The National Governors Association (NGA) hosted five governors, eight state department of transportation executives, federal officials, and private sector partners during an infrastructure summit held Nov. 30 through Dec. 2 in Annapolis, Md.
Participants in the three-day summit shared resources and discussed strategies for implementing the $1.2 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act or IIJA on Nov. 15, reported the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO).
“Governors, who have been leading on efforts to build and maintain infrastructure in their states and territories, have been urging congressional action on a stronger federal partnership to address aging public works to boost America’s economic competitiveness and quality of life,” explained Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R) of Arkansas and NGA’s chairman, in a statement.
“Investments in infrastructure are investments in a better future for our country,” added Gov. Phil Murphy (D) of New Jersey, who is NGA’s current vice chairman.
“Governors have been stepping up to meet this challenge, but we can’t do it alone,” he said. “We are looking forward to a renewed partnership with the federal government to make the investments necessary for a stronger economic future and improvements that benefit all Americans.”
Gov. Larry Hogan (R) of Maryland – who served as NGA’s 2019-2020 chairman and led an initiative entitled Infrastructure: Foundation for Success – kicked off the summit by noting the progress governors across the country are making on infrastructure investments despite a lack of federal action until now.
Gov. Hogan noted that the federal support poised to flow from the IIJA would allow governors to build on that progress to make “once-in-a-generation investments” toward the nation’s infrastructure needs.
During the NGA summit, participants discussed funding and financing infrastructure including through public-private partnerships; collaborations on freight and supply chain issues; planning the future of transportation; jobs and workforce needs; resilient and sustainable infrastructure; and broadband.
The summit included several transportation panels featuring state DOT executives, who discussed IIJA implementation strategies, freight and railroad investment initiatives, and how to work more closely with federal modal agencies.
The list of AASHTO board members who participated in the NGA summit proceedings were:
- Shawn Wilson, Secretary, Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development, and AASHTO 2021-2022 president.
- Victoria Sheehan, Commissioner, New Hampshire Department of Transportation, and outgoing AASHTO 2020-2021 president.
- Eric Boyette, Secretary, North Carolina Department of Transportation.
- Tim Gatz, Secretary, Oklahoma Department of Transportation.
- Yassmin Gramian, Secretary, Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.
- Jim Gray, Secretary, Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.
- David Kim, Secretary, California State Transportation Agency.
- Gregory Slater, Secretary, Maryland Department of Transportation