care about reducing animal mortality. And $150,000 to preserve a part of Vermonts ecosystem seems like chump change to me. What makes these projects perfect uses of Highway Trust Fund money is that they mitigate the environmental damage caused by roads.
Surely the Heritage Foundation doesn't think that drivers and road designers should be able to kill as much wildlife as they see fit? That's just inhumane.