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The National Association of State Highway and Transportation Unions (NASHTU) is dedicated to ensuring that federal transportation dollars are spent on cost-effective, safe projects that serve the public interest. NASHTU is comprised of 38 unions and associations representing hundreds of thousands of state and locally employed transportation engineers, construction managers and inspectors, technical workers and related public servants from throughout the United States.

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NASHTU Notes

August 30, 2018

Design Flaw may have led to Florida Pedestrian Bridge Collapse

New information was recently released about the pedestrian bridge that collapsed outside of Florida International University in Sweetwater, Florida.  The design-build bridge was still under construction but had traffic driving under it when it collapsed on March 15 as construction crews were tightening internal support rods on top of the bridge.  Six people were killed in the collapse.

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is still investigating the incident and their review is not expected to conclude for another year or so.  However, the Miami Herald had engineering experts review the design plans and mathematical calculations for the project and they uncovered a design flaw that may have contributed to the collapse.

The design was unusual in that it was a truss-style bridge that mimicked the look of a flashier cable-stay bridge.  In order to achieve the look, designers had to line up the truss structural supports with the non-structural cables that typically provide support in a cable- stay bridge.  This made the placement of the diagonal supports more complicated than a traditional truss and helped to hide a glaring weakness at a key connection point, according to the engineering experts who reviewed the plans.  While other elements may have also contributed to the collapse, the design flaw was likely a key factor in the bridge failing.

NASHTU has long opposed design-build contracting for transportation projects because it turns over projects to private sector designers and contractors, without adequate public oversight of the design or inspection of a project during the construction.

Read more information about the Florida Internal University bridge collapse in the Miami Herald.


June 2018

Please renew your NASHTU dues!

This past week a letter went out to all NASHTU affiliates urging you to renew your membership for 2017-18 – which is a polite way to say please send us a check.  As you know, NASHTU is a volunteer-driven organization.  Your dues pay only for direct overhead and conference-related expenses.

By working together, NASHTU has become a respected, national voice dedicated to advancing the interests of transportation department employees throughout the country.

We have won important legislative and regulatory victories over the years to stop wasteful outsourcing mandates and incentives in federal transportation authorizations, the federal budget and appropriation bills, and other transportation-related legislation.  NASHTU’s annual conferences give our members a chance to hear from key Members of Congress and other transportation leaders, share perspectives on federal and state outsourcing trends, and learn about other relevant policy issues.

We also, of course, keep our members connected throughout the year via NASHTU Notes.  Please urge others to sign up at www.nashtu.us.

To help NASHTU continue its mission, please choose to be a NASHTU Sustaining Member for $1,000 per year.  A general membership for $300 per year is also available.

Thank you for your continued support and participation in NASHTU.

NASHTU Membership Renewal Form


April 24, 2018

2018 NASHTU Conference a Smashing Success!

By any measure, NASHTU’s 19th Annual Conference, held April 16 through 18, was among the most productive and interesting conferences in our history.

NASHTU conference attendees heard from three Senators including Sen. Tom Carper (D-DE), the Ranking Democrat on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee (EPW), Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD), the Ranking Democrat on the Senate EPW Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee, and Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR), who is also a member of the EPW Committee.  In addition, we also heard from four members of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, including the Highways and Transit Subcommittee Chair Sam Graves (R-MO), and Reps. Rodney Davis (R-IL), Jared Huffman (D-CA), and Alan Lowenthal (D-CA).

On the Tuesday afternoon of the conference, NASHTU members had the opportunity to meet with their state’s Congressional delegation and advocate NASHTU’s legislative priorities including increased transportation funding and limiting outsourcing of transportation services on federally funded transportation projects.  That evening, NASHTU hosted a well-attended Congressional Reception that included 12 Members of Congress and dozens of congressional staff members.
The three-day conference also included many informative panels and presentations on transportation funding alternatives, upcoming legislative and regulatory battles, labor issues, and multiple other topics of interest.

In the coming weeks, NASHTU will be posting proceedings, photos, and some of the presentations of the 2018 conference on our website at www.nashtu.us.  For additional information, please contact us at nashtu@nashtu.us.


News Stories

Can States Tax Gas Stations on Tribal Lands? — The Yakama Nation and Washington state have been fighting over governance issues ever since the tribe signed its 1855 treaty with the federal government. Recently, those fights have involved fees on cigarettes and rules for logging trucks. But the biggest dispute over the years has been about fuel taxes. And now the U.S. Supreme Court is stepping in. — Daniel C. Vock for Governing — August 2018

Senate Passes THUD Bill As Part Of Minibus Funding Package — The U.S. Senate voted to approve a more than $154 billion “minibus” funding bill – H.R. 6147 – on Aug. 1 by a vote of 92 to 6; a bill that wrapped together four separate spending bills into a single package, including the fiscal year 2019 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development or THUD bill approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee back on June 7 with only a few minor changes. — AASHTO Journal — August 3, 2018

Koch Brothers-Linked Group Declares New War on Unions — Following a U.S. Supreme Court decision that millions of public sector workers can stop paying union fees, a group tied to Republican billionaires long opposed to organized labor and its support of the Democratic Party has pledged to build on the landmark ruling to further marginalize employee representation. — Josh Eidelson for Bloomberg — June 27, 2018