Library of Congress Summary
The summary below was written by the Congressional Research Service, which is a nonpartisan division of the Library of Congress.
Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1991 - Authorizes appropriations out of the Highway Account of the Highway Trust Fund (HTF) for:
(1) the National Highway Program;
(2) the Urban and Rural Program;
(3) the Bridge Program; and
(4) the Right-of-Way Revolving Fund. Specifies that unobligated balances of funds apportioned or allocated to a State under Federal highway provisions before October 1, 1991, shall be available for obligation in such State under the law, regulations, policies, and procedures relating to the obligation and expenditure of those funds in effect on September 30, 1991.
Provides for the establishment of the National Highway System (NHS) to consist of:
(1) the highways of the Interstate System (IS);
(2) other urban and rural principal arterials, including toll facilities;
(3) highways of the Strategic Highway Network (SHN) (defined as a network of highways that constitutes an important factor in U.S. strategic defense policy); and
(4) major Strategic Highway Network Connectors (SHNCs) (which provide access from major military installations to the SHN). Makes the following activities, subject to specified conditions, eligible for funding:
(2) operational and highway safety improvements;
(3) modifications to existing facilities necessary to accommodate other modes;
(4) transportation planning; and
(5) highway research and development.
(1) designation of the NHS, other than the IS, SHN, and SHNCs, shall be by the State in cooperation with local officials;
(2) in urbanized areas, local officials shall act through the designated metropolitan planning organizations;
(3) the NHS shall be based on a functional reclassification of roads and streets in each State which shall be designated not later than September 30, 1993, in accordance with guidelines issued by the Secretary of Transportation; and
(4) the Secretary shall have the authority to approve, in whole or in part, the NHS and may add segments to the NHS as necessary to meet National Highway Program objectives.
Sets forth further specifications with respect to new construction or major reconstruction of NHS beltways and bypasses.
Directs the Secretary to establish an Urban and Rural Program to provide a category of funds that minimizes Federal requirements and provides flexibility in the use of available funds for either highway or transit projects.
Specifies eligible highways and projects.
Requires States to:
(1) have an ongoing bridge inspection and inventory system; and
(2) develop a method to distribute apportionments within the State fairly and equitably to rural areas, urban areas, and urbanized areas of over 200,000 in population.
Sets forth provisions with respect to the obligation of funds, and the Federal share of projects, for the construction of toll roads, bridges, and tunnels.
Declares it to be in the vital interest of the nation that a program be established to enable the States and Federal agencies to replace and rehabilitate highway bridges over waterways, other topographical barriers, other highways, or railroads when the States or Federal agencies and the Secretary find that a bridge is important, that a bridge is unsafe and poses a safety hazard to highway users, that replacement or rehabilitation would minimize disruptions, delays, and costs to users, or that replacement or rehabilitation would provide more efficient routes for emergency services.
Directs the Secretary to:
(1) inventory all highway bridges on any public road which are bridges over waterways, other highways, and railroads;
(2) classify them according to serviceability, safety, and essentiality for public use;
(3) based on such classification, assign each a priority for replacement with a computable facility or rehabilitation; and
(4) determine the cost of replacing each such bridge with a comparable facility or of rehabilitating such bridge.
Sets forth requirements and procedures for Federal participation in, and approval of, bridge replacement and rehabilitation projects.
Makes funds available to the States under a Major Bridge Discretionary Program. Sets forth criteria and requirements under such Program. Authorizes States to give special consideration to low volume traffic bridges qualifying for replacement or repair under such Program. Encourages, and authorizes the Secretary to allocate funds to, States to initiate or expand efforts for planning and program development for scenic byways.
Sets forth provisions regarding the availability and apportionment of funds for the various programs, including specifications of the Federal share of certain projects.
Authorizes a State to transfer up to 15 percent of its annual apportionments for the National Highway Program, the Urban and Rural Program, and the Bridge Program among the three programs, as it determines necessary.
Sets forth limitations on obligations for Federal-aid highway programs for FY 1992 through 1996 and provisions regarding the redistribution of unused obligation authority.
House Democratic Caucus Summary
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