WASHINGTON U.S. Sen. George Voinovich (R-OH) recently
introduced an amendment to update 40-year-old highway construction
rules and better balance development and preservation needs.
The amendment represents an agreement between state highway
officials the American Association of State Highway
and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) and the leading
historic preservation organization the National Trust
for Historic Preservation, which worked together to draft
compromise language they both could support.
Voinovich offered the amendment to the Safe, Accountable,
Flexible, and Efficient Transportation Equity Act of 2003
(SAFETEA) which the Senate began debating last week. Voinovich
is a member of the Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee,
which wrote the highway bill.
This legislation strikes a reasonable balance so that
were preserving our irreplaceable heritage and parklands
while also allowing highway development projects that are
important to our economic growth to move ahead, the
I was impressed with the cooperative spirit displayed
by the groups involved and glad that agreement could be reached.
The publics interest is being met on many levels and
Im glad to help play a role in that.
Voinovichs amendment revises rules that were created
in the early 1960s to prevent the construction of the newly
authorized Interstate highway system from destroying historically
significant sites and public parkland. With the Interstate
system now completed, however, updates to the policies are
Voinovichs amendment will maintain critical protections
for historically significant sites and publicly owned parkland
by ensuring reviews by state historic preservation offices
and park officials. It will also ensure that those reviews
are done early in a highway projects process to prevent
expensive disruptions later.
"This agreement is a breakthrough, offering a positive,
constructive approach to addressing key historic-preservation
issues," said AASHTO Executive Director John Horsley.
The National Trust is grateful to Senator Voinovich
and the Ohio Department of Transportation for taking a leadership
role in reaching out to a variety of stakeholders to develop
this consensus position on Section 4(f), said Richard
Moe, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
The National Trust fully supports this amendment as
it relates to historic sites, and the entire preservation
community joins us in that endorsement, including our partners
Preservation Action and the National Conference of State Historic
Preservation Officers. We also want to acknowledge the tireless
and effective support of Senators Warner, Jeffords, and Chafee
as we have worked to protect Americas heritage."