OK Governor Challenges Regulatory Costs in Roadbuilding

Says environmental impact studies and ADA retrofits unfairly escalate states' maintenance costs

Oklahoma could dramatically increase the speed and efficiency of road and bridge projects across the state if not for cumbersome federal regulations like those that require environmental impact statements and ADA retrofits for routine maintenance, Republican Governor Mary Fallin and her transportation secretary told a panel of federal lawmakers Thursday.

Fallin and Secretary of Transportation Gary Ridley testified before three members of the U.S. House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure. The panel is conducting similar "listening sessions" across the country to receive input before reauthorizing a federal bill to fund surface transportation.

"In order to repave an existing stretch of road, states should not have to acquire a new right of way or undergo a full environmental review and be subject to such added expenses," Fallin said. "These projects within existing corridors should be exempt from ... regulations so that progress may continue to be made without delay." (More at Bloomberg.com . . . )