ATSSA President & CEO Stacy Tetschner today sent a letter to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg making three requests regarding changes to the Buy America requirements included in the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA).
“In a recent survey of ATSSA members regarding the new Buy America requirements for federally-funded infrastructure projects, there is considerable concern about the impact that these new policies will have on roadway safety,” Tetschner wrote. “Knowing of your strong commitment to reducing the number of fatalities and serious injuries on this nation’s roadways, it is important for you to consider the serious effect the new Buy America requirements will have not only on the roadway safety industry but the public as well.”
Tetschner shared with Buttigieg key findings of a recent survey of ATSSA members regarding the Buy America requirements:
72% would not expect to be able to domestically source materials or products
86% believe the cost of safety devices and projects will increase – with some projecting increases of as much as 50%
66% believe that there will either be work interruptions, project completion challenges and delays, liquidated damages, or all three
85% are concerned with the potential for a burdensome or confusing certification process
As a result of the concerns, Tetschner wrote that ATSSA “strongly urges” the U.S. Department of Transportation USDOT to do the following:
Delay implementation of the new Buy America provisions to give industry time to domestically source proven, lifesaving materials and products for roadway safety projects
Create a streamlined process for Buy America certification
Adopt policies consistent with the Office of Management and Budget guidance from April of this year which exempts temporary products, such as temporary traffic control and work zone safety devices.
Tetschner noted his concern regarding the “looming deadline” for implementation of the new Buy America requirements and ended his letter by emphasizing the shared commitment of ATSSA and USDOT to roadway safety and eliminating deaths on the nation’s roadways.
“As an industry, we are committed to moving Toward Zero Deaths on the roads and streets across America for all users of the transportation system,” he wrote. “ATSSA members are passionate about saving lives and reducing serious injuries, and we look forward to working with U.S. DOT to realize a future with zero roadway fatalities.”