By Nick Goldstein, vice president of regulatory and legal issues, ARTBA

The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) says it has saved $32 million in costs relating to construction delays and inflation over four years by participating in the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) delegation program. The program has also saved the state more than 8,500 days of delay, the equivalent of more than 23 years, ODOT says.

In July 24 comments to FHWA, ARTBA expressed continued support for ODOT’s participation in the NEPA delegation program, which helps reduce unnecessary delay in the project review and approval process without impacting environmental safeguards. ARTBA has consistently supported NEPA delegation in all states where it is being used.

ODOT’s savings depend on the size and complexity of its projects, the agency explained in a May 2019 assessment.

“As FHWA would have spent more time reviewing ODOT’s largest and most complex projects, ODOT would receive the most cost/time savings from those projects. Consequently, higher savings are therefore realized in years with more large/complex projects as opposed to years with more smaller maintenance type projects.”