Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Passed House amended (09/29/1994)


Title I: National Highway System Designation and Other


Title II: Technical Corrections to ISTEA and Related Laws

National Highway System Designation Act of 1994 - Title I: National Highway System Designation and Other Provisions - Designates the National Highway System (NHS) as submitted by the Secretary of Transportation. Authorizes the Secretary to submit for approval to specified congressional committees proposed modifications to the NHS. Specifies that a modification may only take effect if a law has been enacted approving such modification.

Requires the Secretary to submit proposed modifications, including a list and description of additions to the NHS consisting of: (1) connections to major ports, airports, international border crossings, public transportation and transit facilities, interstate bus terminals, rail, and other intermodal transportation facilities; and (2) any Congressional High Priority Corridor or any segment thereof established by the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (ISTEA) which was not identified on the designated NHS, subject to the completion of feasibility studies.

Directs the Secretary to submit to the Congress a proposal for a comprehensive National Transportation System using the NHS as the backbone for establishing such System.

(Sec. 102) Freezes funding allocations under the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program at the FY 1994 levels for the remaining three years of ISTEA.

Authorizes a State to obligate funds apportioned to it for such programs only for specified transportation projects or programs determined by the Secretary to be likely to contribute to the attainment of a national ambient air quality standard (as under current law) or maintenance, subject to specified requirements.

(Sec. 103) Directs the Secretary to establish a program to require States to conduct an analysis of the life-cycle costs of, and carry out a value engineering analysis for, all projects on the NHS.

Requires the Secretary to permit a State highway department, in accordance with standards developed by the Secretary, to include a clause in a contract for the construction of any Federal-aid highway project requiring the contract to warrant the materials and work performed.

(Sec. 104) Requires that: (1) contracts or subcontracts for engineering and design services be performed and audited in compliance with cost principles contained in Federal acquisition regulations; and (2) the recipients of Federal funds accept indirect cost rates established in accordance with such regulations for one year applicable accounting periods by a Government agency or independent certified public accountant if such rates are not currently under dispute.

Makes such provisions inapplicable if a State adopts by statute an alternative process intended to promote engineering and design quality and ensure maximum competition by professional companies of all sizes providing engineering and design services.

Repeals the pilot program for uniform audit procedures under ISTEA.

(Sec. 105) Directs the Secretary to carry out education, research, development, and technology transfer activities to promote the safe operation and maintenance of commercial motor vehicles in interstate commerce, by making grants to and entering cooperative agreements with: (1) a not-for-profit membership organization that has been engaged exclusively in truck-related research and education since 1985; and (2) not-for-profit organizations engaged in commercial motor vehicle safety research.

(Sec. 106) Repeals a provision of the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956 prohibiting the amount of certain costs from including the portion of the project between High Street and Causeway Street (thus making such section of the Boston Central Artery eligible for Interstate Construction funds).

(Sec. 107) Revises ISTEA provisions regarding the Wisconsin substitute project to provide that, upon approval of a substitute project or projects (project): (1) the costs of construction of the eligible transitway project for which such project is substituted shall not be eligible for specified authorized funds under the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956; and (2) a sum equal to the amount that would have been apportioned to the State of Wisconsin on October 1, 1994, under Federal highway provisions if the Secretary had not approved such project shall be available to the Secretary from the Highway Trust Fund (HTF) to incur obligations for the Federal share of the costs of such substitute project.

Amends the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1956 to reduce the interstate construction authorization by a specified amount made available under ISTEA for the FY ending September 30, 1996.

(Sec. 108) Amends ISTEA to require that: (1) technology transfer activities and training programs with respect to the use of recycled paving material be initiated without delay and include all eligible uses of recycled rubber, alternative applications, and other materials, focusing on achieving the best performance results for all eligible uses; and (2) each State annually certify its progress in its waste tire abatement program.

Sets forth provisions regarding: (1) placing apportionments withheld from a State by the Secretary in escrow pending satisfaction of minimum utilization requirements; (2) a sunset provision for availability of such apportionments; and (3) exemption from certain requirements where a State has implemented a documented waste tire abatement program that will result in the elimination of tire stockpiles by 1997.

Authorizes a State for any year to meet up to half of the minimum utilization requirement by using an equivalent amount of recycled rubber for alternative applications, other than making asphalt pavement, if the State certifies that such alternative application does not present a threat to safety, human health, or the environment and it is demonstrated that such applications provide equal or enhanced engineering benefits. Directs the Secretary to issue guidelines regarding compliance with alternative applications.

(Sec. 109) Directs the Secretary to: (1) annually review, and provide to State and local governments, information and recommendations concerning safety practices that can enhance safety at highway construction sites; and (2) develop within the program a process for assuring that for each project there will be a person trained and certified with responsibility and authority for assuring that the provisions of the traffic control plan and other safety aspects of the work zone are effectively administered.

(Sec. 110) Authorizes the Secretary to carry out specified construction and reconstruction projects in Minnesota and Pennsylvania.

Authorizes specified sums to be appropriated out of the HTF for FY 1995 for such projects. Sets forth provisions regarding the Federal share of project costs, delegation of responsibility for construction to States, and advance construction.

(Sec. 111) Rescinds specified unobligated balances on September 30, 1994, effective October 1, 1994.

(Sec. 112) Authorizes the Secretary to carry out, and authorizes sums to be appropriated for FY 1995 through 1997 for, 268 specified listed projects in various States. Sets forth provisions regarding allocation percentages for HTF funds, an appropriations cap, the Federal share of costs, delegation of construction responsibility to the States, and advance construction.

(Sec. 113) Directs the Secretary to conduct a research study to develop and evaluate radio and microwave technology for furtherance of safety in commercial and other motor vehicles, including development of equipment directed toward warning drivers of highway obstructions or limited visibility conditions caused by snow, rain, fog, or dust.

(Sec. 114) Authorizes appropriations for the Secretary to enter into an agreement to make a line of credit available to the public entity or entities with the statutory authority to construct public toll roads in Orange County, California, subject to specified limitations.

(Sec. 115) Makes specified funds available for costs of a project to reduce rail-highway conflicts on M-59 near Pontiac, Michigan, and a project on Bristol Road near Flint, Michigan, and to improve and upgrade Maple Road at Bishop Airport, Michigan.

(Sec. 116) Directs the Secretary to: (1) require, as a matter of the highest priority, completion of all remaining studies associated with a project authorized by the Surface Transportation and Uniform Relocation Assistance Act of 1987, to construct the New River Parkway, West Virginia; and (2) make grants to the Secretary of the Interior for the planning, design, and construction of a visitors center and related facilities to facilitate visitor understanding and enjoyment of resources accessible by such parkway. Makes specified sums available for such purposes.

(Sec. 117) Revises the National Recreational Trails Program. Makes a State eligible to receive moneys under the program only if the State agrees to provide 20 percent of program costs in the sixth year of the program.

Prohibits the use of more than three percent of the expenditures annually from the National Recreational Trails Trust Fund to pay to the Secretary certain administrative costs, including the cost of contracting for services with other land management agencies, except with respect to cost of conducting a one-time national survey.

Permits a State to apply to the Secretary for an exemption from requirements for distribution of Federal Trails Program funds between motorized and non-motorized uses. Authorizes appropriations.

(Sec. 118) Directs the Secretary to make grants to the State of West Virginia for the purpose of erecting signs or other informational devices depicting the coal heritage of southern West Virginia along specified public roads.

(Sec. 119) Amends the Federal Transit Act to provide that transit operators providing service in urbanized areas with populations under 200,000 shall not be subject to a limitation on their formula apportionment which may be used for operating assistance.

(Sec. 120) Revises provisions regarding amounts that States must expend on intercity bus transportation. Permits the purchase of accessibility devices. Requires the Secretary to make to operators of intercity bus transportation systems specified capital grants to support such systems, including the purchase of accessibility devices. Specifies that the Federal grant for the project shall be 80 percent of the net project cost, but 90 percent for accessibility devices.

(Sec. 121) Repeals previous authorizations for the Long Beach Metro Link Fixed Rail Project and the Honolulu Rapid Transit Project.

(Sec. 122) Converts previous ISTEA transit authorizations to lump-sum, no-year authorizations. Authorizes funding for various listed projects around the country under ISTEA and the Federal Transit Act.

(Sec. 124) Prohibits the Secretary, before September 30, 1997, from requiring the States to expend any Federal or State funds for the placement or modification of any highway sign relating to any speed limit, distance or other measurement using the metric system.

(Sec. 129) Directs the Secretary to conduct a study of: (1) how the existing Federal-aid highway and transit funding is utilized by States and metropolitan planning organizations to address transportation needs; and (2) methods to reduce accidents on Federal-aid highways caused by drivers falling asleep while operating a commercial motor vehicle used to transport freight.

Title II: Technical Corrections to ISTEA and Related Laws - Revises and makes various technical corrections to ISTEA and related laws. Changes the name of the Interstate and Defense Highway System to the Dwight D. Eisenhower System of Interstate and Defense Highways.

(Sec. 215) Provides that the Federal share of the costs of projects financed by metropolitan planning funds shall be 80 percent unless the Secretary determines that the interest of the Federal-aid highway program would best be served by decreasing or eliminating the non-Federal share of such costs.

(Sec. 220) Exempts certain specialized hauling vehicles operating on the 104-mile portion of Wisconsin State Route 78 and U.S. Route 51 between I-94 near Portage, Wisconsin, and Wisconsin State Route 29 south of Wausau, Wisconsin, from specified vehicle weight limitations upon inclusion of the route as part of the Interstate System.

Requires the Secretary to review Federal and State commercial motor vehicle weight limitations applicable to Federal-aid highways in Ohio. Grants the Secretary authority to waive such limitations when in the public interest. Bars the Secretary from withholding funds resulting from non-compliance until the Secretary makes a determination relating to the public interest.

(Sec. 221) Directs that toll revenues received from the operation of toll facilities be used for: (1) financing and other obligations, such as reserves; (2) reasonable return to investors; and (3) proper operation and maintenance of the toll facility.

Grants the States authority to establish the rate of interest for loans provided to public entities for the construction of toll facilities. Limits the term of such a loan to 30 years, beginning with the date of the initial funding of the loan.

(Sec. 223) Permits the designated transportation authority of a State to provide to the Secretary the quarterly certifications that the State will meet all the requirements of the surface transportation program and to notify the Secretary of the amount of obligations expected to be incurred for such programs during the quarter.

(Sec. 224) Requires metropolitan planning organizations to consider travel and tourism, the revitalization of the urban core, and methods to enhance the efficient movement of passengers in developing transportation plans and programs.

(Sec. 230) Prohibits the Secretary from developing new criteria for the apportionment of funds for the bridge rehabilitation and replacement program until September 30, 1997, or until the existing apportionment formula is changed by law.

(Sec. 234) Subjects any State that fails to enforce speed limits in accordance with statutory and regulatory requirements to the transfer of its apportionments to States in compliance. Requires that, except when waived by the Secretary for specified reasons, any State subject to the transfer obligate at least half of the transferred funds for speed limit enforcement and public information and education.

(Sec. 235) Repeals the limitation on funds made available for planning purposes under the minimum allocation program.

(Sec. 238) Revises the reimbursement program for segments of the Interstate System constructed without Federal assistance to include Puerto Rico.

(Sec. 239) Sets forth provisions regarding the allocation of funds for the Federal lands highway program, including Indian reservation roads planning and projects and set-aside for administrative expenses of Indian tribes.

(Sec. 240) Provides that, where a pedestrian walkway or bicycle transportation facility is required to be included along a highway project for new construction or reconstruction under a State's transportation improvement plan, the Secretary may not approve such project without such walkway or facility, with exceptions.

(Sec. 248) Permits the Secretary to waive the requirement that a State have a program for roadside sobriety checkpoints if the State: (1) certifies that the State's highest court has issued a decision that such a requirement would constitute a violation of that State's constitution; and (2) can demonstrate that, in the three most recent calendar years, the alcohol fatal crash involvement rate in the State has decreased and that such rate in the State has been lower than the average such rate in all States in each of such calendar years.

(Sec. 262) Amends the Surface Transportation and Uniform Relocation Assistance Act of 1987 to reallocate funds authorized for the Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport, California, project, to provide for the preparation of a feasibility study and conducting preliminary engineering and design, and for construction of a transportation link between the airport and a commuter rail system.

(Sec. 263) Limits the use of Federal-aid funds authorized under the Federal-aid highway and Federal transit programs for freeway services patrols to privately owned or privately operated business concerns, with exceptions.

(Sec. 264) Directs the Secretary to conduct a study on the adequacy of, and the need for improvements to, the Pan American Highway.

(Sec. 265) Amends the Federal Transit Act with respect to various Federal transit programs. Adds recreational travel and tourism to the metropolitan planning process. Specifies that the hiring of law enforcement or security personnel is an eligible expense under the transit security program. Increases the Federal share of costs for transit capital projects relative to the existence of certain large areas of Indian and public domain lands and national forests, parks, and monuments within the State in which the project will be built.

(Sec. 284) Revises provisions relating to Intelligent Vehicle-Highway Systems (IVHS) to provide that: (1) certain grants made available under ISTEA may not require a non-Federal share; and (2) recipients of grants under the Intelligent Vehicle-Highway Systems Act of 1991 shall not be subject to other Federal requirements solely by reason of receiving the IVHS grant.

(Sec. 289) Adds four members to the National Commission on Intermodal Transportation.