FHWA Administrator Nicole Nason. (Luiza Carson photo)

By Mark Holan, editorial director, ARTBA

Federal Highway Administrator Nicole Nason, in her first public speaking appearance since being confirmed by the Senate, May 14 told ARTBA’s Federal Issues Program that she is committed to safety and innovation.  

“We still have too many fatalities on our roads,” Nason said. “FHWA has done some wonderful things with designs and improving work zone safety, but I am committed to a future of zero fatalities, and would like to work with all of you to reach that goal.”

Nason said the Trump administration is committed to regulatory reform and permit streamlining. She said the agency will have “a lighter touch” by moving some decisions to states and local officials.

Fifteen years ago, Nason said, few people would have imagined drones, driverless cars, 3D-printing, and other technological innovations. “We all know there is more coming,” she said, including bridge inspections done by robots and drones.

Nason also noted FHWA’s role in the Highway Construction Workforce Partnership (HCWP). “The transportation system depends on qualified workers,” she said. “Investing in their success is vital to the system’s success.