The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) recently signed six programmatic agreements with the Nebraska Department of Roads (NDOR), allowing dozens of highway projects with no significant environmental impacts to move forward, Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez announced.
"Finding new ways to help such projects get started, while maintaining our commitment to the environment and putting people back to work, will help us strengthen communities throughout the state," said Mendez. "Innovation like this is truly a ‘win-win' for all levels of government."
Today's announcement fulfills a promise Mendez made to get stalled projects moving and to find innovative new ways to accelerate delivery of highway projects. These delays were one of the issues raised at a transportation summit in Lincoln, Neb., last March hosted by U.S. Sen. Ben Nelson.
In partnership with the state, the FHWA responded with the agreements, which give immediate environmental clearance for several types of projects and allow state and local officials to advance federally funded transportation projects toward construction.
As a result, many highway projects across the state—such as sign installation and replacement, lighting and signal repair or replacement, pavement marking, visual bridge inspections, at-grade railroad crossing improvements and other nonconstruction activities—will soon begin.
"In this economic climate, getting highway projects moving is a top priority," said Mendez. "Relatively small projects like these should be advanced quickly and easily to help improve roads and to create jobs."