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ATSSA Town Hall on Buy America guidelines set for Sept. 7

Virtual event will offer insights to help members prepare for enactment

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Get ready for enactment of the new Build America, Buy America Act (BABA) guidelines by attending ATSSA’s free virtual Town Hall on Sept. 7.

Speakers will address questions on the recently released guidance for the Build America, Buy America Act (BABA).

The virtual Town Hall panel will include ATSSA Director of Federal Government Relations Cameron Greene and Kathy Ruffalo, president of Ruffalo & Associates, a Washington-based advocacy and consulting firm. Ruffalo has significant transportation and infrastructure experience at both the federal and state levels.

Registration is now open.

Final ‘Buy America’ guideline published, starting 60-day clock to enactment

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The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) on Wednesday published the final guideline for the Build America, Buy America Act, starting a 60-day countdown to its enactment.

Included in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA), this expansion of the Buy America program led to the inclusion of a number of materials and products used and manufactured by ATSSA members.

ATSSA’s Government Relations Team provides a summary of the most important sections of the 162-page guidance and will continue to update ATSSA members as more information becomes available. ATSSA also will be holding a virtual town hall on this topic on Sept. 7.

ATSSA & NCUTCD urge publication of MUTCD without delay

Committee votes today for publication without incorporating PROWAG

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The National Committee on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (NCUTCD) passed a resolution today recommending the final rule on the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) not be delayed to address this week’s issuance of a final rule for pedestrian accessibility issues.

The U.S. Access Board on Tuesday issued its final rule providing minimum guidelines for accessibility of pedestrian facilities in the public right-of-way, known as PROWAG.

On May 2, ATSSA President & CEO Stacy Tetschner sent a letter to Federal Highway Administration Administrator Shailen P. Bhatt urging the FHWA to publish the updated Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) by the deadline set forth in the U.S. Code, which was May 15.

ATSSA voted in favor of today’s resolution passed by the NCUTCD.

Integrating wildlife patterns into roadway plans helps save lives

Summer issue of Roadway Safety magazine explores this lifesaving strategy

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With elk, mule deer and pronghorn antelope among the many animals trekking across Wyoming, the state’s Department of Transportation knows the importance of being attuned to their daily movements and seasonal migrations. That information is factored into new road projects to help save the lives of both humans and animals.

The Wildlife Crossings Pilot Program included as part of the Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act (IIJA) is a new source of funding available to aid such mitigation efforts. The Summer issue of ATSSA’s Roadway Safety magazine, now available online, lays out the cost of human-animal collisions across the nation and examines the details of the program to help members understand how they can become involved.

Check out this article and more in the latest issue of Roadway Safety magazine.

USDOT announces grant opportunities for Wildlife Crossings Pilot Program

Members encouraged to help spread the word about lifesaving program

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Funding information is now available for the U.S. Department of Transportation’s new Wildlife Crossings Pilot Program, which was approved within the Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act (IIJA).

The Notice of Funding Opportunities was posted Tuesday and gives details on applying for these grants, which are open to state departments of transportation (DOTs), metropolitan planning organizations (MPOs), local governments, regional transportation authorities, special purpose districts, public authorities with a transportation function, Indian tribes and federal land management agencies (FLMAs).

“Every tool that can be used to help save lives on the nation’s roads is important in our effort to move Toward Zero Deaths,” ATSSA President & CEO Stacy Tetschner said. “We encourage our members to help spread the word to their contacts in organizations that are eligible to apply for this new opportunity.”

ATSSA congratulates Crawford on leading Highways & Transit Subcommittee

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ATSSA congratulates Rep. Eric A. “Rick” Crawford, R-Ark., on his selection as chair of the House Subcommittee on Highways and Transit.

“We look forward to working with six-term Congressman Crawford in his new role as chair of this important subcommittee,” ATSSA President & CEO Stacy Tetschner said. “Chair Crawford is a veteran of the subcommittee and we look forward to partnering with him in support of the vital work of the roadway safety infrastructure industry and advancing roadway safety across the country. In his new role, Chair Crawford can help save lives on the nation’s roadways.”

Crawford issued the following statement regarding his selection as chair and the Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act (IIJA), which became law in November 2021.

“An efficient and safe highway system is critical to America’s competitiveness in the global economy and a vital component of our national security,” he said. “I look forward to providing vigorous oversight of IIJA to ensure that those funds are spent on projects that are priorities for states and local government.”

ATSSA joins groups petitioning Bhatt to rescind IIJA policy memo

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ATSSA joined 17 organizations today in asking Federal Highway Administration Administrator Shailen Bhatt to rescind the “Policy on Using Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Resources to Build a Better America” memorandum that was issued Dec. 16, 2021.

The groups, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, noted they supported the Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act (IIJA) passed in November 2021 and that it was a “carefully negotiated and balanced package of policy reforms and targeted national investments” to make the lives of Americans better.

The issue leading to the request for the policy to be rescinded was that the Dec. 16 memo “elicited significant confusion within the transportation community.” Further, the letter states that the memo was “intended to serve as an overarching policy framework that prioritizes IIJA resources towards certain projects, which was inconsistent with what was laid out under the legislation President Biden signed into law the month before.”

ATSSA congratulates Graves on being named chair of T&I Committee

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ATSSA congratulates Rep. Sam Graves (R-Mo.) on being chosen to chair the Transportation and Infrastructure (T&I) Committee in the 118th Congress.

“ATSSA members have counted Chairman Graves as a roadway safety leader throughout his tenure on the T&I Committee and we look forward to his continued emphasis on this critical issue now that he is chair,” ATSSA President & CEO Stacy Tetschner said. “We are eager to work with him and his committee staff in the months and years ahead to ensure that roadway safety remains the top priority for Congress and the Biden administration.”

Graves’ selection was announced by the committee today. He confirmed his priority for roadway safety and infrastructure in his comments included with the announcement.

ATSSA congratulates Bhatt on FHWA confirmation

Transportation veteran confirmed as FHWA leader

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Shailen Bhatt, who led state transportation departments in Colorado and Delaware, was confirmed by the Senate to lead the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).

Bhatt’s confirmation by the full Senate on Thursday follows bipartisan support on Nov. 29 by the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.

As head of the FHWA, Bhatt will oversee implementation of the $1 trillion Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act (IIJA) passed into law in November 2021.

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.

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