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From the Desk of Executive Director Bryon Short

From the Desk of Executive Director Bryon Short - June 16, 2023

This week the DCA DelDOT Liaison Committee held its June meeting. The committee, comprised of DCA highway contractor members and DelDOT leadership, is a unique strength of our organization. DCA’s highway contractor group performs important infrastructure work, is a significant contributor to the state’s economy, and through its representatives on this committee helps to shape how projects are done in Delaware.

The opportunity to have frank communications between some of our most experienced highway contractors and DelDOT’s leaders is critical to making Delaware’s road and bridge infrastructure work as efficiently as possible. The Department and contractors certainly don’t always see eye to eye, but the meetings are a chance to hear each other out on important issues. They are an opportunity to gain an understanding of factors driving the other parties’ decisions resulting in a better understanding of each other’s challenges. Even though we may not agree on every issue, there are actually lots of things we have been able to agree on. Many things, through communication, we’ve been able to work together to improve.

The meetings, chaired by Chris Magdefrau, Eastern Highway Specialist, cover a lot of ground every session. This week the agenda ranged from a review of the proposed bid calendar to the Department’s approach to upcoming Community Workforce Agreement projects to Federal Highway Administration required Triennial Disadvantage Business Enterprise goal setting along with several other items. Two subjects were shared by the Department that are worth specifically bringing attention to for our highway contractors and associates who help them get the job done.

First, DelDOT is hosting the Northeast Association of State Transportation Officials (NASTO) Conference, July 9 to July 11 in Wilmington.  The conference will have attendees from 11 states (Maryland to Maine), the District of Columbia, Ontario and Québec. This year’s theme is Safe and Resilient Transportation for All and will have sessions on safety, resiliency, and equity throughout the two days. The link to the conference and registration is here:

Second, the Department is putting significant effort into expanding and supporting DBE contractors and businesses performing support to the road construction business. As part of this effort, DelDOT has created three unique networking events for highway contractor primes, DBE contractors and DelDOT staff. The first of these “mixers” was held on May 18th at Dogfish Brewery in Sussex County. One of the DCA members of the Liaison Committee was in attendance and said the event was well worth his time. There are two more events this summer, but space is limited. You can register at Register Here:

  • July 27th (5:30-7:30pm): Dover Speedway Media Center (located in the track infield area; attendees will also have the opportunity to ride along in a pace car with a professional race car driver!)
  • August 24th (5:30- End of Game): Blue Rocks Game (located in the Diamond Club behind home plate and get a chance to cheer our team to victory!)

DCA’s Government Relations work takes on many forms but is always driven by the experience and needs of its members. The DCA DelDOT Liaison Committee is one of the most direct examples of how our organization’s government relations work is more than lobbying elected officials. Our history and reputation place us in a unique position to work together with leaders carrying out the work of our state, counties, and municipalities in getting the work of building Delaware done!

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