Legal Aspects of Transit and Intermodal Transportation Programs. Topic 18-05. Fix It, Sign It, or Close It: State of Good Repair in an Era of Budget Constraints

The condition of the transportation infrastructure in the United States is an issue of national importance. State DOTs and transit agencies are facing tough choices with limited finances. These transportation agencies are having to make decisions about how and when to keep the assets safely open to the public. Transportation agencies that are recipients of federal formula grant dollars may need the funding agency to be involved in any decision to repair the asset(s) or whether to improve, rebuild, or close them. Research is needed on the legal ramifications to transportation agencies that are faced with deciding whether to repair, improve, or rebuild assets that are in poor repair. The objective of this research is to provide a state by state summary of pertinent laws and practices related to achieving a state of good repair for transportation assets and include a summary of decisions and the experiences of transportation agencies. At a minimum, the following questions should be considered: (1) How are the assets being used? (2) When does it become prudent to close a portion of a transportation asset because there are insufficient financial resources to keep the asset safely open to the public? (3) When an asset repeatedly fails inspections and budgetary restraints persist, how is the decision made to close or shut down the asset? (4) If federal funds were used to build the failing structure, when does the funding agency weigh in on closure? (5) Does closure, or approval of a closure, constitute a federal action requiring compliance with National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA)? (6) Will federal funds need to be refunded? (7) When the public is not allowed to travel over an asset that has been closed, is there exposure for failure to provide equal protection of the laws or failure to comply with civil rights protections? (8) What governance practices are in use? (9) What lessons can be drawn from current experience?  

Language

  • English

Project

  • Status: Active
  • Funding: $50000
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project J-05, Topic 18-05

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Transit Cooperative Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC    20001

    Federal Transit Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590
  • Project Managers:

    Chisholm-Smith, Gwen

  • Performing Organizations:

    Parker Corporate Enterprises, Ltd

    City,   United States 
  • Principal Investigators:

    Parker, Terri

  • Start Date: 20190128
  • Expected Completion Date: 20200128
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01677639
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project J-05, Topic 18-05
  • Files: TRB, RiP
  • Created Date: Aug 13 2018 3:02PM