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Meeting with ARTBA's Contract Administration Committee

On Monday, May 18, 2009 Jeff Zaharewicz and Jerry Yakowenko with FHWA’s Office of Program Administration met with Rich Juliano (registered lobbyist for the American Road and Transportation Builders Association – ARTBA) and approximately 30 other members of ARTBA’s Contract Administration Committee. We were invited to meet with ARTBA’s membership to discuss various issues relating to Federal-aid highway construction contracting including value engineering, innovative contracting, Recovery Act construction contracting requirements, price adjustment clauses, Buy America, Davis-Bacon and other issues of interest to the highway construction industry.

High-Speed Intercity Passenger Rail Program

The contact consisted of a discussion with representatives of the Transbay Joint Powers Authority concerning the application requirements for ARRA funding as described in the High-Speed Intercity Passenger Rail Program Interim Guidance. The conversation centered around two issues. The first was the applicant eligibility criteria and the second was the NEPA requirements in the Interim Guidance.

Passenger rail/high-speed rail Rehabilitation

Discussion was with Santa Barbara County Association of Governments and Mayor Hicks of Buellton and Mayor Alverez of Guadalupe to discuss passenger rail improvements to address congestion. The primary discussion was about the role of Amtrak and the potential use of Railroad Rehabilitation and Improvement Financing loan program to develop the infrastructure and service to initiate a commuter-tytpe service in this area. However the status of the ARRA high-speed rail grant guidance was discussed in very general terms. (States and Amtrak are eligible so the County would need to work with Caltrans, guidance will be available by June 17, an outreach session for the California corridor will be in Sacramento on May 28)