Press Release Summary:
Testifying on behalf of AASHTO, Deb Miller told House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Highways and Transit that state and local governments are overburdened with process and paperwork needed to advance "even the least-controversial projects with no environmental impacts." She called for efforts to expedite project delivery via refinements to existing federal programs, including expansion of pilot program that empowers federal agencies to experiment with innovation.
Original Press Release:
AASHTO's Deb Miller Offers Suggestions to Cut Project Costs & Speed Delivery
WASHINGTON -- A major highway project can take 15 or more years to complete, resulting in additional construction costs -- not just from inflation but also from lost productivity caused by prolonged congestion and traffic accidents, Kansas Department of Transportation Secretary Deb Miller told a House Transportation and Infrastructure subcommittee today.
Miller, testifying on behalf of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, told the Subcommittee on Highways and Transit that "state and local governments are overburdened with the excessive paperwork and the process it takes to advance even the least-controversial projects with no environmental impacts. Any effort to expedite project delivery should focus on making the process more efficient, without compromising environmental protection or opportunities for public participation."
Miller recommends making refinements to existing federal programs designed to expedite project delivery, including expansion of a pilot program that empowers federal agencies to experiment with innovation.
"This pilot program could allow federal agencies to waive existing procedural requirements for projects that result in improved environmental and transportation outcomes. Miller said "we need to focus on outcomes, not rigid processes."
Miller thanked subcommittee Chairman John J. Duncan Jr. (R-Tennessee) for his "willingness to consider potential statutory changes to achieve the goal of expediting project delivery."
She also acknowledged the efforts by Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez for his Every Day Counts Initiative, which has been fully supported by AASHTO.
Miller concluded her remarks by saying, "it is essential to find ways to deliver a better product, faster, cheaper and with better environmental results. We need more tools and ideas to stretch our precious resources and to enable us to deliver the best possible value to our customers for their transportation investments."
The subcommittee hearing on accelerating project delivery and cutting red tape included testimony from Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez and former California Department of Transportation Director Will Kempton. Read Miller's full testimony at http://bit.ly/Testimony021511.
The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) is the "Voice of Transportation" representing State Departments of Transportation in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. AASHTO is a nonprofit, nonpartisan association serving as a catalyst for excellence in transportation. Follow us on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/aashtospeaks.
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