FHWA Accepting Nominations for Emergency Route Working Group

The committee of as many as 25 members will provide advice and recommendations to the secretary of Transportation on best practices for expeditious state approval of special permits for vehicles involved in emergency response and recovery.

The Federal Highway Administration will be appointing members of the Emergency Route Working Group, a federal advisory committee established under the Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, and continues to accept nominations until Sept. 23. The panel of as many as 25 members will provide advice and recommendations to the secretary of Transportation on best practices for expeditious state approval of special permits for vehicles involved in emergency response and recovery.

FHWA will choose members from the public and private sectors, including representatives from state departments of transportation and emergency response and safety groups. Nomination materials should be emailed to erwg@dot.gov, faxed to the attention of Crystal Jones at 202-366-3225, or mailed to Crystal Jones, Federal Highway Administration, Office of Freight Management and Operations, Room E84-314, 1200 New Jersey Avenue SE, Washington, DC 20590.

The act states that the committee will be established for up to a two-year period and that it will provide a written report to the secretary by Dec. 4, 2016, on its findings and recommendations. The members selected will provide views and perspective on whether:

  • impediments currently exist that prevent speedy state approval of special permits for vehicles involved in emergency response and recovery
  • it is possible to pre-identify and establish emergency routes between states through which infrastructure repair materials could be delivered following a natural disaster or emergency
  • a state could pre-designate an emergency route as a certified emergency route if a motor vehicle that exceeds the otherwise applicable federal and state truck length or width limits may safely operate along the route during periods of declared emergency and recovery from them
  • an online map could be created to identify each pre-designated emergency route with information on specific limitations, obligations, and notification requirements along routes

Committee members are expected to serve terms of two years or less. The chair and vice chair will be appointed by the FHWA administrator, and the committee is expected to meet 12 times before it terminates one year after the group delivers its report to the secretary.

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