Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA)

Federal Transportation Bill Speeds Up Project Delivery, Creates Jobs, Protects Environment

The Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) applauded congressional leaders for taking the necessary steps to invest in America’s transportation future by passing the federal transportation reauthorization bill.

The 27-month bill outlines $105 billion in funding for transportation projects along with changes to current programs and processes.

Key provisions in the bill will break down the bureaucratic barriers to project delivery and expedite project implementation, including changes to make the environmental review process more efficient, integrate planning and programming approaches and delegate the responsibility for environmental review to states.

The changes are based on OCTA’s Breaking Down Barriers initiative, which was launched nearly three years ago, bringing together local and national leaders to identify ways to accelerate transportation project delivery without sacrificing the environmental review process.

"We are delighted that breaking down barriers to project delivery is included in the transportation authorizing legislation," said OCTA Chairman Paul Glaab, also the mayor of Laguna Niguel. "Ensuring we preserve the environment while moving critical projects to construction was a challenge but one that has been embraced with bipartisan support."

In August, Congressman Gary Miller released the Breaking Down Barriers Act of 2011 intended to speed up the delivery of transportation projects and put hundreds of thousands of Americans to work.

The bill provides stable transportation funding and would not have been possible without the efforts of Sen. Barbara Boxer and those members of the Orange County delegation who worked for its passage.

"We are grateful to Congressman Miller who has led the charge for these provisions since OCTA presented them to him nearly three years ago," said Jerry Amante, an OCTA board member and Tustin city councilman. “This will result in faster projects, quicker jobs creation and savings to the American taxpayer."