Tag Archives: COVID-19 Response

Association Leaders Remain Focused on Short- and Long-Term Needs

Continuing their ongoing dialogue about industry challenges and opportunities, the CEOs of ACPA, NAPA, NRMCA, NSSGA and PCA discussed a number of topics that remain on the radar of the association leaders.

Jerry Voigt of ACPA; Audrey Copeland of NAPA; Mike Philips of NRMCA; Mike Johnson of NSSGA; and Mike Ireland of PCA discussed key priorities, with COVID-19 responses and economic impacts being the focal points. 

Lobbying activities focused on the immediate needs of highway departments, economic forecasts (which may soon be revised to present an updated perspective) and long-term surface transportation-infrastructure investment remain high on the priority lists of each association. Look for updates to be reported in ACPA TODAY in the weeks ahead.

Associations and MIT Discuss Strategies to Support National Economic Efforts

ACPA, PCA, NRMCA and MIT held a joint conference call on Tuesday to discuss ways that MIT’s recent and ongoing work could be helpful to economic recovery efforts in the wake of COVID-19. 

Communicating the overall short and long-term economic benefits of investment in durable, long-life infrastructure (such as concrete pavements) was a significant focus of discussion.

Another major area of discussion included the value of a diversified system (short, medium and long term, as well as various competing alternatives) in extending the effectiveness of highway investments – an approach similar to the way one would diversify their 401(k) or investment portfolio.    

Conversation also touched on FEMA’s  Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) Program. FEMA has solicited comments to their program by May 11th, according to Scott Mueller, who along with Leif Wathne, participated in the call.

Several disparate Congressional teams working on economic proposals and the four groups (PCA, NRMCA, MIT and ACPA) agreed that it’s vital to be aligned to ensure that the concrete pavement groups together or separately are ready when called upon. The aim is for the group(s) to respond with good factual data that supports national economic recovery with the effective and beneficial engagement of the broader concrete and cement industries.

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

ACPA Highlights Funding Opportunity

In ACPA’s “3 Minutes on Monday” videoreport this week, Jerry Voigt shares the positive news that airport construction funding is available in the CARES Act. (See our detailed analysis in Gary Mitchell’s report.)

He also describes collaborative efforts among ACPA and other leading construction materials associations, all with the goal of addressing the industry’s most pressing needs during the pandemic crisis.

He also discusses our ongoing efforts to secure funding for the health and safety of the people who are building, rehabilitating and preserving America’s highways, airports and roads.Click https://youtu.be/0kspdL98M3o to see the video.

ACPA to FHWA: Four Suggestions Could Reduce Adverse Impacts

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:  

  1. 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.
  2. 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.     
  3. 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. 
  4. 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. 

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

Update on Highway Materials Group Actions

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.

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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.

Events Calendar

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Mon 21

ASCC Annual Conference 2020

September 21 @ 8:00 am - September 25 @ 5:00 pm
Tue 22

Resiliency/Resilient Pavement Systems Webinar

September 22 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Wed 30

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