OOIDA: Truckers, tell FHWA best ways to make infrastructure investment

December 6, 2021

Greg Grisolano

|

Now that the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act has been signed into law, truckers have a chance to say how they think some of the money should be spent.

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association wants its members to tell the Federal Highway Administration to spend some of the money on truck parking.

In a nationwide Call to Action issued on Monday, Dec. 6, the Association encouraged its membership to sound off about other infrastructure improvement priorities.

“Let FHWA know that they need to focus on issues that are important for small-business truckers and professional drivers,” OOIDA wrote. “This includes expanding truck parking capacity, ensuring that funding is spent on roads and bridges, and focusing on safety measures that actually reduce crashes.”

FHWA has jurisdiction over programs for highway construction. The agency has considerable influence over how programs and federal funds from the new infrastructure bill will be spent.

Last week, the agency published a request for information looking for public input on exactly how to spend the new infrastructure dollars.

“The bipartisan infrastructure law can improve infrastructure, the environment, equity and the quality of life for millions of Americans, but to realize its full potential we need to hear from the public, especially on how FHWA should address the opportunities and challenges associated with both changes to the existing programs and the creation of new programs,” FHWA Deputy Administrator Stephanie Pollack said in a news release.

The request for infrastructure investment information was published in the Federal Register on Dec. 1. There is no specific deadline to submit comments.

Prior to the request for information, OOIDA sent a letter to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, requesting $1 billion of discretionary funding be dedicated to the construction of truck parking.

“We are extremely disappointed that the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act does not dedicate any funding exclusively to truck parking, despite the broad bipartisan and industry support for federal investment,” OOIDA wrote in the letter. “With the significant amount of new discretionary funding your department will be responsible for allocating under the IIJA, we believe that you have the ability to direct funding to critical truck parking projects across the country.”

Comments on FHWA’s notice can be made by going here or by going to the Regulations.gov website and entering Docket No. FHWA-2021-0021. LL

Senior Editor Mark Schremmer contributed to this report.

WW Williams

Greg Grisolano joined Land Line in 2013. He was formerly a reporter for the Joplin Globe. He brings business writing and photography skills to Land Line, and has a passion for finding and telling stories about the people who make up the trucking industry.