Tag Archive for 'Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)'

Short Video Message from ARTBA President & CEO David Bauer

ARTBA Reports: U.S. DOT Announces $1.5 Billion in New Transportation Grants

Secretary Chao, center, Dec. 11 announced the BUILD grants at U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) headquarters in Washington, D.C. She was joined by U.S. Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing &Urban Development (THUD) Chair Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and ranking member Sen. Jack Reed (D-R.I.), House Appropriations THUD Subcommittee Chair Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.) and ranking member Rep. David Price (D-N.C.), and Youngstown, Ohio, Mayor Jamael Brown.

By Eileen Houlihan, senior writer/editor, ARTBA

U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao Dec. 11 announced $1.5 billion in discretionary grant funding to 91 projects in 49 states and the District of Columbia. The grants are made through the Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) Transportation Grants program and support road, rail, transit, and port infrastructure projects across the country.

Two-thirds of the projects involve roads. Some of the biggest awards include completing a 4.8-mile, four-lane interstate facility in southwest Missouri that will bypass US-71 and connect to Interstate 49 in Arkansas; repairing and upgrading approximately 3.5 miles of high-use service roads in the Lower Yukon River Regional Port in Alaska; extending the Hot Springs East-West Arterial Bypass in Arkansas; building improvements on approximately 9 miles of State Road 19 in Mississippi; and replacing approximately 77 bridges in 17 rural counties in North Carolina.

The grants will contribute to the construction or refurbishment of over 200 bridges nationwide, from North Carolina to the refurbishment of the Brooklyn Bridge. See the full list of projects.

BUILD grants were known previously as TIGER grants. The maximum grant award is $25 million for a single project, and no more than $150 million can be awarded to a single state. There is a $5 million minimum award for projects located in urban areas and a $1 million minimum for rural projects.

ARTBA Report to Congress Says Raise the Gas Tax to Address Interstates

By Eileen Houlihan, senior writer/editor, ARTBA

Congress should legislate an Interstate Highway System renewal and modernization program that focuses on reconstructing the aging and heavily-used infrastructure and pay for it in the near-term by increasing the federal gas tax, a new report to Congress says.

The “Renewing the National Commitment to the Interstate Highway System: A Foundation for the Future” report, released Dec. 6 by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine’s Transportation Research Board (TRB) and funded through the 2015 FAST Act surface transportation law, also calls for adjusting the federal fuel tax as needed to account for inflation and changes in vehicle fuel economy.

The report did not address a specific amount to raise the federal fuel taxes, but noted the current level of spending on the Interstates at $20 billion to $25 billion annually is “much too low – by at least 50 percent – to proceed with long-deferred rebuilding of the system’s aging and deteriorating pavements and bridges.” The committee said more than $30 billion per year is needed over the next 20 years to just repair and rebuild existing damage, and an additional investment of approximately $45 billion to $70 billion per year will be required to expand and manage the system’s capacity to handle future traffic.

It recommends lifting the ban on tolling of existing Interstate highways, a “rightsizing” of the system to address current and emerging demands and to remediate economic, social and environmental disruptions caused to some communities by the system, and address concerns about climate change and accommodate automated vehicles.

“As the nation moves further into the 21st century and as transformations, in the vehicle fleet and vulnerabilities due to climate change place new demands on the country’s transportation infrastructure, the prospect of an aging and worn Interstate Highway System that operates unreliably is concerning,” the report noted. The Interstate Highway System is a vital part of the U.S. economy. It is the foundation of the National Highway System (NHS) – which includes ties to ports, airports and other major intermodal transportation facilities.  Although the NHS represents just 4 percent of public roads, it carries more than 40 percent of the nation’s highway traffic and 70 percent of the truck freight traffic that moves people and goods across the country.

The report added that when much of the Interstate system was built in the 1960s and 1970s, little was known about the threat of climate change. The report recommends transportation agencies across the country make changes to how they plan, design, construct operate and maintain the system to make it more resilient and less vulnerable to the effects of climate change.

In addition, Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), in a Dec. 7 op-ed in The Washington Post, said “any infrastructure bill that wants Democratic support in the Senate” will have to include policies and funding that help transition the country to a clean-energy economy and mitigate the risks the U.S. faces from climate change.

TRB’s 14-person committee to research the Interstate report included 2006 ARTBA Chairman Dr. Michael Walton of the University of Texas at Austin.

Walton, who spoke during a webinar at the TRB release of the report, said much of the funding and financing question will vary by state, citing, for example, tolling. “What works in one state may not in others,” Walton noted. The original Interstate highway construction program was a collaborative commitment among the states and the federal government. A comparable partnership is needed to ensure resiliency and respond to the changing demands of users, the report said.

ARTBA economic data continues to show that federal funds on average provide more than half of all annual state department of transportation capital outlays for highway and bridge projects.

ARTBA Reports: Voters Across the Nation Demonstrate Support for Transportation Investment

Nearly 80 percent of State & Local Ballot Measures Approved

Voters in 31 states Nov. 6 once again showed their support for transportation infrastructure investments, approving 272, or 79 percent, of 346 state and local ballot measures. In total, the approved initiatives are expected to generate over $30 billion in one-time and recurring revenue, according to the analysis conducted by the American Road & Transportation Builders Association’s Transportation Investment Advocacy Center™ (ARTBA-TIAC).

The 2018 preliminary results reaffirmed the trend of recent years, demonstrating strong voter support for investments to maintain and improve state and local transportation networks. Including 2018, voters have approved 78 percent of nearly 1,700 transportation investment ballot measures tracked by ARTBA-TIAC since 2009.

In the most closely watched initiative of 2018, California voters turned back Proposition 6, an effort to repeal an increase in the state gasoline and diesel motor fuels tax that had been approved by the legislature as part of a 2017 transportation funding law. The 55 percent to 45 percent decision by voters will help preserve more than $50 billion for urgently-needed highway, bridge, and transit improvements in California over a 10-year period.

“By soundly rejecting Proposition 6 and re-electing 95 percent of the state legislators who voted in 2017 to increase the state gas tax to fund needed transportation improvements, California voters showed the public continues to support a user-funded approach to infrastructure investment. That’s a message the Trump administration and new Congress should heed as they consider a bipartisan infrastructure package and permanent revenue solution for Highway Trust Fund programs next year,” said ARTBA Acting President and CEO William D. Toohey, Jr.

The California repeal attempt was part of a larger effort by Congressional leaders to increase Republican voter turnout in several key California Congressional districts. “In ginning up and funding the Prop. 6 repeal initiative as a ‘get out the vote’ ploy, the U.S. House Republican leadership nearly deprived California citizens and businesses of over $5 billion a year in transportation congestion relief projects. That was both wrong and short-sighted,” Toohey added.

Additional highlights of the TIAC report include:

  • A proposed state gas tax increase in Missouri met unexpected resistance at the polls, with voters rejecting the measure 54 percent to 46 percent.
  • In Colorado, voters rejected two measures to provide new transportation investments. Proposition 109, a measure to provide one-time funding with a $3.5 billion bond, was rejected 39 percent to 61 percent. Proposition 110, which would have increased the state sales tax by 0.62 percent for 20 years and provided an initial jumpstart with a $6 billion bond, also failed, 40 percent to 60 percent.
  • Statewide measures to protect transportation funds from being diverted to non-transportation purposes passed in Connecticut and Louisiana.

Earlier in the year, voters approved 192 measures for an additional $6.4 billion in transportation revenue. The market impact of these ballot measures is difficult to project as revenue approved ranges from immediate one-time investment to a contribution made annually for as long as 30 years.

The complete report and an interactive map showing the state-by-state results can be found at www.transportationinvestment.org.

TIAC operations are supported by ARTBA’s “Transportation Makes America Work” program.

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

Matt Jeanneret Has Been Named Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of ARTBA

Matthew J. Jeanneret has been named executive vice president and chief operating officer of the Washington, D.C.-based American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA), effective Nov. 1.

Matt Jeanneret

Jeanneret, who joined ARTBA in 1998 as director of public affairs, has been serving as the association’s deputy chief operating officer since January.  As ARTBA’s senior vice president of communications and marketing over the past decade, he led its award-winning external communications initiatives aimed at building political support for increased transportation infrastructure investment in the past four federal highway and transit program authorization laws.

“Matt’s 20 years of accomplished service have well prepared him for this new role,” ARTBA’s Acting President and CEO William Toohey said. “Over that time, he has been instrumental in the success of the association’s advocacy, safety, education, and member services programs.  Matt is a proven leader, an effective manager and has a deep commitment to the association’s mission, membership, and staff.”

Since 2005, Jeanneret has also served as the ARTBA Transportation Development Foundation’s (TDF) executive director.  In this role, he raised more than a half-million dollars for the Lanford Family Highway Worker Memorial Scholarship Program, which helps the children of those killed or permanently injured on the job attend college.  He played a key role in the development and 2016 launch of the TDF’s “Safety Certification for Transportation Project ProfessionalsTMprogram, which was accredited by the American National Standards Institute earlier this year.

Jeanneret earned the Certified Association Executive (CAE) designation in 2005 from the American Society of Association Executives (ASAE), a credential held only by five percent of those in the field.  He is a 2009 graduate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for Organization Management (IOM), a four-year non-profit leadership program.

From 1994-1996, Jeanneret served as the chief media spokesman for two state agencies in Massachusetts Governor William Weld’s administration.  In 1992, he received a presidential appointment to serve as a spokesman for the U.S. Department of Justice in the administration of George H.W. Bush.  He began his career in 1989 as a legislative aide to now-retired U.S. Senator Alan K. Simpson (R-Wyo.).

Jeanneret’ s significant volunteer work includes service with the ASAE Foundation’s Development Committee (2014-17), ASAE 2020 Centennial Research Initiative Task Force (2016-present), and Our Lady of Good Counsel High School’s (Olney, Md.) Board of Directors (2013-2016) and Advancement Committee (2010-present).

He is a native of the Metropolitan Washington area and has a B.A. from Boston College and an M.A. from The George Washington University in Washington, D.C.  He and his wife, Elizabeth, reside in Arlington, Va.

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

For more information on ARTBA visit www.artba.org