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Senator Bush. How do you tell? How can you tell which deserves the interstate treatment and which deserves the urban! There is quite a difference.
Mr. Curtiss. That is the problem that we are confronted with now in determining the disposition of this last 2,300 miles within the 40,000-mile limitation, Senator, of the Interstate System.
These reports—we have a number of reports of studies. We have one for Knoxville, I think, and one for Washington, Pa.
I would be glad to leave copies of these studies here for the members of the committee to look at or for the staff to study. I think one of the most comprehensive studies that has ever been made of the needs has just been completed in Detroit. The report has not been completed and printed yet.
Senator McNAMARA. It is by the Detroit Area Regional Planning Commission. That is the agency that has that comprehensive study, and it is a good one, Mr. Chairman. I am a member of the commission. That is why I can talk with authority.
Mr. CURTISS. You realize what a big problem it is and how it is necessary to make comprehensive studies of origin and destination of traffic to determine what is the most economical program to take care of that traffic.
Senator Bush. Mr. Chairman, I do not want to belabor this point too much, but who decides what is on the interstate and what becomes urban?
Mr. CURTISS. Under the law the selection of the Interstate System is by joint action of the State highway departments and the Secretary of Commerce.
Senator Bush. That is the Interstate System, did you say?
Mr. CURTISS. Yes, sir.
Mr. Curtiss. Yes, but in that case the State highway department cooperates with the municipality, and in the case of Detroit, there was a large group of satellite cities and the counties that were involved also.
Senator Bush. But the city, of course, would have to agree with the State. They would have to come to an agreement, just like the State and the Federal Government have to come to agreement, it is a matter of negotiation really, is it not?
Mr. Curtiss. That is the normal procedure; yes, sir.
Senator Bush. And you cannot draw just hard and fast lines, it has got to be a matter of negotiation, is that it?
Mr. Curtiss. That is right, and no two cities are exactly the same in their requirements.
Senator Case. It might also be pointed out that under the 1954 act, you might transfer within the 10 percent limitation from one fund to another.
Mr. CURTISS. Yes, sir.
Senator GORE, I might read the law in this regard. Section 2 (a) [reading]:
for the purpose of expediting the construction, reconstruction, and improvement, inclusive of necessary bridges and tunnels, of the National System of Interstate Highways, including extensions thereof through urban areas.
That is somewhat different from your language, "distributing routes within cities.”
This says, “including extensions thereof through urban areas.” Senator Bush. I would not think that was in conflict there, Mr. Chairman.
Senator GORE. Well,"through" and "within" are a bit different.
Mr. CURTISS. That is the appropriation language you are reading; is it not?
Senator GORE. I am reading from the 1954 act.
Mr. CURTiss. We have never considered that that is in conflict. That is, that the original section 7 of the 1944 act providing for the Interstate System mentioned that it must serve the national defense.
Senator GORE. Mr. Curtis, as long as the Federal contribution was 50-50 on all of the different systems, this was not a consequential matter, but when we raise the contribution to 60-40 matching basis, and the smallest of the proposals before this committee is two-thirds-onethird, and perhaps an increase in that, this becomes a very consequential matter.
Our good friends the mayors are going to be pushing their State highway departments for maximum designation of interstate routes within the metropolitan area, to use your language, so the committee is going to expect, I think, the Bureau of Roads to be something more than a yes-yes agency for the various State highway departments.
Mr. CURTiss. We expect to be, Mr. Chairman, and of necessity we must be, because from 35 States we already have requests for 2,600 miles.
I would like to read from the report
Senator Gore. That will be fine, but before you get to that, once a route has been selected and designated as an interstate highway by joint action of the Bureau of Public Roads and the State highway department, does the Bureau of Public Roads have authority to withdraw that designation ?
Suppose that a more suitable connecting route is developed. Does the Bureau of Public Roads have authority to change the designation without the approval of a State highway department ?
Mr. CURTISS. I think we would, but we would not do it normally. If a restudy indicated that a slightly different route would better serve traffic, it would be possible for the State to request a revision which the Bureau would approve.
Senator GORE. You keep placing this on the basis that the various State highway departments would be always taking the initiative. Does the Bureau of Public Roads not have any initiative?
Mr. CURTISS. The Federal Highway Act of 1921 and all subsequent legislation gave the State highway departments, the State governments, the initiative in selecting the system to be approved, and it vested in the Federal Government the authority to approve or disapprove. The 1921 act also gave the Secretary authority to require modifications in the system.
The Secretary of Agriculture in the 1921 act was given authority to approve in whole or in part the system designated by the States or to require modifications or revisions thereto. That authority still obtains.
Senator GORE. I am reading that law, to require modifications or revisions thereto, but for what purposes do you require the revision or modification of a designation ?
Mr. CURTISS. We would have to request the State to change the designation.
Senator GORE. “Request” and “require” are slightly different.
Senator Bush. Mr. Chairman, it is not again a matter of negotiation between these agencies?
Senator GORE. I think it is, but I would like to know; and this becomes, as I have said several times, increasingly important when we are considering maximizing the interstate routes and contributing the major portion.
Some people have suggested that the Federal Government assume the entire financial burden for the interstate highways, and this is a crucial matter.
Senator Bush. I agree with you, Mr. Chairman. I was not disagreeing with you, but it seems to me that the law has got to provide for the Secretary to have certain veto powers, else how is he going to make sure that his road from Pennsylvania meets his road from Ohio?
He has got to be the coordinator of this thing, and he has got to have certain authority. I believe that the way the act reads that he has it. I do not think you would want to change that, would you !
Senator GORE. I agree with your statement, and I think there should be a maximum amount of cooperation between the Bureau of Public Roads and the highway departments and the various highway departments; but every time I ask a question, not only today but before, from the Bureau of Public Roads I get that all the initiative comes from the State highway departments; and it seems that the Bureau of Public Roads' sole function is to hold the money bucket and distribute it out as they come.
I think that as we progress into this program of developing a National System of Interstate Highways, with the Federal Government bearing the larger part of the cost, that the Bureau of Public Roads must exercise some real discretion in this matter and should have the power to do so, if it does not have.
Mr. CURTISS. We have that and do exercise it. In the selection of the Interstate System, it was necessary to require States to meet at the State boundaries, and that was done through negotiation with adjoining States.
Senator GORE. I want to come back to my qeustion of a few moments ago. After having designated a certain route as an interstate highway, do you have authority to withdraw that designation of a certain route between two points and designate an improved or a different route between those points as an interstate highway or designate a route which has not been constructed, but on which the Federal Government will assume the larger portion of the cost ?
Mr. CURTISS. That situation has never arisen.
Mr. Curtiss. I would like to ask Mr. Kaltenbach for an interpretation of this 1921 provision.
Senator GORE. Why do you not come to the table, then, and give your full name to the reporter, please.
STATEMENT OF HENRY J. KALTENBACH, COUNSEL FOR THE
BUREAU OF PUBLIC ROADS, DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE Mr. KALTENBACH. I am Henry J. Kaltenbach, counsel for the Bureau.
In my opinion the 1944 act as to the designation of the Interstate System, requires action by the States, as well as action by the Bureau of Roads, and I would say that under the wording of that 1944 act, that the Bureau of Roads would not have the power to redesignate without the consent of the State. It is a joint action that is required.
However, in the bill S. 1160, we gave the Secretary of Commerce the final authority just for that reason in the new bill.
Senator GORE. Your proposal is then to give to the Secretary of Commerce the power of designation and redesignation, modification or revision without concurrence of the State?
Mr. KALTENBACH. Yes; that is what we propose.
Mr. KALTENBACH. This is on page 14 of S. 1160, section 202, and line 20, which reads:
The Secretary is authorized, in cooperation with the State highway departments, to designate as promptly as reasonably possible In other words, we still tried to retain the cooperative feature, but we gave the authority to the Secretary of Commerce.
Senator GORE. You recognize in the drafting of your bill the problem to which I have been directing inquiry then, do you?
Mr. KALTENBACH. That is correct.
Senator GORE. Then under present law, taking a look at this map, if under present law, there developed to be a more feasible connection between Salt Lake City and San Francisco than the one now going through Reno, the one going through Reno having been previously designated as interstate highway, the Bureau of Roads would not have authority to designate the new proposed road or the newly constructed route as an interstate highway unless the State highway department agreed to it?
Mr. KALTENBACH. That is correct.
Senator GORE. If you had a route going through 3 States, only a small mileage of which was in 1 State, you could not, under present law redesignate without the approval of all the States; is that correct?
Mr. KALTENBACH. That is correct.
Senator GORE. That is a problem, and I congratulate you in the Department on recognizing this problem in drafting the biu.
Senator Case. Mr. Chairman.
Senator Case. Are you prepared to nail down what was just said for us, because the 1944 act has this sentence:
The routes of the National System of Interstate Highways shall be selected by joint action of the State highway departments of each State and the adjoining States, as provided by the Federal Highway Act of November 9, 1921, for the selection of the Federal-aid system.
It is that sentence, I think, in the 1944 act, section 7, which makes the selection come under the 1921 act, and the proviso in that paragraph, to which you directed attention, is the one which insures the coordination of the Bureau and the States.
The first part of that section of the paragraph in section 6 of the 1921 act reads:
The Secretary of Agriculture shall have authority to approve in whole or in part the systems as designated or to require modifications or revisions thereof: Provided, That the States shall submit to the Secretary of Agriculture for his approval any proposed revisions of the designated systems of highways above provided for.
That is, the first part of the paragraph says the Secretary of Agriculture can require modifications or revisions, but then it immediately provides that the State shall submit to the Secretary the revision.
I, personally, just as a matter of opinion, do not think the Bureau of Public Roads should have the complete authority to make designations for the Interstate System as a general proposition.
If we want, particularly between Washington and Baltimore, to pass legislation which creates specific authority for the Federal Government to acquire right-of-way for a specific route, that is one thing.
But I do not personally think that we ought to take from the States their participation in the selection of routes, and it was for that reason that in S. 1573, I propose to require that 10-percent contribution by the States on the rights-of-way, as well as on the construction, because I thought that that 10-percent requirement would in effect insure the coordination of selection by the States and the Bureau of Public Roads. If
you have to put up part of the money, you have a voice in the decision.
Senator GORE. You recognize the same problem, but approach it in a somewhat different way. Senator, you had some statement, I believe.
Senator McNAMARA. In connection with what has just been said, is it not absolutely necessary to create a highest authority, so that when they do not agree, somebody is the final word?
Senator Case. If you do then, I think that should be regarded as a special situation and the Congress should act on that situation; but I do not think the general authority should be created.
I go back to what Senator Byrd said in his statement before the committee. I think Senator Byrd was as alarmed over that feature of S. 1160 as over any other one thing that that might create an authority whereby the Federal Government could come in without any limitation and select routes.
I think if you will refer to Senator Byrd's statement, you will find he dwelled on that possibility at some length.
Senator GORE. We have two matters of interest here. States can be expected, and properly expected, to look after the traffic needs of that particular State. Here we are passing, I believe, toward the recognition of the national interest in a System of Interstate Highways.
Maybe the two do not conflict. But in some cases, particularly where 2 and 3 States are involved, there may be a conflict of interest.
As Senator McNamara has said, it seems to me that there should be some arbitrator, some authority for arbitration.