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Pennsylvania announces hauling restrictions related to Papal visit

SC&RA has been notified that permitted oversize loads will be prohibited from traveling in Philadelphia County, Sept. 24-28, to accommodate the visit of Pope Francis to Philadelphia, Pa.  Additionally, superload movement will be suspended statewide during this period.

Number of areas gaining construction jobs hits 13-month low

Construction employment expanded in 205 metro areas, declined in 101 and was stagnant in 52 between May 2014 and May 2015, according to an analysis of federal employment data released on June 30 by the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC).  “Although contractors are continuing to add workers in many parts of the country, construction employment stagnated or shrank in nearly half of all metro areas over the past year,” said AGC Chief Economist Ken Simonson.

Survey reveals continuing labor shortage, optimism about industry growth

A new survey) of nearly 1,000 construction industry contractors, labor unions and project owners by The Association of Union Constructors (TAUC), in collaboration with the Construction Labor Research Council (CLRC), revealed that:

Rule to let FMCSA assign absolute safety score to carriers move to OMB


The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has sent a rule that would allow the agency to assign absolute safety scores to carriers to the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for approval. The rule has been in the works since 2007.

FMCSA helps move 10,000 veterans into truck driving jobs

More than 10,000 veterans and active duty personnel have now taken advantage of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) Military Skills Test Waiver Program. In the first three years of the program, approximately 6,000 former military personnel obtained a civilian commercial driver’s license (CDL). In the past 12 months alone, another 4,000 individuals, including Reserves, National Guard, and U.S. Coast Guard service members, have taken advantage of the Program.

SC&RA to Close for Independence Day

To help staff commemorate the Independence Day holiday, the SC&RA offices will be closed on Friday, July 3. The American Automobile Association (AAA) forecasts 41.9 million Americans will travel 50 miles or more from home during the holiday weekend, the most in eight years. This year, the holiday travel period is defined as Wednesday, July 1 to Sunday, July 5. SC&RA urges all members planning to be on the road to drive safely.

Government takes steps to deal with multi-employer pension plan cuts


The June 25 issue of the BNA, Inc. Construction Labor Report (CLR) included several articles on pension reform. One of these articles detailed actions being taken by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) regarding troubled multi-employer plans. On June 17, the IRS issued guidance for troubled multiemployer plans that seek to suspend benefits, which included a model notice that plan sponsors can use to fulfill requirements to notify plan participants and beneficiaries.

Wisconsin increases speed limits on more than 800 miles of roads


The Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) announced on June 15 that about 470 new 70 mph speed limit signs were being posted to replace old 65 mph signs during the week on about 810 miles of the state’s interstates and highways. WisDOT said drivers can start accelerating on designated roads once the signs are posted. Additional freeway segments could be signed for 70 mph speeds in the future. Gov. Scott Walker (R) signed into law last month the measure that allows WisDOT to decide which highways can post increased speeds.

SC&RA mourns loss of Bill Fiske


William Clay Fiske, Jr., President of Southwestern Industrial Contractors and Riggers, Inc., El Paso, Texas, passed away Sunday, June 28.  After attending New Mexico State University (NMSU), where he graduated from the College of Engineering, he worked at Southwestern his entire adult life. Southwestern is a founding member of SC&RA, and he regularly attended SC&RA’s major meetings. He contributed to the athletic department at NMSU and helped create The Fiske Construction Engineering Scholarship for NMSU engineering students.

FMCSA seeks feedback on proposed changes to Safety Management System


On June 29, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) published a notice in the Federal Register proposing enhancements to the Safety Measurement System (SMS) of the agency’s  Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) program, which has been in effect since 2010.