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AASHTO director tells US DOT to streamline rules to speed up highway project delivery

The executive director of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), John Horsley, has told US Department of Transportation (US DOT) officials that it takes too long to get things done using federal transportation dollars. The comments were made at a meeting in Washington on reviewing government regulations. Horsley said, “The regulatory review called for by the president and US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, provides another avenue to deliver transportation improvements to the American public faster. The current delays brought about, in part, by federal regulations, cost the country a great deal. Lives are lost when safety improvements are delayed. Taxpayers get less for their dollar. Fewer jobs are created, and economic recovery is slowed when projects are needlessly delayed.”

USDOT held the meeting in response to an executive order issued by President Barack Obama in January 2011. The order requires federal agencies to ensure that regulations protect the USA’s safety, public health, and environment, while promoting economic growth. It also orders a review of existing rules to remove outdated or ineffective regulations that stifle job creation and make the country’s economy less competitive. During his comments, Horsley commended Federal Highway Administrator (FHWA), Victor Mendez, for his ‘Every Day Counts’ initiative, which aims to cut in half the time it takes to deliver highway projects.

In advance of the meeting, AASHTO staff developed 19 recommendations on regulatory changes that the association believes would be helpful. The organization has also asked all state DOTs and AASHTO committees to have their recommendations regarding needed improvements to US DOT regulations in to the association by Friday, March 25. The organization intends to compile all comments it receives so it can submit a comprehensive and consolidated set of recommendations to US DOT by March 31. To encourage participation, US Transportation Secretary, LaHood, wrote, “If you know of a rule that is outdated, ineffective, or excessively burdensome, this is your chance to participate and point us in the right direction.”

 

March 22, 2011

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