Tag Archive for 'transportation'

The veins, arteries and capillaries that pump life into our nation — 8.000,000,000 miles of our, Roads and Highways

8-million-miles-of-highways-and-roads-photo-u1
from Maps of the US 

I was sent the above map by a friend and thought it was very appropriate since we now have a new House Transportation Bill in the works waiting for Senate review.

Thanks for the map Jeff.

AED’s McGuire Tells Lawmakers: “There are No More Excuses”

Following the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee’s approval of the Investing in a New Vision for the Environment & Surface Transportation (INVEST) in America Act (H.R. 2) earlier today, AED’s President & CEO Brian P. McGuire issued the following statement:

“Before the COVID-19 pandemic, it was long overdue for our leaders in Washington to provide substantial, long-term surface transportation investments to rebuild our nation’s crumbling infrastructure. Now, it’s absolutely necessary as the United States stares directly into a significant economic downturn, state Departments of Transportation are unable to fund future construction projects and equipment dealers and their customers are facing significant uncertainty.”

“AED members across the country have seen demand for construction equipment purchases and rentals decreasing rapidly as the backlog of pre-COVID-19 construction projects diminishes. The dismal assessment will necessitate tough decisions from the small-medium-sized family-owned companies regarding employment and business investment, particularly as federal programs such as the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) end in the coming months. Indeed, even with generous government loans, devoid of long-term funding for surface transportation projects, business at equipment dealerships will grind to a halt compelling drastic employment reductions.”

“Now is not the time for partisanship. The future of our country’s economic well-being and competitiveness is at stake. AED urges the House, Senate and the administration to work in a bipartisan manner to expeditiously complete the surface transportation reauthorization process. There are no more excuses—everyone in Washington knows what needs to be done and now is the time to rebuild America’s crumbling infrastructure, put people back to work and generate economic growth for years to come.”

The INVEST in America Act is expected to be on the House floor in July. Meanwhile, the Senate’s bipartisan surface transportation bill (America’s Transportation Infrastructure Act), which was unanimously approved by the Senate Environment & Public Works Committee last summer, awaits further consideration.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, AED vociferously advocated for congressional action to provide long-term, infrastructure investments. Since mid-March the association has led the charge making the case that construction projects should proceed despite widespread shutdowns, urging governors to continue public works investment notwithstanding state revenue shortfalls and telling Congress and the administration that rebuilding America’s infrastructure must be the top policy priority immediately to spur economic growth.

House Introduces Surface Transportation Infrastructure Bill

On June 3, House Democratic Transportation & Infrastructure Committee leadership introduced the Invest in America Act, a five-year, $494 billion surface transportation reauthorization proposal, which is a 46 percent increase over current funding levels. The legislation is expected to be marked up by the Transportation & Infrastructure Committee in two weeks and, if approved, it will be considered on the House floor in July. 

The Senate’s bipartisan five-year, $287 billion surface transportation bill, America’s Transportation Infrastructure Act (ATIA), was approved by the Senate Environment & Public Works Committee last summer and awaits consideration by other Senate panels of jurisdiction. 

Unfortunately, neither proposal currently identifies revenue to pay for the investments, the main point of contention during highway bill debates. 

With the current highway program expiring on September 30 and the budget challenges faced by state and local governments, Congress must urgently take action to complete the reauthorization process to provide certainty to public works construction markets. 

After the introduction, AED’s President & CEO Brian P. McGuire released the following statement:

“Before the COVID-19 pandemic, it was long overdue for our leaders in Washington to provide substantial, long-term surface transportation investments to rebuild our nation’s crumbling infrastructure. Now, there’s a renewed necessity as the United States stares directly into a significant economic downturn, state Departments of Transportation are unable to fund future construction projects and equipment dealers and their customers are facing significant uncertainty.”

“AED urges Congress and the administration to immediately work in a bipartisan manner to complete the surface transportation reauthorization process. There should be no more excuses—everyone in Washington knows what needs to be done and now is the time to rebuild America’s crumbling infrastructure, put people back to work and generate economic growth for years to come.”

To view the Transportation & Infrastructure Committee’s Invest in America Act Summary visit: https://transportation.house.gov/imo/media/doc/Final%20Bill%20Text%20of%20the%20INVEST%20in%20America%20Act.pdf

To view the Invest in America Act’s bill text visit: https://transportation.house.gov/imo/media/doc/Final%20Bill%20Text%20of%20the%20INVEST%20in%20America%20Act.pdf

Stay up-to-date on all things COVID-19  Looking to find more information on how COVID-19 is affecting the equipment distribution industry? Look no further than AED’s Coronavirus Update Center. Our members can find vital information on scheduling updates, industry news, newly constructed webinars and much more.
AED Coronavirus Update Center

New Hours of Service Rule Will Speed Project Delivery While Maintaining Road Safety

New updates to the federal “hours of service” rule will speed up construction of transportation improvement projects while maintaining road safety, according to the American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA).

“The revisions will help transportation construction contractors deploy project personnel more efficiently, saving on time and costs while maintaining high standards for safety,” said ARTBA President and CEO Dave Bauer. “These updates are especially needed for transportation construction to play a crucial role in our nation’s economic recovery.”

Under the jurisdiction of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), the hours of service rule governs the amount of time truckers can spend on the road.  The rule is principally directed at long-haul drivers, seeking to prevent fatigue and compromises to safety that can come from long hours and miles behind the wheel.

In contrast, the majority of truckers in the transportation construction industry drive for much shorter distances and time periods.  Because the same rule applies to them, the hours of service “clock” has often prohibited them from driving later in the work day or work week, even though they have spent little time on the open road.

The updates to the rule will enact two specific reforms for which ARTBA has spent years advocating: 

  • Expanding the “short-haul” exemption from 100 to 150 air miles.
  • Counting non-driving activities towards satisfying the agency’s 30-minute rest requirement.

These provisions will increase flexibility in deploying drivers who actually spend most of their day waiting in queues for loading and unloading materials, delivering construction equipment and helping with other project tasks.  They will especially help contractors working on a critical project under an intense, accelerated schedule, such as replacing a bridge over a single weekend.   

“Correcting this misapplication of federal requirements is the type of regulatory reform that all sides should support,” Bauer added. “ARTBA appreciates the Trump administration’s continued efforts to improve a federal regulatory structure that has often impeded the efficient delivery of transportation infrastructure projects.”

The rule update will take effect 120 days after it is published in the Federal Register.

Established in 1902 and with more than 8,000 public and private sector members, the Washington, D.C.-based ARTBA advocates for strong investment in transportation infrastructure to meet the public and business community demand for safe and efficient travel.

7th Annual ARTBA Bridge Report — 230,000 Bridges Need Repair

New Analysis of Federal Data Finds

  • 46,000 Are “Structurally Deficient” and in Poor Condition
  • NYC’s Brooklyn Bridge and D.C.’s Theodore Roosevelt Bridge Make List
  • National, State and Local Data Available: www.artbabridgereport.org

Nearly 231,000 U.S. bridges need major repair work or should be replaced, according to an American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) analysis of the just released U.S. Department of Transportation’s 2019 National Bridge Inventory (NBI) database. 

That figure represents 37 percent, or more than a third, of all U.S. bridges.

If placed end-to-end, the length of these bridges would stretch over 6,300 miles—long enough to make a round trip across the country from New York City to Los Angeles and back again to Chicago.  American drivers cross these bridges 1.5 billion times per day – representing one-third of all daily bridge crossings, according to the data. 

More than 46,000 of those bridges are “structurally deficient” and in poor condition.  They are crossed 178 million times a day. 

An additional 81,000 bridges should be replaced, says ARTBA Chief Economist Dr. Alison Premo Black, who led the team conducting the analysis. One third of Interstate highway bridges (18,177 spans) have identified repair needs.

The report comes as Congress and the Trump administration continue working on measures to respond to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. ARTBA says once policy makers shift from a rescue focus to economic recovery, robust transportation infrastructure investments have comprehensive benefits. 

“Economic recovery from coronavirus begins with strategic road and bridge improvements,” ARTBA President Dave Bauer says.  “Increased transportation investments support direct job creation and retention, while putting in place capital assets that will enhance U.S. productivity for decades to come.”

Bauer notes the transportation construction industry is not seeking federal assistance, but it should be part of the solution.  He says the Senate Environment & Public Works Committee’s July 2019 unanimously approved five-year highway reauthorization bill should be the starting point for discussions.

“The sooner we invest in robust new transportation improvements the sooner the American people will experience the economic benefits,” Bauer says.

ARTBA estimates the cost to make the identified repairs for all 231,000 bridges in the U.S. at nearly $164 billion, based on average cost data published by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA.) 

The number of structurally deficient bridges declined by 900 compared to 2018. 

“At the current pace, it would take more than 50 years to repair America’s structurally deficient bridges,” Black, the chief economist, says. “Our bridge network is underfunded and should be modernized.  State and local government just haven’t been given the necessary financial resources to fully address the problem.”

Rankings
States with the most structurally deficient bridges as a percent of their total bridge inventory, are: Rhode Island (22.3 percent); West Virginia (21 percent); Iowa (19 percent); South Dakota (17 percent); Pennsylvania (15.3 percent); Louisiana (13.2 percent); Maine (12.8 percent); Puerto Rico (12.3 percent); Michigan (10.8 percent); and North Dakota (10.7 percent).

States with the largest actual number of structurally deficient bridges are: Iowa (4,575 bridges); Pennsylvania (3,501); Illinois (2,407); Oklahoma (2,352); Missouri (2,147); California (1,797); New York (1,745); North Carolina (1,714); Louisiana (1,701); and West Virginia (1,531). 

While these bridges may not be imminently unsafe, they need attention.  Over 69,500 bridges across the country are “posted for load” which means there are weight restrictions or other measures in place to reduce stress on the structure. 

Over the last five years, Pennsylvania has reduced the number of its structurally deficient bridges by 1,200.  Other states with large decreases: Oklahoma (753); Indiana (467); Ohio (412) and Virginia (391).  In 12 states, the number of structurally deficient bridges increased over the five years, including: West Virginia (plus 472); Illinois (260); Florida (131); Missouri (80) and Montana (77). 

Structurally Deficient Bridges
Notable structurally deficient bridges include New York City’s Brooklyn Bridge; Washington, D.C.’s Theodore Roosevelt bridge; the San Mateo-Hayward bridge crossing San Francisco Bay – the longest bridge in California; Florida’s Pensacola Bay Bridge; and the Vicksburg Bridge in Mississippi.

State and congressional district-specific information is available: https://artbabridgereport.org/

About ARTBA: Established in 1902, the Washington, D.C.-based ARTBA advocates for strong investment in transportation to meet the demand for safe and efficient travel.