ARTBA Chairman Robert Alger, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and ARTBA CEO Dave Bauer. (Photo: Speaker Pelosi’s office.)
By Mark Holan, editorial director, ARTBA
The May 13-15 ARTBA Federal Issues Program (FIP) & Transportation Construction Coalition (TCC) Fly-In was filled with firsts:
- House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), the first woman to hold this key congressional leadership post, became the highest-ranking U.S. government official to address the event. “We have a special opportunity now because the needs are so great,” she said. “We just want to roll up our sleeves, and three words: Build. Build. Build.”
- Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Administrator Nicole Nason made her first public remarks since being confirmed by the U.S. Senate. “The transportation system depends on qualified workers,” she said. “Investing in their success is vital to the system’s success.”
- Four top transportation industry association executives—each in the first year of their current jobs—shared their views about Congress prioritizing infrastructure legislation this summer.
- A bipartisan panel of four first-year members of the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee discussed their views for achieving a broad infrastructure package.
During the FIP, the ARTBA Board of Directors unanimously approved the legislative blueprint for the scheduled 2020 federal highway/transit investment bill developed by the association’s “Project 2019 Reauthorization Task Force.” The group was co-chaired by ARTBA Vice Chair At-Large Tim Duit (Duit Construction) and ARTBA Vice Chair At-Large Paula Hammond (WSP USA). The full Task Force report will be published soon.
Dr. Joseph (Joey) Hartmann, director of FHWA’s Office of Bridges and Structures, updated ARTBA members about the agency’s evolving bridge and tunnel inspection criteria.
U.S. Sen. Tom Carper, (D-Del.), the ranking member of the Senate Environment & Public Works Committee, also addressed the TCC gathering.
ARTBA and TCC members May 15 visited Capitol Hill to urge their members of Congress to fix the Highway Trust Fund and pass a robust infrastructure package soon.
Also during the FIP, the ARTBA Foundation:
- Honored long-time ARTBA senior executive William D. Toohey, Jr., with the “ARTBA Award,” the organization’s highest recognition;
- Recognized five highway, bridge, and local road projects for their contributions to environmental protection and mitigation through its “Globe Awards”; and
- Named 16 Lanford Family Highway Worker Memorial Scholarship winners.