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Voters in Maine and Texas approve infrastructure initiatives

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Seven states held statewide elections on Tuesday with two states--Maine and Texas--passing ballot initiatives that will provide bonding for infrastructure projects.

Voters approved a $100 million proposal for general obligation bonds for transportation infrastructure projects in Maine, with $85 million for highways and bridges, and $15 million for rail, aviation, ports and active transportation. 

In Texas, voters approved a legislatively referred constitutional amendment. The proposition authorizes counties to issue bonds or notes to raise funds for transportation and infrastructure in underdeveloped areas. 

MASH scoping study discussed during AASHTO Virtual Spring Meeting 2021

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During AASHTO's 2021 Virtual Spring Meeting on Monday, the Council on Highways and Streets (CHS) gathered to provide updates from various stakeholders. The discussion included an update on the Manual for Assessing Safety Hardware (MASH) scoping study to determine the feasibility and potential next steps to convert MASH into a set of performance specifications.

Joyce Taylor from the Maine Department of Transportation (MaineDOT), who serves as design vice chair with AASHTO, gave an update on the MASH scoping study conducted by Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI). She discussed the challenges related to current testing procedures and the gray areas within the existing manual that lead to a lack of consistency, as testing may be conducted differently by facilities.

The scoping study, conducted by TTI and sponsored by AASHTO, was completed in April.