At a Jan. 9 meeting in Jefferson
City, MO, the Federal Highway Administration’s Charles Nottingham
said national security is the agency’s top priority, followed by doing
a better job on safety and improving just-in-time delivery of goods.
Today’s highway system, built
by President Eisenhower to help ensure national security, can be improved
if all transportation networks work together efficiently, he said.
As part of that effort, the
Bush administration will take steps to ease congestion on the nation's
highways. A presidential task force is set to review congestion-reduction
projects, he said.
Nottingham spoke at a Missouri
Transportation Conference sponsored by the Missouri Chamber of Commerce
and Missouri Farm Bureau. He said the government would work in partnership
with states, which would be encouraged to develop their own plans,
such as seat belt programs, to improve safety.
"Last year, more than 40,000
people were killed in traffic accidents," Nottingham, associate administrator
for policy, said. "The number is coming down, but it’s a tragic and
He said highway projects across
the nation often take too long complete. That, coupled with a rather
poor economy, probably explains why many transportation funding efforts
failed in many states, he added.
--By Dick Larsen, senior