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Biden highlights guardrails in State of the Union

Tetschner applauds focus on safety and infrastructure in congressional address

In championing the passage of the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) in his State of the Union address Tuesday night, President Joe Biden specifically mentioned “highway guardrails” as a positive outcome of the legislation. This is apparently the first mention of guardrails in the history of these presidential addresses to Congress.

Additionally, Biden announced that the nation would start fixing “over 65,000 miles of highway and 1,500 bridges in disrepair.”

That was in addition to 4,000 projects Biden said had already been announced.

ATSSA President & CEO Stacy Tetschner commended the emphasis on infrastructure and the specific reference to a proven lifesaving device produced by ATSSA members.

“We agree with President Biden that addressing the nation’s infrastructure needs is critical and has broad implications for the country’s standing in the world and that it generates significant jobs,” Tetschner said. “But more than that, these investments will dramatically save lives on American roadways.

“Our members manufacture, distribute and install a wide range of roadway safety infrastructure devices from guardrail and cable barrier to pavement markings, traffic signs and signals, high friction surface treatment and work zone safety equipment, all of which demand attention and investment. We look forward to continuing to work with state and local departments of transportation as well as Congress and the Biden administration to advance roadway safety.”

The IIJA passed in November and is a historic investment in transportation funding. It includes a 5-year, $304 billion investment in roads and bridges, a 34% increase over current spending for the Highway Trust Fund (HTF) and translates into $16.8 billion over five years for the Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP). In addition, the law includes a $5 billion Safe Streets for All program designed to assist state and local governments with vision zero projects. All told, there is more than $22 billion dedicated to roadway safety in the package.

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