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House Republicans release transportation reauthorization proposal

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Republican members of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, led by Ranking Member Sam Graves (R-Mo.), today released their version of a transportation reauthorization ahead of likely Committee action in early June. The language, which is narrower in scope than the House-passed transportation bill last year, would spend $400 billion over five years on federal-aid highway projects, an increase of 32% over current funding levels.

Dubbed the Surface Transportation Advanced through Reform, Technology & Efficient Review Act 2.0 (STARTER Act 2.0), the legislation includes increases to the Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP).

Gov. Whitmer: Orange work zone cones represent people

Michigan officials hold official kickoff of National Work Zone Awareness Week

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Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer wore a button depicting the face of Brandyn Spychalski on her orange suit jacket as she spoke at the national kickoff for National Work Zone Awareness Week this morning.

She urged everyone to recognize that orange work zone cones represent people and to “see the humanity” of one another.

“This is not a hassle. This is not a distraction. This is a workplace,” Whitmer said of roadway work zones. “Each of us deserves to be safe in the workplace.”

National Work Zone Awareness Week (NWZAW) started on Monday with events being held across the country to raise awareness of the importance of work zone safety. The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) hosted this year’s kickoff event, which was livestreamed.

ATSSA thanks FHWA for extending feedback time for proposed MUTCD changes

Association joins other industry leaders in opposing rewrite of MUTCD

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ATSSA President & CEO Stacy Tetschner sent a letter thanking Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Acting Administrator Stephanie Pollack for extending the comment period for the Notice of Proposed Amendment (NPA) on the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD).

He noted the decade-old MUTCD needs an update, expressed ATSSA’s backing of the process and rejected the recent call by some to rewrite the MUTCD.

“ATSSA supports the ongoing process and we are confident that USDOT will obtain great feedback on how to improve this important manual,” Tetschner wrote. “We understand that some want to start over with the manual and we do not support this idea. We do, however, support a reexamination of the structure, process and content of the MUTCD at a later date. We also want to make it clear that this reexamination should not delay a new edition that our industry desperately needs.”

ATSSA reaches out to state DOTs for help regarding resin shortage

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ATSSA President & CEO Stacy Tetschner today sent a letter to the heads of state Departments of Transportation requesting assistance in light of the current shortage of base resin.

Two major manufacturers of base resin are currently unable to provide the substance used in High Friction Surface Treatment applications due to circumstances beyond their control, Tetschner explains in the letter. He notes that the issue is related to February’s extreme weather events in the Midwest and Texas.

“With US-based materials supply limited, increased costs over the last several months, and a significant delay in shipping overseas materials to the United States, it is likely that some already agreed upon supply contract deadlines will be impacted,” Tetschner states in today’s letter to DOT secretaries across the country.

Biden names MassDOT Secretary as FHWA deputy administrator

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President Joe Biden named Stephanie Pollack as deputy administrator for the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) today.

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker and Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito announced the departure of Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) Secretary and CEO Pollack and named her successor, according to a news release from the governor’s press office today.

Pollack will also serve as acting administrator for FHWA until a permanent administrator is confirmed by the U.S. Senate, according to the release.

Industry report lays out COVID-19 relief funding to DOTs by state

Latest package sends nearly $10 billion to DOTs across the country

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The latest COVID-19 relief package passed by Congress included nearly $10 billion in federal funds for transportation as reported here last month. The vast majority of that money--$9.8 billion—will go to state departments of transportation (DOTs) across the country.  

Industry publication Construction Dive has now gathered details of the amounts expected to go to each state DOT as well as the DOT for the nation’s capital, and created a chart detailing the allotments. Its report also details how the money will be allotted and indicates that the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is to distribute the funds within 30 days of the bill’s signing by former President Donald Trump, which took place Dec. 27.

ATSSA members seek to make a difference through Roadway Worker Protection Summit

Preventing work zone tragedies is goal No. 1; resources help when tragedies arise

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The first time Kathi Holst lost an employee in a work zone incident was decades ago but she vividly remembers the heartache and overwhelming desire to closet herself off from the world. Instead, she had to keep going and deal with the myriad issues that arise from such a tragedy.

Doug Dolinar is still reeling from the death of an employee just six months ago.

Those experiences motivated Holst, president & CEO of RCMS in Naperville, Ill., and Dolinar, president of Guidemark Inc. of Souderton, Pa., to take part in ATSSA’s Roadway Worker Protection Summit scheduled for Feb. 8 as the kickoff event for the Association’s 51st Annual Convention & Traffic Expo.

Proposed 11th edition of MUTCD available for preview

Public comments period starts Monday

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The first comprehensive update to the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices for Streets and Highways (MUTCD) in a decade is now available for preview in the Federal Register.

The document opens for public comment on Monday.

The Notice of Proposed Amendments for the 11th edition of the MUTCD contains more than 600 proposed changes, according to a statement from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).

Tune in Saturday to hear ATSSA President & CEO Stacy Tetschner on Transport Topics Radio

Program airs at 1 p.m. on SiriusXM and will be re-broadcast through the weekend

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Tune in this weekend to hear ATSSA President & CEO Stacy Tetschner on Transport Topics Radio.

He’ll be discussing roadway safety with host Dan Ronan, who chats weekly with industry experts from government, business, logistics and other sectors of the transportation industry.

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