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Project Delivery/Streamlining

Recent Developments Archive

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Newsletter Highlights Use of Federal Permitting Dashboard

Use of the federal permitting dashboard to help accelerate environmental reviews for proposed infrastructure projects under the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act is described in te latest issue of the Federal Highway Administration’s Successes in Stewardship newsletter. The dashboard is an online tool managed by the Department of Transportation and Office of Management and Budget that consists of data for more than 150 surface transportation projects under development nationwide. The tool also includes a separate list for legacy projects, which were part of the original dashboard tool, to create a more transparent environmental process. For more information, link to the newsletter. (3-27-17)

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DOT Inspector General Report Cites Barriers to Accelerated Project Delivery

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Office of the Inspector General has issued a report on efforts to accelerate project delivery under the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21), Subtitle C. The report finds that many initiatives had to be postponed due to revisions enacted by the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act. The IG report also indicates the Federal Highway Administration is lacking sufficient documentation on innovative project delivery methods, a performance assessment of states that assume environmental review responsibilities, and a clearly established a process for required reporting on categorical exclusions. It urges the FHWA to update policies, establish completion dates and finalize plans. For more information, link to the report. (3-6-17)

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March 23 Webinar Addressed DOT Actions to Expedite Project Delivery

A webinar held March 23 addressed activities agencies can consider to streamline decision making and expedite project delivery. The event was sponsored by AASHTO in cooperation with the Federal Highway Administration under the Second Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP2 Solutions). Presenters included officials from Ohio DOT; Maricopa Association of Governments, Arizona; AASHTO; and FHWA. For more information, link to the Webinar and presentaton slides. (3-23-17)

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FHWA Newsletter Highlights Integrated NEPA/Permit Streamlining Approach

An integrated approach to National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) review and environmental permitting is highlighted in the latest issue of the Federal Highway Administration’s Successes in Stewardship newsletter. The approach provides transportation agencies with integration tools and strategies, such as assistance in developing cooperative agreements with resource agencies that have permitting roles. The approach also addresses the creation of informal and formal agreements, establishing liaisons, and using the online collaboration tool, eNEPA. It also highlights the use of the Red Book: Synchronizing Environmental Reviews for Transportation and Other Infrastructure Projects. That document encourages widespread adoption of concurrent review processes and supports more effective coordination among transportation, resource, and regulatory agencies. The approach is part of the fourth round of FHWA’s Every Day Counts initiative, a state-based effort to shorten the project delivery process. For more information, link to the February 2017 issue of the Successes in Stewardship newsletter. (2-14-17)

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President Issues Executive Order on High Priority Infrastructure Projects

The President has issued Executive Order 13766 to expedite environmental reviews and approvals for high priority infrastructure projects. The order identifies as high priority projects those intended to improve the electric grid and telecommunication systems and those that repair and upgrade critical port facilities, airports, pipelines, bridges and highways. The order allows governors and any executive department or agency to request high priority status and requires the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) to decide whether an infrastructure project qualifies as a high priority within 30 days of such requests. The order also allows the CEQ to make determinations on its own initiative, and the council must coordinate with the heads of the relevant agencies to establish expedited procedures and deadlines. For more information link to the executive order. (1-30-17)

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ARTBA Issues Project Delivery Recommendations for New Administration

The American Road and Transportation Builders Association has released recommendations for the incoming Trump administration concerning transportation project delivery. The group has identified federal regulatory programs under the Transportation Department, the Environmental Protection Agency, and other agencies that in its view impede project delivery. These include the measurement of greenhouse gas emissions from transportation projects, the consideration of greenhouse gases in environmental reviews, the Waters of the United States rule, the Social Cost of Carbon rule, the Buy America law, the Disadvantage Business Enterprise Program, geographic-based hiring preferences, project labor agreements, hours of service for motor carrier operators, corporate average fuel economy standards, and critical habitat designations for endangered species. For more information, link to the report. (1-13-17)

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Featured Case Study

  • Case Study Photo

    The Maine DOT adopts a programmatic approach to ensure vital protections for the endangered Atlantic salmon, while cutting project-approval times.

    Read Case Study >Photo: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

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AASHTO (American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials)
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