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Open letter to the House of Representatives regarding IIJA

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ATSSA President & CEO Stacy Tetschner posted an open letter to the House of Representatives today urging them to vote yes on the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA).

Tetschner noted that the nation’s infrastructure is “in dire need of significant rebuilding” and that now is “not the time to delay passing the most comprehensive and historic investment in our infrastructure and safety since the 1950s.”

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said on Sunday that the House would vote on the IIJA on Thursday but debates were continuing today.

Sorting fact from fiction with the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act

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Thursday is poised to be a pivotal day for the roadway safety infrastructure industry with the House of Representatives expected to vote on the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) and with the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act set to expire at midnight.

Given the significance to its members, ATSSA’s Government Relations Team evaluated key concerns being raised about the IIJA’s provisions.

ATSSA’s team analyzed the IIJA ahead of the Senate's bipartisan passage of the IIJA and provided a detailed breakdown of key aspects.

Today, ATSSA provides a fact-versus-fiction analysis of issues commonly raised about the IIJA.

 

House sets date for final infrastructure vote

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The House of Representatives is expected to vote Thursday on the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA).

Originally, a vote had been expected as early as today. However, on Sunday evening, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced that the House would begin debate on IIJA today and then vote on Thursday.

The current surface transportation authorization is set to expire on Thursday, meaning the House must pass the infrastructure package or a short-term extension of the Fixing America’s Surface Transporation (FAST) Act, or face the Highway Trust Fund going insolvent.

ATSSA reaches out to DOTs again as raw materials challenges increase

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ATSSA President & CEO Stacy Tetschner sent a letter this afternoon to the directors of every state department of transportation (DOT) to update them on the ongoing challenges facing members of the roadway safety infrastructure industry due to a shortfall in material supplies.

The latest resource severely cut was oxygen, which is needed to make glass beads that are used in pavement marking applications.

“Our members’ supply of oxygen has been cut by 70% in some areas and 100% in others because of the significant escalation of hospitalizations due to the spread of COVID-19 variants and the national trend of oxygen producers realigning the supply of oxygen from industrial customers to critical medical needs to combat the national pandemic,” Tetschner said in today’s letter.

NLC report quantifies workforce challenges in roadway industry

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A new report from the National League of Cities (NLC) quantifies what ATSSA members know all too well: It’s tough to fill industry positions.

“Hard to Fill Infrastructure Jobs: A Challenge to Building Our Future” looked at the time to hire people for infrastructure jobs compared to other jobs and the share of infrastructure jobs taking longer to fill than in other industries.

NLC found the median time to fill an infrastructure job was 23.3 days compared to 19.5 days for other industries. It also found that 30% of the jobs were hard to fill for infrastructure versus 24% in non-infrastructure fields.

“As this report so clearly shows, infrastructure jobs are harder to fill than jobs in other industries, across all regions and all city sizes,” NLC CEO & Executive Director Clarence E. Anthony states in the report. “As municipalities prepare to put infrastructure dollars to work, we must ensure that our worker supply meets business demand.”

ATSSA joins 100-plus groups urging House members to support infrastructure bill

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ATSSA was among 110 groups today sending a letter to all members of the House of Representatives, encouraging them to vote for the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), which passed the Senate in bipartisan action.

The IIJA “represents a historic opportunity to provide substantial economic and quality of life enhancements to communities across the country and to build for the future,” the letter states. “The investments made in the package would facilitate long overdue repairs and improvements to our roads, bridges, rail, and public transportation, and other critical infrastructure, such as airports, ports, broadband, energy, and water systems.”

The infrastructure bill includes a 5-year reauthorization of federal highway, public transportation and passenger rail programs, which the groups note would “ensure states and localities have much-needed funding and policy certainty to proceed with planned projects.”

Those projects are currently operating under a funding extension set to expire Sept. 30.

Honor roadway colleagues by submitting names for the National Work Zone Memorial

The Memorial honors lives lost as a result of work zone incidents

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The pandemic kept countless people off the roads but that didn’t mean roadway workers were safer. In fact, reports from across the country showed many of the drivers out during that time took the opportunity to accelerate with some traveling in excess of 100 mph.

That put roadway workers, who were still on the job, at greater danger and some paid the ultimate price.

The American Traffic Safety Services (ATSS) Foundation honors the men and women killed in roadway work zone incidents by including their names on the National Work Zone Memorial. The list of names is updated each year with the submissions  received by Dec. 1.

Caltrans releases results of survey on work zone safety products

ATSSA members who provided information identified in the final report

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The California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) released the results of its industry survey on innovative products for work zones.

This spring, Caltrans gathered information from manufacturers and vendors of work zone-related safety products about recent innovations in the products.

Twelve ATSSA member companies responded about work zone safety products they offer and were mentioned in the 42-page report, “Work Zone Safety: Synthesis of Literature and Industry Survey.”

Nominations now open for Mark of Excellence Award

Award recognizes outstanding efforts in advancing roadway safety through pavement markings

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Nominations are now open for ATSSA’s 2021 Mark of Excellence Award, one of four national awards traditionally announced at the Association’s Annual Convention & Traffic Expo.

The Mark of Excellence Award recognizes an ATSSA member who has shown professional integrity, dedication, involvement and outstanding performance in the advancement of roadway safety infrastructure through improved pavement markings.

Nominations come from members of the Pavement Marking Division and the Manufacturers & Suppliers Division. The deadline to submit nominations is Nov. 13.

Preliminary estimates for first half of 2021 show motor vehicle deaths up again this year

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Preliminary estimates for motor vehicle fatalities for the first six months of 2021 are up 16% over the same period in 2020, the National Safety Council (NSC) reported this morning.

The estimate for the first six months of 2021 is also 17% higher than the 2019 figures, according to NSC, which tracks that and other data on injuries.

The group noted that mileage for the first half of 2021 was up 13% over the low point in 2020 due to COVID-19. However, this year’s mileage was still almost 6% below travel mileage in 2019.

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