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USDOT offering webinar on applying for SMART Grants

Register now for Sept. 29 webinar; applications due Nov. 18

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The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) will hold a Sept. 29 webinar to assist individuals interested in applying for a Strengthening Mobility and Revolutionizing Transportation (SMART) Grant.

Registration is now open for the webinar, which runs from 2:30-4 p.m. ET.

The grants were authorized as part of the Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act (IIJA) approved in November. The new grant program offers up to $100 million annually over the next five years. The grants would fund transportation projects that “use data and technology to solve real-world challenges facing communities today,” according to the USDOT announcement.

The SMART Grants Program does not require other funding such as matching or cost sharing, according to USDOT.

Become familiar with ‘scope of work’ and indemnity in contract agreements

Understanding those terms can limit liability

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Subcontractors may be unaware they can review and negotiate subcontracts before signing them.

Negotiating can be as simple as "red lining" words to delete from the document or adding words or sentences.

Two important items that should be thoroughly reviewed before signing any subcontract agreement are the “scope of work” and “indemnification” clauses. The scope of work should be clearly defined and is usually one of the first paragraphs of the subcontract. 

Indemnity is a contractual obligation of one party to compensate for the loss incurred by another party due to the acts of a third party or one's own actions.

Truck-mounted attenuators: Preferred wheel direction for optimum safety

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At the most recent ATSSA Instructors’ Meeting in Providence, R.I., a question was asked about the proper orientation of the front wheels of a truck-mounted attenuator (TMA), a key issue for roadway safety.

TMAs are trucks equipped with energy-absorbing attenuators, to provide physical protection for roadway workers from traffic approaching from the rear.

A common myth is that the wheels should be angled to prevent the TMA from being pushed into workers in case of an impact. This is not the preferred method and not what ATSSA teaches.

Instead, the preferred method is to point the wheels straight ahead (not turned left or right) and allow for the TMA’s roll-ahead distance.

Comments due Sept. 19 on proposed rulemaking for Disadvantaged Business Enterprise program

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ATSSA members interested in providing comments on the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) program have one week to submit them.

The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) NPRM was posted in the Federal Register on July 21.  Comments are due by next Monday.

The full text of the NPRM covers 66 pages of the Federal Register. USDOT created a summary and ATSSA assembled a list of key changes.

Apply by Sept. 15 for FY22 Safe Streets and Roads for All grants

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The deadline for submitting Safe Streets and Roads for All (SS4A) grant applications is Sept. 15. 

Groups eligible to apply for the grants include metropolitan planning organizations; counties, cities, towns, transit agencies or special districts within a state; federally recognized tribal governments; and multijurisdictional groups comprised of these groups.

Activities that are eligible include developing or updating a comprehensive safety action plan; conducting planning, design and development activities in support of an action plan; and carrying out projects and strategies identified in an action plan. A list of example activities is available.