[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 221 (Wednesday, November 16, 2016)]
[Notices]
[Pages 80712-80713]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-27504]


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DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

Federal Highway Administration

[FHWA Docket No. FHWA-2016-0029]


FAST Act Section 1422 Study on Performance of Bridges

AGENCY: Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), DOT.

ACTION: Notice and request for comment.

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SUMMARY: Section 1422 of the Fixing America's Surface Transportation 
(FAST) Act directs the Administrator of the Federal Highway 
Administration (FHWA) to commission the Transportation Research Board 
of the National Academy of Sciences to conduct a study on the 
performance of bridges that received funding under the Innovative 
Bridge Research and Construction program in meeting the goals of that 
program. Section 1422 also directs the Administrator of FHWA to provide 
an opportunity for public comment on the study proposal before 
commissioning the study. This notice provides the study proposal and 
the opportunity for public comment.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before December 16, 2016.

ADDRESSES: Mail or hand deliver comments to Docket Management Facility: 
U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE., Room 
W12-140, Washington, DC 20590. You may also submit comments 
electronically at www.regulations.gov. All comments should include the 
docket number that appears in the heading of this document. All 
comments received will be available for examination and copying at the 
above address from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., e.t., Monday through Friday, 
except Federal holidays. Those desiring notification of receipt of 
comments must include a self-addressed, stamped postcard or you may 
print the acknowledgment page that appears after submitting comments 
electronically. Anyone is able to search the electronic form of all 
comments in any one of our dockets by the name of the individual 
submitting the comment (or signing the comment, if submitted on behalf 
of an association, business, or labor union). The DOT posts these 
comments, without edit, including any personal information the 
commenter provides, to www.regulations.gov, as described in the system 
of records notice (DOT/ALL-14 FDMS), which can be reviewed at 
www.dot.gov/privacy.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Mr. Derek Constable, Office of Bridges 
and Structures, (202) 366-4606, or via email at 
derek.constable@dot.gov; Mr. Shay Burrows, Office of Bridges and 
Structures, (202) 366-4675, or via email at shay.burrows@dot.gov; for 
legal questions, Mr. Robert Black, (202) 366-1359, or via email at 
robert.black@dot.gov, 1200 New Jersey Ave. SE., Washington, DC 20590. 
Office hours are from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., e.t., Monday through 
Friday, except Federal holidays.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

Electronic Access

    An electronic copy of this notice may be downloaded from the 
specific docket page at www.regulations.gov.

Background

    As directed by FAST Act Section 1422, FHWA will commission the 
Transportation Research Board to conduct a study on the performance of 
bridges funded by the Innovative Bridge Research and Construction 
(IBRC) program as provided under section 503(b) of Title 23, United 
States Code, and in effect on the day before the date of enactment of 
the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A 
Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU). The IBRC program was originated by the 
Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21) with the 
purpose of demonstrating the application of innovative material 
technology in the construction of bridges and other structures. Seven 
goals were identified in TEA-21. SAFETEA-LU continued the program, but 
amended the program name, purpose, and goals. The program was then 
discontinued with the passage of the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 
21st Century (MAP-21) Act. The FAST Act directs FHWA to commission the 
Transportation Research Board to conduct a study on the performance of 
bridges that received funding under the IBRC program. The IBRC program 
provided funding to help defray costs on more than 400 projects.
    The study will include an analysis of the performance of bridges 
that received funding under the IBRC program in meeting the program 
goals;
    (A) The development of new, cost-effective innovative material 
highway bridge applications;
    (B) the reduction of maintenance costs and lifecycle costs of 
bridges, including the costs of new construction, replacement, or 
rehabilitation of deficient bridges;

[[Page 80713]]

    (C) the development of construction techniques to increase safety 
and reduce construction time and traffic congestion;
    (D) the development of engineering design criteria for innovative 
products and materials for use in highway bridges and structures;
    (E) the development of cost-effective and innovative techniques to 
separate vehicle and pedestrian traffic from railroad traffic;
    (F) the development of highway bridges and structures that will 
withstand natural disasters, including alternative processes for the 
seismic retrofit of bridges; and
    (G) the development of new nondestructive bridge evaluation 
technologies and techniques.
    The study also will include an analysis of the utility, compared to 
conventional materials and technologies, of each of the innovative 
materials and technologies used in projects for bridges under the 
program in meeting the needs of the United States in 2015 and in the 
future for a sustainable and low lifecycle cost transportation system; 
recommendations to Congress on how the installed and lifecycle costs of 
bridges could be reduced through the use of innovative materials and 
technologies, including, as appropriate, any changes in the design and 
construction of bridges needed to maximize the cost reductions; and a 
summary of any additional research that may be needed to further 
evaluate innovative approaches to reducing the installed and lifecycle 
costs of highway bridges.
    The FAST Act requires each State that received funds under the 
program to provide to the Transportation Research Board any relevant 
data needed to carry out the study.
    The FHWA proposes to focus the study on only the technologies 
implemented by the IBRC program and will only include bridges that 
received IBRC program funding. The FHWA's Recommendations to Congress 
on how to reduce the installed and life cycle costs of bridges will 
also be based upon the IBRC program study and improvements inspired by 
the program. In addition, FHWA proposes to focus the study on the 
effect of the designs, materials, and construction methods on the 
performance of bridges while they are in service.
    The FHWA proposes that the assessment of the performance of bridges 
while they are in service will use existing information and data that 
is known or has already been collected by the bridge owners. The FHWA 
proposes the TRB contact recipients of IBRC funding to provide 
information and data by interview, survey, and/or release of records. 
Interviews and surveys may be required to determine which projects to 
focus the study on and to gather relevant background, cost, and 
performance information. Records required may include data, documents, 
and reports associated with design, construction, in-service 
inspection, maintenance, evaluation, monitoring, and other relevant 
phases or activities.
    Interested parties are invited to provide comment on this study 
proposal.

    Authority: Sec. 1422, Pub. L. 114-94, 129 Stat. 1312; 49 CFR 
1.85.

    Dated: November 9, 2016.
Gregory G. Nadeau,
Administrator, Federal Highway Administration.
[FR Doc. 2016-27504 Filed 11-15-16; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 4910-22-P