Tag Archives: US DOT

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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Follow this 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.

Special Event Reveals Transportation Grants

A special event with US DOT Secretary Elaine Chao yesterday served a forum to discuss the Trump Administration’s commitment to infrastructure, as well as to announce major investments across America.

Held at the US DOT headquarters in Washington, DC, the centerpin of the event was the announcement of projects and funding levels under the Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) transportation discretionary grants program.

In all, $1.5 billion in grant funding will go to 91 projects in 49 states and DC. Click here to see list of the projects and grant funding.

“BUILD transportation grants are major investments in road, rail, transit, and port projects that serve as a down payment on this Administrations/ commitment to Americas infrastructure,” according to US DOT Secretary Elaine Chao.

In addition to Secretary Chao, US DOT Deputy Secretary Jeff Rosen, Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), and Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI) also participated in the special event. Other participants included Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL-25), Rep. David Price (D-NC-04), and Mayor Jamael Brown (D), Youngstown, OH.

Leif Wathne attended the event on behalf of ACPA members. Demand for BUILD grants far exceeded available funds, according to a US DOT press release. Some 851 eligible applications from all 50 states, as well as U.S. territories, and DC were submitted–a figure almost double the number of applications received in 2017.

 

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Interested in other government affairs news?  Follow this link to see ACPA’s government affairs repository.

 

Transportation Briefing Targets Red Tape

Transportation Deputy Secretary Jeffrey Rosen (L) and Deputy General Counsel James Owens (R) briefed stakeholders on the agency’s efforts to reduce regulatory burdens.

ACPA participated in a briefing at the U.S. Department of Transportation earlier this month to hear more about the agency’s  role in the Trump Administration’s initiative to reduce burdensome regulations. 

During the briefing, the agency’s Deputy Secretary Jeffrey Rosen and Deputy General Counsel James Owens informed stakeholders on the agency’s efforts to reduce regulatory burdens. The officials also used the event to announce a formal Notification of Regulatory Review at the DOT. This notice encourages the public to comment on proposed regulatory changes. To view the information or submit comments, please follow this link

Owens noted that rising regulatory burdens may have slowed  gross domestic product (GDP) by an average of 0.8 percent since 1980. “Many regulations are well intentioned, but create harmful economic consequences for the economy and restrict transactions among Americans,” he said. He added GDP could be as much as 20% greater if the regulatory burden was still at 1980 levels.

The Administration’s regulatory reform principles aim to: reduce regulatory burdens; regulate effectively and efficiently; promote due process; provide fair notice; and respect individual liberty and property rights, according to the presentation.

The initiative began with the President signing Executive Order 13771 on January 30, and since then the Administration has made significant progress on reducing regulations. At the DOT, as with other federal agencies, the Executive Order is aimed at eliminating two regulations for every one introduced and eliminating regulatory costs, which will have a net savings for the public. Along with a regulatory reform task force, agencies will have a regulatory reform officer, a role filled by Deputy Secretary Rosen at DOT.

Other key goals are to “unleash the economy and leave space for innovation,” according to the presentation. ACPA’s Leif Wathne participated in the briefing on behalf of association members. Although anecdotal, the effects of regulatory reduction are already being observed by some ACPA members. ACPA TODAY will continue to report news on this topic.

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Sources:  NPR report: http://www.npr.org/2017/02/24/517059327/trump-orders-agencies-to-reduce-regulations and independent reporting.

 

White House Announces FHWA Nominee 

President Donald J. Trump announced he will nominate Paul Trombino III to be the 24th Administrator of the Federal Highway Administration.  

“We look forward to Mr. Trombino’s confirmation and look forward to advancing and building on the relationship we developed with him during his tenure in key transportation leadership positions in Iowa and Wisconsin over the years,” said ACPA President & CEO Jerry Voigt.

Trombino is currently the President of McClure Engineering Company, a civil engineering company focused on transportation, aviation, water, and structures projects.

Previously, he served as the Director of the Iowa Department of Transportation from 2011 to 2016, where he was responsible for planning, design, construction, and operation of 9,400 miles of highways, 4,300 bridges; the modal programs of transit, rail, and aviation; and motor vehicle services.  

Trombino also served with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation for 17 years, where he held several positions, including Bureau Director and Operations Director of the Highway Division.

In addition to key posts, he also served as the 2015-2016 President of the American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials and as the 2016 Vice-Chair of the Transportation Research Board Executive Committee.  

He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and a Bachelor of Science degree in economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Trombino is a licensed professional engineer in the states of Iowa and Wisconsin.

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