Welcome to the NASHTU Website

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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New Orleans Launches Major Road Improvement Initiative – Brings Engineering Jobs In-House

The New Orleans Advocate reports that New Orleans is launching a new $5 billion road improvement initiative designed to bring all the city’s streets up to an average rating of “fair.”  Currently, about two-thirds of the city’s streets are rated in poor or worse condition.  To cut costs and streamline the process, the city plans to hire design teams to do most of the design and engineering work in-house, according to Deputy Mayor Ryan Berni.  This is a welcome departure from the city’s typical practice of outsourcing its engineering and design work.  The road improvement initiative is being funded, in part, by a FEMA settlement for the damage to city streets (in addition to sewer and water infrastructure) caused by Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

City officials could be taking their cues from a 2014 Louisiana Government Efficiencies Management Report that analyzed approaches state government could take to cut costs.  The report found that the Louisiana State Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD) spent an average of $197,942 each year per outsourced engineer compared to $82,364 for a state-employed engineer to perform the same work.  The report recommended that DOTD “should replace some contract engineers with additional full-time staff engineers to lower its overall engineering spend.”

Read the article here.

2017 NASHTU Conference – New Venue, Earlier Date

NASHTU’s Annual Conference will move to a new venue in 2017 – the Washington Court Hotel in Washington D.C.  It is just down the street from the Hyatt (which could not accommodate us in 2017) and is a first-rate hotel.  The conference will be held Monday, April 24 through Wednesday, April 26, 2017.

At the 2017 conference, we will continue to advocate NASHTU’s priorities:

  • Require state and local departments of transportation to perform cost-benefit analyses prior to outsourcing
  • Ensure public safety by requiring public employees to perform the construction inspection on federally funded transportation projects
  • Oppose efforts that seek to mandate or incentivize the use of outsourcing on transportation projects

The NASHTU conference will also feature key Members of Congress and transportation policy experts.  In addition, we will have many informative panels on outsourcing schemes and issues affecting public sector labor unions.

NASHTU has secured a special room rate of $349 per night for the conference.  The hotel has also agreed to honor the group rate for the Saturday prior to our conference and Wednesday, April 26, based on hotel availability.  If you are planning to stay those nights, please make your reservations as soon as possible.  To make reservations, please call the Washington Court Reservations Department at 1 (800) 321-3010.

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

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

35,092 people died in auto accidents – A total of 35,092 people were killed on U.S. roads in 2015, breaking a recent historical trend of fewer traffic deaths occurring per year, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) said Monday. – Melanie Zanona for The Hill – August 29, 2016

Potholes in the plans to rebuild America – In recent weeks, both presidential candidates have unveiled plans to repair and improve the country’s bridges, roads, internet and water systems. Democratic nominee Clinton says she will allocate $275 billion to the cause, including the creation of a national infrastructure bank designed to spur private investment, in what she has called the “biggest job creation program since World War II.” – Nikki Fortunato Bas for The Hill – August 24, 2016

Which costs more for drivers – per-mile charge or gas tax? – California currently uses gas taxes collected at the pump to pay for road repairs, but as vehicles become more fuel efficient, tax revenues haven’t kept pace with the cost of construction. The state now finds itself in a $59 billion funding hole. So the California Department of Transportation has been running a pilot program to see if people could be charged not based on the fuel they use but on the miles they drive. – Meghan McCarty for 89.3 KPCC – August 5, 2016