Both the Federal and the District of Columbia defendants argue that the intent of Congress in the 1968 Act was that the construction of the Bridge should proceed forthwith, with no further planning procedures necessary. They read the "in accordance with all applicable provisions of title 23" language to mean that only the provisions of Title 23 which deal with actual construction, rather than the planning and public hearing requirements, are to be applied in connection with the Bridge project.
The resolution of this suit thus comes down to a question of statutory interpretation. The court is of the opinion that the interpretation of Section 23 of the 1968 Highway Act proposed by the defendants is the most reasonable. The court has taken into consideration the fact that the Act was passed soon after the Airis decision, supra, which had held up the construction of the Bridge pending compliance with the planning provisions of the D.C. Code. That this was a factor motivating the passage of this legislation is shown by the opening language of Section 23(a) "[notwithstanding] * * * any court decision * * * to the contrary." The intent of Congress is most clearly shown by the provision that work shall commence on the Bridge "[not] later than 30 days after the date of enactment." The Court believes that in passing this legislation, Congress intended that the District of Columbia commence construction on the Bridge project as soon as possible, and that no further planning or hearing requirements of Title 23 need be complied with.
Since the District and Federal defendants have complied in substance with Section 23 of the 1968 Act, it is by the Court this 12th day of January, 1970,
Ordered that the motions of the Federal and District of Columbia defendants for summary judgment be, and the same hereby are, granted, and the plaintiffs' motion for summary judgment be, and the same hereby is, denied.
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