H.Res. 1344: H.R. 3999 – National Highway Bridge Reconstruction and Inspection Act of 2007

COMMITTEE ACTION: REPORTED BY VOICE VOTE  on Tuesday, July 15, 2008.
FLOOR ACTION: ADOPTED BY RECORD VOTE 228-193 AFTER AGREEING TO THE PREVIOUS QUESTION BY RECORD VOTE 228-192 on Wednesday, July 23, 2008.

 

MANAGERS: Arcuri/Diaz-Balart, Lincoln

110th Congress 
2nd Session

H.RES. 1344

[Report No. 110-760]

 

H.R. 3999 – National Highway Bridge Reconstruction and Inspection Act of 2007

  1. Structured rule.
  2. Provides one hour of general debate equally divided and controlled by the chairman and ranking minority member of the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.
  3. Waives all points of order against consideration of the bill except those arising under clause 9 or 10 of rule XXI.
  4. Provides that the amendment in the nature of a substitute printed in part A of the Rules Committee report accompanying the resolution shall be considered as an original bill for the purpose of amendment and shall be considered as read.
  5. Waives all points of order against the amendment in the nature of a substitute except those arising under clause 10 of rule XXI.  This does not affect the point of order available under clause 9 of rule XXI (regarding earmark disclosure).
  6. Makes in order only those further amendments printed in part B of the Rules Committee report accompanying the resolution.
  7. Provides that the amendments made in order may be offered only in the order printed in the report, may be offered only by a Member designated in the report, shall be considered as read, shall be debatable for the time specified in the report equally divided and controlled by the proponent and an opponent, shall not be subject to amendment, and shall not be subject to a demand for division of the question in the House or in the Committee of the Whole.
  8. Waives all points of order against the amendments printed in part B of the Rules Committee report except for those arising under clause 9 or 10 of rule XXI.
  9. Provides one motion to recommit with or without instructions.
  10. Provides that, notwithstanding the operation of the previous question, the Chair may postpone further consideration of the bill to a time designated by the Speaker.

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RESOLUTION

            Resolved, That at any time after the adoption of this resolution the Speaker may, pursuant to clause 2(b) of rule XVIII, declare the House resolved into the Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union for consideration of the bill (H.R. 3999) to amend title 23, United States Code, to improve the safety of Federal-aid highway bridges, to strengthen bridge inspection standards and processes, to increase investment in the reconstruction of structurally deficient bridges on the National Highway System, and for other purposes.  The first reading of the bill shall be dispensed with.  All points of order against consideration of the bill are waived except those arising under clause 9 or 10 of rule XXI.  General debate shall be confined to the bill and shall not exceed one hour equally divided and controlled by the chairman and ranking minority member of the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.  After general debate the bill shall be considered for amendment under the five-minute rule. It shall be in order to consider as an original bill for the purpose of amendment under the five-minute rule the amendment in the nature of a substitute printed in part A of the report of the Committee on Rules accompanying this resolution.  That amendment in the nature of a substitute shall be considered as read.  All points of order against that amendment in the nature of a substitute are waived except those arising under clause 10 of rule XXI.  Notwithstanding clause 11 of rule XVIII, no amendment to that amendment in the nature of a substitute shall be in order except those printed in part B of the report of the Committee on Rules.  Each such amendment may be offered only in the order printed in the report, may be offered only by a Member designated in the report, shall be considered as read, shall be debatable for the time specified in the report equally divided and controlled by the proponent and an opponent, shall not be subject to amendment, and shall not be subject to a demand for division of the question in the House or in the Committee of the Whole.  All points of order against such amendments are waived except those arising under clause 9 or 10 of rule XXI.   At the conclusion of consideration of the bill for amendment, the Committee shall rise and report the bill to the House with such amendments as may have been adopted.  Any Member may demand a separate vote in the House on any amendment adopted in the Committee of the Whole to the bill or to the amendment in the nature of a substitute made in order as original text.  The previous question shall be considered as ordered on the bill and amendments thereto to final passage without intervening motion except one motion to recommit with or without instructions.

             Sec. 2.  During consideration in the House of H.R. 3999 pursuant to this resolution, notwithstanding the operation of the previous question, the Chair may postpone further consideration of the bill to such time as may be designated by the Speaker.

 

SUMMARY OF AMENDMENT IN PART A TO BE MADE IN ORDER AS ORIGINAL TEXT

             Section 1 of the amendment changes the short title of the bill to the “National Highway Bridge Reconstruction and Inspection Act of 2008.”

             Section 2 requires the Secretary of Transportation (“Secretary”) to develop a system to assign a risk-based priority to repair, rehabilitate, or replace each structurally-deficient or functionally-obsolete bridge.  It requires the National Academy of Sciences to review the process for assigning risk-based priorities for repair, reconstruction, or replacement of structurally-deficient and functionally-obsolete bridges.  It also establishes the requirements for State participation in the Highway Bridge Program.  States are required to establish a five-year performance plan for the inspection of highway bridges and the rehabilitation and replacement of any structurally-deficient or functionally-obsolete bridges.

             Section 3 provides that the standards established under this Act are to be designed to ensure uniformity among the States in the conduct of inspections and evaluations.  It sets forth minimum standards for inspections.  It requires the Secretary to expand its bridge inspector training program to ensure that all persons conducting highway bridge inspections receive appropriate training and certification.  It requires annual inspections of structurally-deficient highway bridges.

             Section 4 expands the activities eligible to receive funding under the highway research program to include research into non-destructive inspection technologies.

             Section 5 authorizes $1 billion in FY 2009 to repair, reconstruct, and replace structurally-deficient bridges on the National Highway System.  Funds are to be distributed by formula pursuant to Federal-aid highway apportionments for Federal-aid highway bridges under the Highway Bridge Program.  Funds shall be used for the replacement or rehabilitation of structurally-deficient National Highway System bridges.  Funds may not be transferred to other Federal-Aid Highway programs.  The amendment prohibits any congressional or administration earmarks of funding provided under this program.

             Section 6 authorizes the Secretary to establish and implement a pilot program for two fiscal years to evaluate the effectiveness, accuracy, and reliability of the use of advanced condition assessment inspection processes and technologies in monitoring and evaluating the structural health of a highway bridge.  The Secretary is authorized to make grants to States to conduct projects under the pilot program.

TEXT OF PART A

SUMMARY OF AMENDMENTS MADE IN ORDER

(summaries derived from information provided by sponsors)

1. Oberstar (MN):

 

Would make technical corrections to the amendment in the nature of a substitute.

 (10 minutes)

 

 

2. Mica (FL):

 

Would require the Government Accountability Office to conduct a study of the Federal Highway Administration’s bridge rating system.  The study shall specifically address the effectiveness of using the terms “structurally deficient” and “functionally obsolete” in describing the condition of the highway bridge inventory in the United States.

 (10 minutes)

 

 

3. Diaz-Balart, Mario (FL):

 

Would consider emergency evacuation routes in the risk-based prioritization for replacement or rehabilitation of deficient bridges.

 (10 minutes)

 

 

4. Walz (MN):

 

Would require the Secretary of Transportation to report to Congress, within 15 days of issuing a critical finding that result in the closure of a bridge, on the economic impact and impact on regional transportation that will result from the bridge closure.  The amendment also requires the Secretary to recommend solutions to mitigate such impacts.

 (10 minutes)

 

 

5. Miller, Candice (MI):

 

Would require the Secretary of Transportation to conduct a study on the cost benefits of using carbon fiber composite materials in bridge projects instead of traditional construction materials.

 (10 minutes)

 

 

6. Conaway (TX)/Sutton (OH)/Arcuri (NY):

 

Would express that it is the sense of Congress to encourage States that receive Federal funding to develop corrosion mitigation and prevention plans. The plans are encouraged to contain expected useful life of the bridge, details of corrosion mitigation and prevention methods in construction and maintenance of the bridge, certification and approval by a corrosion expert and corrosion training for all bridge inspectors. 

 (10 minutes)

 

 

7. Shays (CT):

 

Would request the GAO to conduct a study on factors contributing to bridge construction and rehabilitation delays and ways to expedite construction projects.

 (10 minutes)

 

 

8. Loebsack (IA):

 

Would require the Secretary, in consultation with the states to study the risks posed by a “500 year” flood to bridges on federal-aid highways, bridges on other public roads, and bridges on Indian reservations and park bridges while also giving consideration to safety, serviceability, essentiality for public use, and public safety,  The Secretary would report the results to Congress not later than 2 years after enactment of the legislation.

 (10 minutes)

 

 

9. Shea-Porter (NH):

 

Would allow a state performance plan to provide for increased inspection of a historic bridge rather than rehabilitation or replacement.

 (10 minutes)

 

 

10. Childers (MS):

 

Would provide that none of the funds may be used to employ workers in violation of section 274A of the Immigration and Nationality Act

 (10 minutes)

 

 

11. Capuano (MA):

 

Would create a National Tunnel Inspection Program that would establish national tunnel inspection standards and ensure uniformity among the States in the conduct of such inspections.

 (10 minutes)