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Phyllis Harden

Legislative & Special Projects, Pine Bluff Sand & Gravel
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Reform Transportation Program

Support Reform to Focus on National Priorities, Including Freight Movement and Congestion Relief; and Include More Reliance on Performance Standards and Accountability of Government

Background:

  • A strong federal role in surface transportation planning and funding is important to the nation’s future and should be maintained. Continuation of a strong federal role requires that the program be focused on national priorities. The existing program has lost focus and the public has lost confidence in the federal government’s ability to meet surface transportation needs.  Reforms must be made to maximize the effectiveness of the federal investment.

AGC Message:

  • Promote National Goals. Federal investment should be focused on programs promoting national goals, including freight mobility, congestion relief, and safety.
  • Eliminate Funding Categories. In order for a newly focused federal program to successfully focus on the NHS, many existing funding categories will have to be eliminated and/or incorporated into the newly expanded NHS program. The majority of funding should focus on keeping the NHS in a state of good repair and adding capacity necessary to keep the NHS fully functional and accommodate future growth.
  • Surface Transportation Program. For the rest of the needs, a program like the Surface Transportation Program could allow access to a more flexible dollars without existing sub-allocations,
  • Establish Realistic Performance Benchmarks. These benchmarks should be established in conjunction with the aforementioned national goals to allow for measurement of program objectives.
  • Reform Earmarking Process. Create a methodology for use in selecting projects to receive earmarked funds employing state transportation priorities listings, hierarchy of transportation needs, and cost/benefit analysis.
  • Allow States to Ranks Priorities. Reduce or eliminate funding set-asides and federal dictates that take away from state decisions that will maximize the efficiency of the program.
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