A-69221, JANUARY 29, 1936, 15 COMP. GEN. 676

A-69221: Jan 29, 1936

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ARE NOT AVAILABLE FOR ALLOTMENT TO THE WORKS PROGRESS ADMINISTRATION FOR PROJECTS INVOLVING THE CONSTRUCTION OF PROTECTIVE DEVICES AT RAILROAD GRADE CROSSINGS UPON ROADS WHICH ARE NOT A PART OF THE FEDERAL-AID HIGHWAY SYSTEM. AS FOLLOWS: THERE HAS BEEN SUBMITTED TO THIS ADMINISTRATION FOR APPROVAL AND PROSECUTION UNDER THE EMERGENCY RELIEF APPROPRIATION ACT OF 1935 PROPOSED PROJECTS WHICH PROVIDE FOR THE ELIMINATION OF EXISTING HAZARDS TO LIFE AT RAILROAD GRADE CROSSINGS UPON ROADS WHICH ARE NOT INCLUDED WITHIN THE FEDERAL-AID HIGHWAY SYSTEM. YOUR DECISION IS REQUESTED UPON THE QUESTION OF WHETHER THE WORKS PROGRESS ADMINISTRATION MAY UNDERTAKE SUCH PROJECTS. IT WILL BE NOTED THAT THIS PROVISO DOES NOT SPECIFICALLY INCLUDE PROJECTS FOR THE ELIMINATION OF HAZARDS AT GRADE CROSSINGS.

A-69221, JANUARY 29, 1936, 15 COMP. GEN. 676

EMERGENCY RELIEF APPROPRIATION ACT OF 1935 - PROTECTIVE DEVICES AT RAILROAD GRADE CROSSINGS - WORKS PROGRESS ADMINISTRATION FUNDS APPROPRIATED BY THE EMERGENCY RELIEF APPROPRIATION ACT OF 1935, 49 STAT. 115, ARE NOT AVAILABLE FOR ALLOTMENT TO THE WORKS PROGRESS ADMINISTRATION FOR PROJECTS INVOLVING THE CONSTRUCTION OF PROTECTIVE DEVICES AT RAILROAD GRADE CROSSINGS UPON ROADS WHICH ARE NOT A PART OF THE FEDERAL-AID HIGHWAY SYSTEM.

COMPTROLLER GENERAL MCCARL TO THE ADMINISTRATOR, WORKS PROGRESS ADMINISTRATION, JANUARY 29, 936:

THERE HAS BEEN RECEIVED YOUR LETTER OF DECEMBER 20, 1935, AS FOLLOWS:

THERE HAS BEEN SUBMITTED TO THIS ADMINISTRATION FOR APPROVAL AND PROSECUTION UNDER THE EMERGENCY RELIEF APPROPRIATION ACT OF 1935 PROPOSED PROJECTS WHICH PROVIDE FOR THE ELIMINATION OF EXISTING HAZARDS TO LIFE AT RAILROAD GRADE CROSSINGS UPON ROADS WHICH ARE NOT INCLUDED WITHIN THE FEDERAL-AID HIGHWAY SYSTEM. SUCH PROJECTS INVOLVE THE CONSTRUCTION OR INSTALLATION OF BARRIERS, SIGNALS, SIGNS, OR OTHER PROTECTIVE DEVICES.

YOUR DECISION IS REQUESTED UPON THE QUESTION OF WHETHER THE WORKS PROGRESS ADMINISTRATION MAY UNDERTAKE SUCH PROJECTS, EITHER IN THE FORM OF A GRANT TO A STATE AGENCY OR SUBDIVISION UNDER CLAUSE (G) OF SECTION 1 OF THE EMERGENCY RELIEF APPROPRIATION ACT OF 1935, OR UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF CLAUSE (A) OF THAT SECTION WHICH ALLOCATED $800,000,000 FOR "HIGHWAYS, ROADS, STREETS, AND GRADE-CROSSING ELIMINATION.'

SECTION 1 OF THE ACT PROVIDES THAT ALL SUMS ALLOCATED FROM THE APPROPRIATED FUNDS FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF PUBLIC HIGHWAYS AND OTHER RELATED PROJECTS AND FOR THE ELIMINATION OF EXISTING HAZARDS TO LIFE AT RAILROAD GRADE CROSSINGS SHALL BE APPORTIONED BY THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE TO THE SEVERAL STATES IN THE MANNER THEREIN SPECIFIED. THE SAME SECTION CONTAINS A PROVISO THAT MONEY ALLOCATED FROM THE APPROPRIATED FUNDS TO RELIEF AGENCIES MAY BE EXPENDED BY SUCH AGENCIES ,FOR THE CONSTRUCTION AND IMPROVEMENT OF ROADS AND STREETS.' IT WILL BE NOTED THAT THIS PROVISO DOES NOT SPECIFICALLY INCLUDE PROJECTS FOR THE ELIMINATION OF HAZARDS AT GRADE CROSSINGS. THE QUESTION PRESENTED, THEREFORE, IS WHETHER IN THE ABSENCE OF SUCH SPECIFIC REFERENCE, THE WORKS PROGRESS ADMINISTRATION MAY BE ALLOTTED FUNDS FOR PROJECTS INVOLVING THE CONSTRUCTION OF DEVICES OF THE CHARACTER INDICATED ABOVE UPON ROADS WHICH ARE NOT A PART OF THE FEDERAL-AID HIGHWAY SYSTEM.

I SHALL APPRECIATE RECEIPT OF YOUR DECISION UPON THE QUESTION SUBMITTED.

IT IS PROVIDED IN SECTION 1 OF THE EMERGENCY RELIEF APPROPRIATION ACT OF 1935, 49 STAT. 116:

* * * THAT ANY AMOUNTS ALLOCATED FROM THE APPROPRIATION MADE HEREIN FOR THE ELIMINATION OF EXISTING HAZARDS TO LIFE AT RAILROAD GRADE CROSSINGS, INCLUDING THE SEPARATION OR PROTECTION OF GRADES AT CROSSINGS, THE RECONSTRUCTION OF EXISTING RAILROAD GRADE CROSSING STRUCTURES, AND THE RELOCATION OF HIGHWAYS TO ELIMINATE GRADE CROSSINGS, SHALL BE APPORTIONED BY THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE TO THE SEVERAL STATES (INCLUDING THE TERRITORY OF HAWAII AND THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA), ONE-HALF ON POPULATION AS SHOWN BY THE LATEST DECENNIAL CENSUS, ONE-FOURTH ON THE MILEAGE OF THE FEDERAL-AID HIGHWAY SYSTEM AS DETERMINED BY THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE, AND ONE-FOURTH ON THE RAILROAD MILEAGE AS DETERMINED BY THE INTERSTATE COMMERCE COMMISSION, TO BE EXPENDED BY THE STATE HIGHWAY DEPARTMENTS UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF THE FEDERAL HIGHWAY ACT OF NOVEMBER 9, 1921, AS AMENDED AND SUPPLEMENTED, AND SUBJECT TO THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 1 OF SUCH ACT OF JUNE 18, 1934 (48 STAT. 993); * * *

SECTION 1 OF THE ACT OF JUNE 18, 1934, 48 STAT. 993, AUTHORIZING AN APPROPRIATION OF $200,000,000, FOR EMERGENCY CONSTRUCTION OF PUBLIC HIGHWAYS AND OTHER RELATED PROJECTS, TO BE APPORTIONED BY THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE IN THE MANNER DIRECTED THEREIN, PROVIDED:

* * * THAT NOT LESS THAN 25 PERCENTUM OF THE APPORTIONMENT TO ANY STATE SHALL BE APPLIED TO SECONDARY OR FEEDER ROADS, INCLUDING FARM TO MARKET ROADS, RURAL FREE DELIVERY MAIL ROADS, AND PUBLIC-SCHOOL BUS ROUTES, EXCEPT THAT THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE, UPON REQUEST AND SATISFACTORY SHOWING FROM THE HIGHWAY DEPARTMENT OF ANY STATE, MAY FIX A LESS PERCENTAGE OF THE APPORTIONMENT OF SUCH STATE FOR EXPENDITURE ON SECONDARY OR FEEDER ROADS: AND PROVIDED FURTHER, THAT ANY FUNDS ALLOCATED UNDER THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 204 (A) (2) OF SUCH ACT SHALL ALSO BE AVAILABLE FOR THE COST OF ANY CONSTRUCTION THAT WILL PROVIDE SAFER TRAFFIC FACILITIES OR DEFINITELY ELIMINATE EXISTING HAZARDS TO PEDESTRIAN OR VEHICULAR TRAFFIC.

THE PROVISIONS OF LAW QUOTED HEREIN FROM SECTION 1 OF THE EMERGENCY RELIEF APPROPRIATION ACT OF 1935, SPECIFICALLY REQUIRE THAT ANY AMOUNTS ALLOCATED FROM THE APPROPRIATION "FOR THE ELIMINATION OF EXISTING HAZARDS TO LIFE AT RAILROAD GRADE CROSSINGS" BE APPORTIONED BY THE SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE ON THE BASIS AND UNDER THE CONDITIONS SET FORTH IN THE ACT AND THERE APPEARS TO BE NOTHING IN THAT PART OF THE PROVISO QUOTED IN YOUR LETTER RELATING TO THE USE OF FUNDS MADE AVAILABLE TO RELIEF AGENCIES "FOR THE CONSTRUCTION AND IMPROVEMENT OF ROADS AND STREETS" IN CONFLICT WITH THE PROVISIONS RELATING TO THE APPORTIONMENT OF FUNDS FOR THE ELIMINATION OF EXISTING HAZARDS TO LIFE AT RAILROAD GRADE CROSSINGS.

IT SHOULD BE NOTED, ALSO, THAT THE PROVISION OF LAW RELATING TO THE ELIMINATION OF HAZARDS TO LIFE AT RAILROAD GRADE CROSSINGS IS ALL INCLUSIVE BOTH AS TO THE CHARACTER OF THE PROPOSED IMPROVEMENT OR PROTECTIVE MEASURE, AND AS TO WHETHER THE ROAD OR STREET INVOLVED MAY OR MAY NOT BE INCLUDED IN THE FEDERAL-AID HIGHWAY SYSTEM, THE APPORTIONMENT PROVISION APPLYING AS TO ANY AMOUNT ALLOCATED FOR THAT PURPOSE.