NPCA Director of Codes and Standards Eric Carleton, P.E., recently attended the AASHTO Virtual Washington Briefing and the AASHTO COBS T-13 Culverts Technical Committee virtual mid-year meeting.
Key stakeholders from each state department of transportation and other personnel within the transportation and infrastructure industry attended the AASHTO Annual Washington Briefing. Some topics presented were reauthorization of the FAST Act, bringing back earmarks for funding, restoring the Highway Trust Fund and recovery from the COVID pandemic.
U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg spoke on key topics of focus during his term.
Buttigieg mentioned a potential spending package that may come post-COVID-19 recovery, and spoke on new technologies, climate change and electrification of the automobile industry.
According to Carleton, spending flexibility was a topic of concern among state DOT representatives in attendance. They would prefer to spend newly allocated funds as they see fit, rather than being dictated at the federal level.
Carleton later attended the AASHTO COBS T-13 Technical Committee Virtual Mid-Year Meeting on March 4. This committee is comprised of DOT bridge engineers and designers responsible for the Load and Resistance Factor DesignBridge Code as it is related to culverts and buried bridges. In addition, this committee is responsible in furthering research needs on design issues affecting culverts.