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DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY,
Washington, D. C., March 23, 1955. Hon. DENNIS CHAVEZ, Chairman, Committee on Public Works,
United States Senate. DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN : Reference is made to your recent request to the Secretary of Defense for the views of the Department of Defense with respect to S. 1048, 84th Congress, a bill to amend and supplement the Federal-Aid Road Act approved July 11, 1916 (39 Stat. 355), as amended and supplemented, to authorize appropriations for continuing the construction of highways, and for other purposes. The Secretary of Defense has delegated to the Department of the Army the responsibility for expressing the views of the Department of Defense.
This Department, on behalf of the Department of Defense, has considered the above-mentioned bill and, while certain favorable provisions in the bill are recognized, it is believed the program outlined will not meet the immediate needs of national defense. It is believed that S. 1160 which would implement the recommendations of the President's Advisory Committee on a national highway program would more effectively meet these needs. As you know, this Department has also submitted to your committee comments on that bill.
The purpose of the bill is to amend existing Federal-aid highway legislation by increasing the amount of funds authorized to be appropriated for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1956, and each succeeding fiscal year to and including the fiscal year ending June 30, 1960, and by increasing the Federal share of any project on the National System of Interstate Highways. The bill provides for an annual authorization of $1,600 million for the 5-year period. This authorization would cover Federal-aid projects on the Federal-aid primary and secondary systems including approved urban area projects, and also projects on the National System of Interstate Highways. The provisions of existing Federal-aid highway legislation relating to apportionment among the several States remain the same except for the National System of Interstate Highways. The bill would increase the Federal-aid share for any project on the National System of Interstate Highways from 60 to 66% percent of the total cost. The provisions pertaining to public lands and nontaxable Indian lands remain unchanged.
The provision in the bill increasing from 2 to 5 years the authorized Federalaid highway program is recognized as a very desirable step. This would make possible a more wisely planned program and better system development. It is also recognized that the proposed bill would increase the amount of Federal funds available for the Federal-aid systems, including the National System of Interstate Highways, over that available in the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1954. However, based on studies made by the States and the Federal Bureau of Public Roads, it will require over 30 years to complete the relatively small priority Interstate System to presently approved standards. This, when compared with the fact that the proposed bill also provides for completion of the Federal-aid primary and secondary systems in 20 to 25 years, leads to the conclusion that the proposed bill does not give adequate consideration to the priority needs of the National System of Interstate Highways, which has been determined by the Department of Defense to be the principal system of highways to serve the national defense. In this connection it is significant that to date not over 15 percent of the National System of Interstate Highways will meet prescribed standards.
Although the force and extent of an enemy attack cannot be predicted, the possible impact of such an attack is foreseeable. Traffic congestion and the inability to maintain effective highway transportation services would seriously affect areas in and between major-population, industrial and strategic centers not served by limited-access, high-volume arterial highways. It is believed that the early completion of the National System of Interstate Highways is of far greater immediate importance, from the standpoint of national defense, than increasing the Federal expenditures for improving the other systems, particularly the Federal-aid secondary system.
It is apparent that higher priority must be given to the National System of Interstate Highways if the United States is to have a relatively small system of arterial highways of uniform and modern design. It is recommended that such legislation as may be enacted provide for the completion of the National System of Interstate Highways as limited- or controlled-access highways in approximately 10 years and that this system be constructed to approved uniform standards.
While the specific fiscal effect of the bill cannot be estimated, in general its effect is to authorize the appropriation of funds for the purpose of carrying out
the various provisions of the Federal-Aid Road Act of 1916, as amended and supplemented.
This report has been coordinated among the Departments in the Department of Defense in accordance with procedures prescribed by the Secretary of Defense.
The Bureau of the Budget advises that there is no objection to the submission
ROBERT T. STEVENS,
THE SECRETARY OF COMMERCE,
Washington 25, Feb. 16, 1957.
Washington, 25, D. C. DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN : This is in reply to your letter of February 14, 1955, inviting me to testify at hearings on February 21, 1955, on S. 1048, and other Federal highway bills which may be pending before your committee at that time.
Your invitation is greatly appreciated, and I regret that other matters will require me to be absent from the city on the date of the hearing. I am, there fore, asking Mr. F. V. du Pont, a former Commissioner of the Bureau of Public Roads and now assigned to my office as a special assistant, and Mr. C. D. Curtiss, present Commissioner of the Bureau of Public Roads, to appear in my behalf.
With respect to your request that your committee be furnished with the reports, studies, and recommendations provided by the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1954 prior to the hearings on February 21, I regret to say that all of such reports, studies, and recommendations will not be available at that time.
As you know, a draft bill for a Federal-Aid Highway Act was submitted to your committee on December 30, 1954, pursuant to section 12 of the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1954. It has not been possible, however, to complete the studies authorized by sections 11 and 13 of the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1954, relating to the problems posed by relocation and reconstruction of public utilities services resulting from highway improvements, and to all phases of highway financing, respectively. These latter reports required the collection of extensive data from State highway departments, public utilities, and utility regulatory agencies in all parts of the country, and the preparation of numerous statistical analyses, maps, charts, and diagrams. Completion of the reports has also been delayed by the demands made by the President's Advisory Committee on a National Highway Program and the governor's conference on the staff of the Research Department of the Bureau of Public Roads.
As soon as it became apparent that it would not be possible to complete the reports within the time designated by the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1954, requests for extensions of time were submitted to the Vice President of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives. The Committee on Public Works of the House has granted a 60-day extension of time for submission of the reports.
Please be assured that every effort is being made to transmit these reports to
EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT,
BUREAU OF THE BUDGET,
Washington 25, D. C.. March 21, 1955.
Washington 25, D. C.
S. 1048, the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1955, and S. 1160, the National Interstate Highway Act.
In his highway message of February 22, 1955, to the Congress the President emphasized that the Federal Government should give top priority to completion of the National System of Interstate Highways. With respect to financing, he recommended "planned use of increasing revenues from present gas and diesel oil taxes, augmented in limited instances by tolls."
Since the above principles are embodied in S. 1160, I am authorized to advise you that its enactment would be in accord with the program of the President. By the same token, since S. 1048 does not incorporate these principles, its enactment would not be in accord with the program of the President. Sincerely yours,
HAROLD PEARSON, Assistant Director.
DEPARTMENT OF THE ARMY,
March 23, 1955. Hon. DENNIS CHAVEZ, Chairman, Committee on Public Works,
United States Senate. DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN : Reference is made to your request to the Secretary of Defense for the views of the Department of Defense with respect to s. 1160, 84th Congress, 1st session, a bill to create a Federal Highway Corporation for financing the construction of the National System of Interstate Highways; to amend and supplement the Federal-Aid Road Act approved July 11, 1916 (39 Stat. 355), as amended and supplemented; and for other purposes. The Secretary of Defense has delegated to the Department of the Army the responsibility for expressing the views of the Department of Defense thereon.
The Department of the Army, on behalf of the Department of Defense, has considered S. 1160. The objective of this bill, as stated in section 2 thereof, is to complete the construction of the National System of Interstate Highways within the next 10 years up to such standards as will produce safe highways adequate to handle traffic needs for at least the next 20 years. This would implement the recommendations of the President's Advisory Committee on a National Highway Program, which was transmitted to the Congress by the President on February 22, 1955. This Department favors the enactment of legislation which would accomplish this objective. However, it is believed that agencies other than the Department of Defense could more appropriately comment on the establishment of a Federal Highway Corporation and the financing provisions, as means for accomplishing this objective.
The bill would create a Federal Highway Corporation for financing the construction of the National System of Interstate Highways, within the next 10 years. The authorized expenditures would be limited to $25 billion. The Corporation would be subject to the direction and supervision of the President. Its management would be vested in a Board of Directors composed of five members. Three of these members would be public members appointed by the President, by and with the advice and consent of the Senate, without regard to political party affiliation. The President would designate a full-time Chairman of the Board from one of the public members. The remaining two members would be the Secretary of Commerce and the Secretary of the Treasury, or their representatives. The bill sets forth the management and general responsibilities, duties, powers, and financing procedures of the Corporation. Among other things the Chairman of the Board would be responsible for maintaining "liaison with the representatives of the States with respect to the policies set forth in this act. * * * In addition to managing the Corporation the Board is authorized to resolve divergencies of views concerning the interpretation or application of the policies under this act which it considers will have significant effect upon the program, excluding (1) divergencies between two or more Federal agencies. Within this limitation, the Board shall have the right to determine the matters which it shall consider and act upon, under such rules and regulations as it may prescribe.” Under its powers the Corporation "may take such actions and exercise such other powers as may be necessary, incidental or appropriate to carry out the function of the Corporation, and to further the objectives of this act."
The Secretary of Commerce would have responsibility for designating routes to take up the mileage still undesignated so that the entire 40,000 miles of this National System of Interstate Highways would be designated. In approving any undesignated mileage, the Secretary shall designate those routes which con
tribute most to the benefit of the system as a whole and are most important from the point of view of national defense. The standards to be used for the Interstate System would be those approved by the Secretary of Commerce after consultation with the Department of Defense, the Federal Civil Defense Administration, and the State highway departments. The Secretary of Commerce is authorized to make the final determination of the standards to be used, except that where there are divergencies of views the Board would resolve them in accordance with the management responsibilities above quoted. The Secretary of Commerce would be further responsible for distribution of funds to the States: scheduling of construction and participation by the States after consultation with the States, the Department of Defense, and the Federal Civil Defense Administration (except that the Board would resolve divergencies of views in accordance with the provisions above quoted) ; establishing credits of the States for existing roads and toll roads; and obtaining under the provisions of the bill the necessary rights-of-way for projects on the National System of Interstate Highways.
The Department of Defense particularly favors the objectives of the bill insofar as they would effect a specific program for completion of the National System of Interstate Highways in approximately 10 years. It also particularly favors the provisions for insuring uniform design standards and limited or controlled
These are considered mi mum requirements of any sound program for improvement of the major arterial routes which make up the National System of Interstate Highways.
The fiscal effect of the bill cannot be estimated since the payments authorized to be expended depend upon estimates by the Corporation based upon prospective revenues. However, section 204 specifically states that expenditures will not exceed $25 billion.
This report has been coordinated within the Department of Defense in accordance with procedures prescribed by the Secretary of Defense.
The Bureau of the Budget advises that there is no objection to the submission of this report for the consideration of Congress. Sincerely yours,
ROBERT T. STEVENS,
Secretary of the Army. TREASURY DEPARTMENT,
March 28, 1955. Hon. DENNIS CHAVEZ, Chairman, Committee on Public Works,
United States Senate, Washington, D. C. MY DEAR MR. CHAIRMAN: Reference is made to your request of February 23, 1955, for the views of the Treasury Department on s. 1160, a bill to create a Federal highway corporation for financing the construction of the National System of Interstate Highways.
The financing plan of the bill embodies the general financing principles contained in the Clay committee's recommendations, and we believe that this is a feasible plan. The approach used in the bill is fully consistent with our belief that funds for highway purposes should be provided out of highway-user revenues.
The Department has been advised by the Bureau of the Budget that there would be no objection to the submission of this report to your committee, and that enactment of the bill would be in accord with the program of the President. Very truly yours,
G. M. HUMPHREY, Secretary of the Treasury.
AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF STATE HIGHWAY OFFICIALS,
Washington 4, D. C., April 1, 1955. Hon. DENNIS CHAVEZ, M. C.
Senate Office Building, Washington 25, D.C. DEAR SENATOR CHAVEZ: Please find enclosed herewith the policy statement of the American Association of State Highway Officials dealing with the subject of Federal-aid highway legislative proposals. This policy was developed in Chicago on March 13, 1955, by the chief administrative officers of the State highway de partments. Forty-eight of the fifty-two member departments answered the roll
call and took part in the discussions and policy formulation. At the meeting the various current legislative proposals were thoroughly analyzed and studied.
Under the constitution of this association, which is composed of the highway departments of the 48 States, the Territories of Hawaii and Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia, and the Bureau of Public Roads, legislative policy must be approved by two-thirds of the membership, or by 35 members. The voting varied on the 16 topics considered and used in formulating the policy from 40 for and 3 against to 46 for and none against, with the Bureau of Public Roads recorded as not voting in all cases.
We believe you will find this policy statement interesting, since it comes from the group that has been the partner of the Federal Government in building the Nation's Federal-aid highways. Yours very truly.
A. E. JOHNSON, Executive Secretary.
POLICY STATEMENT OF THE AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF STATE HIGHWAY OFFI
CIALS AS DEVELOPED BY THE CHIEF ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICERS OF THE MEMBER STATE HIGHWAY DEPARTMENTS, MEETING IN CHICAGO, March 13, 1955
To insure an expanding and sound national economy, the Federal-aid highway program should be continued and enlarged to more nearly meet the demands both current and future. The program should be administered and constructed by the Bureau of Public Roads and the State highway departments as in the past—a Federal-State relationship that has been highly efficient and outstandingly successful.
Should future Federal road legislation create a national highway corporation, commission, or authority, its duties should be fiscal only.
Considering the civil and the national defense, as well as the overall economic well-being of the Nation, the Interstate System of Highways should be accorded priority treatment and its completion accomplished within a period of 10 years. A substantial, balanced construction program, however, must not be sacrificed on the other Federal-aid highway systems.
The Interstate System should be built to meet the anticipated traffic demands of 20 years hence, and constructed to design standards promulgated and approved by the American Association of State Highway Officials, and with the application of, and the provision for, access control features in accordance with warrants promulgated and approved by the American Association of State Highway Officials. The location and design of the Interstate System should be the joint responsibility of the State highway departments and the Bureau of Public Roads. The actual determination of the location of the routes between control points should be based upon engineering studies, traffic analyses, and economic comparisons.
The building of the Interstate System would be jeopardized if it were redesignated or extended beyond its 40,000-mile statutory limitation.
The Interstate System program should be accelerated, and the Congress, in its good judgment, should determine the method of financing. If it decided that it is necessary to finance the work by credit financing, the association approves such action.
Because of the need for expediting the construction through all States simultaneously, provision should be made for the Federal Government, upon petition of the State and in the interest of national defense, to procure the necessary rights-of-way and access control on the Interstate System. Because of the heavy demands made upon the States for financing roads having more local interest than the Interstate System, and because of the national interest and responsibility of the Federal Government in the Interstate System, the association recommends that the Federal contribution to the cost of the capital improvements on that system be between 90 and 95 percent, and that these funds be apportioned to the States on the basis of need.
The State highway departments should be responsible for the design, letting of contracts, supervising construction, and, upon completion, should have the sole responsibility, at State expense, of maintaining, policing, and operating the facility.
As a matter of equity and so as not to discriminate against the States that have already constructed a portion of the Interstate System, the association