Tri-State Regional Planning Commission's Approval of the Westway Highway Project in New York City

CED-82-80: Published: Jun 1, 1982. Publicly Released: Jun 1, 1982.

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GAO was requested to review the Tri-State Regional Planning Commission's approval of the Westway Highway Project. The objectives of the review were to: (1) evaluate the basic justification for the approval; (2) determine the extent to which Tri-State evaluated the project; and (3) identify changes to the project that would require reevaluating the project.

Due to the lack of documentation, GAO was unable to determine the basis for Tri-State's approval of the project and the extent to which it carried out its responsibilities. Since 1977, individuals and groups have presented alternatives to Westway. One of these was called the Drive/Trade-in alternative and was initially presented in a 1978 Tri-State staff analysis and in a more detailed 1980 analysis. GAO concluded that, while Tri-State staff analysis should not be considered a comprehensive transportation planning document, it did present an alternative to Westway. However, the Tri-State commissioners have not requested a detailed examination of their staff's alternative proposal and have continued to endorse the Westway project by listing it in the 1981 updated transportation plan and in the latest Transportation Interstate Program.

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