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Iowa’s smart use of arrow boards featured in new issue of Roadway Safety magazine

Maria Robertson 0 2294 Article rating: 5.0

In Iowa, arrow boards—a ubiquitous piece of equipment in many work zones—are serving as a testing ground for data-sharing protocols that transportation officials hope will help reduce crashes and fatalities in work zones by providing road users with real-time information of lane closures.

Read about the evolution of smart arrow boards, gain insights from the team at the Institute for Transportation (InTrans) at Iowa State University and learn the role ATSSA member Jeff Koudelka of Iowa Plains Signing Inc. played in the rollout of the roadway safety devices in the Summer 2021 issue of Roadway Safety magazine, available online today.

Survey of highway contractors shows six in 10 reported a crash into their work zone

AGC-HCSS Software Solutions survey includes assessment of dangers

Pam 0 3466 Article rating: No rating

Two reports this month offer stark reminders of the risks of highway work zones and the importance of roadway safety.

Today, we look at results of a survey of highway workers regarding work zone incidents and the issues contractors identified as key to improving safety for employees in work zones.

The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) and HCSS Software Solutions surveyed highway contractors on their experiences with respect to work zone safety in 2020. Their 2021 Work Zone Awareness Survey Results, which included responses from 292 firms, found that 60% of contractors reported at least one motor vehicle crash in their work zone.

Roadway fatalities and work zone incidents in 2020 spell concern for roadway safety advocates

NHTSA projects 7.2% increase in motor vehicle traffic fatalities in 2020

Pam 0 3723 Article rating: 4.0

Two reports this month offer stark reminders of the risks of highway work zones and the importance of roadway safety.

Today we look at the latest data from the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), which released its early estimate of motor vehicle traffic fatalities for 2020.

Tomorrow, we will look at results of a survey of highway workers regarding work zone incidents and the issues contractors identified as key to improving safety for employees in work zones.

House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee passes surface transportation authorization proposal

Pam 0 3827 Article rating: 2.5

Early this morning, the House Transportation and Infrastructure (T&I) Committee passed a five-year, $548 billion surface transportation authorization proposal out of committee, mostly on a party-line vote.

Two Republican members of the committee, Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.) and Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González-Colón (R-Puerto Rico), crossed over and voted with the Democrats. The legislation, named the INVEST in America Act, passed out of the committee after a marathon session that began Wednesday morning and finished around 5 a.m. today. Both Democrats and Republicans offered hundreds of amendments during the process.

This proposal includes funding titles for highways – including roadway safety infrastructure, bridges, transit and passenger and freight rail. By and large, the legislation and the process were derided as partisan by Republican committee members.

ATSSA develops new work zone safety publications under FHWA's Work Zone Safety Grant Program

Pam 0 2524 Article rating: 5.0

ATSSA recently developed three work zone safety publications under the Work Zone Safety Grant Program, which were approved by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). The documents include one with a Spanish version and address pedestrian safety and accommodation as well as portable temporary rumble strips application (PTRS) in work zones. 

These new resources are now available:  “Updated Pedestrians Checklist and Considerations for Temporary Traffic Control Zones,” Everyone is a Pedestrian: For a Safe Path Through Work Zones – Don’t Miss Your Cues” and State Examples for the Application of Portable Temporary Rumble Strips (PTRS).”

AASHTO hosting webinars on results of study on converting MASH to performance-based spec

Pam 0 2665 Article rating: 3.0

The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) is hosting two June webinars to review the results of a study commissioned to explore the possibility of converting the Manual on Assessing Safety Hardware (MASH) 2016 to a performance-based specification.

AASHTO hired the Texas A&M Transportation Institute to do a scoping study to assess the effort, timeline and needs required if the change was undertaken. Results of the study will be presented at two webinars, which will include time for questions. Registration is now open.

House Republicans release transportation reauthorization proposal

Pam 0 2811 Article rating: No rating

Republican members of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, led by Ranking Member Sam Graves (R-Mo.), today released their version of a transportation reauthorization ahead of likely Committee action in early June. The language, which is narrower in scope than the House-passed transportation bill last year, would spend $400 billion over five years on federal-aid highway projects, an increase of 32% over current funding levels.

Dubbed the Surface Transportation Advanced through Reform, Technology & Efficient Review Act 2.0 (STARTER Act 2.0), the legislation includes increases to the Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP).

Gov. Whitmer: Orange work zone cones represent people

Michigan officials hold official kickoff of National Work Zone Awareness Week

Pam 0 2835 Article rating: No rating

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer wore a button depicting the face of Brandyn Spychalski on her orange suit jacket as she spoke at the national kickoff for National Work Zone Awareness Week this morning.

She urged everyone to recognize that orange work zone cones represent people and to “see the humanity” of one another.

“This is not a hassle. This is not a distraction. This is a workplace,” Whitmer said of roadway work zones. “Each of us deserves to be safe in the workplace.”

National Work Zone Awareness Week (NWZAW) started on Monday with events being held across the country to raise awareness of the importance of work zone safety. The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) hosted this year’s kickoff event, which was livestreamed.

ATSSA thanks FHWA for extending feedback time for proposed MUTCD changes

Association joins other industry leaders in opposing rewrite of MUTCD

Pam 0 3101 Article rating: 2.0

ATSSA President & CEO Stacy Tetschner sent a letter thanking Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Acting Administrator Stephanie Pollack for extending the comment period for the Notice of Proposed Amendment (NPA) on the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD).

He noted the decade-old MUTCD needs an update, expressed ATSSA’s backing of the process and rejected the recent call by some to rewrite the MUTCD.

“ATSSA supports the ongoing process and we are confident that USDOT will obtain great feedback on how to improve this important manual,” Tetschner wrote. “We understand that some want to start over with the manual and we do not support this idea. We do, however, support a reexamination of the structure, process and content of the MUTCD at a later date. We also want to make it clear that this reexamination should not delay a new edition that our industry desperately needs.”

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