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ATSSA releases Special Report on raw materials issue

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ATSSA today released a Special Report on the raw materials shortage, which found that nearly 92% of members who responded to a recent survey were experiencing a shortage and 90% expect the situation to continue for at least six more months.

The report, “ATSSA Raw Materials Update,” is the result of three member surveys, the most recent of which was conducted in April. The percentage of members impacted by the raw materials shortage has increased with each survey, going from 75% in the first survey in March 2021 to 88% in June 2021 and now above 90%.

“Each of the ATSSA surveys showed that raw materials shortages were having a major impact on members who are directly engaged in providing roadway safety infrastructure, which poses a nationwide safety risk because their work is designed to save lives on streets and highways across the country,” the report states in its conclusions.

ATSSA president contacts DOT leaders amid soaring fuel costs and record inflation

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ATSSA President & CEO Stacy Tetschner contacted the leaders of every state’s department of transportation (DOT) requesting contract price adjustments for ATSSA members in light of the rapid increase in fuel costs, significant inflation and the volatility of the situation.

“We strongly encourage you to consider immediate action to help remediate the effects of the recent and rapid increase in fuel costs across the country, most specifically as it affects the roadway industry, where roadway projects that were bid months ago are now being awarded and businesses are experiencing losses due to inflationary operational costs,” Tetschner wrote in the April 8 letter.

Tetschner notes that inflation “is at a four-decade high and gas prices continue to increase,” having increased 45% over this time one year ago.

ATSSA surveys reveal impact of raw materials supply issues on members

Association advocates on behalf of members amid supply challenges

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Nearly 90% of ATSSA manufacturers and suppliers reported experiencing a shortage of raw materials needed to produce roadway safety products, according to an ATSSA survey this summer.

That percentage increased from 75% when those same members were surveyed in March, according to data assembled by ATSSA.

ATSSA surveyed its members after hearing that limited supplies of materials were impacting the work of the roadway safety infrastructure industry. Multiple factors were leading to the supply challenges: extreme weather in February in the Midwest and Texas, the effects of COVID-19 in the U.S. and delays in the supply line due to international shipping.

CAT Coalition working group shares research on AV issues, primer plans

Participants share impacts of AVs on highway infrastructure and report on U.S. readiness

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Members of the Cooperative Automated Transportation Coalition Infrastructure-Industry (CAT I-I) Working Group shared recently that they are assembling a primer with acronyms and definitions for autonomous vehicle (AV) and connected vehicle (CV) infrastructure and technology.

The primer is not the first of its kind but intended to “bridge the gap” between Infrastructure Owner-Operators (IOOs) and Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) practitioners, according to the CAT I-I working group members.

The working group's recent meeting also included presentations by Ted Hamer, managing director at KPMG Corporate Finance, and Paul Carlson, chief technology officer at Road Infrastructure Inc.

ATSSA asks DOTs for support during tightening of raw materials market

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ATSSA President & CEO Stacy Tetschner sent a letter today to directors of state departments of transportation (DOTs) on behalf of the roadway safety infrastructure industry as it struggles with a tightening of the raw materials market.

“Currently, the availability of several key raw materials has tightened in the market from several factors including reduced production from COVID‐19 plant shutdowns and the extreme weather events in the Midwest/Texas in February,” Tetscher says in the letter. “This tightening of raw materials is impacting metals and petroleum‐based products used in the roadway safety industry, including aluminum, steel, plastic, and pavement marking and high friction surface treatment resins.”

He notes that the shrinking supply of these materials has a direct effect on the roadway safety infrastructure industry.

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.

ATSSA releases new online Member Directory

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ATSSA recently unveiled a new and improved online Member Directory that is more user friendly and kept up-to-date with the latest information.

The online Member Directory is a member benefit and accessible to all member firms and their employees, to individual members and to public agencies. It offers the ability to search by Company Type, City, State, Division and Product Categories. 

The Membership Directory is compatible with any laptop, notebook, tablet or smartphone.

DOT engineers from Oregon, Tennessee are first Marty Weed Engineering Scholarship recipients

Weed’s engineering scholarships inspired creation of ATSS Foundation’s Planned Giving program

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Fahad Alhajri is a relative newcomer to the transportation industry but is keenly interested in work zone safety and pursuing his goals of becoming the state work zone engineer for the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) and a national expert in temporary traffic control.

So when he learned about the Marty Weed Engineering Scholarship that would cover travel expenses up to $1,500 to attend ATSSA’s Annual Convention & Traffic Expo, he submitted an application.

Alhajri and Lance McDonald of the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) were the first two recipients of the scholarship.

Recording available from ATSSA Town Hall on government’s COVID-19 response & infrastructure funding

Registration open for next Town Hall addressing innovations in ATSSA’s online training

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It’s not too late to catch ATSSA’s first virtual Town Hall on the state and federal response to COVID-19 and potential infrastructure investments. A recording is now available of Tuesday’s one-hour session featuring Rep. Brendan Boyle, D-Pa., who serves on the House Ways and Means Committee, and AASHTO Executive Director Jim Tymon. 

The virtual Town Hall is a new feature for members. The next topic is "Innovations in Online Training to Keep Your Employees Engaged" and will be held Aprtil 28 at 2 p.m.

National Work Zone Awareness Week still on for April 20-24

Michigan DOT cancels kickoff event due to COVID-19 concerns

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National Work Zone Awareness Week will continue as scheduled on April 20-24. However, Michigan officials canceled the April 21 kickoff event in accord with CDC guidelines regarding the coronavirus pandemic.

As of Sunday, the CDC recommended groups not hold gatherings of 50 or more people for the next eight weeks. Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) officials discussed the issue with ATSSA today. It was agreed that MDOT will instead host next year’s event. Virginia DOT had been scheduled to host in 2021 but will now host in 2022.

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