Summary: H.R.3129 — 99th Congress (1985-1986)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Passed Senate amended (09/24/1986)

(Measure passed Senate, amended, in lieu of S. 2405, roll call #288 (99-0))

Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1986 - Title I: Authorizes appropriations out of the Highway Trust Fund (other than the Mass Transit Account) for FY 1987 through 1990 for: (1) the Federal-aid Interstate-Primary program; (2) the Federal-aid Urban system; (3) the Federal-aid Secondary system; (4) bridge replacement and rehabilitation; (5) the Federal lands highway program; (6) the territorial highway program for the Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Marianas; (7) highway construction safety construction programs; (8) highway safety research and development; (9) certain hazards elimination projects; and (10) hazards elimination projects regarding railway-highway crossings.

Makes highway construction projects on any public road serving the area of a withdrawn Interstate route eligible as highway substitution projects. Authorizes the Secretary of Transportation (the Secretary) to approve until September 30, 1986, the withdrawal of any route which was under judicial injunction prohibiting its construction as of November 6, 1978. Makes substitution funds available in a State for two years.

Authorizes appropriations for highway substitution projects for FY 1987 through 1990. Authorizes the Secretary to adjust in September of 1986 and every subsequent September the last approved Interstate Substitute Cost Estimate to make apportionments for substitute highway projects and substitute transit projects on October 1 or as soon as practicable thereafter for fiscal years subsequent to FY 1986.

Directs the Secretary to reserve in a State's account until a disposition decision has been reached an amount equal to the Federal funds expended to purchase a right-of-way for a withdrawn Interstate route if the State has not disposed of such right-of-way upon the date of enactment of this Act.

States that upon repayment by a State of its right-of-way debt, such repayment shall be credited to the unprogrammed fund balance apportioned to such State, and shall then be available for expenditure in accordance with this Act.

Directs the Secretary to set aside funds from specified authorizations for the Strategic Highway Research Program.

Sets forth apportionment guidelines for FY 1987 through 1990 for: (1) the Federal-aid Interstate-Primary Program; (2) the Federal-aid Secondary System; and (3) the Federal-aid Urban System. Authorizes a State to transfer up to 50 percent of its apportionment between the Urban and Secondary Systems. Requires the approval of the affected local area officials before a State may transfer the allocations for an urbanized area of 200,000 or more population.

Authorizes the Secretary to waive competitive bidding on a reconstruction contract in an emergency situation.

Makes available for obligation for four years the sums apportioned for: (1) the Interstate Federal-aid Interstate-Primary Program; (2) the Federal-aid Secondary system; (3) the Federal-aid Urban system; and (4) bridge replacement and rehabilitation. Declares that apportioned amounts remaining unobligated at the end of four years shall lapse (except for the bridge rehabilitation apportionments, which shall be allocated by the Secretary as bridge discretionary funds).

States that funds made available to the State of Alaska may be expended for access and development roads on a Federal-aid system.

Prohibits the Secretary from reducing more than ten percent of a State's apportioned funds for its failure to: (1) adequately maintain the Interstate system; or (2) certify a maintenance program.

Prohibits the Federal share payable for the Primary system (other than the Interstate system) from exceeding 75 percent of construction costs. Allows certain Interstate routes to be improved at a 90 percent Federal share. States that the Federal share payable for a highway emergency relief project may be 100 percent for emergency repairs accomplished in the first 30 days after an occurrence.

Authorizes Federal funds to reimburse State costs for the relocation of utility facilities necessitated by a highway construction project, or by a State's highway safety improvement program.

Authorizes the expenditure of Federal emergency relief funds for: (1) the Virgin Islands; (2) Guam; (3) American Samoa; and (4) the Northern Mariana Islands. Sets a $5,000,000 obligation ceiling upon such funds during any fiscal year.

Revises the penalty provisions regarding violations of vehicle weight limitations on the Interstate System to provide that withheld funds will not lapse if they are subsequently released and obligated within the normal four-year availability period.

Revises the guidelines under which the Secretary of Transportation is authorized to permit Federal participation in the initial construction of State toll facilities, including ferry-boat facilities. Limits to 35 percent the Federal share payable for such facilities. Requires the appropriate State highway department to agree that toll revenues for such facilities will be used only for the costs of construction, reconstruction, or maintenance. Requires the operators of certain toll facilities on a Federal-aid system in a State to certify biennially to the State Governor that: (1) such facilities are adequately maintained; and (2) such operator can fund the replacement or repair of inadequately maintained facilities without using Federal-aid highway funds. Precludes Federal funding out of the Highway Trust Fund for failure to make such certification.

Precludes Federal funding out of the Highway Trust Fund for State toll facilities which have not been certified by State officials as: (1) being adequately maintained; and (2) having an operator able to fund inadequately-maintained facilities without the use of Federal-aid highway funds.

Requires each State to survey and identify all highway-railroad crossings needing separation, relocation, or protective devices. Requires that half of all authorized funds for such crossings be made available for installing protective devices. Requires each State to report annually to the Secretary and the Secretary to report annually to specified congressional committees on program progress.

Makes certain sums available for obligation for the Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP). Authorizes the Secretary to implement the SHRP in cooperation with State highway departments. Directs the Secretary to set standards for the use of funds to conduct research, development, and technology transfer activities determined to be strategically important to the national highway transportation system. Authorizes the Secretary to provide grants to and enter into cooperative agreements with State highway departments or the National Academy of Sciences to conduct such activities. Requires the Secretary to report annually to certain congressional committees regarding the progress and research findings of the SHRP.

Makes certain remedies against the United States applicable in any civil action against the National Academy of Sciences for injury or property loss arising from activities in connection with the Strategic Highway Research Program.

Credits certain State-financed off-system bridge replacement and rehabilitation projects towards the non-Federal share of the cost of other Federal-aid bridge projects.

Permits the States to use certain bridge replacement funds to construct any bridge which: (1) replaces any low-water crossing; (2) replaces any ferry in existence on January 1, 1984; and (3) replaces any bridge destroyed prior to 1960. States that the Federal share of such bridge construction cost shall be 80 percent.

Amends Federal law relating to outdoor advertising to authorize the Secretary to reduce Federal-aid highway funds up to five percent of what would otherwise be a State's apportionment if the Secretary determines that the State has not made provisions for the effective control of outdoor advertising along the Interstate and primary system. (Currently, a ten percent reduction of such apportionment is mandated.) Sets guidelines for: (1) the effective control of outdoor advertising by the States; (2) Federal participation in State costs incurred for sign acquisition and removal; and (3) outdoor signs on federally-owned public lands.

Repeals provisions for: (1) the Federal compensation of costs incurred in the removal of certain outdoor advertising; and (2) State retention of certain non-conforming directional signs.

Directs the Secretary to make a minimum allocation among the States so that a State's percentage of total apportionments shall be at least 85 percent of the percentage of estimated tax payments attributable to highway users in such State paid into the Highway Trust Fund. Adds total allocations as well as apportionments to the calculation of the 85 percent minimum funds. (Currently only apportioned programs are considered in the minimum allocation calculation.)

Establishes the Federal-Aid Interstate-Primary Program to bring all elements of the primary system up to certain Federal standards. Declares that such program shall consist of projects for the construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation, restoration, and resurfacing or improvement of the primary system and the Interstate system. Requires the Secretary to give priority consideration to: (1) completion of essential gaps on the Interstate System; and (2) rehabilitation of existing highway facilities.

Directs States to use for Federal-aid highway projects the net income received from the use, sale, or lease of right-of-way airspace acquired as a result of certain Federal highway programs.

Requires the designation of a territorial Federal-aid highway system in each territory.

Permits States to use Federal-aid highway funds earmarked for highway substitute projects for bicycle projects.

Authorizes States to use one and one-half percent of apportioned Interstate Highway Transfer funds for highway planning and research facilities.

Decreases from one-half of one percent to one-quarter of one percent the National Highway Institute funds available for expenditure by a State highway department for the education and training of State and local highway department employees. Requires the Secretary (who currently is merely authorized) to provide education and training of highway employees at no cost to State and local governments for those subject areas which are a Federal program responsibility.

Outlines the conditions under which real property may be donated by a person to a State or Federal agency.

Provides for: (1) crediting the fair market value of private right-of-way donations for highway projects to the State matching share when such donations are made to the State; and (2) revesting such property to the donor if it is not required after environmental assessments.

States that the fair market value of lands donated to the State of California for a State Route 73 relocation and construction project in Orange County shall first be credited toward payment of the non-Federal share of such project cost.

Prohibits States documents regarding safety enhancement of potential accident sites, road conditions, or rail-highway crossings from being either: (1) disclosed under the Freedom of Information Act; or (2) admitted into evidence in certain actions for damages.

Makes "Buy American" provisions applicable to projects whose total costs exceed $500,000.

Amends the General Bridge Act of 1906 to repeal Federal regulatory authority over bridge tolls.

Authorizes the preferential employment of Indians on construction projects and contracts effected on Indian reservation roads. Directs the Secretary to cooperate with Indian tribal governments and the States to implement such preferential employment.

Requires States to expend a minimum of ten percent of Federal-aid highway contracts with small businesses owned and controlled by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals. Prescribes guidelines for a disadvantaged business enterprise program.

Releases the State of Maryland from the requirement of accepting title to any road or portion thereof (such as the Baltimore-Washington Parkway) in return for Federal participation in improvements to such Parkway.

Authorizes appropriations for the upgrading of certain highways in the vicinity of the Waste Isolation Pilot Project (a nuclear waste storage repository in New Mexico).

Sets forth obligation limitations for Federal-aid highways and highway safety construction programs for FY 1987 through 1990.

Makes eligible for Federal-aid bridge funds costs incurred to mitigate harm to an historic bridge if the bridge remains part of the highway system. Requires States to identify historic bridges on the National Bridge Inventory. Requires the Transportation Research Board to review historic bridges and develop rehabilitation standards for such bridges.

Sets forth allocation guidelines for forest highways for FY 1987 through 1990.

Directs the Secretary to require the planting of native wildflowers for landscaping and scenic enhancement of Federal-aid highways.

Directs the Secretary to conduct a Combined Road Program Demonstration to test the feasibility of approaches for combining, streamlining, and increasing flexibility in the administration of the Federal-aid secondary, Federal-aid urban, and off-system urban and secondary bridge programs.

Makes the State of California eligible for Federal-aid emergency relief funds for the total amount of the 1986 California flood disaster.

Specifies priority construction projects to be implemented by the Secretary if requested to do so by a State highway department and if such projects are designated as part of a Federal-aid system. Requires the Secretary to approve from a State's apportionment the sums requested by a State highway department to implement such priority projects. Sets guidelines for the Federal share payable for such approved sums.

Directs the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission to enter into an agreement with the Secretary of Transportation (in conjunction with the State highway agencies of Pennsylvania and New Jersey) to repay Federal funds previously obligated for the Delaware Water Gap Bridge on Interstate 80.

Requires the Commission and such States to enter into an agreement with the Secretary of Transportation if the Commission and such States decide to operate an uncompleted bridge on Interstate 78 as a toll bridge.

Grants congressional consent to a supplemental agreement between Pennsylvania and New Jersey which: (1) grants the Delaware River Joint Toll Bridge Commission authority to collect tolls and revenues for the use of Commission facilities and to expend such revenues for existing non-toll bridges over the Delaware River between New Jersey and Pennsylvania; and (2) authorizes such States to construct a bridge across the Delaware River in the vicinity of Easton, Pennsylvania, and Phillipsburg, New Jersey.

Directs the Secretary to make arrangements with the Transportation Research Board (TRB) of the National Academy of Sciences to conduct a study of specified motor vehicle issues. Requires the TRB to report the study results to certain congressional committees. Authorizes appropriations.

Requires the Secretary to conduct a study of national highway-railroad crossing improvement and maintenance needs. Delineates the issues to be addressed by such study. Directs the Secretary to report such study results to certain congressional committees. Authorizes appropriations.

Directs the Secretary to conduct a public ferry boat service feasibility study in consultation with the highway departments of the States of Nebraska and South Dakota, and to report the results of such study to the Congress within one year after the date of enactment of this Act.

Sets forth guidelines under which the Secretary is authorized to approve (upon the joint request of the Governor of the State of Oregon and the local governments concerned) a substitute transit project for construction of a light rail transit system in lieu of certain interstate lanes.

Requests the Board of Engineers for Rivers and Harbors of the United States Army Corps of Engineers to review specified reports relating to the United States Route 13 Relief Route for the purpose of modifying an existing canal project to provide a new structure for the selected alignment of such relief route.

Expresses the sense of the Congress that States and local Governments should: (1) include damages to highways, equipment, and the environment when calculating the real cost of deicing materials; and (2) use calcium magnesium acetate as an alternative deicing material.

Requires the Secretary to report to the Congress regarding a highway feasibility study for a proposed route from Louisiana to Arkansas and Missouri.

Makes certain unobligated balances available for specified projects.

Permits Federal-aid highway funds for highways in States with a maximum speed limit exceeding 55 miles per hour if such highways are on the Interstate system located outside of an urbanized area of 50,000 population or more. Prohibits Federal-aid highway funds if the highways located on such Interstate system have a maximum speed limit exceeding 65 miles per hour. Makes certain parkway funds available to finance the cost of upgrading from two lanes to four lanes a highway providing access from Route 25 E through that portion of the Cumberland Gap National Historical Park which lies within the State of Virginia.

Sets guidelines under which the State matching share for the Calder Bridge Project across the St. Joe River in Idaho may be credited by the fair market value of land and construction.

Revises the guidelines under which the Secretary is authorized to pay to a State the Federal share of construction costs in cases in which such State has incurred such costs in advance of Federal apportionments.

Requires that the wages paid to laborers and mechanics employed under any contract or subcontract exceeding $250,000 for highway construction on the Federal-aid system be not less than the rates prevailing on the same type of work on similar construction in the immediate locality.

Directs the Secretary to approve construction of a certain Interstate highway in Hawaii.

Prohibits the use of appropriated funds to implement a certain heavy vehicle use tax.

Title II: Mass Transit - Amends the Urban Mass Transportation Act of 1964 to authorize appropriations for FY 1986 through 1990. Provides that grants for construction projects shall also be made available to finance the leasing of facilities and equipment for use in mass transportation service. Authorizes the Secretary to use certain funds to contract for the performance of project management oversight. Sets guidelines for such project management plan.

Title III: - Disaster Relief Amendments - Disaster Relief Act Amendments of 1986 - Amends the short title of the Disaster Relief Act of 1974 to read: "Major Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act." Repeals Title VIII of the Public Works and Economic Development Act of 1965 (relating to Federal aid for economic recovery after a major disaster).

Amends the Disaster Relief Act of 1974 to authorize the President to provide specified technical, advisory and emergency assistance to affected States and local governments when he determines that an emergency exists for which the primary responsibility for response rests with the United States because the emergency involves a subject area for which the United States exercises exclusive or preeminent responsibility and authority.

Requires as a condition of Federal assistance that any public facility and private nonprofit facility that is located in a special flood hazard area, or damaged by flooding and otherwise eligible for Federal assistance, be covered on the date of flood damage by reasonable and adequate flood insurance.

Requires providers of Federal assistance for major disasters or emergencies to assure that recipients of such assistance are not entitled to receive benefits for the same purposes from any other source. Makes such recipients liable to the United States to the extent of any duplicated benefits. States that Federal and State and local disaster assistance shall not be considered as income or a resource when determining eligibility for federally funded income assistance or resource tested benefit programs.

Imposes liability upon a party to the extent of damage and suffering attributable to an act or omission by such party which caused or contributed to the damage or hardship for which Federal assistance is provided. Authorizes the President to conduct audits and investigations regarding assistance provided under this Act.

Authorizes the President to advance 25 percent of its cost-share to a State which is unable to assume its financial responsibility of specified disaster-relief cost-sharing measures.

Sets forth Federal assistance guidelines for major disaster relief measures.

Title IV: Highway Revenue Act of 1986 - Highway Revenue Act of 1986 - Amends the Internal Revenue Code to: (1) extend from 1988 to 1992 certain Highway Fund taxes and related exemptions; and (2) reduce certain excise tax exemptions for qualified ethanol and methanol fuels.

Title V: Uniform Relocation Act Amendments of 1986 - Uniform Relocation Act Amendments of 1986 - Amends the Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act of 1970 to revise various definitions for purposes of such Act.

States that the moving and related expenses of a nonprofit organization or small business displaced because of Federal acquisition of real property shall be paid to the extent of actual reasonable expenses necessary to reestablish such entity at its new site (but not to exceed $10,000). Revises the limitations placed upon the payments which a displaced business or farm operation may elect to receive (from a minimum of $1,000 to a maximum of $20,000).

States that whenever a federally assisted project undertaken by a displacing agency other than a Federal agency will result in the displacement of a utility from property under the ownership or control of a State or local agency, the displacing agency shall provide a payment to the utility under State law (or according to contract provisions), but such payment shall not exceed the actual reasonable cost of relocation.

Increases the maximum amount of assistance that a displacing agency may provide to a displaced homeowner for replacement housing. Requires such assistance to include an amount necessary to: (1) meet the reasonable cost of a suitable replacement dwelling as defined in this Act; and (2) compensate the displaced person for any increased financing costs.

Authorizes a displacing agency to extend the one-year period, following payment for an acquired home, during which the displaced person must purchase and occupy a replacement dwelling in order to qualify for housing replacement payments, but limits such payments to the costs of relocating such person within that one-year period.

Increases from $4,000 to $4,500 the ceiling on the amount of rental housing replacement assistance provided to displaced tenants.

Revises the formula used to pay for replacement housing for tenants and certain others by using the median income of the affected area to calculate such payments. Provides that certain displaced homeowners may elect to receive Federal, State or local low income housing assistance in lieu of payments for replacement housing.

Specifies conditions under which the displacing agency may meet its requirement to provide suitable replacement housing by providing low income housing assistance if the recipients are persons eligible for such low income housing assistance. Permits eligible displaced tenants to apply such rental assistance toward the downpayment on a decent, safe, and sanitary replacement dwelling.

Requires that all relocation assistance advisory programs: (1) provide information on suitable locations for displaced farming (and business) operations; and (2) assure that no person is required to move before being given a reasonable choice of comparable replacement dwellings.

Provides for the designation of a single, cognizant Federal agency to establish procedures to be used by a non-Federal displacing agency to implement related activities funded by two or more Federal agencies.

Directs the lead agency to require that a displacing agency use project funds to provide dwellings for displaced persons in excess of housing replacement assistance ceilings only on a case-by-case basis and for good cause (if the project would be delayed because suitable housing is not otherwise available).

Permits a Federal agency to discharge its responsibilities by accepting the certification by a State agency that it will implement State law to carry out the Federal relocation assistance program, provided that the lead agency determines that such State law will accomplish the purpose and effect of the Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act of 1970. Requires the head of such agency, prior to accepting certification, to provide interested parties with an opportunity for public review and comment, and to consult with interested local governments.

Directs the head of the lead agency to monitor and report biennially to the Congress on State agency implementation of such certification. Permits an agency to withdraw acceptance of a certification after providing the State government with notice. Permits a Federal agency to withhold approval of any grant, contract, or cooperative agreement with any displacing agency found to have failed to comply with certification of State law.

Provides that any payment a displaced person receives under State law shall replace a housing replacement or real property acquisition payment for substantially the same purpose under the Uniform Relocation Assistance and Real Property Acquisition Policies Act of 1970.

Requires the head of the lead agency to: (1) promulgate rules to carry out such Act; (2) coordinate relocation assistance activities with Federal and federally-financed low-income housing programs; (3) monitor the implementation of such Act; and (4) perform such other duties as necessary.

Declares low-income housing assistance as income for purposes of determining eligibility for assistance under the Social Security Act or any other Federal law.

Requires a State agency to pay the United States all net amounts (currently all amounts) received from the sale of surplus Federal property transferred to the agency for the purpose of providing replacement housing.

Repeals the authority of any displacing agency to make loans to various organizations for planning and obtaining federally-insured mortgage financing for housing for displaced persons. Authorizes the lead agency to prescribe a procedure under which Federal agencies may acquire real property without having it appraised.

Permits a displaced person to donate to the acquiring agency the real property being acquired or any of the compensation paid for such property.

Sets forth effective dates of specified provisions of this Act.