Thank you to everyone who attended the Mardi Gras Fall Social! We returned to Church Landing this year and they hosted a great event. 130 revelers attended the evening of food, drink, and dance. It was a great time that offered us fun reasons to wear a mask! We’d love to have you join us next year for the 2022 Fall Social.
Once again, the members of New Hampshire Good Roads displayed what makes this organization so special. As we recounted the tragic passing of NH State Trooper Jesse Sherrill during a work zone accident, the audience at the Fall Social dug into those Mardi Gras costumes and donated $2000 to the Sherrill family. What a generous gesture to show our support for the Sherrill family and New Hampshire’s law enforcement community who comes out daily to help us keep work zones safe.
During the year, I participated in the NH Strategic Highway Safety Planning process on behalf of Good Roads. My main message for the plan was Work Zone safety and the hazards that exist within and around work zones. The plan is currently in its final phases prior to publication.
The 2021 Board of Directors formed a Workforce Development Committee to explore how Good Roads can be more active in attracting talent to our industry. Our timing for this effort is right in step with many national organizations who are also ramping up their efforts in this area. That means there are many opportunities for sharing and learning from the experiences of others. It is our hope that we can make positive connections within the education community to begin highlighting the many jobs we offer for high school graduates. We look forward to sharing more on this topic with you as the committee develops its agenda. NH Good Roads = NH Good Jobs!
Perhaps the biggest news affecting our industry is the passage of the Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act (IIJA), this bill is a $1.2T, 5-year investment in the country’s physical infrastructure. IIJA replaces the FAST Act funding for states according to existing federal highway funding formulas. This is great news because state DOTs now have predictability of a 5-year funded federal highway program. IIJA also includes significant additional funding dedicated to highways, bridges, ports, rail, air, broadband, water, energy, and pollution reduction strategies.
While IIJA is of primary importance to our businesses, there are a couple of other federal bills to keep an eye on. SB 3011, the State, Local, Tribal, and Territorial Fiscal Recovery, Infrastructure, and Disaster Relief Flexibility Act, which would allow states to repurpose unused Covid-19 funds. And of course, HR 5376, the Build Back Better Act, addressing “social infrastructure” topics.
On behalf of the New Hampshire Good Roads Board of Directors, I wish you all a safe and joyous New Year! We wish you and your families good health as we continue to deal with the challenges of Covid-19.