The House Transportation and Infrastructure (T&I) Committee heard September 9 more positive than negative statements from department of transportation (DOT) officials from the states of Washington, Texas and Utah on their experiences with the federal project approval process. All said that provisions included in the 2012 MAP-21 surface transportation reauthorization law were the root cause of the improvement, but that further steps could be taken to streamline the process. The state DOTs, for example, suggested communication between the various bodies of jurisdiction at the federal level as one way the process could be enhanced. Demonstrating the continuing difficulty in this area, however, the Transportation Corridors Agency—a toll authority in southern California—told the committee that it has one project in an environmentally-sensitive area that has been in the approval phase for 25 years.
House T&I Committee Republicans have made clear developing additional policies to reform the project delivery process will be one of their key MAP-21 reauthorization priorities.