For many years, the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) has prohibited state and local DOTs from using local hiring or other such preferences on federal-aid highway and transit projects. In doing so, USDOT believed that these local hiring preferences conflicted with federal law requiring these contracts to be awarded on a competitive, low-bid basis.

Recently, USDOT announced a pilot program through which it may start approving local hiring and other provisions if they do not “unduly limit competition.” The pilot program will last for one year and may also result in a permanent change in USDOT’s approach to this issue. USDOT may begin allowing state and local DOTs to mandate hiring of local residents, low-income individuals or veterans if they wish. These provisions often require payment of liquidated damages by the prime contractor for non-compliance during the project.

USDOT is currently accepting comments on this change in policy. ARTBA and AGC are very involved in this process and would appreciate your response to this 10-question survey. The two associations will tabulate the confidential results and include them with new material we are submitting to USDOT. Your participation is critical to help ARTBA and AGC represent you on this important issue. Thank you for your assistance!