Chief transportation officers from 12 Southeastern states, Puerto Rico to convene in Louisville for SASHTO 2011 Conference
State agencies struggle while awaiting new transportation bill from Congress
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (Aug. 18, 2011) – The chief transportation officers of 12 Southeastern states and Puerto Rico will lead delegations to Louisville next week for the 70th Annual Conference of the Southeastern Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (SASHTO).
The 2011 conference comes at a time when state transportation agencies throughout the country are struggling to carry out their missions amid declining federal revenue and in the absence of a multi-year transportation bill from Congress. The current program, in which states are reimbursed by the Federal Highway Administration for work on federal highways and bridges, will expire Sept. 30 unless reauthorized by Congress.
“Though each of our states is unique in various ways, all of our departments of transportation share some common needs, and we all face some daunting challenges,” said SASHTO President and Kentucky Transportation Secretary Mike Hancock.
“As a group, we have had to deal with a declining Federal Highway Trust Fund. Our ability to make long-range plans is hampered until Congress passes a transportation bill. On top of that, many of us have had to deal with extreme weather that took a particular toll on our roads and bridges in the last year,” Hancock said.
SASHTO 2011 opens Monday morning and concludes Tuesday night. The opening session will be at the KFC Yum! Center in downtown Louisville, but the rest of the conference, including 38 technical sessions, will take place at the Galt House.
Featured speakers include Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez and John Horsley, executive director of AASHTO – the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials.
Another highlight will be announcement of regional winners in the America’s Transportation Awards program, co-sponsored by AASHTO, AAA and the United States Chamber of Commerce to recognize transportation projects of exceptional innovation and excellence. Awards will be presented by AASHTO President Susan Martinovich, director of the Nevada Department of Transportation.
The conference will include a trade show with 73 exhibitors. In addition, engineers can earn professional development training credit at the technical sessions and on tours of the UPS World Port and the McAlpine Lock and Dam.
At the conclusion of the conference, Hancock will pass the president’s gavel to South Carolina Transportation Secretary Robert J. St. Onge Jr. The 2012 conference will be held in Charleston, S.C.
No public funds are being used to stage SASHTO 2011. Costs of the conference have been underwritten by corporate partners, who are listed on the conference website: http://sashto.org.
SASHTO is one of four regional associations of AASHTO. SASHTO members besides Kentucky and South Carolina are Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and Puerto Rico.
SASHTO’s purpose is to:
• Encourage a balanced transportation system within member states;
• Study the various materials, methods of construction and maintenance and to discuss common problems experienced with transportation facilities;
• Exchange ideas and evaluate programs within the aviation, highway, rail, transit and water modes of transportation;
• Cooperate in every way possible with the U.S. Department of Transportation, the Federal Highway Administration, the Federal Aviation Administration, the Federal Railroad Administration and the Federal Transit Administration in the consideration of transportation problems; and
• Support legislation for the purpose of protecting capital investments in current transportation systems and for improving transportation programs.