Government Affairs

Transportation Secretary Announces Grants

U.S. DOT Secretary Elaine Chao announced Tuesday the Trump Administration will invest $900 million in infrastructure through the Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) Transportation Discretionary Grants program, according to a US DOT press release. The funding was awarded to 35 states for a total of 55 projects.

“The Administration is targeting BUILD Transportation grants to repair, rebuild, and revitalize significant infrastructure projects across the country,” says Secretary Chao, noting half the grant funding went to rural areas.

FY2019 BUILD Transportation grants are for investments in surface transportation infrastructure and have been awarded on a competitive basis to projects with a significant impact in their local or regional communities. BUILD funding supports roads, bridges, transit, rail, ports or intermodal transportation.  

The program selection criteria encompassed safety, economic competitiveness, quality of life, state of good repair, environmental sustainability, innovation, and partnerships with a broad range of stakeholders. Click here for a complete list of awarded project grants.

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FHWA Offers Workforce Insights in Partnership Meeting

A Highway Construction Workforce Partnership (HCWP) partners’ meeting provided insights into the solutions to federal programs aimed at addressing workforce issues, including shortages and developmental programs.  

The meeting began with opening remarks by Tony Furst, FHWA Chief Innovation Officer, and Nancy Rooney, U.S. Department of Labor Deputy Assistant Secretary. Leif Wathne of ACPA and Jay Hansen of NAPA both had an opportunity to share comments with the group.

The meeting covered a variety of topics, including outreach/marketing, FHWA HCWP grants, and a notice of proposed rulemaking for an apprenticeship program. Participants also received a summary of HWCP activity in various states and cities.

The meeting was held on November 4 and was  hosted by the FHWA’s Center for Transportation Workforce Development and took place at the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) headquarters in Washington, DC. In addition to the key agencies, other partners include AGC, ARTBA, AASHTO, the DOL’s Employment and Training Administration, and NAPA.  

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News from Capitol Hill

This is the latest installment of highlights of PCA’s “This Week in Washington” update. Interested in seeing more? Become an ACPA Advocacy Interest Member.* Advocacy Interest Members are eligible to participate in the Legislative Issues Committee (LIC). Click here to join!

In Washington, the Senate passed a package of four fiscal year 2020 appropriations bills, including one to fund the U.S. Department of Transportation, by a vote of 84-9. In related news, the Transportation Construction Coalition sent a letter opposing two amendments to decrease investment and transportation.

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* Advocacy Interest Membership is a special individual membership category. To be eligible for membership in this category, a member must be a stockholder, owner, director, or employee of a member admitted to any other class of membership (Article IV, Section a-i, and l). In addition, to become and remain eligible, individuals must affirm their Advocacy Interest Membership annually.

Follow this link to see ACPA’s government affairs repository.

 

ACPA and Coalition Partners Express Support for Senate Legislation

ACPA and almost 40 organizations sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) expressing strong support for the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee’s transporation bill, America’s Transportation Infrastructure Act,  S. 2302. 

The letter notes that S. 2302 “provides a rare opportunity to benefit all states and continue the nation’s longest economic expansion in history.”  The authors note that although the EPW Committee has unanimously approved a critical federal infrastructure initiative, the rest of the Senate to take the next steps.

The letter also commends EPW Committee Chairman John Barrasso (R-WY), Ranking Member Tom Carper  (D-DE) and all committee members for “proactively moving forward with a reauthorization of the federal highway program more than a year before it expires. History has demonstrated that delaying action on such measures until their deadline leads to two outcomes: short-term extensions; and disruption of state highway improvement plans.”

Click here to view the complete letter.

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ACPA and Construction Groups Weigh in on HOS Regs

In a recent move aimed at representing the construction industry’s interests on the issue of hours-of-service (HOS) regulations, ACPA and other leading  industry associations have communicated  important perspectives to inform and influence the HOS rulemaking process.   

The “Construction Coalition,” comprised of 15 construction associations, submitted comments to Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Administrator Raymond P. Martinez earlier this week.  Click here to see the coalition’s comments.

ACPA emphasized the points that the concrete pavement operations — from trasnport from central-mix plants to finals saw cutting — are extremely time-sensitive, as the concrete is extremely perishable.  Noting that state agency specs typically limit time betweeen mixing and discharge at the paving site to less than 60 min. “As a  result, all of these operations must be carefully managed to ensure the quality of the pavement.”

ACPA staff and members have been actively involved in presented comments aimed at informing officials of concrete pavement industry specific needs related to hours of service regulations.  

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* The Construction Coalition is comprised of the following organizations:  American Concrete Pavement Association, American Pipeline Contractors Association, American Road & Transportation Builders Association, Associated Equipment Distributors: Associated General Contractors of America: Distribution Contractors Association: FP2 (which counts among its contributors ACPA and IGGA): National Asphalt Pavement Association: National Electrical Contractors Association: National Ready Mixed Concrete Association: National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association; National Utility Contractors Association; Pipe Line Contractors Association; Portland Cement Association; and Power and Communication Contractors Association.

Follow this link to see ACPA’s government affairs repository.  To see additional articles about ACPA’s responses to HOS rulemaking and regulations, type “Hours of Service” in the search feature on our home page.

 

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