August 3, 2021

LICA ATTENDS ARTBA NATIONAL CONFERENCE

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On July 29th and 30th, the American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) held its annual Council of State Executives (CSE) summer conference in Jackson, Wyoming. LICA’s Director of External Relations, Cheri Rice, joined 15 executives from the midwest and other eastern seaboard states. The meeting stepped off with a brisk conversation about work zone safety and media projects used to educate the public. Alabama’s Tom Layfield noted how they were able to lobby the state legislature to increase work zone violations to a Class C felony, carrying a maximum of 1-9 years in prison. Florida’s representative stated they had received approval to use red, green and amber light alerts on their construction vehicles.

All attendees spoke about the negative impacts COVID has had on material availability and associated cost increases. Several executives commented how their contractors have received little-to-no relief from their states on DOT jobs with regard to pricing adjustments. Ananth Prasad, the president for the Florida Transportation Builders’ Association, noted that the state of Florida is paying for the increase in costs of materials (only, not profits related to these increases). West Virginia’s executive, Mike Clowser, followed, saying his state has agreed to pay up to ten percent of material costs for prices that have increased from the bid due date to the award date. However, this is mostly being done on sewer projects, not highway projects, where the price of steel for guardrails has increased significantly.

ARTBA staff members, David Bauer, President and CEO, and Rick Juliano, General Counsel, spoke on the association’s health (good) in the ‘State of ARTBA’ segment and shared the three-year strategic plan for ARTBA that was developed last year. The CSE’s conversation then turned to a discussion about the conditions of their respective DOTs and its workforce, lamenting that they are understaffed, underpaid and underqualified, although avenues for revenues have increased with the passage of lotteries, marijuana sales (‘pot for potholes’) and on-line sports gaming.

We hope our members will join us for the next ARTBA event at the upcoming Northeast Regional Meeting (featuring Pat Foye as guest speaker) which will be held at Danford’s Hotel in Port Jefferson on November 3-4. Click here to register!

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