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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 Conference 2018 – Save the Date!

The 19th Annual NASHTU Conference will be held April 16-18, 2018 at the Liaison Capitol Hill Hotel in Washington D.C. (415 New Jersey Avenue, NW).

At the 2018 conference, we will once again advocate for NASHTU’s priorities including cost comparison prior to outsourcing and public inspection for federally-funded transportation projects.  We also plan to invite Members of Congress, transportation leaders, good government experts, and others to share their latest insights.  In addition, the conference will feature numerous informative panels on transportation funding, the status of the Administration’s much-anticipated infrastructure legislation, labor issues, and other items of interest to NASHTU attendees.

NASHTU has secured a special room rate at the Liaison Capitol Hill Hotel of $329 per night (single/double occupancy).  The hotel will also honor the special room rate for up to three days prior to and post conference, subject to hotel availability.  To book your room, please go to www.liaisoncapitolhill.com or call 888/513-7445.  NASHTU’s Group ID is AP1518.

If you have suggestions for speakers, panels, or interesting subjects for the conference, please let us know.


NASHTU Notes

Federal Officials Call for More P3s in Public Transportation

Last week, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NRPM) and request for comments on changes that would make it easier to utilize P3s for public transportation.  The rulemaking would allow project sponsors to request a modification or waiver to FTA regulations, practices, or procedures that may impede the use of P3s or private investment.

The NRPM is the result of a provision in the 2012 transportation reauthorization (MAP-21) that directed FTA to “identify impediments” to the use of public-private partnerships in public transportation and to develop procedures that addresses such impediments.

The MAP-21 language (Section 20013) that gives the FTA the authority to promulgate this rulemaking also includes public interest protections that will be a good model for NASHTU to point to when the Trump Administration and Congress roll out their $1 billion – P3 heavy – infrastructure package.  The section calls for the Secretary to develop guidance to address issues of conflict of interest, changes in public workforce or wages, estimates of revenue for private investors, and multi-modal impacts of any non-compete clauses.  The section also directs the Secretary to encourage public project sponsors to conduct assessments that prove that the P3 provides a better public and financial benefit than a similar transaction using public funding and project delivery.

The language also calls for the Comptroller General to issue a comprehensive report on the effect of outsourcing public transportation operations and administrative functions – including a study of the “comparative costs of providing the same service through public transit agency employees.”  This language is much like NASHTU’s language to require cost comparisons prior to outsourcing on federally-funded surface transportation projects.

Comments on the proposed rule are due September 25, 2017.  NASHTU will be drafting comments and will share them with NASHTU membership prior to submittal.  Please let us know if you have any thoughts or comments on the proposed rule.

Click here to read FTA’s proposed rule in the Federal Register.


HR 1692: Ensuring Safety, Efficiency and Accountability on Transportation Projects

Rep. Donna Edwards (D-MD), has introduced legislation that requires public employees to perform the construction inspection on federally funded state and local transportation projects.  NASHTU has advocated for public inspection on transportation projects for many years.

The Safety, Efficiency, and Accountability in Transportation Projects through Public Inspection Act of 2015 (HR 1692) will ensure that public safety is protected, transportation funds are not wasted, and that projects are delivered in a timely manner.

On transportation projects, construction inspectors are the eyes, ears, and voice of the public.  Public inspectors ensure that construction standards are met, that projects meet safety requirements, and that the materials used will stand the test of time.

Please help generate support for this bill by personalizing and sending a co-sponsorship request letter to the members of your state’s congressional delegation.

To ensure the timely receipt of the letter, we would suggest that you e-mail the letter, fact sheet and disaster examples to the Legislative Directors of the Members of Congress.


News Stories

Denver’s 34-year deal at DIA might be the city’s first big public-private partnership, but don’t expect it to be the last — Denver International Airport’s proposed $1.8 billion terminal deal is poised to launch the city into a different kind of contracting that hands over some control of a publicly owned space to private interests for decades. — Jon Murray for The Denver Post — August 13, 2017

House panel backs bill to slash Transportation funding — A House panel approved legislation late Monday evening that would slash funding for the Department of Transportation (DOT) after rejecting a Democratic effort to add a $200 billion infrastructure package to the bill. — Melanie Zanona for The Hill — July 17, 2017

Bill would repeal minimum pay for Wisconsin road workers and allow single firm to design, build highways — Bill would repeal minimum pay for Wisconsin road workers and allow single firm to design, build highways — Journal Sentinel — Jason Stein for Milwaukee Journal Sentinel — July 16, 2017