ACPA to FHWA: Four Suggestions Could Reduce Adverse Impacts
- Tuesday, 14 April 2020 23:10
In one of the latest efforts to support the concrete pavement industry during the current pandemic crisis, ACPA has proposed several actions to the FHWA.
In a message to Alex Etchen, FHWA Associate Administrator for Highway Policy and External Affairs, ACPA offers four suggestions that could address COVID-19 related health and economic issues impacted contractors and others in the industry. The full text of the message, penned by Leif Wathne, follows below:
- Issue FHWA guidance that clearly and unambiguously classifies highway construction workers as “Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers” under the CISA memorandum. Additional FHWA guidance in this regard can be helpful in ensuring that vitally important highway construction work continues. As underscored by all our transportation stakeholders, maintaining the transportation construction sector is vital to our nation’s ability to continue delivering needed medical supplies, food and goods, clean water and energy to the American people as we address this pandemic.
- Issue FHWA guidance that makes clear that relief funds under the CARES Act are eligible for reimbursement of costs incurred by highway contractors to protect their workers by adhering to the CDC-recommended social distancing guidance during the pandemic while continuing critically important infrastructure construction functions (e.g. such items as increased per diem, additional site vehicles, enhanced PPE, added hand washing stations, additional jobsite toilets, etc.). Contractors are fully committed to workforce safety and adhering to U.S. Government social distancing guidance during these unprecedented times comes at additional, unanticipated costs, and should therefore be explicitly eligible for reimbursement.
- FHWA should issue guidance to suspend state/local match requirement on federal aid projects (i.e. 100% federal Share) for a two-year period to allow the federal investment to be put to work without delay, as state/local budget revenue losses will threaten their ability to meet any state/local match requirement. Such a suspension of state/local match requirements will allow the federal investment to be put to work more quickly, putting our ranks of unemployed to work in a matter of weeks, rather than years. This will be especially important if federal recovery legislation (Phase 4 or later) includes a substantial increase in infrastructure investment, as state DOTs would not be able in a position to meet the state match requirement.
- FHWA should issue guidance that encourages state DOTs to increase flexibility in contracting mechanisms employed during this crisis (e.g. design-build and other innovative contracting mechanisms). Such flexibility will enable states to accelerate lettings and construction projects so more people are again put to work more quickly. This will be especially important if federal recovery legislation includes a substantial increase in infrastructure investment, as state DOTs are not currently staffed to handle such an increase in workload in a timely manner.
Follow this link to see ACPA’s government affairs repository.
Update on Highway Materials Group Actions
- Tuesday, 14 April 2020 14:37
As we reported last week, ACPA continues to participate in DC construction coalitions to discuss ongoing COVID-19 relief and recovery legislative packages and how infrastructure investment priorities can be best positioned for consideration.
Following the Highway Materials Group meeting, members penned a letter to Congressional leadership. Click here to read the letter, which was finalized shortly before our previous newsletter was published last week.
The Highway Materials Group is comprised of eleven national associations, representing companies that provide the construction materials and equipment essential to building America’s roads, highways and bridges. The HMG associations’ members employ tens of thousands of men and women in well-paying American jobs, and support increased investment in America’s surface transportation network. Members include: American Coal Ash Association; America Concrete Pavement Association; American Traffic Safety Services Association; Associated Equipment Distributors; Association of Equipment Manufacturers; Concrete Reinforcing Steel Institute; National Asphalt Pavement Association; National Ready Mixed Concrete Association; National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association; Portland Cement Association; and Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute.
Follow this link to see ACPA’s government affairs repository.
ACPA Accepting Excellence Awards Nominations
- Tuesday, 14 April 2020 14:10
ACPA is accepting submittals for the 31st annual “Excellence in Concrete Pavement” awards for projects completed in the calendar year 2019.
Members who previously submitted an award-winning project to an ACPA Chapter/State association using our online system do not need to resubmit for the national program. Your submittal details will be automatically carried-over and entered-into the national program. Incidentally, about 40 projects are currently in the system.
To submit your project for award consideration or to view complete program details, including eligibility requirements, please click here. Editing an existing project is optional for projects in the system.
Our final deadline for submittals and edits is Friday, July 3, 2020.
Award winners will receive an invite to attend the 31st Annual Excellence in Concrete Pavement Awards Banquet on Thursday, December 3rd at the OMNI Nashville Hotel. The banquet will be held during the ACPA 57th Annual Meeting.
Video Offers Tips to Safeguard Highway Workzones
- Tuesday, 14 April 2020 13:31
ARTBA has produced a video explaining strategies and methods for preventing the spread of COVID-19 and other infectious diseases on highway work zones.
The 7-1/2 minute animation video explains the three basic strategies are jobsite screening, social distancing and sanitation. The vide then provides tips and techniques for following these strategies to keep workers safe on the grade and other work areas. The video is currently available in English, but a Spanish version is planned for release soon. Click here to view the video.