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Federal Highway Administration > Publications > Public Roads > Vol. 64 · No. 5 > Along the Road

March/April 2001
Vol. 64 · No. 5

Along the Road

Along the Road is the place to look for information about current and upcoming activities, developments, trends, and items of general interest to the highway community. This information comes from Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) sources unless otherwise indicated. Your suggestions and input are welcome. Let's meet along the road.

Policy and Legislation

States Join Pact to Enforce Stricter Diesel Emissions Rules

Representing regions around the country, 13 states will join California in adopting diesel rules more stringent than existing federal regulations.

Representatives from the State and Territorial Air Pollution Program Administrators and the Association of Local Air Pollution Control Officials (STAPPA/ALAPCO) announced the multistate agreement. In addition, officials with the organizations acknowledged that one of the goals behind the pact is to provide a strong incentive for manufacturers to design and build cleaner diesel engines around the country.

States adopting California's standards are Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Rhode Island, Texas, and Vermont. States have acted jointly in other initiatives, most notably the close-knit bond of northeast states known as the Ozone Transport Commission. However, this grouping, which represents a variety of regions throughout the United States, is much more diverse, and its widespread representation is regarded as a strong push for manufacturers to offer cleaner engines as a national standard.

The state actions seek to eliminate a loophole in the regulatory development process created by a gap between the termination of a consent decree in 2004 and the implementation of new standards in 2007. Environmental advocates fear that many of the country's leading manufacturers will return to producing dirtier engines during this three-year gap. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) officials support the actions of the state coalition.

Except for California, states do not have the option of setting their own individual standards. The Clean Air Act gave California the legal right to set its emission goals that are more restrictive than the national standards. Other states can elect to observe California's tougher limits or abide by the national standards developed under EPA's regulatory process.

The engine manufacturing community has not been united in its position on the looming emission standards. Some engine makers oppose the tightened regulations on both federal and state levels, noting that the increases in truck purchase price can approach an estimated $800. The California Air Resources Board estimates a similar increase in cost per truck, also pointing out that the average total cost for a truck ranges from $52,000 to $108,000.

FMCSA Issues Rules to Improve Safety of For-Hire Small Buses and Vans

The U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) announced two rulemakings to improve the safe operation of small buses and vans that are designed or used commercially to transport between nine and 15 occupants in interstate commerce. These rulemaking actions are intended to afford one level of safety for all passengers transported by for-hire motor carriers.

One of these actions, a final rule that became effective on Feb. 12, enables the U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) to collect data needed to assess the operational safety of all for-hire interstate motor carriers of passengers operating small buses and vans. FMCSA issued this rule in response to a provision in the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21).

The other is a notice of proposed rulemaking that would require certain operators of small buses and vans that transport passengers to destinations beyond a radius of 121 kilometers (75 miles) to comply with the regulations concerning driver qualifications; hours of service; vehicle equipment necessary for safe operation; and inspection, repair, and maintenance of vehicles. This rulemaking action is mandated under the Motor Carrier Safety Improvement Act of 1999.

In the final rule, FMCSA is requiring all for-hire interstate operators of small buses and vans to complete a motor carrier identification report (Form MCS-150) so the agency can determine the number of these companies currently in operation, the number of drivers employed, and the number of vehicles operated. These companies will also be required to mark their vehicles with U.S. DOT identification numbers assigned by FMCSA and to maintain records concerning crashes involving their vehicles. This rule will enable the department to monitor the safety performance of interstate motor carriers of passengers that operate small buses and vans.

The notice of proposed rulemaking would require for-hire operators of small buses and vans to comply with most of the rules currently applicable to motor coach operators. Drivers of these vehicles would be required to meet the same physical qualifications and hours-of-service rules as motor coach drivers, and the vehicles would be required to meet the same safety requirements as motor coaches.

FMCSA's analysis of accident data for 1996-1998 indicates that approximately 63 percent of 146 fatal accidents in which a van was actually transporting nine or more occupants at the time of the crash involved drivers that may have traveled beyond a radius of 121 km (75 mi) from the location at which they reported for work.

Although the agency does not have data to determine which vans were being used in interstate commerce, the agency believes the data is compelling and suggests the need for action to improve the safety of operation of these vehicles. The proposed rulemaking would apply to long-haul, for-hire interstate motor carriers of passengers operating in the United States, including Canadian- and Mexican-based carriers.

The notice of proposed rulemaking and final rule are available to the public in the DOT Docket (Docket Numbers FMCSA-2000-7017 and FMCSA-1999-5710, respectively). The rule is also posted on the Internet and can be viewed at http://dms.dot.gov.

New Measure Will Speed ITS Deployment

A publication of two important and related documents, an FHWA regulation and a Federal Transit Administration policy, will lead to accelerated deployment of integrated Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS).

The new rule and policy, published in the Federal Register, contain provisions that would help to speed ITS deployment locally by requiring the development of regional ITS architectures. Regional ITS architectures help guide the integration of ITS components. During a regional architecture's development, agencies that own and operate transportation systems must cooperatively consider current and future needs to ensure that today's processes and projects are compatible with one another and with future ITS projects. The new rule and policy also require development of regional ITS architectures that are in conformance with the National ITS Architecture to which subsequent ITS projects must adhere.

To assist in implementing the new rule and policy, U.S DOT intends to provide a wide range of technical assistance, guidance, and training programs to states, transit agencies, and other agencies with responsibility for implementing these requirements. Details will be posted, as they become available, on U.S. DOT's ITS Web site at www.its.dot.gov.

Final Rule Shuts Down Motor Carriers Who Don't Pay Fines

FMCSA announced a final rule that will shut down interstate commercial vehicle (CMV) owners, operators, brokers, and freight forwarders who do not pay their fines.

This action is in response to a provision in the Motor Carrier Safety Improvement Act of 1999.

The final rule, effective April 16, 2000, prohibits CMV owners and operators who do not pay fines assessed by FMCSA or who do not honor payment agreements from participating in interstate commerce. Also under this rule, the registration of brokers, freight forwarders, or for hire motor carriers who fail to pay a civil penalty will be suspended, preventing them from participating in interstate commerce.

The final rule provides for a show-cause proceeding that will begin on the 45th day after the payment date specified in the final agency order or on the 45th day after the due date of a missed payment arranged in a payment plan. This will allow 45 days to provide proof of payment or proof of Chapter 11 bankruptcy-debtor status.

The prohibition to stop participating in interstate commerce would begin on the 91st day after the payment date specified in the final agency order or on the 91st day after the due date of a missed arranged payment.

Parties who continue to operate would be subject to additional penalties, including revocation of their registration in some cases.

The prohibition will not apply to anyone who is unable to pay a civil penalty because the person is a debtor in a case under Chapter 11 of the Bankruptcy Code.

The final rule is in the Dec. 15, 2000, Federal Register and can be viewed at http://www.gpoaccess.gov/index.html or on the FMCSA Web site at www.fmcsa.dot.gov.

Management and Administration

DOT Renews ITS America's Federal Advisory Charter

DOT renewed the Federal Advisory Charter of the Intelligent Transportation Society (ITS) of America, almost exactly ten years from signing the original founding charter. For the next two years, ITS America will continue to act as a Utilized Federal Advisory Committee to the federal transportation agency.

The action renews the unique role of ITS America as a source of perspective, research, and expertise deemed critical to advance the formation of federal policy. In order to keep this function dynamic, the federal government reviews such advisory charters every two years to assure the input from its chartered committees remains fresh, complete, and of the greatest benefit to America's surface transportation system.

ITS America's more than 600 members come from a wide spectrum of the private sector, including the telecommunications and automotive industries; the public sector, including state and regional transportation organizations; and the highest levels of academia. Federal advisory committees such as ITS America generally enjoy a much closer relationship with federal agencies, allowing them to have a great impact on federal policymaking. In particular, ITS America will provide advice to DOT in the reauthorization proposal the federal government will produce to replace the current six-year TEA-21 transportation funding measure, due to expire in 2003.

The federal transportation agency first chartered ITS America, then known as the Intelligent Vehicle Highway Society, in March 1991 and has continued the charter every two years since. ITS America promotes the use of technology in transportation to save lives, time and money and improve the quality of life.

DOT Revises Drug and Alcohol Testing Rule

U.S. DOT has revised its drug- and alcohol-testing rule, which affects employees of transportation companies who occupy sensitive safety positions. This action will further enhance the safety of the nation's transportation system, will make the testing process easier to carry out, and will provide additional safeguards for employees.

The revised rule resulted from a coordinated effort by the Office of the Secretary, six DOT operating administrations - the U.S. Coast Guard, Federal Aviation Administration, Federal Railroad Administration, Federal Transit Administration, Research and Special Programs Administration, and Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration - and transportation employers, labor organizations, and drug- and alcohol-testing service providers. DOT published a proposed rule a year ago and received more than 400 written comments from interested individuals and organizations. DOT also held three public listening sessions throughout the country in March 2000 to gather additional comments. The revised rule amends the department's regulations, first issued in 1988, to require drug testing of employees in sensitive safety positions in the aviation, motor carrier, rail, transit, maritime, and pipeline industries. Alcohol testing was added to the requirements in 1994.

Some of the revisions to the requirements include enhanced training requirements for drug- and alcohol-testing personnel. A medical review officer - who is a physician-will now assess the test results when a laboratory indicates that an employee's specimen may have been adulterated or substituted, and a new "public interest exclusion" provision that allows DOT to protect the public from the actions of service providers - firms that conduct tests under contract to transportation companies - that violate the department's rules.

Validity testing, using current procedures that are designed to deter and detect attempts to adulterate or substitute specimens, will continue to be voluntary on the part of the employer. When the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, which regulates drug-testing laboratories, finalizes its mandatory procedures for validity testing, DOT will publish a notice in the Federal Register, making validity testing mandatory in the transportation industry. This process will ensure greater uniformity and consistency of testing in all laboratories.

The majority of the new rule goes into effect Aug. 1, 2001, to give employers and businesses time to learn about its provisions before moving to compliance. A few provisions, such as medical review officer assessment of suspected adulterated or substituted specimens and the public-interest exclusions provision, will go into effect 30 days after publication.

The new rule was published in the Federal Register on Jan. 19, 2001, in part two of that day's issue. The document is posted in the department's docket management system, which is accessible online at http://dms.dot.gov, docket OST-99-6578. It can also be viewed at http://www.dot.gov/ost/dapc. A copy may be obtained by calling the fax-on-demand telephone line at (800) 225-3784 and requesting document 151; by writing to U.S. DOT, Office of Drug and Alcohol Policy and Compliance, 400 Seventh Street, S.W., Room 10403, Washington, DC 20590; or by calling the Office of Drug and Alcohol Policy and Compliance at (202) 366-3784.

Technical News

Advanced Air Chambers Used in N.C. Research

Researchers have launched into a new dimension of air quality study at EPA's Office of Research and Development in Chapel Hill, N.C. In late 2000, scientists from both EPA and the University of North Carolina initiated a program employing advanced inhalation chambers.

The eight inhalation chambers will be used to measure the effects of various levels of harmful air pollutants on humans. The chambers vary in size, design, and capability. While each chamber is unique in its technical advancements and sensitivity, all eight are identified as advanced research tools. The specialized equipment involved will allow researchers to generate and measure an assortment of pollutants, including volatile organic compounds (VOCs), fine particles, and aerosols.

The initial stage in the process will be to purify the chambers' air to ensure that a causal relationship can be demonstrated with any specific pollutant added to the test. Established rates of pollutants, such as ozone or VOCs, are then introduced to volunteers through the chambers' air stream. Effects on the subjects will be monitored during a normal regimen of activities because the participants eat, sleep, and undergo specific tests during their stay. The results of the testing could be used to develop new air quality standards.

DOT Receives Award For Leadership in Technology

The Government Technology Leadership Institute selected DOT's Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Web site and the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) Aviation Digital Data Service (ADDS) as recipients of the prestigious 2000 Government Technology Leadership Award.

The Institute's awards salute projects that have directly aided the mission of government agencies by boosting efficiency and effectiveness, lowering costs, or improving service to the public through original uses of technology. DIY and ADDS were selected from among more than 60 projects nominated by federal agencies.

DIY allows U.S. DOT customers to provide electronic payments to the department by using their credit cards. Among the functions covered by these payments are professional certification/licensing; sales of information through compact discs, publications, and videos; course registration and training; industry-specific assessments; and fines and other civil penalties.

Through DIY, many of the vulnerabilities associated with paper processes are eliminated. Checks and forms are not lost or misplaced, and the department can transfer information to all of its program systems electronically, saving time and money.

In addition to the DIY site, which deals primarily with U.S. DOT forms requiring payment, the department has also established a site (fastforms.dot.gov) where citizens and businesses can obtain every form required by DOT program offices.

ADDS is a user-friendly source for obtaining weather forecast information via the Internet. ADDS is used by airlines, dispatchers, and the general aviation community. This source of weather forecast information is a collaborative effort between FAA and the National Weather Service. Users can access this Web site at http://adds.awc-kc.noaa.gov.

Public Information and Information Exchange

Latest NHTSA Crash Test Results Are Available

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA) latest crash test results for model year 2001 vehicles are available on the agency's Web site at www.nhtsa.dot.gov.

For both frontal and side impacts, the New Car Assessment Program (NCAP) reports crash test results using a range of one to five stars, with five stars showing the best crash protection for vehicles. Frontal tests should be compared only within the same weight class.

A fact sheet containing explanatory information and tables showing NCAP crash test results for model year 2001 vehicles is available by calling the NHTSA Office of Public and Consumer Affairs at (202) 366-9550; the Auto Safety Hotline at 1-800-DASH-2-DOT [(888) 327-4236]; or by writing to the NHTSA Office of Public and Consumer Affairs, Room 5232, 400 Seventh St., SW., Washington, D.C. 20590. The crash test information is available at NHTSA's Web site by clicking on "Crash Tests" under "Popular Information" in the index on the left side of the screen.

N.M. 44 Project Wins Two Awards

The New Mexico State Highway and Transportation Department's (NMSHTD) innovative New Mexico 44 (N.M. 44) highway project won two awards in 2000, bringing the total to six awards since the project's inception in 1998.

Northbound N.M. 44 is completed.
(Photo by Mesa, PDC)

The first section of Nortbound N.M. 44 is completed.

The N.M. 44 project, which expands 190 kilometers (118 miles) of two-lane highway to four lanes, uses a revolutionary road construction process developed by Koch Industries. Using this process, Koch offers a 20-year guarantee for the road, and the time required to build the road is much shorter than traditional road construction.

The first award, given by the National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA), is for the project team's efforts in community involvement. NAPA cited the team's "commitment and dedication to the community." Features of the team's community involvement program have included frequent newsletters to more than 5,000 interested recipients in New Mexico and across the United States, a toll-free number for those same recipients, a toll-free number with recorded information available 24 hours a day, and a Web site that accumulated more than 150,000 hits in 2000. But the highlight of the program has been an active training and employment program with the assistance of the U.S. Department of Labor and of Employment Training Services, a firm that specializes in developing training programs for displaced workers. The award was presented in February 2001 at NAPA's annual convention in Orlando, Fla.

The second award was given by the International Road Federation (IRF) for the innovative financing of the project's funding and warranty programs. The warranty agreement covers the pavement for up to 20 years and covers the bridges and other structures for up to 10 years. Long-term savings were estimated by NMSHTD to approach $89 million. The IRF award was presented in Miami, Fla., in December 2000.

N.M. 44 starts at Bernalillo just north of Albuquerque, and runs northwest to Bloomfield near the Four Corners area, where the corners of Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah meet. The highway, whose many hills and curves have caused problems for motorists for years, is considered to be the key to improving economic development in northwest New Mexico.

- New Mexico State Highway and Transportation Department

Minnesota Unveils Electronic Commercial Vehicle Monitoring System

An electronic monitoring system that enables law enforcement officials to determine whether commercial vehicles meet operational and administrative regulations without stopping them is now in use at Minnesota's St. Croix weigh station on eastbound I-94 near Hudson, Wis.

Officials from the state departments of Public Safety and Transportation unveiled the system known as Commercial Vehicle Information Systems and Networks (CVISN) on Oct. 27, 2000, in St. Paul, Minn. Minnesota is among eight states chosen to pilot CVISN development. The Minnesota Department of Transportation received a total of $7 million in federal, state, and private funding to develop the system.

Trucks are weighed as they pass over electronic weigh-in-motion scales. Transmitters on board the vehicles send vehicle identification codes to roadside readers that officials use to obtain the operational history of each vehicle. The system uses the vehicle identification code to automatically check the vehicle's credentials and safety record. A communications network connects the facility to safety and credential information gathered in other jurisdictions, including all 50 states, Canada, and Mexico, and provides officials with a comprehensive picture of a vehicle's history. By inspecting trucks electronically as they travel, officials can reward safe carriers with no delays and concentrate their efforts on illegal or unsafe operators and/or equipment.

Other services developed with the CVISN project include applications for commercial carriers to receive some licenses and permits electronically. Applications can be filed from the carrier's offices directly with the appropriate government agency. Electronic filing is much quicker than having to visit the agency's offices in person, reduces paperwork, and enables states to more effectively collect taxes and licensing fees.

- Minnesota Department of Transportation

Sharon D. Banks Award Established

The establishment of the Sharon D. Banks Award for Innovative Leadership in Transportation was announced during the chairman's luncheon at the Transportation Research Board's (TRB) 80th Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C. Jan. 10, 2001.

Banks was the first African-American and the second woman to hold the post of chairwoman of the TRB Executive Committee, as well as the first African-American and woman to become general manager of AC Transit of Oakland, Calif. The new award will be presented biennially at the TRB Annual Meeting as part of the chairman's luncheon program. The award will recognize special leadership accomplishments and innovations in transportation services, operations, management practices, training programs, community relations, or labor relations. The first award will be presented in 2002.

Mix Type Selection Guide Published

Looking for guidance on selecting the right hot-mix asphalt for a variety of traffic and environmental conditions? You can now turn to a new handbook, Mix Type Selection Guide.

A joint publication of the Federal Highway Administration and the National Asphalt Pavement Association, the handbook is the first to provide comprehensive guidance to pavement designers on selecting appropriate mix types, taking into consideration such factors as traffic, environment, subsurface pavement structure, existing pavement condition and preparation, and economics. The pavement mix types described in the guide are open-graded friction courses, stone matrix asphalt, and fine- and coarse-graded dense mixes.

Some topics covered by the guide include recommended mix types for surface, intermediate, and binder courses; general recommendations for pavement surface preparation; types of pavement drainage; and recommended sublayer conditions for the placing of different mix types.

The guide also provides a bibliography of suggested reference materials and examples of appropriate mix types to choose for different scenarios, including rehabilitation of a high-volume urban highway and construction of an overlay for a medium-traffic roadway.

For more information or to obtain a copy, contact José Garcia at (202) 366-2226 by fax at (202) 493-2070, or by e-mail at jose.garcia@fhwa.dot.gov.

Truck Makers To Develop Low-Emissions Engine

Cummins Inc. and Westport Innovations Inc. have been awarded $1 million in federal and state grants to design and build a heavy-duty truck engine powered by natural gas. The goal of the program is to design and build a new engine offering 400 horsepower that still achieves emissions below the nitrogen oxide (NOx) standards set by EPA for 2002.

Diesel-generated NOx is a leading culprit in ozone pollution linked t o mobile sources. The federal funding for the project will be provided by the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). The South Coast Air Quality Management District and the California Energy Commission will provide assistance on the state level.

Cable Barrier Eliminated Fatalities in 2000

A cable barrier, which was installed a year ago, has eliminated fatalities along a 32-km (20-mi) section of Interstate 435 in Kansas City, Mo. During 1998 and 1999, 14 people were killed on the same section of highway by vehicles crossing the median. The Missouri Department of Transportation estimates that approximately 200 vehicles crash into the barrier each year.

The cable barrier installation project has proved to be extremely cost-effective. In addition to the elimination of fatalities, median crashes have tended to be much less severe. Several other locations are now being considered for this median treatment.

Personnel

Secretary Mineta Names Flaherty DOT Chief of Staff

U.S. Transportation Secretary Norman Y. Mineta named John A. Flaherty as chief of staff at U.S. DOT.

Flaherty had previously served as Mineta's chief of staff and district director from 1988 to 1992, when Mineta was a member of Congress and when the landmark transportation bill - the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 - was passed.

As DOT chief of staff, Flaherty will serve as the manager of Secretary Mineta's immediate staff and will provide direct policy, program, and managerial support to the secretary in administering all operations of the department.

Flaherty served as chief of staff for Rep. Anna G. Eshoo of California since 1998, and previously from 1993 to 1996. Between these two stints, he worked at two Washington public affairs firms - Winner/Wagner & Associates between 1996 and 1997 and podesta.com from 1997 to 1998 - representing a variety of clients for the firms.

Flaherty was district director for Rep. Jim Moody of Wisconsin from 1986 to 1987. He also was assistant director of the Reporters Committee, a media law organization, from 1983 to 1984.

Flaherty received his bachelor's degree from Marquette University in Marquette, Wis., in 1977 and completed his graduate study at Marquette between 1977 and 1979. He earned a law degree from the University of San Francisco School of Law in 1983.

Ghasemi Named FHWA Engineer of the Year
Ghasemi Named FHWA Engineer of the Year

Dr. Hamid Ghasemi, recipient of the FHWA Engineering Excellence Award, was named FHWA Engineer of the Year for 2000.

Ghasemi has achieved much over the past three years, notably in the field of seismic isolation of highway bridges. A member of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), the Civil Engineering Research Foundation (CERF), and the Highway Innovative Technology Evaluation Center's (HITEC) seismic isolation evaluation panel, Ghasemi developed the test plan and became the driving force behind the testing of 11 seismic isolation devices. In addition, he authored 12 of the project's 14 reports. These highly innovative reports and findings are now being used by bridge engineers internationally. As a key member of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Subcommittee on Bridges and Structures' Technical Committee T3, he assisted in the development of the new AASHTO Guide Specifications for Seismic Isolation of Bridges. He is also the technical manager of a major contract to build this country's largest seismic shake-table at the University of California at San Diego.

Ghasemi has frequently made presentations to state and private industry engineers on bridge dynamics and isolation. He personally conducted an analytical/experimental study on modal analysis of skewed bridges and has authored more than 15 technical publications. Ghasemi received his bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Louisville, and he earned his doctorate in structural engineering at the University of Kentucky. He joined FHWA in 1992 and is currently a research structural engineer in FHWA's Office of Infrastructure Research and Development.

Cooper Selected as Director, Office of Bridge Technology

James D. Cooper was selected for Senior Executive Service as the director of FHWA's Office of Bridge Technology, effective Nov. 19, 2000. Cooper had been the technical director for bridges in FHWA's Office of Infrastructure Research and Development.

In the past, he held other key positions in the research and development area, including chief of the Structures Division in FHWA and technical director of Structural and Geotechnical Engineering for the Defense Nuclear Agency's facility in Virginia. He has authored or co-authored more than 100 research papers and is a member of several scientific societies.

Otto Promoted to Division Administrator

Sandra L. Otto was selected to be FHWA's division administrator in Little Rock, Ark., effective Dec. 3, 2000. Otto had been serving as assistant division administrator of the Arkansas Division. She previously served in the Colorado Division as program development engineer and in FHWA headquarters as senior staff assistant and project development specialist in the former Office of Environment and Planning. Otto also has eight years of engineering experience gained in the private sector. She joined FHWA in 1987 as an assistant area engineer in the Arizona Division.

Arnold Promoted to Division Administrator

Robert Arnold was selected to be FHWA's division administrator in Albany, N.Y. Arnold had been serving as the assistant division administrator of the New Jersey Division. He served in the New York Division as district engineer and in the Connecticut Division as the acting assistant division administrator. Arnold also worked as the field operations engineer in the Oklahoma Division. He joined FHWA in 1983 as a highway engineer trainee.

Hensing is Acting President of ITS America

David Hensing, formerly the acting director of Engineering and Technical Services for AASHTO and a 20-year veteran of that group, was named acting president of ITS America, effective Jan. 4, 2001.

Hensing will serve in an interim capacity while the ITS America board of directors seeks a replacement for John Collins, who announced his departure from his post as ITS America president and chief executive officer on Dec. 1, 2000.

The ITS America committee met on Dec. 13 to describe the position and form a search committee to begin the recruiting process.

Hensing, who retired from AASHTO, agreed to serve as ITS America president and executive director until a permanent replacement is found.

Hensing previously served as AASHTO's deputy executive director. He began his career with Wisconsin's Highway Commission, serving seven years until 1967. From 1967 to 1980, he was vice president and project manager in the international transportation consulting firm Alan M. Voorhes & Associates in McLean, Va. He served as staff liaison to several AASHTO committees and has represented that organization on numerous panels and programs since joining it in 1980.

Hensing is a graduate of Iowa State University and holds a certificate in Highway Traffic from Yale University.

TRIP Board Elects New Chairman and Officers

In December 2000, Steve L. Massie, vice president of Jack L. Massie Contractor Inc., was elected chairman of The Road Information Program (TRIP), a non-profit national highway transportation research group, at TRIP's annual board of directors meeting in Washington, D.C.

Massie, a Williamsburg, Va., contractor, has been a TRIP board member since 1995. He has been an active member of the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) for more than 15 years and serves on the board of directors for AGC of Virginia and national AGC. He is past chairman of the highway division of AGC of America. Massie succeeds Zack T. Burkett III, president of Zack T. Burkett Co. in Graham, Texas, who completed a two-year tenure as chairman.

The board also elected James R. Peterson, chairman of James Peterson & Sons Inc. in Medford, Wis., as president and Brian S. Slagter, president and chief executive officer of Slagter Construction in Wayland, Mich., as vice president. R.R. Dawson Jr., partner of R.R. Dawson Bridge Co., Lexington, Ky., was re-elected as TRIP's secretary-treasurer.

Peterson is president of the Contractors Division of the American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) and past president of the Wisconsin Transportation Builders Association. Slagter is a member of AGC, ARTBA, and the Michigan Road Builders Association.

Dawson is a past chairman of the National Bridge Committee of AGC, past chairman of Kentuckians for Better Transportation, and past president of the Kentucky Association of Highway Contractors.

Over the past 30 years, TRIP has released hundreds of customized grassroots reports and has conducted media campaigns on deficient roads and bridges, motor fuel waste, extra vehicle operating costs, winter damage, funding shortfalls, highway safety, and the need to rehabilitate the nation's highway system.

Penney Becomes Coordinator of New Program

Timothy R. Penney was selected to be Native American Program coordinator in FHWA headquarters in Washington, D.C. Penney, a civil engineer and an enrolled tribal member of the Red Cliff band of Lake Superior Chippewa, began work in that position on Dec. 18, 2000.

As the agency's first Native American Program coordinator, Penney will be the agency's liaison with tribal governments and state departments of transportation, working with individuals and groups on transportation-related tribal issues and legislation.

Penney has a bachelor's degree in civil engineering from Oklahoma State University. Penney has been with FHWA for 12 years.

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