Tag Archive for 'American Road & Transportation Builders Association'

ARTBA Tells Senate Panel Endangered Species Act Needs Targeted Reforms 

 The American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) Feb. 15 told a U.S. Senate panel the Endangered Species Act’s (ESA) “critical habitat” provision should be replaced with a “less expansive habitat preservation system that focuses on preserving essential species habitat without imposing unnecessary and excessive restrictions on development.”

The ESA was originally passed in 1973 and hasn’t been amended for nearly 30 years. In a statement submitted to a Senate Environment & Public Works (EPW) Committee oversight hearing entitled, “Modernization of the Endangered Species Act,” ARTBA noted the proper “determination of critical habitat is a very important issue for state and local governments, as well as businesses located in areas impacted by ESA activity. A determination of critical habitat can literally remove hundreds of miles from the possibility of any type of development.”

ARTBA pointed to the impacts of the law on infrastructure projects. “The ESA is a valuable tool in helping to deliver transportation projects in a manner that is most beneficial to both the environment and the communities served by those projects,” ARTBA said. In its current state, however, the ESA has achieved less than a 1 percent rate of success for species recovery. At the same time, it has resulted in multi-year delays for transportation construction projects.”

In other recommendations, the association said Congress should:

Establish a standard to define the “best available” scientific data in decisions concerning endangered or threatened species. This standard should provide for independent peer review of all ESA determinations.

Reform the species listing process to discourage listing of species not actually threatened. Specifically, species should not be able to be listed based on potential threats, only actual impacts. Also, the de-listing process should be streamlined to allow for easier removal of species once they are no longer threatened.

Curb unnecessary ESA litigation by disallowing litigation based on possible development occurring as the result of a proposed transportation project. Only disputes involving the effects of the potential project itself should be considered.

Established in 1902, ARTBA represents the U.S. transportation construction industry before Congress, the White House, federal agencies, courts, news media and the general public.

ARTBA Bridge Reports That There Are Nearly 56,000 American Bridges That Are Structurally Deficient


Nearly 56,000 American Bridges on Structurally Deficient List, New Analysis of Federal Data Shows

Data Available: www.artbabridgereport.org

Highlights:

List includes: Brooklyn & Throgs Neck (N.Y.), Yankee Doodle (Conn.), Memorial (Va.-DC) and Greensboro (N.C.) Bridges.
1,900 structurally deficient bridges are on the Interstate Highway System.
Average age of a structurally deficient bridge is 67 years old, compared to 39 years for non-deficient bridges.
41% of U.S. bridges (250,406) are over 40 years old and have not had major reconstruction work.
Website features listing of deficient bridges by state and congressional district.

(WASHINGTON) – The length of the nation’s structurally deficient bridges if placed end-to-end would stretch 1,276 miles, half the distance from New York to Los Angeles, a new examination of federal government data shows. It’s a problem that hits close to home.

An analysis of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s (U.S. DOT) recently-released 2016 National Bridge Inventory data finds cars, trucks and school buses cross the nation’s 55,710 structurally compromised bridges 185 million times daily. About 1,900 are on the Interstate Highway System. State transportation departments have identified 13,000 Interstate bridges that need replacement, widening or major reconstruction.

The inventory of structurally deficient bridges has declined 0.5 percent since the 2015 report. At that pace, it would take more than two decades to replace or repair all of them, according to American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) Chief Economist Dr. Alison Premo Black, who conducted the analysis.

Black says the data shows 28 percent of bridges (173,919) are over 50 years old and have never had any major reconstruction work in that time.

“America’s highway network is woefully underperforming. It is outdated, overused, underfunded and in desperate need of modernization,” Black says. “State and local transportation departments haven’t been provided the resources to keep pace with the nation’s bridge needs.”

To help ensure public safety, bridge decks and support structures are regularly inspected for deterioration and remedial action. They are rated on a scale of zero to nine—with nine meaning the bridge is in “excellent” condition. A bridge is classified as structurally deficient and in need of repair if its overall rating is four or below.

While these bridges may not be imminently unsafe, they are in need of attention.

Other key findings in the ARTBA analysis:

Iowa (4,968), Pennsylvania (4,506), Oklahoma (3,460), Missouri (3,195), Nebraska (2,361), Illinois (2,243), Kansas (2,151), Mississippi (2,098), Ohio (1,942) and New York (1,928) have the most structurally deficient bridges. The District of Columbia (9), Nevada (31), Delaware (43), Hawaii (64) and Utah (95) have the least.

At least 15 percent of the bridges in eight states—Rhode Island (25 percent), Iowa (21 percent), Pennsylvania (20 percent), South Dakota (20 percent), West Virginia (17 percent), Nebraska (15 percent), North Dakota (15 percent) and Oklahoma (15 percent)—fall in the structurally deficient category.
State—and congressional district—specific information from the analysis—including rankings and the locations of the 250 most heavily travelled structurally deficient bridges in the nation and top 25 most heavily traveled in each state—is available at www.artbabridgereport.org.

Established in 1902, Washington, D.C.-based ARTBA is the “consensus voice” of the U.S. transportation design and construction industry before Congress, the White House, federal agencies, news media and the general public.

Construction Experts Forecast 2017

ARTBA President & CEO Pete Ruane Statement on Senate Democrats Infrastructure Proposal

American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) President & CEO Pete Ruane issued the following statement:

“It’s encouraging Senate Democrats and the President appear to have a similar legislative appetite for investing in transportation infrastructure to help grow the economy. But talk is easy.

Pete Ruane

“Addressing the nation’s critical transportation needs in a meaningful way will require real, recurring, dedicated revenue streams that are complemented by private investment.

“For that reason, transportation revenue and tax reform should be an integral component of the comprehensive tax reform package being developed by the administration and Congress.

“President Trump’s leadership is key to making that happen.”

ARTBA Outlines for New Trump Administration Regulatory Reforms to Help Speed Transportation Project Delivery

More than 20 federal regulations and other policy actions are affecting, and in some cases, hindering the ability to complete transportation improvement projects efficiently, safely, in a timely manner and in the best interests of U.S. taxpayers, according to a comprehensive new report from the American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA).

“Ripe for Reform: Federal Regulatory Issues Impacting Transportation Project Delivery” is aimed at assisting the incoming administration’s previously announced review of federal regulations, and has already been shared with transition officials. The recommendations were developed with input from ARTBA’s public and private sector members, and its state contractor chapter affiliates.

The association is also distributing the report to House and Senate transportation leaders and their staffs, and plans to share it with new federal agency officials following the Jan. 20 inauguration.

Citing President-elect Donald Trump’s oft-stated commitment to investing major dollars to upgrade the nation’s infrastructure, ARTBA notes that “(l)essening the transportation construction industry’s unreasonable regulatory burden will maximize the value of the significant new dollars being invested in transportation improvement projects, unleash innovation in designing and building them, and take full advantage of job-creation possibilities.”

The compilation document addresses existing rules, proposed rules, guidance and executive orders currently in place, a flurry of which have been issued by the Obama administration. These include regulations and policies administered by the: U.S. States Department of Transportation (Disadvantaged Business Enterprise program, project labor agreements, hours of service); Environmental Protection Agency (Waters of the U.S., Clean Air Act standards); Department of Labor (silica exposure and recordkeeping); Department of the Interior (Endangered Species Act); and the White House Council on Environmental Quality (greenhouse gas).

Read the full report.

Established in 1902, ARTBA represents the U.S. transportation construction industry before Congress, the White House, federal agencies, courts, news media and general public.