OMB Clears National Tunnel Inspection Standard Rule

DOT's regulatory agenda indicates the final rule will be published during July 2015.

A final rule that establishes a National Tunnel Inventory could be issued within a month by the Federal Highway Administration, now that OMB’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) has completed its review of the proposed National Tunnel Inspection Standard rule.

The rule is modeled on the existing national bridge inspection standards and includes requirements for the inventory, as well as inspection procedures and the qualifications and training of tunnel inspectors.

A federal surface transportation funding law known as MAP-21, the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act, signed by President Obama on July 6, 2012, expanded FHWA's authority to include all highway tunnels.

The current DOT regulatory agenda indicates the final rule will be published during July 2015. It will require tunnel owners to report their inspection findings to FHWA and to correct any critical findings found in those inspections.

FHWA had proposed national tunnel inspection standards in July 2010 and revised them to include changes mandated by Map-21 two years later.

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