AGC Meets with FHWA Administrator

AGC discussed top industry priorities, including, ongoing implementation of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the DBE program, ongoing supply chain constraints, and work zone safety.

AGC CEO Stephen Sandherr and members of AGC’s Government Affairs staff met with the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) Administrator, Shailen Bhatt, on January 24 to discuss top industry priorities including, among other things, ongoing implementation of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL), the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) program, ongoing supply chain constraints, and work zone safety.

AGC voiced support for Buy America policy goals of strengthening domestic manufacturing, but expressed concern about the continuing lack of clarity on Build America, Buy America Act (BABAA) requirements and the growing patchwork of BABAA interpretations across state and local government agencies. Combined with supply chain constraints affecting all facets of the industry, the rushed implementation of new Buy America requirements risks the successful rollout of BIL’s infrastructure improvements.

AGC also reiterated its commitment to fostering a business climate that enhances opportunities for all companies and employees in the construction industry while fully embracing diversity among its employees and within its membership. As part of that goal, AGC expressed strong support for unifying the DBE program by placing all DBE contractors under NAICS Code for Highway, Street, and Bridge Construction (237310) and leveling the playing field in the program. This change would allow additional flexibilities to DBEs in their journey to succeeding within and graduating from the program.

Administrator Shailen Bhatt was unanimously confirmed by the Senate on December 8, 2022. Most recently, Mr. Bhatt was the Senior Vice President at AECOM where he was responsible for global transportation innovation and alternate delivery. He also previously worked at departments of transportation in Colorado, Delaware, and Kentucky. AGC remains committed to working with the Administrator and the rest of FHWA in sharing the construction industry’s ongoing concerns and challenges.

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