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Industry News / Infrastructure

March 5, 2019

U.S. DOT Secretary Chao Calls for Streamlined Permitting

U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao said cutting red tape at the federal level continues to be a primary goal at the U.S. Department of Transportation.

“Money aside, as important as that is, the department is striving to make structural changes – streamlining the permit process so projects can be delivered more quickly while protecting the environment and maintaining safety standards,” said Chao at the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) 2019 Washington Briefing last week.

ACEC submitted recommendations to the Administration in 2017 for facilitating efficient project delivery and has been coordinating closely with AASHTO and other stakeholders on implementing regulatory changes.

“The goal here is to make every dollar invested in infrastructure to go further without compromising outcomes," she continued. "Construction productivity has been flat for 30 years – and clearly too many [transportation] projects are over budget and behind schedule due in part to federal red tape.”

Chao struck a hopeful note regarding the possibility of passing a new federal transportation infrastructure program: "Infrastructure is among the top two or three policy matters that leaders of both parties are supporting with a bipartisan approach.”


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