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Highlights

Today marks my first month’s return to the Department!   The Vice President had presided over my swearing-in and my family was able to attend.  The past first four weeks have been filled with meetings, briefings, visits, consultations and outreach to you, members of congress and key stakeholders to be updated on the current issues facing the Department and our country. 

This past weekend, I met with a number of governors and spoke to the National Governor’s Association Winter Meeting on “Innovation & Infrastructure.”   The nation’s infrastructure was, obviously, on the top of their agenda. It was informative and interesting to learn about the innovative ways governors are tackling infrastructure challenges in their states. They emphasized that each state was different and there is no one-size-fits-all solution to every issue.  They wanted flexibility to be able to address the issues within their states.  Many states have become incubators of emerging technology and remarkable agents of change. I am looking forward to the Department forming strong partnerships with them going forward.

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Sometimes the U.S. Department of Transportation’s many agencies, or modes as they are often called, can be tricky to keep up with. What does each do? Who and what does each serve?

This blog series, called 10 Things on US DOT Modes, will introduce readers to each mode (along with a few sub offices). Today’s blog will explore the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration by listing 10 important or interesting things to know about the agency.

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Whether they are emergency responders, city planners, pipeline operators, homeowners, students or just curious neighbors, it’s important for community members to know where pipelines are located so they can be avoided or found, serviced and monitored.

The U.S. Department of Transportation offers an excellent resource for learning more about local pipelines. The National Pipeline Mapping System’s (NPMS) Public Map Viewer includes interactive maps showing the locations of hazardous liquid and gas transmission pipelines, and Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) plants nationwide. Interested individuals also can access information about related pipeline incidents going back to 2002.

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Each day this week, we are observing National Engineers Week – an enthusiastic celebration of the contributions millions of engineers have made, and continue to make, to society as a whole – and extending a heartfelt welcome to the next generation of engineers.

For the last three days, we have highlighted a president who was an engineer or used engineering during his career.  Our fourth in this series requires some mythbusting.

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In 2015, 384 people died in 238 general aviation accidents. Loss of Control (LOC) was the number one cause of these accidents, and it happens in all phases of flight. It can happen anywhere and at any time.

To help save lives, the Federal Aviation Administration is working with industry to prevent LOC accidents. Each month the FAA provides pilots with an LOC solution. This month they are focusing on personal minimums.

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All week long, we are observing National Engineers Week – a week-long celebration of the many contributions engineers have made to our lives and to society as a whole – and extending a heartfelt welcome to the next generation of engineers.

Throughout the 1920s, America was in love with cars. Henry Ford was still a leading manufacturer, but he was hardly the only one.  By 1928, 24.7 million cars and trucks were on the road – which was twice the amount of only six years before. Design work on the as-yet unbuilt Golden Gate Bridge had only just started, and construction of the Boulder Canyon Dam – eventually to be renamed the Hoover Dam – had just been authorized.  

America was entering the Golden Age of engineering, and one of America’s greatest engineers was its newly elected president – a mining engineer named Herbert Hoover.

President Hoover

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This morning, the Department of Transportation (US DOT) hosted an event in Washington, DC, to commemorate African American Heritage Month. The program highlighted the many contributions of African Americans to the nation and to transportation in particular.  The Washington Mathematics Science Technology Charter School made a Color Guard presentation and the Department’s own Paulette Grady led the National Anthem. 

Special Adviser Willis Morris spoke about the numerous and significant of contributions by African Americans to transportation innovation and operation.  These included Andrew Beard, who invented the Jenny Coupler to link trains; Bessie Coleman, one of the first women aviators; and Janet Harmon Bragg, the first African American women to obtain her commercial pilot’s license. 

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All week long, America is celebrating National Engineers Week to honor the countless contributions made by engineers to modern life. It’s an annual tradition that should remind us all that engineering and technology are only as good as the people behind them.

Our national transportation architecture takes many forms – from America’s oldest bridge, the 320-year-old Pennypack Creek Bridge in Philadelphia, to the nearly three-mile-long Anton Anderson Memorial Tunnel (also known as the Whittier Tunnel) in Alaska, which helped the U.S. Navy defend the Pacific Ocean during World War II – as do America’s engineers.

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This week, we join thousands of others nationwide to observe National Engineers Week. It’s a week-long celebration of the many contributions engineers have made to our lives and to society as a whole… and a heartfelt welcome to the next generation of engineers.

America’s road system depends heavily on engineers – from the civil engineers who design road and bridge projects, to the mechanical, geological, hydrological, electrical and countless other engineers who translate idea into reality. The U.S. highway system is the backbone of the world’s most powerful economy, and engineers make it possible.

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The Federal Transit Administration last month issued a Tribal Transit Program Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO), offering $5 million in fiscal year 2017 for transit projects initiated by American Indian and Alaska Native tribes that will compete for funding. The Tribal Transit Program, which connects tribal citizens to vital services and drives economic development in rural areas, complements an annual $30 million formula program.

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