2015 End of Session Wrap Up: Transportation & Public Works

This post summarizes the status of various transportation and public works bills that MACo took a position on for the 2015 Regular Session.

Notice of Sidewalk Closures: HB 545 would require a person who obtains a specified permit from the State Highway Administration for work that would cause a sidewalk to be closed or who does the work associated with the permit to provide, at least 72 hours in advance, written notice of a sidewalk closure to affected businesses and property owners and post a notice at the work site providing specified information.

MACo opposed the bill as counties already have procedures in place to address sidewalk closures. To address MACo’s concern, the sponsor offered an amendment at the hearing clarifying that the legislation would not apply to local governments.

FINAL STATUS:  The House Environment and Transportation Committee voted the bill unfavorable.

Payment for Relocation of Water and Sewer Lines: HB 920 would require the State Highway Administration (SHA) to pay for costs when a federal project drives the relocation of a water or sewer line of a publicly owned utility. That cost is to be considered part of the cost of the federal project and must be included in the Consolidated Transportation Program.

MACo supported the bill stating that the current process followed by SHA does not provide an avenue for local governments to seek reimbursement for the relocation of water and sewer lines around military installations. HB 920 represents a reasonable approach for the reimbursement of these one-time costs.

FINAL STATUS:  The House Environment and Transportation Committee voted the bill unfavorable.

MACo HB 920 Testimony

Use of Recycled Aggregate: HB 1202 would require each highway construction or maintenance project that includes a pavement component to use at least 10% recycled aggregate in all bound pavement layers.

MACo took a position to support this bill with amendments. However, the bill was introduced late and never moved from the House Rules Committee to a standing policy committee.

FINAL STATUS: The bill died in the House Rules Committee.