Lighting a fire under Capitol Hill
On Sept. 14-16, 2003, the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) and its members were in the nation's capital advocating for highway and infrastructure funding.
The reauthorization of TEA-21, which expires on Sept. 30, is stalled and Congress has made little headway in producing the necessary legislation to keep the highway program in operation. One of the key issues to be addressed is how to raise the revenue to address the nation's mounting highway and bridge needs. AGC's Legislative Conference is strategically designed to provide you with the tools you need to have your voice heard. Forums are scheduled so that you will be fully prepared on the issues related to highway reauthorization, and time is scheduled so that you can visit your members of Congress and AGC's legislative headquarters. Interested in attending? Visit the AGC website (www.agc.org).
Register is open
At the annual meeting of the International Association of Auto Theft Investigators (IAATI), AGC announced that it has entered into an agreement with the National Equipment Register (NER) for NER to provide its theft prevention and recovery services to AGC's 35,000 members. AGC noted that the problem of theft for AGC members is a growing concern, particularly with recent increases in the cost of insurance. NER provides training and database services to coordinate the efforts of the insurance industry, equipment owners and law enforcement in the fight against heavy equipment theft.
Since 1985 AGC has sponsored a charitable award with the IAATI to recognize a law enforcement official for outstanding achievement in the recovery of stolen construction equipment.
Equal time with FHWA
AGC's Work Zone Safety Committee recently met in St. Louis, Mo., to develop comments on the Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA) Notice of Proposed Rulemaking to amend its regulations governing traffic safety in highway and street work zones. The comments take issue with FHWA's equal emphasis on the safety and mobility impacts of work zones on road users, workers and other affected parties and look beyond the immediate area of the work zone to consider the impacts at the corridor and network level. Under the proposed rule, states would be required to develop a Transportation Management Plan (TMP) for all projects, but the extent of the TMP would be governed by the impact of individual projects. The TMP includes three distinct parts: a Traffic Operations Plan, Traffic Control Plan and Public Information and Outreach Plan. The rules also call for increased training requirements, for contractor employees to be responsible for the TMP and for more consideration to be given to the use of performance specifications for traffic control plans.
Talking about LIFE
AGC CEO Steve Sandherr and Senior Executive Director for Government and Public Affairs Jeff Shoaf were invited to a 90-minute meeting with senior Department of Transportation officials, including Secretary Norman Mineta and Federal Highway Administrator Mary Peters, to view a presentation on the U.S. DOT's "Highways for LIFE" concept. The proposal, which is expected to be introduced as an amendment to the administration's highway reauthorization proposal, is designed to improve safety, reduce congestion due to construction and improve quality.
"Highways for LIFE" is an acronym for Long lasting highways using Innovative technologies and practices to accomplish Fast construction of Efficient and safe pavements and bridges.
The DOT would seek to identify pilot projects of various sizes that would allow for innovative practices and improved technologies to reduce on-site construction time, attain higher quality and improve safety.