ATSSA Blog

ATSSA joins groups petitioning Bhatt to rescind IIJA policy memo

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ATSSA joined 17 organizations today in asking Federal Highway Administration Administrator Shailen Bhatt to rescind the “Policy on Using Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Resources to Build a Better America” memorandum that was issued Dec. 16, 2021.

The groups, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, noted they supported the Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act (IIJA) passed in November 2021 and that it was a “carefully negotiated and balanced package of policy reforms and targeted national investments” to make the lives of Americans better.

The issue leading to the request for the policy to be rescinded was that the Dec. 16 memo “elicited significant confusion within the transportation community.” Further, the letter states that the memo was “intended to serve as an overarching policy framework that prioritizes IIJA resources towards certain projects, which was inconsistent with what was laid out under the legislation President Biden signed into law the month before.”

ATSSA congratulates Graves on being named chair of T&I Committee

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ATSSA congratulates Rep. Sam Graves (R-Mo.) on being chosen to chair the Transportation and Infrastructure (T&I) Committee in the 118th Congress.

“ATSSA members have counted Chairman Graves as a roadway safety leader throughout his tenure on the T&I Committee and we look forward to his continued emphasis on this critical issue now that he is chair,” ATSSA President & CEO Stacy Tetschner said. “We are eager to work with him and his committee staff in the months and years ahead to ensure that roadway safety remains the top priority for Congress and the Biden administration.”

Graves’ selection was announced by the committee today. He confirmed his priority for roadway safety and infrastructure in his comments included with the announcement.

ATSSA joins nine groups reaffirming support for rapid deployment of V2X technologies

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ATSSA joined nine groups in releasing a statement today reaffirming support for the rapid, widespread deployment of vehicle-to-everything (V2X) technologies to further improve safety on American roads.

V2X allows communication between vehicles, infrastructure and other road users such as pedestrians and bicyclists and provides drivers with crucial warnings necessary to improve safety.

"We believe that 2023 will be a pivotal year for V2X deployment. Transportation stakeholders have aligned behind one V2X technology, cellular vehicle-to-everything (C-V2X), clearing the way for a unified, nationwide approach to the deployment of this tool," the statement says.

ATSSA congratulates Bhatt on FHWA confirmation

Transportation veteran confirmed as FHWA leader

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Shailen Bhatt, who led state transportation departments in Colorado and Delaware, was confirmed by the Senate to lead the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).

Bhatt’s confirmation by the full Senate on Thursday follows bipartisan support on Nov. 29 by the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.

As head of the FHWA, Bhatt will oversee implementation of the $1 trillion Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act (IIJA) passed into law in November 2021.

Convention keynote will provide tools for building employee engagement

ATSSA’s 2023 Convention & Traffic Expo includes Student Day on Feb. 20

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Finding and keeping talented people is more critical than ever and is increasingly important for gaining a competitive advantage in the marketplace.

Scott Wozniak, who has advised companies of all sizes across six continents and spent eight years at Chick-fil-A headquarters designing leadership development programs, will address that workforce issue as keynote speaker during the Feb. 19 general session of ATSSA’s 2023 Convention & Traffic Expo in Phoenix.

In his message, “Great Brands Have Great Employees – The Engine Behind Legendary Companies,” Wozniak will explain how to build an “employee engagement engine,” including providing five systems to attract and empower great people.

Election outcomes take shape one week later

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One week after Election Day, we finally have a good idea of what the next two years will look like on Capitol Hill.

While long thought that this year’s midterm elections would bring a “red wave” across the country, in the end Democrats were able to hold their ground in several swing states and remain in control of the Senate, while narrowly losing the House of Representatives to Republicans.

Even with the Senate race in Georgia headed to a run-off next month, Democrats know they will be in control of the Senate at least until 2024. They currently control 50 votes, plus Vice President Kamala Harris would provide a 51st vote in the event the Senate stays 50-50 as it was prior to the election.

FHWA hosts session on Every Day Counts Round 7 Innovations

Registration now open for Dec. 2 virtual rollout

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The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) will host an executive-level virtual rollout of the Every Day Counts (EDC) program round 7 innovations on Dec. 2. 

These innovations will build upon the already significant legacy of EDC and support FHWA’s efforts to drive innovation around three core priorities:

  • Improving safety for all road users;
  • Building sustainable infrastructure for the future; and
  • Growing an inclusive workforce.

 

EDC is a state-based program that identifies and rapidly deploys proven, yet underutilized innovations that make our transportation system adaptable, sustainable, equitable and safer for all. Proven innovations promoted through EDC facilitate greater efficiency at the State, Local and Tribal levels, saving time, money and resources to ensure our infrastructure is built better, faster, and smarter.

Register now to attend on Dec. 2 at 1:30 p.m. ET. The Executive Session is open to everyone.

USDOT: No extension of temporary waiver for construction materials for Buy America

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The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) will not extend its current one-year implementation delay of Buy America changes for construction materials stemming from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), also known as the bipartisan infrastructure law, the department announced.

USDOT will begin enforcing the new Buy America requirements for construction materials on Thursday, according to a "notice of expiration" posted online. The notice included several concurrent and related actions USDOT is taking related to implementation.

ATSSA asks Buttigieg to delay new Buy America requirements

ATSSA president also asks for exemption of some temporary products

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ATSSA President & CEO Stacy Tetschner today sent a letter to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg making three requests regarding changes to the Buy America requirements included in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA).

“In a recent survey of ATSSA members regarding the new Buy America requirements for federally-funded infrastructure projects, there is considerable concern about the impact that these new policies will have on roadway safety,” Tetschner wrote. “Knowing of your strong commitment to reducing the number of fatalities and serious injuries on this nation’s roadways, it is important for you to consider the serious effect the new Buy America requirements will have not only on the roadway safety industry but the public as well.”

Tetschner also noted his concern regarding the "looming deadline" for implementation of the new Buy America requirements.

USDOT offering webinar on applying for SMART Grants

Register now for Sept. 29 webinar; applications due Nov. 18

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The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) will hold a Sept. 29 webinar to assist individuals interested in applying for a Strengthening Mobility and Revolutionizing Transportation (SMART) Grant.

Registration is now open for the webinar, which runs from 2:30-4 p.m. ET.

The grants were authorized as part of the Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act (IIJA) approved in November. The new grant program offers up to $100 million annually over the next five years. The grants would fund transportation projects that “use data and technology to solve real-world challenges facing communities today,” according to the USDOT announcement.

The SMART Grants Program does not require other funding such as matching or cost sharing, according to USDOT.

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