Summary: H.R.6233 — 109th Congress (2005-2006)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Passed House without amendment (09/29/2006)

(This measure has not been amended since it was introduced. The summary has been expanded because action occurred on the measure.)

Title I: Highway Provisions - (Sec. 101) Amends the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users or SAFETEA-LU to make certain technical corrections to the surface transportation program, including earmarking of public lands highway funds for forest roads, defining "transportation systems management and operations," replacing "federal-aid system" with "federal-aid highways," and authorizing a state to expend unused funds for installation of protective devices at railway-highway crossings on highway safety improvement program projects.

Amends the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 to revise the designation of Interstate Route 376 as a high priority corridor on the National Highway System (NHS) to exclude the U.S. Route 422 segment from such designation.

Authorizes an Indian tribe to nominate a road as an All-American Road or one of America's Byways (current law, can nominate a road as a National Scenic Byway) only if a federal land management agency (other than the Bureau of Indian Affairs), a state, or a political subdivision of a state does not have jurisdiction over, or responsibility for managing, the road. Makes safety improvements to America's Byways eligible for federal-aid highway assistance.

Revises provisions that rescind certain unobligated balances of funds apportioned to states prior to September 30, 2009, to include unobligated balances of funds for equity bonus, railway-highway crossings, and separately the set aside for the high risk rural road program.

(Sec. 102) Increases funding for deployment of magnetic levitation (MAGLEV) projects through FY2009.

(Sec. 103) Changes the item descriptions of national and regional significance projects from: (1) improvements to I-80, Monroe County, Pennsylvania, to the redesign and reconstruction of interchanges 298 and 299 of I-80, Monroe County, Pennsylvania, and accompanying improvements to any other public roads in the vicinity; and (2) I-80 improvements, Indiana, to improvements to state road 312, Hammond, Indiana.

(Sec. 105) Makes changes to the item descriptions of specified high priority project authorizations, including certain project authorization increases and decreases. Authorizes an amount for a high priority project to repair and restore a railroad bridge in Westerly, Rhode Island.

Directs the Secretary of Transportation to transfer to the Commandant of the Coast Guard amounts made available for the replacement of the Galveston Causeway Railroad Bridge in Galveston, Texas, in order to carry out such project. Sets forth requirements for the use of unused obligation authority, or authorized funding that was reduced, for high priority projects.

Authorizes a state to expend for each of the 2007-2009 fiscal years not more than $1 million of its apportionment of surface transportation funds for certain fuel tax activities, including participation in the Joint Operation Center for Fuel Compliance (JOC).

(Sec. 106) Revises the nonmotorized transportation pilot program to require the construction of a network of nonmotorized transportation infrastructure facilities in Minneapolis, Minnesota, (current law, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota) and in other specified communities.

(Sec. 107) Revises the description of the designation of a portion of U.S. Route 271 as part of the National Highway System to include the portion from Interstate Route 540, west to the intersection with U.S. Route 59, and northwest to the intersection with Interstate Route 40, Sallisaw, Oklahoma.

(Sec. 108) Changes to December 31, 2007, the date the National Surface Transportation Policy and Revenue Study Commission must submit a certain report to Congress. Directs the Secretary of Transportation (currently, the Administrator of the Federal Highway Administration), upon request of the Commission, to provide, on a nonreimbursable basis, administrative support and services to the Commission. Authorizes the Secretary, on the request of the Commission, to detail, on a nonreimbursable basis, Department of Transportation (DOT) personnel to the Commission.

Increases the authorization of appropriations from the Highway Trust Fund (HTF) (other than the Mass Transit Account) for FY2007 for Commission activities regarding the future needs of the surface transportation system.

(Sec. 109) Revises certain provisions expressing the sense of the Congress to state that the Federal Highway Administration's current application of the Buy American test to only the components or parts of a bridge project and not the entire bridge project is inconsistent with the sense of Congress.

(Sec. 110) Revises the item descriptions to specified transportation improvement projects, including allocating an amount from the HTF (other than the Mass Transit Account) through FY2009 for village road improvements for Saole county in the Eastern district of American Samoa. Sets forth additional transportation improvement projects.

(Sec. 111) Requires the deduction of a specified amount from state federal-aid highway apportionments for the future strategic highway research program.

Increases the funding for university transportation research through FY2009. Sets the federal share of surface transportation research and technology development projects, long-term bridge performance program projects (including innovative bridge research and deployment program projects), and national technology deployment program projects at 80%.

Eliminates a requirement that the future strategic highway research program be based on certain program elements.

Earmarks an amount of surface transportation research, development, and deployment program funds for FY2007-FY2009 for: (1) a certain infrastructure investment needs report to Congress; and (2) the Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center.

Amends federal transportation law to revise provisions to require the Secretary of Transportation to expend not more than 1.5% of amounts for grants to establish and operate university transportation centers for management and oversight of such centers through FY2009.

(Sec. 112) Increases the rescission of unobligated balances of funds apportioned prior to September 30, 2009, for certain surface transportation programs.

(Sec. 113) Amends the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century to authorize through FY2009 up to 15% of surface transportation program funds to be obligated on roads functionally classified as minor collectors in areas of less than 5,000 population.

Revises the item descriptions of high priority projects to: (1) replace the construct access road from Lake Avenue to Milestrip Road in Blasdell, New York with the design and construction of scenic overlook and pedestrian-bicycle trail along Route 5 in the Town of Hamburg, New York; (2) replace the construct Lawrenceville Industrial Access Road, Pennsylvania, with improvements for Heth's Run Bridge and other transportation projects eligible under Title 23 of the United States Code, in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, as identified by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania; (3) replace construct grade separated interchange at south junction of TH 371/Brainerd bypass, Minnesota, with the 34th St. Alignment and Interchange and other transportation improvements for city of Moorhead SE MAIN GSI, 34th St., and I-94 Interchange, including reconstruction and retention of the SE Main Avenue Ramps at I-94, and Moorhead Comprehensive Rail Safety Program in Moorhead, Minnesota; (4) replace the construct and/or reconstruct intermodal transportation and maintenance facility in Union City in order to replace the NJ Transit depot project with the construct and/or reconstruct intermodal Hoboken Terminal improvements project, in New Jersey; (5) include planning and construction to Heisley Road, in Mentor, Ohio, with respect to streetscaping, bicycle trails, and related improvements to the I-90/SR 615 Interchange, in Mentor, Ohio; (6) include projects for street improvements to Maple Avenue in Smithtown, street improvements in Southampton and for County Road 39 in Suffolk County, and street improvements and scenic byway construction in East Hampton, New York, with respect to the project to construct Eastern Long Island Scenic Byway in Suffolk County, New York; and (7) include improvements to streets and roads providing access to State Route 28, Aspinwall, Pennsylvania, with respect to the construction of noise barriers along such route.

(Sec. 114) Amends the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 to revise the designation of: (1) the Liberty Corridor, New Jersey, as a high priority corridor on the NHS to include U.S. Routes 1, 9, and 46, and State Routes 3 and 17; and (2) the corridor in an area of passage in the State of New Jersey serving significant interstate and regional traffic, located near the cities of Camden, New Jersey, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, as a high priority corridor on the NHS to include State Route 42 and Interstate Route 76.

(Sec. 115) Amends federal highway law to revise the term "repeat intoxicated driver law" to mean a state law that provides, as a minimum penalty, that an individual convicted of a second or subsequent offense for driving while intoxicated or driving under the influence after a previous conviction for that offense shall, among other things, receive: (1) a driver's license suspension for not less than one year (current law); or (2) a combination of suspension of all driving privileges for the first 45 days of the suspension period followed by a reinstatement of limited driving privileges for the purpose of getting to and from work, school, or an alcohol treatment program if an ignition interlock device is installed on the motor vehicles owned or operated, or both, by the individual.

(Sec. 116) Amends federal transportation law to increase the grant for FY2009 to establish a regional university transportation center.

Title II: Transit Provisions - (Sec. 201) Amends federal transportation law to exclude sightseeing from the term "public transportation."

Replaces "mass transportation" with "public transportation."

Makes specified allocations for fixed guideway modernization through FY2009.

Increases the total obligation ceiling for FY2008 for the Mass Transit Account.

Makes specified changes to: (1) certain project authorizations for new fixed guideway capital projects; (2) certain projects for bus and bus-related facilities; and (3) the hydrogen fuel cell shuttle deployment demonstration program.

Title III: Other Provisions - (Sec. 301) Authorizes fees collected under the Unified Carrier Registration System to be credited to the Department of Transportation (DOT) appropriations account and remain available until expended.

Declares it to be an unreasonable burden upon interstate commerce for any state or any political subdivision of a state, or any political authority of two or more states to require an interstate motor carrier or motor private carrier that also performs intrastate operations to pay any fee or tax from which a carrier engaged exclusively in intrastate (current law, interstate) operations is exempt.

Extends the termination date of certain state motor carrier registration requirements.

Allows a state to continue to require a motor carrier, motor private carrier, freight forwarder, or leasing company to display identifying credentials on or in a commercial vehicle (other than as required by federal law) under the International Fuel Tax Agreement (current law) or under an applicable state law if, on October 1, 2006, the state has a form of highway use taxation not subject to collection through the Agreement.

(Sec. 303) Amends federal highway law to set, effective October 1, 2006, the minimum apportionment of federal funds to a state for highway safety programs at not less than three-quarters of 1%. (Current law requires not less than one-half of 1%.)