State transportation officials are voicing fears over new federal regulations being considered. Under proposed rules expanding on the 1998 Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21), states and local agencies would be urged to link road and highway projects more closely to planning and development studies, and to address environmental justice concerns. But Steve Brown, an administrator with the Georgia Department of Trans-portation, says the new rules will increase the time -- and cost -- of road projects.
"These regulations would require more resources and we would have to use more consultants," says Brown. "Time is money."
Brown estimates that projects currently taking five or six years to complete will be stretched over eight or nine years instead.
A Sept. 26, 2000, deadline has been set for comment on the proposed rules. For details, go to the U.S. Department of Transportation website at www.dot.gov.