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                                                      Calendar No. 1050
110th Congress                                                   Report
                                 SENATE
 2d Session                                                     110-482

======================================================================



 
   NATIONAL HIGHWAY BRIDGE RECONSTRUCTION AND INSPECTION ACT OF 2008

                                _______
                                

               September 23, 2008.--Ordered to be printed

                                _______
                                

    Mrs. Boxer, from the Committee on Environment and Public Works, 
                        submitted the following

                              R E P O R T

                             together with

                            ADDITIONAL VIEWS

                        [To accompany H.R. 3999]

      [Including cost estimate of the Congressional Budget Office]

    The Committee on Environment and Public Works, to which was 
referred a bill (H.R. 3999) to amend title 23, United States 
Code, to improve the safety of Federal-aid highway bridges, to 
strengthen bridge inspection standards and processes, to 
increase investment in the reconstruction of structurally 
deficient bridges on the National Highway System, and for other 
purposes, having considered the same, reports favorably thereon 
and recommends that the bill do pass.

                Purposes and Summary of the Legislation

    H.R. 3999, the ``National Highway Bridge Reconstruction and 
Inspection Act of 2008,'' amends the Highway Bridge Program and 
the National Bridge Inspection Program in an effort to improve 
the safety of Federal aid highway bridges. It would change 
bridge inspection standards and processes, and authorize $1 
billion for the reconstruction of structurally deficient 
bridges on the National Highway System. An identical bill, S. 
3338, was introduced by Senator Klobuchar and also referred to 
the Committee on Environment and Public Works.

                    General Statement and Background


                       HIGHWAY BRIDGE CONDITIONS

    Public attention was focused on the issue of bridge safety 
after 13 people died in the August 1, 2007 collapse of the I-
35W Bridge across the Mississippi River in Minneapolis, 
Minnesota. The bridge was known to be structurally deficient 
since 1990, and was inspected annually by the Minnesota 
Department of Transportation since 1993. The National 
Transportation Safety Board has not yet released its findings 
on what caused the collapse.
    Of the total of almost 600,000 bridges in the National 
Bridge Inventory, 72,524 (about 12%) are structurally deficient 
and 79,792 (about 13%) are functionally obsolete. Of the 
National Highway System's 116,145 bridges, 6,160 (about 5%) are 
structurally deficient--a reduction of almost 40% since 1997 
when 9,930 of such bridges were structurally deficient. 
Approximately 26% of the total bridges were built 35-50 years 
ago, many of them designed for only 50 years of service. With 
age and changes in traffic demands comes deterioration and 
obsolescence. Since 1994, the percentage of the Nation's 
bridges that are classified as ``structurally deficient'' has 
declined from 19.4 percent to 12.4 percent. Although this is 
significant improvement, the overall number of deficient 
bridges is still of substantial concern.
    SAFETEA-LU provided a total of $21.6 billion, with an 
average of $4.3 billion per year for the Highway Bridge 
Program. According to the latest available needs analysis by 
FHWA, the maximum economic level of investment is up to $12.4 
billion per year over the next 20 years (by all units of 
government). If $8.7 billion were invested per year over the 
next 20 years in the most cost-effective manner, the current 
quality of bridges overall would remain the same. Total capital 
outlay on bridges by all units of government in 2004 (the 
latest available figure) from all sources was $10.5 billion. If 
one were to project forward the last ten year improvement rate, 
it would take 46 years to replace or repair all deficient 
bridges. The current capital investment by all levels of 
government on highways, excluding bridges, was a combined $26 
billion in 2004. This level of investment is 63 percent below 
the $70.1 billion annual investment needed to maintain our 
highways according to FHWA. The maximum efficient investment by 
all levels of government is $119.3 billion--almost 5 times 
current spending.

                    FEDERAL HIGHWAY BRIDGE PROGRAMS

    Inventory and inspection requirements have been 
incorporated into Federal law to encourage good practice by 
bridge owners. The Federal government uses a standardized set 
of factors such as square footage and cost for fixing or 
replacing worn out or inadequate structures in order to 
distribute federal funds. These factors were designed to 
reflect relative need.
    Following the August 2007 collapse of the I-35W bridge in 
Minneapolis, Senators Barbara Boxer and James Inhofe, Chairman 
and Ranking Member of the Committee on Environment and Public 
Works, along with Senators Carl Levin and Norm Coleman, 
Chairman and Ranking Member of the Permanent Subcommittee on 
Investigations Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental 
Affairs asked the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to 
examine the Highway Bridge Program, the primary source of 
Federal funding for bridges nationwide. The GAO report, 
entitled ``Highway Bridge Program: Clearer Goals and 
Performance Measures Needed for a More Focused and Sustainable 
Program'', recommended that specific bridge program goals that 
are in the national interest be identified, performance 
measures be developed, and that best tools and practices be 
adopted.
    H.R. 3999 would require States to develop risk-based 
criteria for replacing or rehabilitating their bridges and 
performance plans. It would also require FHWA to establish a 
process for assigning risk-based priorities.
    The Committee is opposed to an approach that would simply 
require States to address bridges in the worst physical 
condition first. Other factors should be considered, including 
systematic preventative maintenance, relative importance within 
the system, a State's long-range transportation plan and 
overall asset management plan, and the most cost beneficial 
improvements. Furthermore, the Committee believes important 
State-specific needs, such as seismic retrofitting, are 
critical considerations when making decisions regarding bridge 
investments. The Committee stands ready to clarify this further 
if it becomes necessary.

                      BRIDGE INSPECTION PRACTICES

    Bridges are rated as part of the inspection process, with 
the information transmitted to the FHWA. The sufficiency rating 
that is produced establishes eligibility for fixing or 
replacing the structure but alone is a poor tool for 
determining priority. By regulation, inspection procedures, 
standards, frequency and inspector qualifications have been 
adopted. States must meet the minimums but are influenced by 
competing demands for operational funds.
    Currently, most bridges are inspected every 24 months but 
some bridges can be inspected every 48 months, and some bridges 
are inspected at intervals that are less than 24 months. 
Further, load ratings are not being kept up to date, even in 
connection with inspections. A DOT Office of Inspector General 
report from 2006 found that the load rating for 1 in 10 of the 
structurally deficient bridges on the National Highway System 
was inaccurate, calculations were not conducted properly in 10% 
of bridges, and signs were not posted on 7.8% of bridges where 
the ratings said that it would be required.

                      Section-by-Section Analysis


Section 1. Short title

    Section 1 designates the short title of the bill as the 
``National Highway Bridge Reconstruction and Inspection Act of 
2008''.

Section 2. Highway Bridge Program

    Section 2 establishes a process by which bridge priorities 
are set and approved for eligibility under the Highway Bridge 
Program. It also establishes additional requirements for taking 
an inventory of bridges in accordance with that process. This 
section requires the Secretary to consult with the States 
during the development of the risk-based prioritization 
process. The Committee believes that the bridge program should 
continue to allow and not be biased against bridge improvements 
such as seismic retrofitting, which is an eligible use of 
bridge funds and a top priority in some States.
    Subsection (a)(1) of section 2 amends section 144(b) of 
title 23, United States Code, to direct the Secretary of 
Transportation, in consultation with the States, to inventory 
all bridges on Federal-aid highways and bridges on other public 
roads, identify each bridge inventoried that is either 
structurally deficient or functionally obsolete, assign a risk-
based priority for replacement or rehabilitation of each such 
bridge after consideration of safety, serviceability, and 
essentiality for public use, including the potential impacts to 
emergency evacuation routes and to regional and national 
freight and passenger mobility if the serviceability of the 
bridge is restricted or diminished, and determine the cost of 
replacing each such bridge with a comparable facility or of 
rehabilitating such bridge.
    Subsection (a)(1) also includes a provision stating that, 
at the request of a State the Secretary may also inventory 
bridges for historic significance. As well as a provision 
requiring the Secretary in consultation with the Secretary of 
the Interior to inventory Indian Reservation and Park Bridges, 
identify each bridge inventoried that is either structurally 
deficient or functionally obsolete, assign a risk-based 
priority for replacement or rehabilitation of each such bridge 
after consideration of safety, serviceability, and essentiality 
for public use, including the potential impacts to emergency 
evacuation routes and to regional and national freight and 
passenger mobility if the serviceability of the bridge is 
restricted or diminished, and determine the cost of replacing 
each such bridge with a comparable facility or of 
rehabilitating such bridge.
    Subsection (a)(2) requires the Secretary of Transportation 
to establish a process for assigning risk-based priorities not 
later than 18 months after the date of enactment, reporting to 
the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of the House 
of Representatives and the Committee on Environment and Public 
Works of the Senate on the process for assigning risk-based 
priorities.
    Factors such as the dispersion of transport facilities, the 
presence of alternative routes, risk associated with the 
presence of earthquake faults, and reliance for critical 
regional and national trade and defense movements should be 
reflected in the consideration of priorities and thus risk. 
Activities such as seismic retrofitting are eligible uses of 
bridge funds and should continue to be allowed and encouraged 
under a risk-based system.
    The risk-based priorities system should be designed so that 
State performance plans can be tailored to accommodate these 
realities. Funds are authorized to be appropriated for an 
independent review of this process by the National Academy of 
Sciences, to be completed within 2 years of enactment.
    Subsection (b) defines the term ``deficient bridge'' as a 
bridge that is structurally deficient or functionally obsolete.
    Subsection (c) sets new timelines for bridge inspections 
and load rating calculations required for participation in the 
Highway Bridge Program. States must inspect all highway bridges 
every 24 months in accordance with bridge inspection standards 
established under section 151 of title 23, United States Code. 
States must provide updated information on these bridges to 
FHWA for inclusion in the National Bridge Inventory. Within 24 
months and every 24 months thereafter, States must calculate 
the load rating for structurally deficient bridges and ensure 
that the safe load-carrying capacities for such bridges are 
properly posted.
    Subsection (c) also requires States to submit annually for 
approval by the Secretary of Transportation a five-year 
performance plan for the inspection of highway bridges and 
their rehabilitation and replacement of any structurally 
deficient or functionally obsolete bridges. Each State shall 
develop and use a bridge management system that can be 
integrated with such performance planning as described above. 
The first of these plans must be submitted within 2 years of 
enactment. A performance plan may provide for more frequent 
inspection of an historic bridge located in a State in lieu of 
replacement, if the bridge meets certain criteria.
    Subsection (d) requires the Secretary of Transportation to 
submit to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure of 
the House of Representatives and the Committee on Environment 
and Public Works of the Senate a report that represents 
oversight of the performance plan process. It must contain a 
description of the priority assigned, on a national basis and 
by State, for the replacement and rehabilitation of each 
structurally deficient or functionally obsolete bridge on a 
Federal-aid highway. The report also must contain a description 
of any project or activity carried out by a State that is 
inconsistent with the priorities assigned by the Secretary.
    Subsection (e) restricts transfers by a State of Highway 
Bridge Program unobligated balances to any other apportioned 
program. A State can do so only if the State is able to 
demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Secretary of 
Transportation that the State has no structurally deficient 
bridges on the National Highway System located in the State 
that are eligible for replacement.
    Subsection (f) defines ``functionally obsolete'', 
``structurally deficient'', ``rehabilitation'', and 
``replacement'' for purposes of the Highway Bridge Program.
    Subsection (g) requires the Secretary of Transportation to 
ensure that information in the National Bridge Inventory is 
more readily available to the public and in a manner that is 
accessible and understandable and authorizes $2 million be 
available until expended for this purpose. The quality of this 
information should reflect the improved data collected and 
submitted for the National Bridge Inventory from the inspection 
routines required under this program as it is critical to 
quality performance planning.

Section 3. National Bridge Inspection Program

    Section 3 Changes inspection standards under the National 
Bridge Inspection Program with mandatory compliance reviews, 
reporting of critical findings, increasing the frequency of 
inspections, and mandating additional qualifications for 
inspectors.
    Subsection (b) directs that procedures for conducting 
annual compliance reviews of State inspections, quality control 
and quality assurance procedures, load ratings, and weight 
limit postings of structurally deficient bridges be specified 
and used by FHWA. The provision specifies that critical 
findings relating to structural or safety deficiencies be 
reported to the Secretary of Transportation, along with plans 
for corrective actions, and that inspection standards provide 
for testing with state-of-the-art technology that detects the 
growth of fatigue cracks on steel bridges exhibiting fatigue 
damage or with fatigue susceptible members.
    Subsection (c) directs the Secretary of Transportation to 
issue regulations within 2 years of enactment on procedures for 
reporting critical findings and training related to these 
findings.
    Subsection (d) directs the Secretary of Transportation to 
expand the current training programs to support the inspection 
requirements as amended in Subsection (f) below and required 
under this program.
    Subsection (e) requires shorter intervals between 
inspections for bridges with the most risky conditions. Those 
found to be structurally deficient must be inspected annually, 
using the best practicable technologies and methods. In-depth 
inspections are required for fracture critical members. Upon 
the request of a State, the Secretary of Transportation may 
extend the time between required bridge inspections up to 4 
years for non-structurally deficient bridges if the Secretary 
determines that the extension is appropriate based on the age, 
design, traffic characteristics, and any known deficiency of 
the bridge, the extension is consistent with the five-year 
performance plan, and granting the extension will increase the 
overall safety of the State's bridge inventory.
    Subsection (f) requires the Secretary of Transportation to 
change the regulations relating to the qualifications of State 
highway bridge inspection personnel. Federal regulation 
currently sets minimum qualifications of the Program Managers 
and Team Leaders that carry out bridge inspections, as well as 
underwater bridge inspectors and individuals responsible for 
determining load ratings. The subsection requires that anyone 
serving as a Program Manager be a professional engineer 
licensed under the laws of that State. Similarly, an individual 
serving as a Team Leader for the inspection of complex bridges 
or follow-up inspections of bridges for which there has been a 
critical finding must be a licensed professional engineer. At 
least 10 years of bridge experience can be substituted for 
licensure for Team Leaders for the class of bridges requiring 
only a biannual inspection. This subsection provides an 
exemption for Team Leaders and Program Managers in place prior 
to the issuance of revised regulations.
    Subsection (g) sets the deadline for modifying both the 
national bridge inspection standards and expanding the training 
program for bridge inspectors.
    Subsection (h) requires the Secretary to report to Congress 
no later than 15 days after a critical finding determination is 
made by a State that results in a bridge closure.

Section 4. GAO study

    Within a year of enactment, the Government Accountability 
Office is to conduct and report on a study of construction 
delays on bridge rehabilitation projects.

Section 5. Surface transportation research

    Section 5 expands the activities eligible to receive 
funding under the highway research program, emphasizing 
research into advanced technologies such as non-destructive 
inspection technologies to assess structural integrity.

Section 6. Authorization of appropriations

    Subsection (a) of section 6 authorizes $1 billion to be 
appropriated in FY 2009 to repair, reconstruct, and replace 
structurally deficient bridges on the National Highway System.
    Subsection (b) distributes the funds authorized by this 
legislation by formula pursuant to Federal-aid Highway 
apportionments for Federal-aid highway bridges under the 
Highway Bridge Program. This provision makes these funds, once 
appropriate, available until expended. It prohibits the 
transfer of these funds to other Federal-aid highway programs.
    Subsection (c) prohibits any Congressional or 
Administration earmarks of funding provided under this program.
    Subsection (d) prohibits the use of funds appropriated 
under subsection (a) to employ workers in violation of section 
274A of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1324a).

Section 7. Bridge advanced condition assessment pilot program

    Section 7 of the bill requires the DOT to establish and 
implement, within 180 days of enactment, a two-year pilot 
program to evaluate the effectiveness, accuracy, and 
reliability of the use of advanced condition assessment 
inspection processes and technologies (including fiber optic, 
vibrating wire, acoustical emissions, and peak strain 
displacement technologies) in monitoring and evaluating the 
health of a highway bridge. A one-time authorization is made 
available for appropriation of $5 million to carry out the 
program, to remain available until expended. The Secretary is 
required to submit a report on the effectiveness and benefits 
of the pilot program to the Committee on Transportation and 
Infrastructure of the House of Representatives and the 
Committee on Environment and Public Works of the Senate later 
than 6 months after the last day of the pilot program.

Section 8. Effectiveness of bridge rating system

    Section 8 requires that no later than February 2009, the 
Government Accountability Office conduct and report on a study 
of the effectiveness of the bridge rating system established in 
accordance with this program.

Section 9. Use of carbon fiber composite materials in bridge 
        replacement and rehabilitation projects

    Section 9 requires within 180 days of enactment, the 
Secretary of Transportation to conduct and report on a study of 
the cost and benefits of using carbon fiber composite materials 
in bridge replacement and rehabilitation projects instead of 
traditional construction materials.

Section 10. Sense of Congress

    Section 10 states that in preparing and implementing the 
performance plans required under this program, it is the sense 
of the Congress that corrosion mitigation and prevention 
methods should be integrated into the design of new bridges and 
maintenance of existing bridges.

Section 11. Flood risks to bridges

    Section 11 requires that within 2 years of enactment, the 
Secretary of Transportation, in consultation with the States, 
shall conduct and report on a study of risks posed by floods to 
the Nation's bridges.

Section 12. National Tunnel Inspection Program

    Section 12 creates a new inspection and inventory regimen 
for all highway tunnels comparable to the programs for bridge 
structures. The Secretary of Transportation, in consultation 
with States and knowledgeable experts, shall establish 
inspection standards designed to ensure safety and uniformity. 
These standards are to include the inspection methods, the 
interval between inspections, qualifications for inspectors, 
procedures for compliance reviews. In addition, the Secretary 
shall establish a national inventory of highway tunnels, and 
training and certification programs for tunnel inspectors are 
to be established to foster use of the best and latest 
techniques.
    Section 12 also clarifies that funds made available from 
the Surface Transportation Program are eligible for improvement 
of and inspection of such tunnels.

                          Legislative History

    H.R. 3999 was introduced in the House of Representatives on 
October 30, 1997 by Chairman Oberstar as the National Highway 
Bridge Reconstruction and Inspection Act of 2007. Having passed 
the House of Representatives on July 24, 2008, it was referred 
to the Committee on Environment and Public Works on July 25, 
2008. An identical bill, S. 3338, was introduced by Senator 
Klobuchar and also referred to the Committee on Environment and 
Public Works. The Committee met on September 17, 2008, to 
consider H.R. 3999 and it was ordered to be reported favorably 
without amendment.

                                Hearings

    The Committee on Environment and Public Works held two 
hearings relating to the Highway Bridge Program during the 
110th Congress. A full Committee oversight hearing was held on 
September 20, 2007 to examine the condition of our Nation's 
bridges. A full Committee legislative hearing was held on 
September 10, 2008 entitled ``Improving the Federal Bridge 
Program: Including an Assessment of S. 3338 and H.R. 3999.''

                             Rollcall Votes

    The Committee on Environment and Public Works met to 
consider H.R. 3999 on September 17, 2008. A quorum of the 
Committee being present, H.R. 3999 was reported favorably 
without amendment by a voice vote.

                      Regulatory Impact Statement

    In compliance with section 11(b)(2) of rule XXVI of the 
Standing Rules of the Senate, the Committee estimates that no 
regulatory impact is expected by the passage of the bill. The 
bill will not affect the personal privacy of individuals. As 
noted below, the Congressional Budget Office has concluded that 
the bill will not establish any private-sector mandates.

                          Mandates Assessment

    In compliance with the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 
(Public Law 104-4), the Committee finds, consistent with the 
determination of the Congressional Budget Office, that H.R. 
3999 would impose no Federal intergovernmental unfunded 
mandates on State, local or tribal governments. The Committee 
further agrees with the Congressional Budget Office that the 
bill does not impose private sector mandates.

               Congressional Budget Office Cost Estimate

                                               September 18, 2008. 
Hon. Barbara Boxer,
Chairman, Committee on Environment and Public Works,
U.S. Senate, Washington, DC.
    Dear Madam Chairman:  The Congressional Budget Office has 
prepared the enclosed cost estimate for H.R. 3999, the National 
Highway Bridge Reconstruction and Inspection Act of 2008.
    If you wish further details on this estimate, we will be 
pleased to provide them. The CBO staff contact is Sarah Puro, 
who can be reached at 226-2860.
            Sincerely,
                                                   Peter R. Orszag.
    Enclosure.

H.R. 3999--National Highway Bridge Reconstruction and Inspection Act of 
        2008

    Summary: H.R. 3999 would expand the national program to 
inspect bridges and authorize appropriations for replacing and 
rehabilitating highway bridges. The act also would require the 
Department of Transportation (DOT) to complete several reports 
on the status of bridges nationwide and to increase its efforts 
to train bridge inspectors. Assuming appropriation of the 
necessary amounts, CBO estimates that implementing the 
legislation would cost $976 million over the 2009-2013 period. 
Enacting H.R. 3999 would not affect direct spending or 
revenues.
    H.R. 3999 contains no intergovernmental or private-sector 
mandates as defined in the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA) 
and would impose no costs on state, local, or tribal 
governments.
    Estimated cost to the Federal Government: The estimated 
budgetary impact of H.R. 3999 is shown in the following table. 
The costs of this legislation fall within budget function 400 
(transportation).

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                 By fiscal year, in millions of dollars--
                                                         -------------------------------------------------------
                                                            2009     2010     2011     2012     2013   2009-2013
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                  CHANGES IN SPENDING SUBJECT TO APPROPRIATION

Expansion of the Bridge Program:
    Authorization Levela................................    1,000        0        0        0        0     1,000
    Estimated Outlays...................................      270      410      160       50       40       930
New Requirements for Federal Agencies that Own Bridges:
    Estimated Authorization Level.......................       15        0        0        0        0        15
    Estimated Outlays...................................        4        6        2        1        1        14
Other Specified Programs:
    Authorization Level.................................        9        0        0        0        0         9
    Outlays.............................................        3        4        2        0        0         9
Reports, Guidance, and Assessments:
    Estimated Authorization Level.......................        5        5        5        5        5        25
    Estimated Outlays...................................        3        5        5        5        5        23
Total Changes:
    Estimated Authorization Level.......................    1,029        5        5        5        5     1,049
    Estimated Outlays...................................      280      425      169       56       46       976
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
aPublic Law 109-59 provides contract authority, a mandatory form of budget authority, of $4.5 billion in 2009
  for the Bridge Program codified in section 144, title 23, U.S. Code. Spending of those amounts is controlled
  by obligation limitations contained in appropriation acts.

    Basis of estimate: For this estimate, CBO assumes that H.R. 
3999 will be enacted near the start of fiscal year 2009, that 
the authorized amounts will be appropriated each year, and that 
outlays will follow the historical rate of spending for these 
programs.
    The act would authorize the appropriation of just over $1 
billion for fiscal year 2009. In addition, CBO estimates that 
appropriations of $40 million over the 2009-2013 period would 
be needed to implement the legislation. CBO estimates that 
implementing the legislation would cost $976 million over the 
2009-2013 period, assuming appropriation of the necessary 
amounts.

                    EXPANSION OF THE BRIDGE PROGRAM

    Under current law, states receive about $4 billion annually 
in contract authority (a mandatory form of budget authority) 
for repairing, rehabilitating, and replacing bridges on public 
roadways. Spending of those amounts, however, is typically 
controlled by limits on annual obligations set in appropriation 
acts (known as obligation limitations). H.R. 3999 would 
authorize the appropriation of an additional $1 billion in 
fiscal year 2009 for that program. CBO estimates that 
implementing this provision would cost about $930 million over 
the 2009-2013 period.
    The appropriation of additional funds for DOT's bridge 
program could result in an increase in the contract authority 
available to states because of DOT's equity bonus program. That 
program adjusts the amount of contract authority available to a 
state based on a variety of factors, including that state's 
contributions to the Highway Account of the Highway Trust Fund 
and the amount it received under the previous authorization for 
highway programs. Any additional contract authority due to the 
equity bonus program would be provided by a subsequent 
appropriation act; thus, CBO has not estimated any increase in 
contract authority as a result of implementing H.R. 3999.

      INCREASED REQUIREMENTS ON FEDERAL AGENCIES THAT OWN BRIDGES

    H.R. 3999 would increase the frequency of inspections of 
federally owned bridges and would increase the training 
requirements for inspectors of those bridges. Current 
regulations require that federal agencies that own and operate 
bridges on public roads comply with all safety requirements 
established under DOT's bridge program. There are about 9,000 
such bridges nationwide, mostly owned by the Departments of 
Agriculture, Defense, and the Interior. Based on information 
from DOT, CBO estimates that implementing this provision would 
cost $14 million over the 2009-2013 period.

                             OTHER PROGRAMS

    CBO estimates that other provisions of the bill would cost 
$32 million over the 2009-2013 period, including:
     Almost $5 million annually for DOT to train more 
state bridge inspectors, increase oversight of state plans to 
address bridge safety, and produce several reports on the 
safety of the nation's bridges;
     $5 million for grants to states to use certain 
advanced technologies to assess the safety of bridges;
     $2 million for the National Academy of Sciences to 
report on DOT's process in assessing the risk of bridge 
failure; and
     $2 million for DOT to make information contained 
in that National Bridge Inventory more readily available to the 
public.
    Intergovernmental and private-sector impact: H.R. 3999 
contains no intergovernmental or private-sector mandates as 
defined in UMRA. The bill would require recipients of federal 
highway funds to inspect and manage highway bridges and 
tunnels. The bill also would establish a grant program for five 
states to test the effectiveness of certain technology in 
bridge inspections. Any costs to state, local, or tribal 
governments would result from complying with conditions of 
federal assistance.
    Previous CBO estimate: On December 3, 2007, CBO transmitted 
a cost estimate for H.R. 3999 as ordered reported by the House 
Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure on October 31, 
2007. That version of the legislation authorized the 
appropriation of $1 billion for the bridge program in fiscal 
year 2008 and did not authorize a grant program to use certain 
advanced technologies to assess the safety of bridges. The CBO 
cost estimates reflect those differences.
    On September 8, 2008, CBO transmitted a cost estimate for 
H.R. 3999 as passed by the House of Representatives. This cost 
estimate is identical to our estimate for the House-passed 
legislation.
    Estimate prepared by: Federal Costs: Sarah Puro; Impact on 
State, Local, and Tribal Governments: Elizabeth Cove; Impact on 
the Private Sector: Jacob Kuipers.
    Estimate approved by: Theresa Gullo, Deputy Assistant 
Director for Budget Analysis.

                            ADDITIONAL VIEWS

                               Background

    The Highway Bridge Program in its current form needs to be 
reformed to make it more useable for States. Unfortunately, 
H.R. 3999 hinders, rather than strengthen States' abilities to 
address their greatest bridge priorities. It would force States 
to follow a risk-based system developed in Washington to 
prioritize the replacement or rehabilitation of bridges. There 
is great concern that this one-size-fits-all approach would not 
allow for important local factors, such as seismic retrofit. 
This legislation also forces States to spend scarce resources 
on new procedures that will provide little or no new 
information to State bridge engineers.
    SAFETEA-LU will expire on September 30, 2009, just 12 
months from the filing of this report. Any major policy changes 
at this point in the process will distract from the overall 
goal of completing a comprehensive bill on time. For that 
reason, a policy change of this magnitude should be handled in 
the context of reauthorization. Furthermore, it is 
counterproductive to attempt to fix our crumbling 
infrastructure through piecemeal efforts. Comprehensive reform 
is necessary and should be addressed in a holistic approach in 
the reauthorization bill this Committee will work on in the 
coming months.
    There has been a lot of press about the poor condition of 
the nation's bridges in the wake of the Minnesota tragedy. Our 
bridges are certainly in need of additional investment, but the 
roads on the National Highway System (NHS) are actually in 
greater need. According to the Federal Highway Administration 
(FHWA), the nation's bridges receive an average of 15 percent 
less funding from all levels of government than the maximum 
amount that could be economically invested. In contrast, the 
roads on the NHS receive 78 percent less funding than the 
maximum economic level.
    This is not to say that there are not enormous bridge 
needs. These are simply 20 year averages, and much more could 
be economically invested in the short term. According to the 
same study by the FHWA, $62 billion could be invested 
immediately in a cost-beneficial basis. It is critical, 
however, to view investment in the nation's highways and 
bridges in a comprehensive fashion.

                          Prohibits Transfers

    Many States rely on the flexibility allowed under the 
federal highway program to transfer money in between core 
highway programs as an important cash and program management 
tool. This flexibility in the bridge program is needed by 
States as bridges are enormous, ``lumpy'' investments and it 
often becomes necessary for States to wait a few years between 
major bridge replacements. If they did not do so, bridges would 
consume too much of their highway resources to address non-
bridge needs. This bill would prohibit all transfers from the 
bridge program on the incorrect assumption that all transfers 
are bad.
    Many States find the bridge program requirements too 
bureaucratic and prefer to replace or rehabilitate structurally 
deficient bridges using more flexible programs. These States 
transfer money out of the bridge program and then obligate 
those same dollars to structurally deficient bridges. Also, 
when bridges are being replaced or rehabilitated as a part of a 
larger project, States frequently transfer money into a single 
category of funding that can be used on the entire project. 
Because of the narrow eligibility of Highway Bridge Program 
funds, the flexibility to transfer funds is oftentimes 
necessary and does not necessarily detract from the goals of 
the Highway Bridge Program.
    H.R. 3999 incorrectly assumes that all bridge construction 
and reconstruction is done through the bridge program. In fact, 
only about 55 percent of obligations on bridges are through the 
Highway Bridge Program. The remaining obligations of funds on 
bridges, about $2.4 billion, are done using other categories of 
funding. By prohibiting transfers, H.R. 3999 would effectively 
punish States that are spending more on bridges than is 
provided in bridge funding, by denying them an important cash 
and program management tool.

                         Risk Based Management

    H.R. 3999 requires States to follow a risk-based system 
developed in Washington to prioritize the replacement or 
rehabilitation of bridges. Many fear that this will produce a 
``worst first'' approach to replacing and rehabilitating our 
bridges--an approach that is widely criticized among economists 
as it costs far more money than a targeted approach. In many 
aspects of government this is a prudent method to make 
decisions, but the approach set forth in this bill lacks the 
cumulative factor analysis required to make the most cost-
beneficial and safety-driven bridge investment decisions. Under 
H.R. 3999's risk-based system, a lower rated bridge that is 
rarely used and poses no public safety threat could be 
prioritized ahead of a slightly higher rated bridge with more 
traffic, greater relative importance to the rest of the system, 
and overall more need for investment. This bill would create 
yet another level of bureaucracy to a bridge program over-
burdened with red tape, as State risk-management plans will 
have to be approved by the Department of Transportation.
    The requirements for the risk management system set forth 
in H.R. 3999 are vague and unspecific. However, there is a wide 
concern among State departments of transportation that they 
will be interpreted by FHWA to force one-size-fits-all federal 
standards that ignore local considerations and variations in 
risk factors across the country, such as seismic retrofit.
    States are already using a highly effective bridge 
management system to address risk when making state-wide bridge 
investment decisions; this bill will disrupt these efforts.

                                   John Barrasso.
                                   Kit Bond.
                                   L. E. Craig.
                                   Jim Inhofe.
                                   Johnny Isakson.
                                   George Voinovich.

                        Changes in Existing Law

    In compliance with section 12 of rule XXVI of the Standing 
Rules of the Senate, changes in existing law made by the bill 
as reported are shown as follows: Existing law proposed to be 
omitted is enclosed in [black brackets], new matter is printed 
in italic, existing law in which no change is proposed is shown 
in roman:

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

                              ----------                              


                           TITLE 23--HIGHWAYS

        Current through Public Law 109-1, approved Jan. 7, 2005

                    CHAPTER 1--FEDERAL-AID HIGHWAYS

                    SUBCHAPTER I--GENERAL PROVISIONS

Sec.
101. Definitions and declaration of policy
102. Program efficiencies
103. Federal-aid systems
104. Apportionment
105. Minimum guarantee
106. Project approval and oversight
107. Acquisition of rights-of-way - Interstate System
108. Advance acquisition of real property
109. Standards
110. Revenue aligned budget authority
111. Agreements relating to use of and access to rights-of-way - 
          Interstate System
112. Letting of contracts
113. Prevailing rate of wage
114. Construction
115. Advance construction
116. Maintenance
117. High priority projects program
118. Availability of funds
119. Interstate maintenance program
120. Federal share payable
121. Payment to States for construction
122. Payments to States for bond and other debt instrument financing
123. Relocation of utility facilities
124. Advances to States
125. Emergency relief
126. Uniform transferability of Federal-aid highway funds
127. Vehicle weight limitations - Interstate System
128. Public hearings
129. Toll roads, bridges, tunnels, and ferries
130. Railway-highway crossings
131. Control of outdoor advertising
132. Payments on Federal-aid projects undertaken by a Federal agency
133. Surface transportation program
134. Metropolitan planning
135. Statewide planning
136. Control of junkyards
137. Fringe and corridor parking facilities
138. Preservation of parklands
[139. Repealed.]
140. Nondiscrimination
141. Enforcement of requirements
142. Public transportation
143. Highway use tax evasion projects
144. Highway bridge replacement and rehabilitation program
145. Federal-State relationship
146. Carpool and vanpool projects
147. Priority primary routes
148. Development of a national scenic and recreational highway
149. Congestion mitigation and air quality improvement program
150. National tunnel inspection program
      * * * * * * *

                           TITLE 23--HIGHWAYS

           * * * * * * *

Sec. 101. Definitions and declaration of policy

  (a) Definitions.--* * *
           * * * * * * *

Sec. 133. Surface transportation program

  (a) Establishment.--The Secretary shall establish a surface 
transportation program in accordance with this section.
  (b) Eligible Projects.--A State may obligate funds 
apportioned to it under section 104(b)(3) for the surface 
transportation program only for the following:
          (1) Construction, reconstruction, rehabilitation, 
        resurfacing, restoration, and operational improvements 
        for highways, tunnels that are eligible for assistance 
        under this title (including safety inspection of such 
        tunnels), (including Interstate highways) and bridges 
        (including bridges on public roads of all functional 
        classifications), including any such construction or 
        reconstruction necessary to accommodate other 
        transportation modes, and including the seismic 
        retrofit and painting of and application of calcium 
        magnesium acetate, sodium acetate/formate, or other 
        environmentally acceptable, minimally corrosive anti-
        icing and de-icing compositions on bridges and 
        approaches thereto and other elevated structures, 
        mitigation of damage to wildlife, habitat, and 
        ecosystems caused by a transportation project funded 
        under this title.
           * * * * * * *

Sec. 144. Highway bridge replacement and rehabilitation program

  (a) Finding and Declaration.--Congress finds and declares 
that it is in the vital interest of the United States that a 
highway bridge program be carried out to enable States to 
improve the condition of their highway bridges over waterways, 
other topographical barriers, other highways, and railroads 
through replacement and rehabilitation of bridges that the 
States and the Secretary determine are structurally deficient 
or functionally obsolete and through systematic preventive 
maintenance of bridges.
  [(b) The Secretary, in consultation with the States, shall 
(1) inventory all those highway bridges on any Federal-aid 
system which are bridges over waterways, other topographical 
barriers, other highways, and railroads; (2) classify them 
according to serviceability, safety, and essentiality for 
public use; (3) based on that classification, assign each a 
priority for replacement or rehabilitation; and (4) determine 
the cost of replacing each such bridge with a comparable 
facility or of rehabilitating such bridge.
  [(c)(1) The Secretary, in consultation with the States, shall 
(1) inventory all those highway bridges on public roads, other 
than those on any Federal-aid system, which are bridges over 
waterways, other topographical barriers, other highways, and 
railroads, (2) classify them according to serviceability, 
safety, and essentiality for public use, (3) based on the 
classification, assign each a priority for replacement or 
rehabilitation and (4) determine the cost of replacing each 
such bridge with a comparable facility or of rehabilitating 
such bridge.
  [(2) The Secretary may, at the request of a State, inventory 
bridges, on and off the Federal-aid system, for historic 
significance.
  [(3) Inventory of Indian reservation and park bridges.--As 
part of the activities carried out under paragraph (1), the 
Secretary, in consultation with the Secretary of the Interior, 
shall (A) inventory all those highway bridges on Indian 
reservation roads and park roads which are bridges over 
waterways, other topographical barriers, other highways, and 
railroads, (B) classify them according to serviceability, 
safety, and essentiality for public use, (C) based on the 
classification, assign each a priority for replacement or 
rehabilitation, and (D) determine the cost of replacing each 
such bridge with a comparable facility or of rehabilitating 
such bridge.]
  (b) Bridges on Federal-Aid Highways.--The Secretary, in 
consultation with the States, shall--
          (1) inventory all bridges on Federal-aid highways 
        that are bridges over waterways, other topographical 
        barriers, other highways, and railroads;
          (2) identify each bridge inventoried under paragraph 
        (1) that is structurally deficient or functionally 
        obsolete;
          (3) assign a risk-based priority for replacement or 
        rehabilitation of each such bridge after consideration 
        of safety, serviceability, and essentiality for public 
        use and public safety, including the potential impacts 
        to emergency evacuation routes and to regional and 
        national freight and passenger mobility if the 
        serviceability of the bridge is restricted or 
        diminished; and
          (4) determine the cost of replacing each such bridge 
        with a comparable facility or of rehabilitating such 
        bridge.
  (c) Bridges on Other Public Roads.--
          (1) Inventory of bridges.--The Secretary, in 
        consultation with the States, shall--
                  (A) inventory all those highway bridges on 
                public roads, other than those on any Federal-
                aid highway, which are bridges over waterways, 
                other topographical barriers, other highways, 
                and railroads;
                  (B) identify each bridge inventoried under 
                subparagraph (A) that is structurally deficient 
                or functionally obsolete;
                  (C) assign a risk-based priority for 
                replacement or rehabilitation of each such 
                bridge after consideration of safety, 
                serviceability, and essentiality for public use 
                and public safety, including the potential 
                impacts to emergency evacuation routes and to 
                regional and national freight and passenger 
                mobility if the serviceability of the bridge is 
                restricted or diminished; and
                  (D) determine the cost of replacing each such 
                bridge with a comparable facility or of 
                rehabilitating such bridge.
          (2) Inventory of bridges for historic significance.--
        The Secretary may, at the request of a State, inventory 
        bridges, on and off Federal-aid highways, for historic 
        significance.
          (3) Inventory of indian reservation and park 
        bridges.--As part of the activities carried out under 
        paragraph (1), the Secretary, in consultation with the 
        Secretary of the Interior, shall--
                  (A) inventory all those highway bridges on 
                Indian reservation roads and park roads which 
                are bridges over waterways, other topographical 
                barriers, other highways, and railroads;
                  (B) identify each bridge inventoried under 
                subparagraph (A) that is structurally deficient 
                or functionally obsolete;
                  (C) assign a risk-based priority for 
                replacement or rehabilitation of each such 
                bridge after consideration of safety, 
                serviceability, and essentiality for public use 
                and public safety, including the potential 
                impacts to emergency evacuation routes and to 
                regional and national freight and passenger 
                mobility if the serviceability of the bridge is 
                restricted or diminished; and
                  (D) determine the cost of replacing each such 
                bridge with a comparable facility or of 
                rehabilitating such bridge.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (e) Funds authorized to carry out this section shall be 
apportioned among the several States on October 1 of the fiscal 
year for which authorized in accordance with this subsection. 
Each deficient bridge shall be placed into one of the following 
categories: (1) Federal-aid system bridges eligible for 
replacement, (2) Federal-aid system bridges eligible for 
rehabilitation, (3) off-system bridges eligible for 
replacement, and (4) off-system bridges eligible for 
rehabilitation. The deck area of deficient bridges in each 
category shall be multiplied by the respective unit price on a 
State-by-State basis, as determined by the Secretary; and the 
total cost in each State divided by the total cost of the 
deficient bridges in all States shall determine the 
apportionment factors. For purposes of the preceding sentence, 
if a State transfers funds apportioned to the State under this 
section in a fiscal year beginning after September 30, 1997, to 
any other apportionment of funds to such State under this 
title, the total cost of deficient bridges in such State and in 
all States to be determined for the succeeding fiscal year 
shall be reduced by the amount of such transferred funds. No 
State shall receive more than 10 per centum or less than 0.25 
per centum of the total apportionment for any one fiscal year. 
The Secretary shall make these determinations based upon the 
latest available data, which shall be updated annually. Funds 
apportioned under this section shall be available for 
expenditure for the period specified in section 118(b)(2). Any 
funds not obligated at the expiration of such period shall be 
reapportioned by the Secretary to the other States in 
accordance with this subsection. The use of funds authorized 
under this section to carry out a project for the seismic 
retrofit of a bridge shall not affect the apportionment of 
funds under this section. In this subsection, the term 
``deficient bridge'' means a bridge that is structurally 
deficient or functionally obsolete.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (d) Participation.--
          (1) Bridge replacement and rehabilitation.--On 
        application by a State or States to the Secretary for 
        assistance for a highway bridge that has been 
        determined to be eligible for replacement or 
        rehabilitation under subsection (b) or (c), the 
        Secretary may approve Federal participation in--
                  (A) replacing the bridge with a comparable 
                facility; or
                  (B) rehabilitating the bridge.
          (2) Types of assistance.--On application by a State 
        or States to the Secretary, the Secretary may approve 
        Federal assistance for any of the following activities 
        for a highway bridge that has been determined to be 
        eligible for replacement or rehabilitation under 
        subsection (b) or (c):
                  (A) Painting.
                  (B) Seismic retrofit.
                  (C) Systematic preventive maintenance.
                  (D) Installation of scour countermeasures.
                  (E) Application of calcium magnesium acetate, 
                sodium acetate/formate, or other 
                environmentally acceptable, minimally corrosive 
                anti-icing and de-icing compositions.
          (3) Basis for determination.--The Secretary shall 
        determine the eligibility of highway bridges for 
        replacement or rehabilitation for each State based on 
        structurally deficient and functionally obsolete 
        highway bridges in the State.
          (4) Special rule for preventive maintenance.--
        Notwithstanding any other provision of this subsection, 
        a State may carry out a project under paragraph (2)(B), 
        (2)(C), or (2)(D) for a highway bridge without regard 
        to whether the bridge is eligible for replacement or 
        rehabilitation under this section.
          (5) Requirements for state participation.--
                  (A) In general.--As a condition for providing 
                assistance to a State under this section, the 
                Secretary shall require the State to take the 
                following actions:
                          (i) Inspections.--Not later than 24 
                        months after the date of enactment of 
                        this paragraph, and at least once every 
                        24 months thereafter (except as 
                        otherwise provided by section 151(d)), 
                        the State shall inspect all highway 
                        bridges described in subsections (b) 
                        and (c) that are located in the State 
                        in accordance with the standards 
                        established under section 151 and 
                        provide updated information on such 
                        bridges to the Secretary for inclusion 
                        in the national bridge inventory.
                          (ii) Calculation of load ratings.--
                        The State shall--
                                  (I) not later than 24 months 
                                after the date of enactment of 
                                this paragraph, calculate the 
                                load rating for all highway 
                                bridges described in 
                                subsections (b) and (c) that 
                                are located in the State;
                                  (II) at least once every 24 
                                months thereafter, reevaluate 
                                and, as appropriate, 
                                recalculate the load rating for 
                                each such bridge; and
                                  (III) ensure that the safe 
                                load-carrying capacities for 
                                such bridges are properly 
                                posted.
                          (iii) Performance plan.--The State 
                        shall develop, not later than 24 months 
                        after the date of enactment of this 
                        paragraph, update annually, and 
                        implement a 5-year performance plan 
                        for--
                                  (I) the inspection of highway 
                                bridges described in 
                                subsections (b) and (c) that 
                                are located in the State; and
                                  (II) the rehabilitation and 
                                replacement of any of such 
                                bridges that are structurally 
                                deficient or functionally 
                                obsolete.
                          (iv) Bridge management system.--
                        Notwithstanding section 303(c), the 
                        State shall develop and implement a 
                        bridge management system that meets the 
                        requirements of section 303.
                  (B) Approval of performance plans.--
                          (i) Submission to the secretary.--A 
                        State that establishes a 5-year 
                        performance plan under subparagraph 
                        (A)(iii) shall submit the plan and each 
                        update of the plan to the Secretary for 
                        approval.
                          (ii) Criteria for approval.--Not 
                        later than 1 year after the date of 
                        enactment of this paragraph, the 
                        Secretary shall establish criteria for 
                        the approval of performance plans and 
                        updates submitted under clause (i).
                          (iii) Approval and disapproval.--The 
                        Secretary shall approve or disapprove 
                        each 5-year performance plan and update 
                        submitted by a State under this 
                        subparagraph. If the Secretary 
                        disapproves a plan or update, the 
                        Secretary shall inform the State of the 
                        reasons for the disapproval and shall 
                        require the State to resubmit the plan 
                        or update with such modifications as 
                        the Secretary determines necessary.
                  (C) Historic bridges.--
                          (i) In general.--A 5-year performance 
                        plan of a State under subparagraph 
                        (A)(iii) may provide for more frequent, 
                        in-depth inspection of a historic 
                        bridge located in the State in lieu of 
                        replacement of the bridge if the 
                        Secretary determines that--
                                  (I) it is appropriate based 
                                on the age, design, traffic 
                                characteristics, and any known 
                                deficiency of the bridge; and
                                  (II) granting the exception 
                                will increase the overall 
                                safety of the State's bridge 
                                inventory.
                          (ii) Historic bridge defined.--In 
                        this subparagraph, the term ``historic 
                        bridge'' means any bridge that is 
                        listed on the National Register of 
                        Historic Places.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  [(h) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the General 
Bridge Act of 1946 (33 U.S.C. 525-533) shall apply to bridges 
authorized to be replaced, in whole or in part, by this 
section, except that subsection (b) of section 502 of such Act 
of 1946 and section 9 of the Act of March 3, 1899 (30 Stat. 
1151) shall not apply to any bridge constructed, reconstructed, 
rehabilitated, or replaced with assistance under this title, if 
such bridge is over waters (1) which are not used and are not 
susceptible to use in their natural condition or by reasonable 
improvement as a means to transport interstate or foreign 
commerce, and (2) which are (a) not tidal, or (b) if tidal, 
used only by recreational boating, fishing, and other small 
vessels less than 21 feet in length.]
  (h) Information and Reports.--
          (1) Updates of information.--The Secretary shall 
        annually revise, as necessary, the information required 
        under subsections (b) and (c).
          (2) Reports to congress.--Concurrently with the 
        President's annual budget submission to Congress under 
        section 1105(a) of title 31, the Secretary shall submit 
        to the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure 
        of the House of Representatives and the Committee on 
        Environment and Public Works of the Senate a report 
        containing--
                  (A) a description of projects and activities 
                approved under this section;
                  (B) the information updated under paragraph 
                (1), including a description of the priority 
                assigned, on a national basis and by State, for 
                the replacement or rehabilitation of each 
                structurally deficient or functionally obsolete 
                bridge on a Federal-aid highway;
                  (C) a description of any project or activity 
                carried out by a State under this section in 
                the preceding fiscal year that is inconsistent 
                with the priorities assigned by the Secretary 
                under subsection (b)(3), (c)(1)(C), and 
                (c)(3)(C); and
                  (D) such recommendations as the Secretary may 
                have for improvements of the program authorized 
                by this section.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (r) Annual Materials Report on New Bridge Construction and 
Bridge Rehabilitation.--Not later than 1 year after the date of 
enactment of this subsection, and annually thereafter, the 
Secretary shall publish in the Federal Register a report 
describing construction materials used in new Federal-aid 
bridge construction and bridge rehabilitation projects.
  [(s) Federal Share.--
          [(1) In general.--Except as provided under paragraph 
        (2), the Federal share of the cost of a project payable 
        from funds made available to carry out this section 
        shall be determined under section 120(b).
          [(2) Interstate system.--The Federal share of the 
        cost of a project on the Interstate System payable from 
        funds made available to carry out this section shall be 
        determined under section 120(a).]
  (s) Transferability of Funding.--Notwithstanding section 126 
or any other provision of law, a State may transfer funds 
apportioned to the State under this section for a fiscal year 
to another apportionment of funds to the State under this title 
only if the State demonstrates to the satisfaction of the 
Secretary that there are not any bridges on the National 
Highway System located in the State that are eligible for 
replacement.
  (t) Definitions.--In this section, the following definitions 
apply:
          (1) Functionally obsolete.--The term ``functionally 
        obsolete'' as used with respect to a bridge means a 
        bridge that no longer meets current design standards 
        relating to geometrics, including roadway width, 
        shoulder width, and approach alignment, for the traffic 
        demands on the bridge.
          (2) Structurally deficient.--The term ``structurally 
        deficient'' as used with respect to a bridge means a 
        bridge that has--
                  (A) significant load-carrying elements that 
                are in poor or worse condition due to 
                deterioration or damage, or both;
                  (B) a load capacity that is significantly 
                below current truckloads and that requires 
                replacement; or
                  (C) a waterway opening causing frequent 
                flooding of the bridge deck and approaches 
                resulting in significant traffic interruptions.
          (3) Rehabilitation.--The term ``rehabilitation'' 
        means major work necessary to restore the structural 
        integrity of a bridge and work necessary to correct a 
        major safety defect.
          (4) Replacement.--The term ``replacement'' as used 
        with respect to a structurally deficient or 
        functionally obsolete bridge means a new facility 
        constructed in the same general traffic corridor that 
        meets the geometric, construction, and structural 
        standards, in effect at the time of such construction, 
        required for the types and volume of projected traffic 
        of the facility over its design life.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 149. Congestion mitigation and air quality improvement program

  (a) Establishment.--* * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 150. National tunnel inspection program

  (a) National Tunnel Inspection Standards.--The Secretary, in 
consultation with State transportation departments and 
interested and knowledgeable private organizations and 
individuals, shall establish national tunnel inspection 
standards for the proper safety inspection and evaluation of 
all highway tunnels. The standards established under this 
subsection shall be designed to ensure uniformity among the 
States in the conduct of such inspections and evaluations.
  (b) Minimum Requirements for Inspection Standards.--The 
standards established under subsection (a) shall, at a 
minimum--
          (1) specify, in detail, the method by which highway 
        tunnel inspections shall be carried out by the States;
          (2) establish the maximum time period between the 
        inspections based on a risk-management approach;
          (3) establish the qualifications for those charged 
        with carrying out the inspections;
          (4) require each State to maintain and make available 
        to the Secretary upon request--
                  (A) written reports on the results of the 
                inspections together with notations of any 
                action taken pursuant to the findings of the 
                inspections; and
                  (B) current inventory data for all highway 
                tunnels located in the State reflecting the 
                findings of the most recent highway tunnel 
                inspections conducted;
          (5) establish procedures for national certification 
        of highway tunnel inspectors;
          (6) establish procedures for conducting annual 
        compliance reviews of State inspections and State 
        implementation of quality control and quality assurance 
        procedures; and
          (7) establish standards for State tunnel management 
        systems to improve the tunnel inspection process and 
        the quality of data collected and reported by the 
        States to the Secretary for inclusion in the national 
        tunnel inventory to be established under this section.
  (c) Training and Certification Program for Tunnel 
Inspectors.--The Secretary, in cooperation with State 
transportation departments, shall establish a program designed 
to ensure that all individuals carrying out highway tunnel 
inspections receive appropriate training and certification. 
Such program shall be revised from time to time to take into 
account new and improved techniques.
  (d) National Tunnel Inventory.--The Secretary shall establish 
a national inventory of highway tunnels reflecting the findings 
of the most recent highway tunnel inspections conducted by 
States under this section.
  (e) Availability of Funds.--To carry out this section, the 
Secretary may use funds made available pursuant to the 
provisions of sections 104(a) and 502.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 151. National bridge inspection program

  (a) National Bridge Inspection Standards.--The Secretary, in 
consultation with the State transportation departments and 
interested and knowledgeable private organizations and 
individuals, shall establish national bridge inspection 
standards for the proper safety inspection and evaluation of 
all highway bridges. The standards established under this 
subsection shall be designed to ensure uniformity among the 
States in the conduct of such inspections and evaluations.
  (b) Minimum Requirements of Inspection Standards.--The 
standards established under subsection (a) shall, at a 
minimum--
          (1) specify, in detail, the method by which such 
        inspections shall be carried out by the States;
          (2) establish the maximum time period between 
        inspections in accordance with subsection (d);
          (3) establish the qualification for those charged 
        with carrying out the inspections;
          (4) require each State to maintain and make available 
        to the Secretary upon request--
                  (A) written reports on the results of highway 
                bridge inspections together with notations of 
                any action taken pursuant to the findings of 
                such inspections;[and]
                  (B) current inventory data for all highway 
                bridges reflecting the findings of the most 
                recent highway bridge inspections conducted; 
                and
          (5) establish a procedure for national certification 
        of highway bridge inspectors[.];
          (6) establish procedures for conducting annual 
        compliance reviews of State inspections, quality 
        control and quality assurance procedures, load ratings, 
        and weight limit postings of structurally deficient 
        highway bridges;
          (7) establish procedures for States to follow in 
        reporting to the Secretary--
                  (A) critical findings relating to structural 
                or safety-related deficiencies of highway 
                bridges; and
                  (B) monitoring activities and corrective 
                actions taken in response to such a finding; 
                and
          (8) provide for testing with a state-of-the-art 
        technology that detects growth activity of fatigue 
        cracks as small as 0.01 inches on steel bridges 
        exhibiting fatigue damage or bridges with fatigue 
        susceptible members.
  (c) Training Program for Bridge Inspectors.--The Secretary, 
in cooperation with the State transportation departments, shall 
establish a program designed to train appropriate governmental 
employees to carry out highway bridge inspections. Such 
training program shall be revised from time to time to take 
into account new and improved techniques. The secretary shall 
expand the scope of the training program to ensure that all 
persons conducting highway bridge inspections receive 
appropriate training and certification under the program.
  (d) Frequency of Bridge Inspections.--
          (1) In general.--Subject to paragraph (2), the 
        standards established under subsection (a), at a 
        minimum, shall provide for--
                  (A) annual inspections of structurally 
                deficient highway bridges using the best 
                practicable technologies and methods;
                  (B) annual in depth inspections of fracture 
                critical members, as such terms are defined in 
                section 650.305 of title 23, Code of Federal 
                Regulations (as in effect on the date of 
                enactment of this paragraph); and
                  (C) biennial inspections of highway bridges 
                that have not been determined to be 
                structurally deficient.
          (2) Extensions.--Upon the request of a State, the 
        Secretary may extend, to a maximum period of 48 months, 
        the time between required inspections of a highway 
        bridge that has not been determined to be structurally 
        deficient if the Secretary determines that--
                  (A) the extension is appropriate based on the 
                age, design, traffic characteristics, and any 
                known deficiency of the bridge;
                  (B) the extension is consistent with the 5-
                year performance plan of the State approved 
                under section 144(d)(5)(B); and
                  (C) granting the extension will increase the 
                overall safety of the State's bridge inventory.
  [(d)](e) Availability of Funds.--To carry out this section, 
the Secretary may use funds made available pursuant to the 
provisions of section 104(a), section 502, and section 144 of 
this title.

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *


Sec. 502. Surface transportation research

  (a) Basic Principles Governing Research and Technology 
Investments.--
          (1) Coverage.--* * *

           *       *       *       *       *       *       *

  (d) Contents of Research Program.--The Secretary shall 
include in surface transportation research, technology 
development, and technology transfer programs carried out under 
this title coordinated activities in the following areas:
          (1) Development, use, and dissemination of 
        indicators, including appropriate computer programs for 
        collecting and analyzing data on the status of 
        infrastructure facilities, to measure the performance 
        of the surface transportation systems of the United 
        States, including productivity, efficiency, energy use, 
        air quality, congestion, safety, maintenance, and other 
        factors that reflect system performance.
          (2) Methods, materials, and testing to improve the 
        durability of surface transportation infrastructure 
        facilities and extend the life and enhance the safety 
        of bridge structures, including--
                  (A) new and innovative technologies to reduce 
                corrosion;
                  (B) tests simulating seismic activity, 
                vibration, and weather; and
                  (C) the use of innovative recycled materials.
          (3) Technologies and practices that reduce costs and 
        minimize disruptions associated with the construction, 
        rehabilitation, and maintenance of surface 
        transportation systems, including responses to natural 
        disasters.
          (4) Development of nondestructive evaluation 
        equipment [for use with existing infrastructure 
        facilities and with next-generation infrastructure 
        facilities]for assessing the structural integrity of 
        existing infrastructure facilities and next-generation 
        infrastructure facilities that use advanced materials.

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