A-15719, OCTOBER 29, 1926, 6 COMP. GEN. 302

A-15719: Oct 29, 1926

Additional Materials:

Contact:

Edda Emmanuelli Perez
(202) 512-2853
EmmanuelliPerezE@gao.gov

 

Office of Public Affairs
(202) 512-4800
youngc1@gao.gov

ARE MANDATORY IN THEIR PROHIBITION THAT GOVERNMENT FUNDS MAY NOT BE USED IN AID OF THE CONSTRUCTION OR RECONSTRUCTION OF ANY BRIDGE OR FERRY OVER WHICH A TOLL IS CHARGED. THIS RESTRICTION IS APPLICABLE TO THE PORTION OF THE HIGHWAY LEADING THERETO. AUTHORITY GRANTED BY CONGRESS TO CONSTRUCT A TOLL BRIDGE IN AN INDEPENDENT STATUTE DOES NOT WAIVE OR MODIFY THE RESTRICTION ON FEDERAL AID NOR IS IT MATERIAL WHETHER THE TOLL BRIDGES OR FERRIES WERE CONSTRUCTED BEFORE OR AFTER THE FEDERAL AID LEGISLATION. THIS DECISION IS FOR APPLICATION AFTER ITS DATE TO ALL PROJECTS UPON WHICH ACTUAL CONSTRUCTION HAD NOT BEEN STARTED. CONTAINING A GENERAL STATEMENT AS TO THE USE OF APPROPRIATED FEDERAL AID FUNDS FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF APPROACHES TO BRIDGES OR FERRIES OVER WHICH A TOLL IS CHARGED THE PUBLIC.

A-15719, OCTOBER 29, 1926, 6 COMP. GEN. 302

FEDERAL AID TO ROADS - TOLL BRIDGES AND FERRIES THE ACTS OF JULY 11, 1916, 39 STAT. 356, AND NOVEMBER 9, 1921, 42 STAT. 214, ARE MANDATORY IN THEIR PROHIBITION THAT GOVERNMENT FUNDS MAY NOT BE USED IN AID OF THE CONSTRUCTION OR RECONSTRUCTION OF ANY BRIDGE OR FERRY OVER WHICH A TOLL IS CHARGED, AND THIS RESTRICTION IS APPLICABLE TO THE PORTION OF THE HIGHWAY LEADING THERETO, FROM SUCH TOLL BRIDGE OR FERRY BACK TO A POINT TO WHICH A REASONABLE USE WOULD BE MADE OF THE HIGHWAY OTHER THAN AS A MEANS OF APPROACH TO SUCH BRIDGE OR FERRY. AUTHORITY GRANTED BY CONGRESS TO CONSTRUCT A TOLL BRIDGE IN AN INDEPENDENT STATUTE DOES NOT WAIVE OR MODIFY THE RESTRICTION ON FEDERAL AID NOR IS IT MATERIAL WHETHER THE TOLL BRIDGES OR FERRIES WERE CONSTRUCTED BEFORE OR AFTER THE FEDERAL AID LEGISLATION. THIS DECISION IS FOR APPLICATION AFTER ITS DATE TO ALL PROJECTS UPON WHICH ACTUAL CONSTRUCTION HAD NOT BEEN STARTED.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE, OCTOBER 29, 1926:

CONSIDERATION HAS BEEN GIVEN TO YOUR LETTER OF SEPTEMBER 15, 1926, CONTAINING A GENERAL STATEMENT AS TO THE USE OF APPROPRIATED FEDERAL AID FUNDS FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF APPROACHES TO BRIDGES OR FERRIES OVER WHICH A TOLL IS CHARGED THE PUBLIC, AND REQUESTING DECISION OF SEVERAL QUESTIONS IN CONNECTION THEREWITH. AFTER SETTING FORTH THE CONSIDERATIONS WHICH HAVE SERVED TO FORMULATE THE GENERAL POLICY OF THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE, YOU CONCLUDE AS FOLLOWS:

IN VIEW OF THE ABOVE, THE DEPARTMENT HAS FELT THAT THE PROVISION IN THE FEDERAL AID LEGISLATION AGAINST TOLLS CONTEMPLATED, GENERALLY, THAT A REASONABLE TIME MIGHT BE ALLOWED FOR THE REMOVAL OF TOLLS IN CASES WHERE SUCH CHARGES MIGHT BE ENCOUNTERED, PARTICULARLY IN VIEW OF SUBSEQUENT LEGISLATION BY CONGRESS AUTHORIZING THE CONSTRUCTION OF TOLL BRIDGES AT POINTS ON THE SYSTEM OF FEDERAL-AID HIGHWAYS AND UNDER CIRCUMSTANCES WHICH WOULD SEEM OUT OF HARMONY WITH ANY OTHER CONSTRUCTION. IT, THEREFORE, TOOK THE VIEW THAT IN THE CASE OF TOLL FERRIES OR BRIDGES IN EXISTENCE AT THE TIME THE FEDERAL-AID LEGISLATION WAS ENACTED THERE MIGHT BE INSTANCES WHERE IT WOULD BE PERMISSIBLE TO ALLOW THE EXPENDITURE OF FEDERAL FUNDS IN THE IMPROVEMENT OF HIGHWAYS LEADING DIRECTLY THERETO, PARTICULARLY IN INSTANCES WITH REFERENCE TO WHICH THE STATE OR LOCAL AUTHORITIES WOULD ARRANGE, OR WOULD AGREE TO ARRANGE, FOR THE REMOVAL OF THE TOLL CHARGES WITHIN A REASONABLE TIME, THE QUESTION OF WHAT WOULD CONSTITUTE A REASONABLE TIME BEING A MATTER FOR DETERMINATION IN EACH CASE ACCORDING TO THE CIRCUMSTANCES AND FACTS PECULIAR TO IT. IN THE CASE OF TOLL FERRIES OR BRIDGES CONSTRUCTED OR ESTABLISHED SUBSEQUENT TO THE PASSAGE OF SUCH LEGISLATION, HOWEVER, THE DEPARTMENT TOOK THE VIEW THAT SINCE SUCH CROSSINGS MIGHT HAVE BEEN BRIDGED WITH THE AID OF FEDERAL FUNDS SUCH FUNDS, AS A GENERAL RULE, SHOULD NOT BE EXPENDED IN THE IMPROVEMENT OF HIGHWAYS LEADING THERETO FOR A REASONABLE DISTANCE THEREFROM IN EACH DIRECTION THE QUESTION OF WHAT WOULD CONSTITUTE A REASONABLE DISTANCE IN EACH CASE BEING A MATTER FOR DETERMINATION IN THE LIGHT OF THE FACTS PECULIAR TO SUCH CASE. PURSUANT TO THE FOREGOING, SOME PROJECTS HAVE BEEN APPROVED FOR IMPROVEMENT WITH FEDERAL AID OF HIGHWAYS LEADING TO TOLL FERRIES OR BRIDGES WHICH WERE IN EXISTENCE AT THE TIME THE FEDERAL AID HIGHWAY LEGISLATION WAS ENACTED, BUT IN THESE CASES, GENERALLY, SUCH APPROVAL HAS BEEN SUBJECT TO THE CONDITION THAT THE TOLL FERRY OR BRIDGE WOULD BE MADE FREE WITHIN SUCH STIPULATED PERIOD AS WAS DETERMINED WOULD BE FEASIBLE AND PRACTICABLE IN EACH CASE FOR ARRANGEMENTS TO BE MADE FOR FREEING THE CROSSING OF TOLLS. IN LIKE MANNER, SOME PROJECTS HAVE BEEN APPROVED FOR IMPROVING WITH FEDERAL AID HIGHWAYS LEADING TO TOLL FERRIES OR BRIDGES CONSTRUCTED OR ESTABLISHED SUBSEQUENT TO THE PASSAGE OF THE FEDERAL AID LEGISLATION, BUT ONLY IN CASES WHERE DEFINITE PROVISION WAS MADE FOR THE REMOVAL OF THE TOLL CHARGES WITHIN A SPECIFIED TIME, OFTEN BEFORE THE FINAL PAYMENT OF FEDERAL FUNDS ON THE PROJECT WOULD BE MADE. IN THIS WAY A GREAT MANY TOLL FERRIES AND BRIDGES HAVE BEEN MADE FREE. FEDERAL FUNDS, HOWEVER, HAVE BEEN PAID IN ANY INSTANCE ON ANY TOLL STRUCTURE OR TOLL FERRY, OR ON ANY EQUIPMENT INCIDENT TO THEIR ESTABLISHMENT AND OPERATION.

AT THE PRESENT TIME THE DEPARTMENT HAS UNDER CONSIDERATION THE QUESTION OF ENTERING INTO AN AGREEMENT WITH THE LOUISIANA HIGHWAY COMMISSION FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF LOUISIANA FEDERAL-AID PROJECT NO. 169, SECTION A OF WHICH BEGINS AT THE EAST SIDE OF THE ATCHAFALAYA RIVER AND EXTENDS EASTERLY FOR 4.93 MILES IN POINTE COUPEE PARISH AND IS PROPOSED FOR IMPROVEMENT AT AN ESTIMATED COST OF $138,910.93 ON THE BASIS OF WHICH $61,107.87 FEDERAL AID IS REQUESTED, AND SECTION B OF WHICH BEGINS AT THE WEST SIDE OF THE ATCHAFALAYA RIVER AND EXTENDS WESTERLY FOR 7.469 MILES IN ST. LANDRY PARISH AND IS PROPOSED FOR CONSTRUCTION AT AN ESTIMATED COST OF $194,082.93 ON THE BASIS OF WHICH $85,623.66 FEDERAL AID IS REQUESTED.

THE ATCHAFALAYA RIVER, THEREFORE, SEPARATES SECTIONS A AND B OF THIS PROJECT AND THERE IS NO FREE OR TOLL FERRY OR BRIDGE BY WHICH HIGHWAY TRAFFIC MAY NOW CROSS THE RIVER. HOWEVER, THE N.O.T. AND M. RAILROAD CROSSES THE RIVER AT THIS POINT AND THE LOUISIANA HIGHWAY COMMISSION HAS ENTERED INTO AN AGREEMENT WITH THE RAILROAD COMPANY, UNDER AUTHORIZATION OF ACT NO. 37 OF THE 1924 LOUISIANA LEGISLATURE, REGULAR SESSION, WHEREBY THE RAILROAD BRIDGE IS TO BE CONVERTED INTO A COMBINATION HIGHWAY AND RAILROAD BRIDGE WITH TOLLS TO BE CHARGED FOR HIGHWAY TRAFFIC THERE OVER, THE RATES OF SUCH TOLLS TO BE ADJUSTED EVERY SIX MONTHS BY THE LOUISIANA HIGHWAY COMMISSION AND THE RAILROAD COMPANY, ACTING JOINTLY, SO THAT THEY WILL YIELD EACH YEAR THE SUM OF $21,178.25 TO COVER THE ESTIMATED COST AND EXPENSE TO THE RAILROAD COMPANY OF THE INSTALLATION, MAINTENANCE, DEPRECIATION, OPERATION, AND INSURANCE OF THE PROPERTY TO BE UTILIZED FOR HIGHWAY PURPOSES UNDER THE TERMS OF THE AGREEMENT. UNDER THE TERMS OF THIS AGREEMENT, THE LOUISIANA HIGHWAY COMMISSION IS GIVEN THE RIGHT AT ANY TIME DURING THE EXISTENCE OF THE CONTRACT EITHER TO REDUCE THE RATES OF TOLLS OR TO ELIMINATE SAID TOLLS ALTOGETHER UPON THE ANNUAL PAYMENT BY IT TO THE RAILROAD COMPANY OF SAID SUM OF $21,178.25, OR THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SAID SUM AND THE AMOUNT YIELDED BY THE TOLLS IF THE STATE SHOULD ELECT MERELY TO REDUCE THE RATES INSTEAD OF TO ELIMINATE THE TOLLS.

WHEN THE PROJECT STATEMENT FOR THIS PROJECT WAS SUBMITTED TO THE DEPARTMENT, IT WAS APPROVED SUBJECT TO THE CONDITION THAT THE BRIDGE PROPOSED TO BE PROVIDED FOR CROSSING THE ATCHAFALAYA RIVER BE MADE FREE FROM TOLLS WITHIN A PERIOD OF FIVE YEARS AFTER BEING OPENED UP FOR HIGHWAY TRAFFIC, OR THAT FREE FERRY SERVICE BE PROVIDED AT THE CROSSING. THE LOUISIANA HIGHWAY COMMISSION PROPOSES TO MAKE THE BRIDGE FREE AFTER THE EXPIRATION OF FIVE YEARS FROM THE DATE THAT IT MAY BE OPENED UP TO TRAFFIC BY PAYING TO THE RAILROAD COMPANY THE $21,178.25 STIPULATED IN THE AGREEMENT. HOWEVER, THE AGREEMENT IS DATED FEBRUARY 12, 1926, AND STIPULATES THAT UNLESS PREVIOUSLY TERMINATED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS THEREOF IT SHALL REMAIN IN FORCE FOR A TERM OF TEN YEARS FROM THE DATE THE BRIDGE SHALL BE OPENED FOR HIGHWAY TRAFFIC, AND THAT AT OR BEFORE THE EXPIRATION OF SAID TERM THE PARTIES MAY RENEW THE SAME, OR MAKE A NEW CONTRACT, OR, AT THE ELECTION OF EITHER, MAY ABANDON THE USE OF SUCH BRIDGE FOR HIGHWAY PURPOSES AND EXCLUDE THE PUBLIC THEREFROM. THIS CONTRACT FURTHER STIPULATES THAT HIGHWAY TRAFFIC OVER THE BRIDGE SHALL AT ALL TIMES BE SUBORDINATE TO RAILROAD TRAFFIC THERE OVER. WHILE THE LOUISIANA HIGHWAY COMMISSION GIVES ASSURANCE THAT IT WILL ASSUME THE CHARGES AGAINST THE BRIDGE AT THE EXPIRATION OF FIVE YEARS FROM THE DATE THAT IT MAY BE OPENED TO TRAFFIC, A RIGHT WHICH IS GIVEN IT UNDER THE TERMS OF ITS AGREEMENT WITH THE RAILROAD COMPANY, NEVERTHELESS, THERE IS NO ASSURANCE AS TO WHAT PROVISION WILL BE MADE, OR WHETHER ANY PROVISION AT ALL WILL BE MADE, FOR HIGHWAY TRAFFIC TO GET ACROSS THE RIVER AFTER THE EXPIRATION OF THE 10-YEAR PERIOD FOR WHICH THE AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE LOUISIANA HIGHWAY COMMISSION AND THE RAILROAD COMPANY IS TO RUN.

THE DEPARTMENT, THEREFORE, WOULD APPRECIATE YOUR ADVICE AS TO WHETHER OR NOT FEDERAL FUNDS PROPERLY MAY BE EXPENDED ON SECTIONS A AND B OF LOUISIANA PROJECT NO. 169, IN VIEW OF THE CONDITIONS OBTAINING WITH REFERENCE TO TOLLS IN CONNECTION WITH THE PROPOSED BRIDGE ACROSS THE ATCHAFALAYA RIVER AND THE TEMPORARY NATURE OF THE PROVISION ACTUALLY PROPOSED FOR FREEING THIS CROSSING FROM TOLL CHARGES.

YOUR LETTER WOULD APPEAR TO SUBMIT FOR CONSIDERATION THE FOLLOWING GENERAL CLASSES OF TOLL BRIDGES AND FERRIES, THE APPROACHES TO WHICH HAVE BEEN OR ARE HEREAFTER FOR CONSTRUCTION UNDER THE FEDERAL AID ROAD ACT OF JULY 11, 1916, 39 STAT. 355, OR UNDER THE FEDERAL HIGHWAY ACT OF NOVEMBER 9, 1921, 42 STAT. 214:

1. TOLL BRIDGES AND FERRIES CONSTRUCTED OR ESTABLISHED AND IN OPERATION PRIOR TO THE PASSAGE O THE TWO FEDERAL-AID STATUTES IN A MANNER PRESCRIBED BY THE STATUTES OF THE STATES IN WHICH LOCATED UNDER FRANCHISES LAWFULLY OBTAINED, WHICH MADE IT EXCEEDINGLY DIFFICULT IN SOME INSTANCES FOR THE STATES OR OTHER LOCAL SUBDIVISIONS TO ARRANGE FOR THE ACQUISITION OF SUCH TOLL BRIDGES AND FERRIES, WITH A VIEW TO FREEING THEM FROM TOLL CHARGES.

2. TOLL BRIDGES AND FERRIES THAT ARE INCLUDED IN AN APPROVED SYSTEM OF FEDERAL-AID HIGHWAYS, THE CONSTRUCTION AND OPERATION OF WHICH HAVE BEEN SPECIFICALLY AUTHORIZED BY ACTS OF CONGRESS SUBSEQUENT TO THE PASSAGE OF THE FEDERAL-AID ACTS.

3. TOLL BRIDGES AND FERRIES CONSTRUCTED OR ESTABLISHED SUBSEQUENT TO THE PASSAGE OF THE FEDERAL-AID STATUTES UNDER LOCAL LAWS AND NOT UNDER SPECIFIC AUTHORIZATION BY THE CONGRESS.

SECTION 1 OF THE ACT OF JULY 11, 1916, 39 STAT. 356, PROVIDED:

* * * THAT ALL ROADS CONSTRUCTED UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ACT SHALL BE FREE FROM TOLLS OF ALL KINDS.

SECTION 2 OF THE SAME STATUTE PROVIDED:

* * * NECESSARY BRIDGES AND CULVERTS SHALL BE DEEMED PARTS OF THE RESPECTIVE ROADS COVERED BY THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ACT.

SECTION 9 OF THE ACT OF NOVEMBER 9, 1921, 42 STAT. 214, PROVIDES IN PART AS FOLLOWS:

THAT ALL HIGHWAYS CONSTRUCTED OR RECONSTRUCTED UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ACT SHALL BE FREE FROM TOLLS OF ALL KINDS.

SECTION 2 OF THE SAME STATUTE, 42 STAT. 212, PROVIDES IN PART AS FOLLOWS:

THE TERM "HIGHWAY" INCLUDES * * *, BRIDGES, * * *.

WHILE NOTHING APPEARS IN EITHER OF THE STATUTES RELATIVE TO FERRIES, IT WOULD SEEM THAT AS A FERRY IS ESTABLISHED AND OPERATED IN LIEU OF A BRIDGE, THE TWO MAY BE CONSIDERED ON THE SAME BASIS IN SO FAR AS THE QUESTIONS HERE INVOLVED ARE CONCERNED.

IN DECISION OF AUGUST 29, 1924, 4 COMP. GEN. 234, 236, IT WAS HELD:

IT IS WELL SETTLED THAT A BRIDGE INCLUDES THE ABUTMENTS AND APPROACHES NECESSARY TO MAKE IT ACCESSIBLE. THE CLINTON BRIDGE, 10 WALL. 454; UNITED STATES V. CINCINNATI AND M.V.R. CO. ET AL., 134 FED.REP. 353. WHAT CONSTITUTES AN APPROACH DEPENDS ON THE LOCAL CONDITIONS EXISTING IN INDIVIDUAL CASES, 9 CORPUS JURIS 422, * * *.

THE PROHIBITION IN THE STATUTES AGAINST THE CONSTRUCTION OR RECONSTRUCTION OF TOLL HIGHWAYS, INCLUDING BRIDGES AND APPROACHES TO BRIDGES, IS MANDATORY. THE LANGUAGE EMPLOYED TO SHOW THE INTENT OF THE CONGRESS IS FREE FROM ANY AMBIGUITY WHATEVER AND NO CONSTRUCTION IS NECESSARY TO GIVE IT EFFECT. IT MUST BE HELD GENERALLY, THEREFORE, THAT IF A TOLL IS CHARGED OVER A BRIDGE OR FERRY, GOVERNMENT FUNDS ARE NOT AVAILABLE FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OR RECONSTRUCTION OF ANY PORTION OF THE BRIDGE OR FERRY OR THE APPROACHES THERETO. WHAT PORTION OF THE HIGHWAY LEADING UP TO A TOLL BRIDGE OR FERRY SHOULD BE CONSIDERED AS THE APPROACH IS, OF COURSE, FOR DETERMINATION ON THE CONDITIONS AND CIRCUMSTANCES DISCLOSED IN EACH PARTICULAR CASE. FOR INSTANCE, IF THE BRIDGE OR FERRY IS AN ESSENTIAL PART OF THE HIGHWAY ON BOTH SIDES AND THERE ARE NO OTHER HIGHWAYS LEADING UP TO THE BRIDGE OR FERRY, FEDERAL AID SHOULD NOT BE GIVEN FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF ANY PORTION OF THE HIGHWAY ON EITHER SIDE OF THE BRIDGE OR FERRY BACK TO A POINT UP TO WHICH A REASONABLE USE WOULD BE MADE OF THE HIGHWAY OTHER THAN AS A MEANS OF APPROACH TO THE BRIDGE OR FERRY, SUCH AS AN INTERSECTING HIGHWAY GIVING A CHOICE OF DIRECTION, OR A TOWN, VILLAGE, ETC.

THE THREE GENERAL CLASSES OF CASES ARE CONSIDERED AS FOLLOWS:

1. NO EXCEPTIONS WHATEVER APPEAR IN THE STATUTE IN FAVOR OF TOLL BRIDGES OR FERRIES CONSTRUCTED OR ESTABLISHED AND IN OPERATION UNDER STATE OR LOCAL LAWS PRIOR TO THE PASSAGE OF THE FEDERAL-AID STATUTES. I CAN NOT AGREE THAT APPROPRIATED FEDERAL FUNDS WERE OR ARE NOW AVAILABLE FOR FEDERAL AID IN THE CONSTRUCTION OR RECONSTRUCTION OF THE APPROACHES FOR SUCH BRIDGES OR FERRIES. YOU STATE THAT A REASONABLE PERIOD OF TIME IS GIVEN THE STATE TO ACQUIRE THE BRIDGE OR FERRY, OR TO OTHERWISE TAKE ACTION LOOKING TO THE DISCONTINUANCE OF THE COLLECTION OF TOLLS, BUT IT IS UNDERSTOOD THAT PAYMENTS OF FEDERAL FUNDS HAVE CONTINUED DURING THE ACTUAL PERIOD THAT TOLLS ARE COLLECTED AND THAT ALSO IN SOME CASES TOLLS ARE COLLECTED AFTER THE PROJECT IS COMPLETED. FOR THE PURPOSE OF GIVING THE STATES OR OTHER POLITICAL SUBDIVISIONS AN INCENTIVE TO MAINTAIN FREE BRIDGES AND FERRIES, IT WOULD APPEAR TO BE PROPER AND WITHIN YOUR DISCRETION TO REQUIRE AS A PREREQUISITE TO THE APPROVAL OF A PARTICULAR HIGHWAY FOR FEDERAL AID, AN UNDERTAKING ON THE PART OF THE STATE THAT THE BRIDGES AND FERRIES ON SAID HIGHWAY SHALL BE MADE FREE OF TOLLS WITHIN A REASONABLE TIME; BUT IN NO CASE MAY FEDERAL FUNDS LEGALLY BE USED TO CONSTRUCT OR AID IN THE CONSTRUCTION OF SUCH PORTION OF ANY SUCH HIGHWAY AS WOULD BE OF NO SUBSTANTIAL BENEFIT AS A PUBLIC HIGHWAY OTHER THAN AS AN APPROACH TO THE BRIDGE OR FERRY UNLESS AND UNTIL NOTICE IS RECEIVED THAT THE COLLECTION OF TOLLS HAS BEEN DISCONTINUED. THE STATUTE IN THIS PARTICULAR IS MANDATORY AND GIVES THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE NO DISCRETION IN THE MATTER. 2. AS INSTANCES OF TOLL BRIDGES, THE CONSTRUCTION AND OPERATION OF WHICH HAVE BEEN SPECIFICALLY AUTHORIZED BY THE CONGRESS, YOU CITE THE ACT OF MARCH 3, 1925, 43 STAT. 1131, AUTHORIZING THE CONSTRUCTION OF A BRIDGE ACROSS THE WHITE RIVER AT AUGUSTA, ARK., THE ACT OF MAY 7, 1926, 44 STAT. 407, AUTHORIZING THE CONSTRUCTION OF A BRIDGE ACROSS THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER AT VICKSBURG, AND THE ACT OF MAY 3, 1926, 44 STAT. 388, AUTHORIZING THE CONSTRUCTION OF A BRIDGE ACROSS THE WHITE RIVER AT DES ARC, ARK. YOUR STATEMENT SEEMS TO DIVIDE THESE SPECIFICALLY AUTHORIZED TOLL BRIDGES INTO TWO CLASSES IN CONNECTION WITH THE GENERAL MATTERS UNDER CONSIDERATION, VIZ, THOSE AUTHORIZED BY THE CONGRESS PRIOR TO THEIR INCLUSION IN ANY APPROVED PROJECT FOR FEDERAL-AID HIGHWAYS, AND THOSE AUTHORIZED BY THE CONGRESS SUBSEQUENT TO THEIR INCLUSION IN ANY APPROVED PROJECT OF FEDERAL-AID HIGHWAYS. IN NEITHER CASE CAN IT BE HELD THAT THE ACT SPECIFICALLY AUTHORIZING THE CONSTRUCTION AND OPERATION OF AN INDIVIDUAL TOLL BRIDGE HAS THE EFFECT OF SUPERSEDING OR RENDERING INOPERATIVE THE GENERAL PROHIBITION APPEARING IN THE FEDERAL-AID STATUTES AGAINST THE USE OF FEDERAL FUNDS FOR CONSTRUCTION OR RECONSTRUCTION OF HIGHWAYS OVER WHICH A TOLL IS CHARGED. THE ENACTMENTS ARE NOT CONFLICTING. FULL FORCE AND EFFECT CAN BE GIVEN TO THE ACTS AUTHORIZING THE CONSTRUCTION AND OPERATION OF THE TOLL BRIDGES WITHOUT USING FEDERAL FUNDS TO AID IN THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE APPROACHES TO SAID BRIDGES--- APPROACHES AS HERE USED MEANING THAT PORTION OF THE ROAD LEADING TO THE BRIDGE THE SOLE OBJECTIVE OF WHICH IS THE BRIDGE OR WHICH WOULD BE USED AS A PUBLIC HIGHWAY ONLY IN CONNECTION WITH THE CROSSING OF THE BRIDGE.

3. YOU STATE THAT SOME PROJECTS HAVE BEEN APPROVED WITH FEDERAL-AID HIGHWAYS LEADING UP TO TOLL BRIDGES OR FERRIES CONSTRUCTED OR ESTABLISHED SUBSEQUENT TO THE PASSAGE OF THE FEDERAL-AID LEGISLATION, BUT ONLY IN CASES WHERE DEFINITE PROVISION WAS MADE FOR THE REMOVAL OF THE TOLL CHARGES WITHIN A SPECIFIED TIME, OFTEN BEFORE THE FINAL PAYMENT OF FEDERAL FUNDS ON THE PROJECT WOULD BE MADE. FEDERAL AID IS CLEARLY NOT AVAILABLE FOR CONSTRUCTION OR RECONSTRUCTION OF APPROACHES TO TOLL BRIDGES OR FERRIES CONSTRUCTED OR ESTABLISHED SUBSEQUENT TO THE PASSAGE OF THE FEDERAL-AID STATUTES. WHAT WAS STATED UNDER 1 AND 2, SUPRA, RELATIVE TO THE CONSTRUCTION OF APPROACHES TO TOLL BRIDGES OR FERRIES IS ALSO APPLICABLE IN THIS CLASS OF CASES.

PAYMENTS HERETOFORE MADE, OR HEREAFTER MADE, ON APPROVED PROJECTS NOW IN COURSE OF CONSTRUCTION, WHICH INCLUDE APPROACHES TO TOLL BRIDGES OR FERRIES IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE ADMINISTRATIVE VIEW OF THE STATUTE, WILL NOT BE FURTHER QUESTIONED IF OTHERWISE LEGAL AND PROPER, BUT NO FUTURE PAYMENTS ON PROJECTS ON WHICH NO WORK HAS BEEN STARTED, WHETHER HERETOFORE OR HEREAFTER APPROVED, WHICH INCLUDE APPROACHES TO TOLL BRIDGES OR FERRIES CONTRARY TO THE VIEWS EXPRESSED IN THIS DECISION, SHOULD BE MADE UNLESS AND UNTIL SPECIFICALLY AUTHORIZED BY LAW.

APPLYING THIS DECISION TO THE FACTS SUBMITTED WITH RESPECT TO THE PROPOSED CONSTRUCTION OF THE HIGHWAY EAST AND WEST OF THE ATCHAFALAYA RIVER IN LOUISIANA, YOU ARE ADVISED THAT THERE IS NO AUTHORITY TO USE FEDERAL-AID FUNDS FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF THAT PORTION OF EITHER SECTION A OR B AS DESCRIBED WHICH CONSTITUTES AN APPROACH TO THE BRIDGE WITHIN THE MEANING OF THE TERM APPROACH AS HEREINBEFORE DEFINED, EITHER ON THE BASIS OF THE PROPOSED AGREEMENT TO DISCONTINUE COLLECTION OF TOLLS AFTER A PERIOD OF 5 YEARS, OR 10 YEARS, OR UNDER ANY OTHER PROPOSITION WHICH WOULD EXACT TOLLS FROM THE PUBLIC FOR CROSSING THE BRIDGE, FOR ANY PERIOD AFTER PAYMENT IS PROPOSED TO BE MADE FROM FEDERAL FUNDS.