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FMCSA adds 8,000 to registry of Certified Medical Examiners

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced on June 27 that 8,000 additional health professionals have been added to the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners (NRCME) since the new system for United States Department of Transportation (USDOT) medical examinations launched in May with 22,000 providers.

Construction spending inches higher in May

Total construction spending edged higher for the third straight month in May, as solid increases in private nonresidential and public construction outweighed a downturn in residential projects, according to an analysis of new Census Bureau data released on July 1 by the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC). “The May figures show that construction activity continues to expand, but with lots of variability by month and project type,” said AGC Chief Economist Ken Simonson.

California allocates $510 million for transportation projects

The California Transportation Commission (CTC) recently announced it had allocated $510 million to 83 transportation projects that “will put people to work improving the state’s highways, bridges, and public transit.” CTC also said it was revising its funding estimate upward for the State Highway Operation and Protection Program (SHOPP) for the 2014-2015 fiscal year from $2.2 billion to approximately $2.4 billion. The revision was in response to the new state budget, which provides $351 million in new transportation funding through the early repayment of loans made to the General Fund.

Tower Crane Committee meeting at Workshop to feature special presentation

For the first time ever, SC&RA’s Tower Crane Committee will meet in conjunction with the Association’s Crane & Rigging Workshop, scheduled this year for Sept. 24-26 at the Sheraton Dallas Hotel, Dallas, Texas. This special session will be held Sept. 23, 3 p.m.-4:30 p.m., before the Workshop officially opens. Everyone registered for the Workshop is invited to see the Tower Crane Committee at work and view a special presentation on air rights when working with mobile tower cranes.

Crane & Rigging Group Committee meetings continue on Sept. 24, including:

Facebook winners for July showcase winners’ state or country

SC&RA congratulates its three July Facebook cover photo winners, which were judged to best meet the theme: Showcase Your State or Country.

  • Tiong Nam Heavy Transport & Lifting Sdn Bhd.
    Shah Alam, Malaysia
  • Alaska Crane
    Sitka, Alaska
  • JK Crane
    Kenvil, N.J.

Click here to visit SC&RA’s Facebook page and view the winning cover photos as they will appear until July 31.Thanks to all who submitted photos for this month’s contest.

Construction jobs increased in 40 states and D.C. from a year ago

Construction firms added jobs in 40 states and the District of Columbia over the past 12 months and in 30 states and D.C. between April and May, according to an analysis recently released by the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) of Labor Department data. AGC officials said the employment gains help, but that construction employment remains below peak levels in every state and the District of Columbia, except North Dakota.

Supreme Court declines to hear case on cross-border trucking

The U.S. Supreme Court announced on June 24 that it had declined without comment to hear an appeal by the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association (OOIDA), which challenged the legality of a federal cross-border pilot program that allowed some Mexican trucks to operate in the United States. OOIDA questions the constitutionality of the programs, saying it exempts Mexican Drivers from the same medical certification requirements that U.S. truckers must meet.

Alabama truckers sue state over tax assessment of rolling stock

In a suit against the state filed in the circuit court for Montgomery County, the Alabama Trucking Association challenged  the way Alabama has been assessing property tax on motor carrier rolling stock, according to an article in the June 27 issue of the State Laws Newsletter. Alabama statute requires the taxation of property based on its actual retail value, but the state has instead used the manufacturer’s suggested retail price, regardless of the actual price for which equipment may have been purchased. Earlier this year, the Alabama Trucking Association won a separate law

U.S. freight industry shows signs of strength

Despite lackluster growth in the U.S. economy in the first half of the year, the U.S. freight industry is on pace for a banner year with freight shipments increases of 13.1 percent for freight shipments and 11 percent for freight payments in the first five months, according to an article in the June 18 issue of the Journal of Commerce (JOC). The findings cited by JOC came from the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals’ annual State of Logistics report.

Free online tool helps analyze major shipping costs

A new web-based version of the Geospatial Intermodal Freight Transportation Model (GIFT) has been released as part of a five-year initiative among researchers at the Rochester Institute of Technology, the University of Delaware and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration. The new system, called WebGIFT, uses mapping software similar to Google Maps and analyzes the economics, time-of-delivery and environmental performance of various freight-transportation routes using rail, road and water.