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Iowa approves 5-year, $2.7 billion road construction program

The Iowa Transportation Commission approved a $2.7 billion road construction program for Fiscal Years 2015-2019 on June 10. More than $1.2 billion is slotted for modernization of Iowa’s existing highway system and for enhanced highway safety features. The program includes over $900 million of investments in Iowa’s state owned bridges.  

The Commission noted that over the last five years, the number of structurally deficient bridges on the state highway system has been cut in half, down to 117 as of 2013, as a result of this emphasis.

Free webinar on trucking technologies set for June 26

The Trucking Industry Mobility & Technology Coalition (TIMTC) and the Dept. of Transportation will hold a free webinar on June 26 to showcase some of the latest technologies for the trucking industry – including specialized heavy haul equipment.

Presentations by representatives from Con-way Freight, Boyle Transportation, James Burg Trucking and Maverick Transportation will highlighting the benefits and costs of several technologies that improve fleet safety and increase productivity, including:

CVSA releases results of Operation Airbrake

As part of the annual, unannounced Operation Airbrake brake check day held by the Commercial Vehicle Safety Alliance (CVSA) on May 7, CVSA-certified inspectors in 34 participating U.S. states, and Canadian provinces and territories checked brakes on 8,731 vehicles.

Program set for 2014 Crane & Rigging Workshop

SC&RA has finalized the workshop program for its 2014 Crane & Rigging Workshop, Sept. 24-26 at the Sheraton Dallas Hotel, Dallas, Texas. This year’s Workshop includes 11 educational sessions; committee meetings; an Exhibit Center that features products and services from 80 companies as well as many networking opportunities. Click here to access attendee and exhibitor registration forms as well as hotel and travel information.

FMCSA plans changes to reporting of adjudicated citations

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has announced that motor carriers and drivers soon will be able to request the removal of roadside inspection violations from agency data systems to more accurately reflect outcomes of judicial proceedings.

New game from OSHA helps identify workplace hazards

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) released a new interactive training tool on June 10 to help small manufacturing and construction businesses effectively identify and control common hazards in the workplace. The tool explains the key components of the hazard identification process, including information collection, observation of the workplace, incident investigation, employee participation and prioritizing hazards.

Senate bill would suspend HOS restart rule for a year

A proposal by Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine) that was adopted by the Senate Appropriations Committee on July 5 was designed to address what has been considered by SC&RA and others in the industry to be unjustified changes to the restart provisions of the hours-of-service rule for commercial drivers. The Collins Amendment would suspend, for a year, the new restart rules that push more trucks onto the road during daytime hours, a consequence that many feel the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) failed to fully analyze from a safety standpoint.

Construction industry adds 6,000 jobs in May

Construction employers added 6,000 workers to payrolls in May as the industry’s unemployment rate dropped to 8.6 percent, its lowest May level in six years, according to an analysis of new government data released on June 6 by the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC).  “Even with five straight months of construction employment gains, the industry remains vulnerable to sudden shifts in demand,” said AGC Chief Economist Ken Simonson.

House bill would set transportation funding at $52 billion

On June 10, the House of Representatives passed legislation providing $52 billion to fund the nation’s transportation system—a level that is about $1.2 billion more than the fiscal 2014 enacted level and about $8 billion less than the Obama administration’s fiscal 2015 budget request, according to analysis in the June 10 issue of Transport Topics.

As amended, the bill also would prohibit the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) from increasing its liability insurance requirements for trucking and bus companies from its current level of $750,000.

AASHTO Subcommittee on Highway Transport to meet mid-July

The American Society of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) has invited all interested SC&RA members to attend the Annual Meeting of its Subcommittee on Highway Transport (SCOHT), July 14-17, in Philadelphia, Pa.