OCTA: Let’s speed up transportation fed process
Committee, Federal Policies and Procedures Committee, and Policy and Planning Committee
were briefed on OCTA’s effort and pledged their support to help see the Breaking Down Barriers plan become a reality.
OCTA is not alone in this endeavor. U.S. Congressman John Mica (R-FL) is advocating for The 437 Day Plan – an effort to expedite project planning similar to what was accomplished with the Minneapolis Bridge (I-35W), which was rebuilt in 437 days after its collapse in 2007.
Congressman Mica’s plan calls for the following:
- Improving the efficiency of environmental reviews such as combining environmental impact statement reviews and the record of decision
- Advancing pre-construction activities by allowing agencies to purchase land during the environmental review period
- Promoting integrated planning and programming by recognizing environmental decisions during the planning process
- Clarifying environmental roles and eliminating duplication, which includes establishing a pilot program that delegates environmental review responsibilities to states with similar or more stringent standards
The Federal Highway Administration also is working on an initiative to deliver projects more quickly. The Every Day Counts plan proposes:
- Identifying environmental, community and economic goals early in the planning stage and carrying them through design and construction
- Involving attorneys early to avoid problems later
- Expanding the use of programmatic agreements
- Expanding the use of in-lieu fees and mitigation banking
- Giving flexibility in right-of-way acquisition and utility relocation
“We need to continue working with our partners at the local, state and federal levels to find solutions to the barriers that are preventing our nation from getting back to work,” said Kempton. “It is encouraging to see our representatives working toward this goal and I look forward to continuing our effort to expedite the process.”