Government Affairs

AASHTO Washington Briefing Focuses on Investment

The annual AASHTO Washington Briefing held last week focused on bipartisan support for the next surface transportation reauthorization bill and the critical need for investment.

ACPA participated in the four-day event, which provided 45 state departments of transportation, elected officials, administration officials, and industry representatives the opportunity to exchange ideas and opinions about transportation investment and other key issues. 

During the event’s keynote address, U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao recalled the first time she and her family saw the Interstate highway system.  She detailed recent federal investments in infrastructure, as well as the Administration’s commitment to infrastructure investment.  She also commented on how the DOT “… is striving to make structural changes–streamlining the permit process so projects can be delivered more quickly while protecting the environment and maintaining safety standards.

Senate EPW Chairman John Barrasso and Ranking Member (RM) Tom Carper, as well as House EPW Chairman Peter DeFazio and RM Sam Graves discussed their 2019 legislative priorities.  The event also inluded a round-table and other panel discussions.

Recorded remarks by Secretary Chao and the Senate and House transportation committee leaders can be found in ACPA’s Youtube channel: http://youtube.com/concretepavementsFrom the dropdown menu, select “Public Policy and Funding” then scroll down to videos #9 through 13 on the playlist.
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FAA’s REDAC to Develop Long-Range Plan

The FAA’s William J. Hughes Technical Center will soon be developing a 10-year plan, according to Gary Mitchell, a member of the airport subcommittee of FAA’s REDAC.* 

Mitchell met with other submcommittee members late last week at the technical center, located just outside of Atlantic City, NJ.

The plan will encompass the 2020-2030 Research Landscape for the National Airspace System and will include input from the entire technical center. 

The plan is being developed in consideration of current and future changes facing the aviation industry, including unmanned aerial vehicles, spaceports, aircraft changes, infrastructure materials, air space challenges, terminal needs, etc.

“The FAA has requested the subcommittee develop a list of research drivers that we see will drive airspace and airport research over the next 10 years,” Mitchell says. The FAA will be relying in part on the asphalt and concrete pavement industries to provide input about where we envision the future of airfield infrastructure lies, he adds. 

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* The Research, Engineering, & Development Advisory Committee (REDAC) supports the development of the FAA’s research and development portfolio through strategic planning, budget formulation, program execution, and program evaluation.

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Finalize Plans for this Important Industry Event

The countdown continues to the third annual North American Concrete Alliance* (NACA) annual fly-in, which is just over a month away. The final day for hotel registration is Tuesday (Mar. 12), so the NACA partners are encouraging members to finalize plans as soon as possible. 

The fly-in will be held Tues., April 9, through Wed., April 10, at the Renaissance Downtown Hotel, 999 9th St. NW, Washington, DC. First-timers and experienced advocates are welcome and encouraged.  The NACA team will help you make the most of your participation.  

Elected officials in the House and Senate and on both sides of the aisle are increasingly voicing support for infrastructure investment, so the timing has never been better to share the concrete industry’s views on this critical and timely topic. The most powerful voices and most convincing arguments will come from people directly affected by the next highway bill, so be a  part of this important and timely event!

The first day of the event will include briefings and a cocktail reception/dinner. The second day will include a breakfast and policy panel, small-team Congressional meetings, a lunch briefing, and a Congressional reception honoring 2019 Cement Champions. Click here to see NACA fly-in information page, which includes links event and hotel registration details, the agenda, and other information.

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The North American Concrete Alliance is a coalition of 12 concrete-related associations formed in 2004 for the purpose of addressing industry-wide concerns and initiatives in the areas of research, safety, education, and government affairs. The coalition is comprised of the American Concrete Pavement Association, American Concrete Pipe Association, American Concrete Pressure Pipe Association, American Concrete Pumping Association, Concrete Foundations Association, Concrete Reinforcing Steel Institute, National Concrete Masonry Association, National Precast Concrete Association, National Ready Mixed Concrete Association, Portland Cement Association, Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute, and Tilt-Up Concrete Association.

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link to see ACPA’s government affairs repository.

 

US DOT to Appear at South by Southwest

The U.S. Department of Transportation (US DOT) will be appearing at South by Southwest (SXSW) in Austin, TX, next week.

The agency is hosting special events, interactive sessions and a demonstration room next Monday and Tuesday (March 11 and 12). The special events will be held Monday at the Hilton  Downtown and Tuesday at the Courtyard by Marriott Austin/Downtown Convention Center.  The five interactive sessions will be held Tuesday at the Courtyard. 

One session will discuss automation and its potential to transform the nation’s freight transportation system, as well as other topics that focus on the future of transportation, technology, investment, and innovation.

The US DOT’s goals for the event are to “…Support innovation, discuss key technologies that will shape transportation in the next 10 to 20 years, and help us pass the research baton to inspire the next big market solution.” Experts will be onsite to discuss featured projects, discuss US DOT services and to provide other information. Click here for more information about the event along with details about how the agency is preparing for the future of transportation. 

SXSW started as a music festival in 1987 and has since evolved into a mega event with gaming, a film festival, comedy event, speakers, and other special events, according to the SXSW website and wiki. The complete event runs from Mar. 8 through 17. 

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

FHWA Offers Funding for Advancing Innovations

The FHWA is seeking innovations that may need some assistance to become market ready. 

The agency issued a broad agency announcement about the FHWA Accelerated Market Readiness (AMR) program, which will provide resources for the rapid, national assessment of emerging innovations and for the development of documentation of these assessments.

According to the announcement, these activities are intended to help advance the innovations to a more complete market-ready status, which in turn should accelerate the adoption of the innovations by transportation agencies. A total of $3 million in funding–ranging  in value between $200,000 and $500,000–is available for all awards under this announcement. The FHWA anticipates  that it may award up to eight contracts, cooperative agreements or funding allocations. 

The announcement includes questionnaires and forms that must be reviewed and completed, as indicated. Click here to read the announcement on FedBizOpps.

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