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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2019 Annual NASHTU Conference – Register Today!

The 20th Annual NASHTU Conference will be held June 24 through 26, 2019 at the Liaison Capitol Hill Hotel in Washington D.C.  To register for the 2019 NASHTU Conference, please visit our conference webpage.

The NASHTU Conference provides an important opportunity for transportation unions to come together and strategize about how best to serve our members and deliver safe, cost-effective transportation projects for taxpayers.  It’s also a chance to hear from some of the preeminent transportation leaders in Washington.  Last year’s conference featured keynote addresses from Senator Tom Carper (D-RI), the Ranking Democrat on the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, and the former Chair (now Ranking Republican) of the House Highways and Transit Subcommittee, Rep. Sam Graves (R-MO).  Attendees also heard from Senators Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR), as well as Reps. Rodney Davis (R-IL) Jared Huffman (D-CA), and Alan Lowenthal (D-CA).

With Democrats in control of the House of Representatives for the first time since 2010, this year will present new opportunities for NASHTU to push its legislative agenda.  NASHTU’s 2019 federal priorities include more funding for transportation, requiring a cost comparison prior to outsourcing, and requiring public employees to perform construction inspection on federally funded transportation projects.  In the coming months, Congress is expected to begin ramping up for the reauthorization of the FAST Act, which expires in the fall of 2020.  The newly appointed Chair of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR), has committed to finding new, sustainable revenue for the Highway Trust Fund.

NASHTU conference attendees will also be able to meet face-to-face with their state’s Congressional Representatives and Senators during the lobbying portion of the conference.  The NASHTU Conference will feature networking opportunities including a Group Dinner where conference attendees can get to know union representatives from other states and a Congressional Reception on Capitol Hill where they can mingle with Members of Congress and Congressional staff.

Again to register for the conference, please visit our conference webpage.


May 8, 2019

LA Times: CA High Speed Rail ‘Captured’ by Costly Consultants

California’s High Speed Rail Authority is “overly reliant on a network of high cost consultants,” according to a recent report by the Los Angeles Times.  The Times article chronicles how the state’s High Speed Rail Authority – once it kicked into high gear in 2008 – decided against hiring additional in-house engineers to handle the workload and instead relied on consultants who promised to save time and money for the state.  The outcome, unfortunately, was predictable.  The High Speed Rail project is now $44 billion over budget and 13 years behind schedule.

According to the Times article, consultants manage nearly every aspect of the job.  They direct and manage the day-to-day construction, negotiate land purchase agreements, perform environmental and geological condition assessments, and provide system ridership estimates.  In addition, and perhaps most concerning, consultants oversee the work of other consultants.

Thankfully, California’s new governor, Gavin Newsom, has pledged to change the way the Authority does business.  “I’m getting rid of a lot of consultants,” Newsom said in the Times article.  “How did we get away with this.”

The Professional Engineers in California Government (PECG), one of NASHTU’s California affiliates, has long argued that the rail authority is making a grave error by relying so heavily on outside consultants.  “They became a consultant-captured organization,” Ted Toppin, PECG’s executive director, said in the story.  “This is an entity run entirely by engineering consultants for engineering consultants.”

Read the full article in the Los Angeles Times.

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

With Election Over, Transportation Advocates Eye 2019 Battles — Last week’s elections had enough good news to keep up the spirits of transportation advocates — an effort to roll back a California gas tax hike failed, candidates promising to fix roads were elected as governors and dozens of local transportation ballot measures passed.  But there are still reasons for advocates to be concerned. — Daniel C. Vock for Governing — November 13, 2018

Colorado transportation funding faces winding road ahead — Colorado’s dance over dollars for transportation didn’t end on Election Day, when voters crushed two ballot questions that could have put billions into roads. — Joey bunch for The Journal — November 13, 2018

Bridging The Partisan Divide: Can Infrastructure Unite Democrats And Republicans? — The I-word is popping up again in Washington D.C.: infrastructure.  It’s one of the few issues on which President Trump and Democrats in Congress might be able to agree. Both sides say they’re willing to work together on a plan to rebuild the nation’s roads, bridges, transit and water systems. — David Schaper for NPR — November 12, 2018