Summary: H.R.8235 — 94th Congress (1975-1976)All Information (Except Text)

Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

Shown Here:
Conference report filed in House (04/07/1976)

(Conference report filed in House, H. Rept. 94-1017)

=Title I: Federal-Aid Highway Act= - Authorizes to be appropriated for the purpose of expediting the construction, reconstruction, or improvement, inclusive of necessary bridges and tunnels, of the interstate System, including extensions thereof through urban areas, the additional sums of $3,250,000,000 for each of the fiscal years 1978 and 1978, and $3,625,000,000 for each of the fiscal years 1980-1990. Requires 30 percent of such sums to be used annually for the construction of intercity portions to close gaps in the Interstate System.

Authorizes appropriations through fiscal year 1978 for Federal-aid highway systems in the United States, Guam, American Samoa, and the Virgin Islands. Includes appropriations for the Federal-aid primary and secondary systems in urban and rural areas, for the control of outdoor advertising, and for the control of junkyards.

Authorizes appropriations for resurfacing and restoring portions of the Interstate System.

Extends the time for completion of the Interstate System for 11 years, until 1990.

Provides that upon the joint request of a State Governor and the local governments concerned, the Secretary of Transportation may withdraw his approval of any route or portion thereof on the Interstate System which is within an urbanized area or which passes through and connects urbanized areas within a State, if he determines that such route or portion thereof is not essential to completion of a unified and connected Interstate System and if he receives assurances that the State does not intend to construct a toll road in the traffic corridor which would be served by the route or portion thereof. Stipulates that when the Secretary withdraws his approval under this paragraph, a sum equal to the Federal share of the cost to complete the withdrawn route or portion thereof, shall be available to the Secretary to incur obligations for the Federal share of either public mass transit projects involving the construction of fixed rail facilities or the purchase of passenger equipment including rolling stock, for any mode of mass transit, or both, or projects authorized under any highway assistance program, or both, which will serve the urbanized area and the connecting non-urbanized area corridor from which the Interstate route or portion thereof was withdrawn.

Revises the apportionment formula for expenditure upon the Federal-aid systems. Directs that two-thirds of such funds shall be allocated to the Federal-aid primary system (presently one-third). Requires each State to receive at least one-half of one percent of the total funds in any year. Permits the transfer of funds within a State to alternative uses under this Act.

Makes sums apportioned to the Federal-aid system available for expenditure for three years, and such sums for the Interstate System available for expenditure for two years. Increases the amount authorized in each fiscal year for the repair or reconstruction of highways, roads, and trails which suffer serious damages as a result of natural disasters.

Permits buses up to 102 inches wide to operate on Interstate highways, existing vehicle width limitations notwithstanding. Extends Federal participation in the construction of ferry boats which are part of a Federal-aid highway system to boats constructed for use in Puerto Rico.

Permits the Secretary to provide within the rights-of-way of the primary system for areas in which signs, displays, and devices giving specific information in the interest of the traveling public may be erected and maintained.

Authorizes the Secretary to approve the request of a State to permit retention in specific areas defined by such State of directional signs, displays, and devises lawfully erected under State law in force at the time of their erection which do not conform to specified requirements of Federal law.

Directs the Secretary to encourage States to adopt programs to assure that removal of signs providing necessary directional information, which also were providing directional information on June 1, 1972, about facilities in the interest of the traveling public, be deferred until all other nonconforming signs are removed.

Authorizes the Secretary to approve projects for improvements on public roads which will facilitate and control traffic flow on any of the Federal-aid systems.

Permits the Secretary to deduct sums from apportionments under this Act for equal opportunity training programs.

Requires that fees charged for parking in a facility built to serve public transportation be limited to amounts required to maintain and operate that facility.

Authorizes the Secretary to construct or reconstruct any public highway or highway bridge across any Federal Public works project when there has been a substantial change in the requirements and cost of such highway or bridge since the public works project was authorized and when such increased costs would work an undue hardship upon local interests.

Increases the limitation on obligations for projects for bicycle and pedestrian ways.

Authorizes the Secretary to make grants to States for projects for the construction, reconstruction, and improvements of any off-system road, including, but not limited to, the correction of safety hazards, the replacement of bridges, the elimination of high-hazard locations and roadside obstacles.

Eliminates the separate funding category of landscaping and scenic enhancement and allows expenditures for such purpose out of regular construction funds.

Increases from $27,761,000 to $50,000,000 the authorization for emergency expenditures for bridges on Federal dams.

Authorizes appropriations through fiscal year 1978 for the reconstruction or replacement of bridge structures on the Overseas Highway to Key West, Florida.

Authorizes four demonstration projects of relocating railroad lines and eliminating grade level railroad highway crossings.

Requires the Secretary to carry out a project to demonstrate the feasibility of reducing the time required to complete a highway project in areas severely impacted as a result of recent or imminent change in population or traffic flow resulting from the construction of federal products.

Directs the Secretary to study the feasibility and environmental impact of a multimodal concept in constructing a route between Brunswick, Georgia, to Kansas City, Missouri, and report to Congress by July 1, 1977.

Removes the termination date of provisions of the Emergency Highway Energy Act which provided assistance for carpool programs. Extends such assistance to cover programs for carpools for the elderly and handicapped.

Permits the combination, for toll purposes, of existing crossings of San Francisco Bay with any public transportation system in the vicinity of Bay Area toll bridges, and allow the continuation of tolls past the Schedules amortization of the crossings to permit the repayment of financing costs from that source.

Authorizes the Secretary to carry out traffic control signalization demonstration projects designed to demonstrate through the use of technology not now in general use the increased capacity of existing highways, the conservation of fuel, the decrease in traffic congestion, the improvements in air and noise quality, and the furtherance of highway safety, giving priority to those projects providing coordinated signalization of two or more intersections.

Requires the Secretary to conduct a demonstration project in urban mass transportation for design, improvement, modification, and urban deployment of the Automated Guideway Transit system now in operation at the Dallas/Fort Worth Regional Airport.

Directs the Secretary to study the various factors involved in the planning, selection, programming, and implementation of Federal-aid urban system routes; to study the financing of completion of the Interstate Highway System; and to study the need for special Federal assistance in the construction or reconstruction of highways on the Federal-aid system necessary for the transportation of coal or other uses in order to promote the solution of the Nation's energy problems.

Authorizes the Secretary to determine the cost of repairing the damage to Alaska highways caused by heavy truck traffic during construction of the trans-Alaska pipeline.

Authorizes approval of construction of portions of Interstate 70 in Glenwood Springs, Colorado.

Establishes the National Transportation Policy Study Commission, which shall make a complete investigation of the transportation needs and of the resources, and policies of the United States to meet such expected needs.

=Title II: Highway Safety Act= - Authorizes appropriations through fiscal year 1978: (1) for highway safety programs; (2) for highway safety research and development; (3) for bridge reconstruction and replacement; (4) for projects for high-hazard locations; (5) for the elimination of roadside obstacles; (6) for programs relating to incentives for the reduction of traffic fatalities; and (7) for school bus driver training.

Authorizes appropriations through fiscal year 1978 for projects for the elimination of hazards of railway-highway crossings.

Authorizes additional incentive grants of up to 25 percent of a State's apportionment for a fiscal year or period to those States which have significantly reduced the actual number of traffic fatalities during the calendar year.

Authorizes the transfer of up to 40 percent (now 30 percent) of funds apportioned for specified purposes to other purposes, or transfer of 100 percent to other purposes where former purposes have been met.

Prohibits the Secretary from requiring that a State adopt or enforce a motorcycle law requiring motorcycle operators or passengers 18 years of age or older to wear a safety helmet when operating or riding a motorcycle.

Eliminates the penalty providing for the withholding of ten percent of specified Federal-aid highway construction apportionments, which is imposed on a State for failure to implement a highway safety program approved by the Secretary.

Provides that authority is conferred upon the Secretary with respect to implementation of State highway safety programs, whereby the Secretary is not compelled to require every State to comply with every uniform standard or with every element of the uniform standard.

Requires the Secretary to conduct an investigation into the relationship between the gross load on front steering axles of truck tractors and the safety of operation of vehicle combinations of which such truck tractors are a part.

Provides that the penalty for failure to implement an acceptable State safety grant program would be reduction of at least 50 percent of a State's apportionment for the grant program, the amount of the reduction depending upon the gravity of the State's failure as determined by the Secretary.