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JUSTIFICATION OF ESTIMATE
Mr. MacDonald. The following is our justification statement on this item.
Federal-aid highway system Regular appropriation, 1942 act.
$100, 000, 000 Base, 1943
100, 000, 000 Decrease
-40, 000, 000
Total estimate for 1943..
60, 000, 000
PURPOSE OF APPROPRIATION
Under the terms of the Federal Highway Act, the authorization for any fiscal year is apportioned among the States not later than January 1 next preceding the beginning of such fiscal year and becomes available immediately for obligation (exhibit A). The first step in the obligating of these funds is accomplished through the submission of programs of projects by the State highway departments, following the approval of which individual projects are advanced to the construction stage. The construction contracts are entered into by the State highway departments, and claims for the Federal pro-rata share of the cost are submitted as the work progresses.
This appropriation carries the funds necessary to make payments to the States and for the necessary administrative and engineering costs of supervising the program initiated under the authorization.
On November 28, 1941, the designated Federal-aid highway system included 235,833 miles of the main highways of the country, connecting all principal cities, county seats, and other market centers in the United States (exhibit B). As of June 30, 1941, about 153,654 miles of this system had been improved with Federalaid funds and 10,436 miles were under construction or approved for construction. (Details included in general statement.)
In order that Federal-aid highway funds might be used on projects which would be of importance to national defense as well as meeting civilian highway needs, the Bureau of Public Roads formally requested the advice of the War Department in this connection in 1919 and there has followed close cooperation with the War Department since that time. In the selection of the Federal-aid highway system which was authorized in the Federal Highway Act of November 9, 1921, routes indicated by the War Department as having importance from a military standpoint and shown on the so-called “Pershing” map dated August 23, 1922, were incorporated in the original system. Also Federal-aid highway and bridge work has been carried forward under specifications and construction standards designed to accommodate military equipment. For the past several years the Public Roads Administration and State highway departments, in cooperation with the War Plans Division of the General Staff, have been engaged in an intensive study of highways important to the national defense. As a result a War Department map was recently issued showing the traffic routes of military importance, dated May 15, 1941. The routes shown diagrammatically on this map approximate 78,600 miles and is referred to as the strategic network." The Defense Highway Act of 1941 formally recognized the strategic network in the following language:
“That as used in this Act the term 'strategic network of highways' means all existing or proposed highways which conform to routes designated on the diagrammatic map of principal highway traffic routes of military importance dated October 25, 1940, revised to May 15, 1941, and approved by the Secretary of War. The Federal Works Administrator is authorized to designate existing or proposed highways conforming to such approved routes and interconnections as lines of the strategic network of highways."
Since July 1, 1940, a separate record has been kept of Federal-aid highway and grade-crossing projects which were either on the strategic network or provided access to a defense activity As of December 31, a total of Federal funds of $159,879,102 has been allocated to such projects. This work involved 6,331.5 miles of construction-2,226.3 miles on which preliminary engineering or construction supervision has been provided; 1,231 structures, of which 228 eliminated highway-railroad grade crossings; and 202 flashing light signals, gates, or similar protective devices at highway-railroad grade crossings During the continuance of the present emergency the Federal-aid highway and grade-crossing program will be restricted to projects of importance to the national defense.
AVAILABLE FUNDS, 1942 The sum of $100,000,000 was appropriated in the Independent Offices Appropriation Act of 1942 to provide for highway work on the Federal-aid highway system (exhibit C). This amount was composed of $95,000,000, a part of the amount authorized for the fiscal year 1941, and $5,000,000, a partial reimbursement of regular Federal-aid funds expended on flood-damage repairs and reconstruction in accordance with the provisions of section 3 of the act approved June 18, 1934 (48 Stat 994).
ESTIMATE FOR 1943
The estimate of $60,000,000 is composed of $20,000,000. the remainder of the amount authorized for the fiscal year 1941, and $40,000,000, a part of the amount authorized for the fiscal year 1942.
45, 000 10,000
PURPOSE OF AUTHORIZATION The purpose of this authorization is to permit the use of not to exceed $55,000 of the administrative funds available to the Public Roads Administration for the purchase of passenger-carrying vehicles It is estimated that this amount will permit the needed replacement of 89 vehicles at an average net cost of about $615 each, as set forth in detail in the Budget schedule These vehicles are necessary to provide highway transportation to engineers of the Public Roads Administration engaged in the survey, inspection, supervision, etc , of Federal and Federal-aid highway projects including access roads to defense activities,
Mr. WOODRUM. For personal services in the present year you had $1,100,000 and you are asking for $1,135,000 for the coming fiscal year. I assume that increase is represented by promotions under the Ramspeck Act?
Mr. MacDONALD. That is due to promotions under the Ramspect Act.
Mr. WOODRUM. That is accounted for almost entirely by that?
NEW LANGUAGE REQUESTED Mr. Woodrum. What is the explanation of this new language on
$20,000,000, which is the remainderof the amount authorized to be appropriated for the fiscal year 1941 by section 1 of the act approved June 8, 1938, and$40,000,000, which is a part of the amount authorized to be appropriated for the fiscal year 1942, by section 1 of the Act approved September 5, 1940.
What is the explanation of that new language?
Mr. MacDONALD. That is language to indicate the authorizations under which the appropriation is being made.
Mr. WOODRUM. It carries them forward?
Mr. MacDONALD. Yes, sir.
Mr. WOODRUM. And that is the $60,000,000 that we are appropriating; is that the idea?.
Mr. MacDONALD. Yes, sir; that is correct.
PURCHASE OF AUTOMOBILES
Mr. WOODRUM. There is a change in the amount, indicated on the next page, from $45,000 to $55,000, to be available for the purchase of motor-propelled passenger-carrying vehicles.
What is that?
Mr. MacDonĄLD. That is to provide for automobile replacement and purchase.
Mr. WOODRUM. What is the explanation of the change in the limitation of cost from $750 to $1,200?
Mr. MacDONALD. That refers only to one vehicle. That is to replace the vehicle used by me personally, but under present circumstances I do not expect that we will buy a new one.
Mr. WOODRUM. You think you will be riding a bicycle before it is all over?
Mr. MacDONALD. Yes. I am willing to have that item taken out for the Commissioner's car.
Mr. WOODRUM. We just wanted the information, Mr. MacDonald.
TRANSFER OF HOUSEHOLD GOODS AND EFFECTS
Mr. WIGGLESWORTH. Referring to page 169 of the bill, you have struck out the limitation, “not exceeding $5,000,” with reference to the transfer of household goods and effects. What is the explanation of that?
Mr. MacDONALD. The exigencies of our present program have been such that our $5,000 limitation is not sufficient.
Mr. WIGGLESWORTH. How much do you expect to spend in 1942 for that purpose?
Mr. MacDONALD. We are asking that the limitation be taken off.
Mr. WIGGLESWORTH. How much do you expect to expend in fact during this fiscal year? You cannot spend more than $5,000, but how much do you expect to expend in the fiscal year 1943?
Mr. MacDONALD. I do not think more than double that amount. We might need double that amount.
Mr. WIGGLESWORTH. Would $10,000 cover it?
Mr. MacDONALD. Because of the necessity of moving personnel to replace men that are called into the service or due to the dislocation of our normal programs; we will have so much more work in defense areas for example, at the moment, on the West coast.
Mr. WIGGLESWORTH. I thought that you are going to do less work.
Mr. MacDonald. We will do less work in the regular program, but that will be more than made up by the defense program provided under the defense road appropriation.
Mr. WIGGLESWORTH. The access roads, and so forth?
AMOUNT AVAILABLE FOR FEDERAL HIGHWAY ROADS Mr. WIGGLESWORTH. None of the work which will be done under access roads is of the same character as is to be done under this $40,000,000 request, is it?
Mr. MacDONALD. Yes.
Mr. WIGGLESWORTH. In other words, there is apparently a comparison here between $100,000,000 this year and $60,000,000 next year.
Mr. MacDONALD. That is right.
Mr. WIGGLESWORTH. Is any of that difference reflected in access roads that will be built under the access roads appropriation?
Mr. MacDONALD. Not access roads, but other defense roads, on the strategic network. Practically every mile of the strategic network is a main-line route.
Mr. WIGGLESWORTH. What funds are those being built out of?
Mr. MacDONALD. In the going program, out of the regular Federal aid, plus State funds.
Mr. WIGGLESWORTH. Not out of this $60,000,000?
Mr. WIGGLESWORTH. What I am trying to ascertain is whether in the current fiscal year the $100,000,000 can be fairly compared with $60,000,000 which you are asking for the next fiscal year, or are these other funds available?
Mr. MacDonald. The additional program will be from the special funds for defense roads.
Mr. WIGGLESWORTH. The Federal highway system will be built-
Mr. MacDONALD. The funds provided under the Defense Highway Act of 1941.
Mr. WIGGLESWORTH. Already provided? Mr. MacDonald. Already provided. For access roads, $150,000,000 has been authorized. The supplemental appropriation act approved December 17, carries $125,000,000-$75,000,000 in cash and $50,000,000 of contractual authorization. There is also authorized $25,000,000 for strategic network, to be apportioned and $25,000,000 unapportioned to the States for the strategic network roads.
Mr. WIGGLESWORTH. So there is $50,000,000 available for Federal highway roads of this character?
Mr. MacDONALD. $50,000,000; yes; for the same class of certified projects as the $60,000,000.
USE OF CURRENT ESTIMATE FOR NATIONAL DEFENSE PROJECTS
Mr. WIGGLESWORTH. One other question on this item. Do I understand that all of this $60,000,000 that you are requesting, if approved, will be used for national-defense roads, roads deemed necessary for national-defense purposes?
Mr. MacDONALD. Every dollar that is expended for new projects will be used for that purpose. We are unable to determine with the same high degree of accuracy, with which we are usually able to predict, the extent to which the States will provide State funds to match with this $60,000,000 for certified defense projects. For the first time in
many years we are frankly somewhat puzzled as to the exact amount required. We may need more than the $60,000,000, if we have more than that amount of strategic network projects certified. But we think this amount is reasonably indicated under the existing limitations on expenditures.
Mr. STARNES. Mr. MacDonald, was any consideration given to the fact that in many of the States we have large cantonments training forty or fifty or sixty thousand troops under our training program, and therefore the roads in that particular State, in that particular area, would be given an unusual test by virtue of the amount of traffic that would go over them? Did you take into consideration that fact in making the allocation of funds in your Federal-aid system here?
Mr. MacDONALD. The allocations to the States of Federal-aid authorizations are in accordance with the formula laid down by Congress. We do not determine that.
Mr. STARNES. You did not change that formula in making the allocations for this $60,000,000 expenditure?
Mr. MacDONALD. No, sir; but the States do obtain, under the new Defense Road Act, the benefit of a higher pro rata of Federal participation; that is, we had formerly the basis 50–50 division of construction costs. Under the new law, on any projects built on the strategic system, the ratio will be 75-25, so that if a State had a number of military centers in it, more projects would be certified and therefore the State would participate to a greater degree.
Mr. FITZPATRICK. Did they not eliminate that in Congress, the allocation to certain States, leaving it up to the Administrator as to which would be more necessary?
Mr. MacDONALD. The $25,000,000 item for the strategic network and the access roads funds are not apportioned among the States by any formula.
Mr. FITZPATRICK. That is what I say; it is not allocated at all. That is left up to the administration as to where it is more necessary to spend the money.
Mr. STARNES. Will you set out in the record the proposed allocation of the $60,000,000 by States?
Mr. MacDONALD. It is impossible to do that now, because the allocation will depend upon the certified projects as they come in from the States. Up to the limit of the State authorization, however, any State that is willing to spend the 25 percent will be able to get its entire apportionment.
Mr. STARNES. I understood you to say heretofore that you have been able to do that; you have been able to determine with a reasonable degree of accuracy the allocation by States, and if I recall correctly, our records heretofore have shown that allocation.
Mr. MacDONALD. Yes. I can show the allocation of the authorization by States, but this is a cash expenditure.
Mr. STARNES. You will not be able to show that with any degree of accuracy?
Mr. MacDonald. No, sir.
Mr. HENDRICKS. That would depend upon the immediate. necessity, would it not?
Mr. MacDonald. Yes. But that does not mean that any State will ultimately lose any of its apportioned funds. This $60,000,000 is an appropriation to provide the funds to cover the authorizations that were allocated to the States upon the formula basis.