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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.

ATSSA joins stakeholders in urging Biden to commit to zero fatalities by 2050

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ATSSA, along with more than 70 other organizations, sent a letter to President Joseph R. Biden on Wednesday urging him to commit to reaching a goal of zero roadway fatalities by 2050.

“Reaching zero fatalities has been a longtime priority for ATSSA,” said Vice President of Engagement Nate Smith. “Our advocacy work in Washington, D.C. and in state capitals around the country is consistently urging legislators to make progress towards that goal.”

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.

Citing Capitol riot, Transportation Secretary Chao submits resignation

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Secretary of Transportation Elaine Chao today announced that she would be resigning from her position, with her final day coming on Jan. 11.

In a letter to her colleagues at the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) posted to Twitter, Chao wrote, “Yesterday, our country experienced a traumatic and entirely avoidable event as supporters of the President stormed the Capitol building following a rally he addressed. As I’m sure is the case with many of you, it has deeply troubled me in a way that I simply cannot set aside.”

Biden expected to choose Buttigieg as transportation secretary

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President-elect Joe Biden will be nominating former presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg as Secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT), according to multiple reports.

Buttigieg, who is also the former mayor of South Bend, Ind., rose to national prominence after a surging presidential run in his bid for the Democratic nomination earlier this year. Buttigieg appears to have emerged from among contenders for the position such as Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and former Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

During his presidential campaign, Buttigieg introduced an infrastructure plan that garnered support across the transportation industry.

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).

Biden transition team focuses on transportation issues

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As President-Elect Joe Biden continues to formulate his policy transition teams, there is a focus on transportation and infrastructure issues. There is a strong indication that infrastructure policies will be an early focus of the Biden Administration.

Today, ATSSA submitted our policy priorities to the transition team, focused on roadway safety infrastructure investments.

“For more than 50 years, ATSSA has focused on reducing roadway fatalities and serious injuries on roads throughout the country,” ATSSA President and CEO Stacy Tetschner stated. “We look forward to working with President-Elect Biden and his infrastructure advisors on ensuing that roadway safety is the focal point on any surface transportation proposals and legislation. As the voice of roadway safety, ATSSA and our members are the go-to resource for policy makers at all levels of government, including the incoming administration and future U.S Department of Transportation appointees.”

Election Watch: ATSSA’s Government Relations Team is monitoring election results

Their eyes are on key races impacting transportation and infrastructure

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ATSSA’s Government Relations Team is monitoring the 2020 election results and will be reporting on key races important to transportation and infrastructure when they are available. As we all know, this is an election like no other and the timing of the results is unpredictable but know that our team is on it.

Once results are clear, we’ll post them here along with GR Team analysis and insights.

House passes stopgap funding bill including highway fund extension

Senate expected to vote ahead of Sept. 30 deadline

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The House of Representatives Tuesday night passed a stopgap funding measure that will keep the federal government fully operating beyond next Wednesday (Sept. 30). The measure included a one-year extension of the current federal highway bill that would have expired the same day.

On Monday, House Democrats offered a Continuing Resolution to extend the highway fund by one year with $10.4 billion. If approved by the Senate, the extension would be a “straight” extension of the Fixing America's Surface Transportation Act, better known as the FAST Act, meaning no increase in funding to existing programs. The proposal also would include funds needed to ensure the short-term solvency of the Highway Trust Fund (HTF), with a general fund transfer of $10.4 billion to the HTF, allocated for highways.

The Senate is expected to vote next week ahead of the deadline.

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