The 2020 annual report released by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials highlighted how the organization handled the challenges presented by the COVID-19 while maintaining its focus on supporting state departments of transportation.
“AASHTO achieved many significant accomplishments in 2020, and chief among them was its support for state DOTs as they responded to the pandemic,” noted Jim Tymon, the organization’s executive director, in the report.
“AASHTO and our members worked with Congress to highlight the impact of the pandemic on state DOT budgets and, in December, $10 billion for state DOTs was included in the final COVID relief bill of the year,” he said. That funding “will allow state DOTs to move forward with critical construction projects and maintenance and operational activities that otherwise may have been delayed or canceled.”
Earlier in 2020, AASHTO also worked with federal authorities on truck size and weight permitting issues helping to ensure much needed medical supplies, food products and other resources reached their destinations.
Under the leadership of 2019–2020 AASHTO President Patrick McKenna – also the director of the Missouri Department of Transportation – the AASHTO Board of Directors took several important actions in 2020 that included adopting a new association strategic plan; approval of a resolution addressing race, equity, diversity and inclusion; and the election of an historic slate of 2020–2021 leaders.
Victoria Sheehan, commissioner of the New Hampshire Department of Transportation, became the second woman to serve as AASHTO president, while Shawn Wilson, Ph.D. – secretary of the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development – became the first Black person to serve as AASHTO’s vice president.