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Federal bill lays groundwork for new transportation projects

The OCTA is enthusiastic in its support of the new legislation

by Caitlin AdamsPublished: February 02, 2012 02:55 PM

Yesterday, a new bill came before congress that outlines steps that will allow Orange County to undertake a number of infrastructure projects in the coming years, creating thousands of local jobs. The Orange County Transportation Authority (OCTA) is voicing its strong support for the legislation, and has created the ‘Breaking Down Barriers’ initiative to fuel support for the bill and speed its passage.

Representatives from OCTA are praising Rep. John Mica (R-Fla.), chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, for his work on releasing the federal transportation reauthorization bill. The legislation would provide $260 billion in funding for infrastructure projects over the next four and a half years, while issuing much-needed changes to current projects and processes.

“Infrastructure projects are one of the best ways to create jobs and keep America moving, but there are many barriers that add significant delays,” said Jerry Amante, OCTA director and Tustin councilmember. “We can break through those barriers by supporting the accelerated project delivery provisions outlined in this transportation bill.”

The bill’s main terms include removing the bureaucratic barriers that impede the progress of infrastructure projects and streamlining the environmental review process by delegating it to state agencies. Other provisions include integrating planning and programming approaches for infrastructure projects.

“Investing in our transportation systems is essential to ensuring our country’s prosperity,” said OCTA chairman and Laguna Niguel mayor Paul Glaab. “This bill puts America on the right track to making much-needed transportation improvements while creating jobs that pay well.”

The Breaking Down Barriers initiative is a national strategy led by OCTA to facilitate project delivery, while maintaining safe processes for protecting the environment, and expediting the creation of more than 800,000 jobs.

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