President Obama last week signed the a bi-partisan transportation bill that is the first long-term highway bill in over a decade. The legislation allocates $305 billion for highway and transit programs for a guaranteed five years. The bill passed in the House by a vote of 359-65, and in the Senate by a vote of 83-16. Named the FAST Act (Fixing America’s Surface Transportation), the bill is being applauded by industry leaders and associations.
In a press release, National Ready Mixed Concrete Association President Robert Garbini said, "“We applaud our nation’s leaders for passing such a critical piece of legislation that provides five years of funding above base levels. The FAST Act guarantees critical funding levels and reform without compromising safety, which is exactly what the ready mixed concrete industry needs to continue building our surface transportation system.”
Key provisions in the FAST Act will benefit mixer truck drivers and centers on three provisions. In a press release NRMCA listed the following,
The first makes permanent an exemption issued by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) in April 2015 for the ready mixed concrete industry on the drivers’ HOS 30-minute break rule. This provision also includes reforms to the petitions’ process to apply for and receive exemptions from FMCSA, which will benefit all sectors of the construction and transportation industries.
- The second provision creates a ready mixed concrete industry- specific logbook exemption that increases the 12-hour on-duty logging threshold contained in Title 49 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Part 395.1(e)(1)(ii) and (e)(1)(iii)(A) to 14 hours in order to be consistent with the 14-hour driving window contained in the HOS regulations.
- Lastly, the legislation increases the air-miles radius from 50 to 75 air-miles for the transportation and delivery of construction materials and equipment in order to satisfy the current 24-hour restart provision.