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Agency Information Collection Activities: Notice of Request for Extension of Currently Approved Information Collection

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Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), DOT.


Notice of request for extension of currently approved information collection.


The FHWA invites public comments about our intention to request the Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) approval for renewal of an existing information collection that is summarized below under SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION. We are required to publish this notice in the Federal Register by the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995.


Please submit comments by October 16, 2007.


You may submit comments identified by DOT DMS Docket Number FHWA-2007-28992 by any of the following methods:

Web Site: Follow the instructions for submitting comments on the DOT electronic docket site.

Fax: 1-202-493-2251.

Mail: Docket Management Facility, U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC 20590.

Hand Delivery: U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

Docket: For access to the docket to read background documents or comments received, go to at any time or to U.S. Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC 20590, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

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Greg Wolf, 202-366-4655, Office of Program Administration, Federal Highway Administration, Department of Transportation, 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE., Washington, DC 20590, between 7:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, except Federal holidays.

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Title: Emergency Relief Funding Applications.

OMB Control #: 2125-0525.

Background: Congress authorized in Title 23, United States Code, Section 125, a special program from the Highway Trust Fund for the repair or reconstruction of Federal-aid highways and roads on Federal lands which have suffered serious damage as a result of natural disasters or catastrophic failures from an external cause. This program, commonly referred to as the Emergency Relief or ER program, supplements the commitment of resources by States, their political subdivisions, or other Federal agencies to help pay for unusually heavy expenses resulting from extraordinary conditions. The applicability of the ER program to a natural disaster is based on the extent and intensity of the disaster. Damage to highways must be severe, occur over a wide area, and result in unusually high expenses to the highway agency. Examples of natural disasters include floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, tidal waves, severe storms, and landslides. Applicability of the ER program to a catastrophic failure due to an external cause is based on the criteria that the failure was not the result of an inherent flaw in the facility but was sudden, caused a disastrous impact on transportation services, and resulted in unusually high expenses to the highway agency. A bridge suddenly collapsing after being struck by a barge is an example of a catastrophic failure from an external cause. The ER program provides for repair and restoration of highway facilities to pre-disaster conditions. Restoration in kind is therefore the predominate type of repair expected to be accomplished with ER funds. Generally, all elements of the damaged highway within its cross section are eligible for ER funds. Roadway items that are eligible may include: Pavement, shoulders, slopes and embankments, guardrail, signs and traffic control devices, bridges, culverts, bike and pedestrian paths, fencing, and retaining walls. Other eligible items may include: Engineering and right-of-way costs, debris removal, transportation system management strategies, administrative expenses, and equipment rental expenses. This information collection is needed for the FHWA to fulfill its statutory obligations regarding funding determinations for ER eligible damages following a disaster. The regulations covering the FHWA ER program are contained in 23 CFR Part 668.

Respondents: 50 State Transportation Departments, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, Northern Mariana Islands, and the Virgin Islands.

Estimated Average Annual Burden: The respondents submit an estimated total of 30 applications each year. Each application requires an estimated average of 250 hours to complete.

Estimated Total Annual Burden Hours: Total estimated average annual burden is 7,500 hours.

Public Comments Invited: You are asked to comment on any aspect of this information collection, including: (1) Whether the proposed collection is necessary for the FHWA's performance; (2) the accuracy of the estimated burdens; (3) ways for the FHWA to enhance the quality, usefulness, and clarity of the collected information; and (4) ways that the burden could be minimized, including the use of electronic technology, without reducing the quality of the collected information. The agency will summarize and/or include your comments in the request for OMB's clearance of this information collection.

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Authority: The Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995; 44 U.S.C. Chapter 35, as amended; and 49 CFR 1.48.

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Issued on: August 13, 2007.

James R. Kabel,

Chief, Management Programs and Analysis Division.

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[FR Doc. E7-16194 Filed 8-16-07; 8:45 am]