AASHTO Journal, 12 July 2013
In a July 11th memorandum to Division Administrators, Federal Highway Administration Acting Associate Administrator for Infrastructure Gloria Shepherd reiterated the Department’s interpretation that Section 1518 of MAP-21 broadens the applicability of Buy America to non-federally-funded utility relocations.
FHWA recognizes that the broadened application has created implementation issues for the utility industry, and is providing utility companies an additional six months – though Dec. 31, 2013 – to comply with Buy America requirements for steel and iron products. This applies to any project-specific utility agreements for non-federally-funded utility relocations executed on or before Dec. 31, 2013 and does not apply to mater, area-wide, or state-wide utility agreements. This memorandum follows a joint letter sent from the American Association of State Highway and Transportation officials, the American Public Transportation Association, American Gas Association, American Public Power Association, Community Streetcar Coalition, Edison Electric Institute, Interstate Natural Gas Association of America, National Rural Electric Cooperative Association, NTCA-The Rural Broadband Association, New Starts Working Group, and United States Telecom Association to the U.S. Department of Transportation concerning the application of Buy America to utility relocations and the need for clarification, training, education, and a transition period.
Additional information on Buy America is available here.