Senate Panel Asks for Details on Planned Changes to DOD’s Roads Program
The Department of Defense is considering improving and expanding the Defense Access Roads (DAR) program, according to the committee report accompanying the fiscal 2013 military construction and veterans affairs spending bill approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee on Tuesday.
The changes are intended to address the strict eligibility requirements of the program, which is the only mechanism DOD has for upgrading roads outside of military installations. To be eligible for aid through the DAR program, an installation must demonstrate that traffic congestion for commuters has doubled, an extremely high hurdle for urban areas to satisfy, according to the report.
The lawmakers direct DOD to provide Congress its plan and recommendations for updating the DAR program when it submits its FY 2014 budget request next February.
“Well-planned and maintained transportation infrastructure adjacent to military facilities increases mobility, improves livability and enhances relations between the base and the local community,” the report states.
The lawmakers ask DOD to consider ways it can work with the Department of Transportation, state governments and local communities to find alternatives to efficiently address critical transportation infrastructure shortfalls near military installations. The committee also encourages the department to improve interagency coordination to harness other federal resources and address major traffic needs at installations affected by large population increases.
The spending bill, S. 3215, and committee report, S. Rpt. 112-168, will be available from Thomas shortly.