Jul 7, 2023

Federal Grants Awarded to Expand Truck Parking Capacity

The week of June 26, 2023, the federal government issued two significant grants aimed at enhancing the commercial truck parking capacity across the country. This is a clear indication of the immense significance of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to the freight industry and the broader supply chain.

Two grants, amounting to a staggering $33 million, have been secured to establish an additional 170 truck parking spots strategically situated at vital freight routes across Louisiana and Texas.

Is this one step closer to more solutions to the truck parking shortage (nationwide shortage) for better and safe truck parking?

Will this open more spaces for truck drivers that really serve as functional parking spaces?

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Let's deep dive into the detailed proposals in this article and know more about the primary focus of these federal grants. 

Truck Parking Capacity in Texas

A state-of-the-art truck parking facility is set to be erected at the intersection of SH 130 and SH 180 in Texas as federal funds allowed.

  • The impressive plaza will offer 20 high-quality short-term truck parking spaces

  • 100 spacious long-term parking bays. The site will be secured using advanced entry and exit ramps gate control technology, alongside cutting-edge lighting and fencing.

  • Additionally, the facility will boast a luxurious rest stop, complete with premium amenities such as restrooms and showers, ensuring the ultimate comfort for all drivers.

  • 24-hour monitored security will also be in place to guarantee the utmost safety and peace of mind for truckers.

Truck Parking Capacity in Louisiana - More Accessible Truck Parking Places Soon

The state of Louisiana has approved the construction of a cutting-edge truck parking facility in close proximity to the inland port of Columbia, situated at the intersection of SH 165 and the Ouachita River.

  • The establishment shall furnish commercial truck parking spaces with a capacity of fifty fresh truck parking slots, and enhance the port's proficiency to cater to barge operations through the utilization of diverse freight options.

Why Does This Truck Parking Federal Grants Matter? 

The issue at hand is of utmost importance as the dearth of commercial truck parking throughout the country is significantly impacting both the safety of our highways and the efficiency of our supply chains. Yes, no doubt, there is a lack of truck parking. Actually, in general, for commercial vehicle parking or commercial motor vehicle parking.

  • This unfortunate reality forces truck drivers into a precarious predicament where they are compelled to choose between compromising their safety by parking in unauthorized and hazardous locations or violating federal hours regulations and service rules that limit their daily driving time as they search for secure and lawful parking options.

  • According to a report released by the U.S. Department of Transportation, the vast majority of drivers, specifically 98%, experience regular challenges when searching for safe parking.

  • Moreover, the study highlights that the shortage of parking spaces for trucks is a nationwide issue, which is most critical along major freight routes. In fact, a staggering 70% of drivers have been compelled to violate federal regulations regarding hours of service due to this widely prevalent problem.

  • Many drivers opt to park their vehicles before exhausting their allowed driving time to ensure they secure a suitable and lawful location, resulting in an estimated average loss of 56 minutes of drive time per day.

  • Unfortunately, the search for appropriate parking spaces comes at a significant cost, amounting to roughly $5,500 in direct compensation loss for drivers, which equates to a 12% reduction in annual pay.

These concerns over truck parking pave to private truck parking providers to step up just to provide proper truck parking for every average driver or commercial driver.

American Trucking Associations Partnership with Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association

In the preceding months, the American Trucking Associations forged a collaborative alliance with the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association to compose a formal correspondence addressed to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg, imploring the swift disbursement of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act funds, specifically earmarked for the sustenance and enhancement of truck parking facilities. This will surely be ignited as big considerations for drivers. 

Subsequently, Secretary Buttigieg conveyed in his testimony to Congress that the allocation of funds for truck parking held a position of utmost significance for the Administration, and the American Trucking Associations expresses gratitude towards Secretary Buttigieg for fulfilling his commitment.

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What comes next With The Truck Parking Trends

Our organization strongly advocates for the wider acceptance of truck parking awards under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, and we highly encourage more states to apply. The USDOT has released guidelines on funding eligibility prerequisites for truck parking projects in compliance with the law.

Furthermore, the Truck Parking Safety Improvement Act, introduced by Senator Lummis, Senator Kelly, Representative Bost, and Representative Craig, carries immense significance in addressing this issue. The act would authorize a competitive grant funding of $755 million, dedicated to expanding commercial truck parking capacity throughout the United States. Congress plays a vital role in ensuring the successful implementation of this act.

Conclusion: Ensuring Safe and Efficient Transportation Infrastructure.

The allocation of federal grants to expand truck parking capacity is a crucial step toward ensuring safe and efficient transportation infrastructure.

The lack of adequate truck parking facilities has been a persistent issue in the transportation industry, leading to various safety concerns and inefficiencies. By investing in expanding truck parking capacity, we can reduce the risks associated with exhausted drivers searching for available spots or resorting to unsafe alternatives.

Additionally, this initiative will enhance overall efficiency by minimizing delays caused by insufficient parking options for commercial trucks. With more designated spaces available, drivers will be able to comply with mandated rest breaks without wasting valuable time searching for suitable parking areas. This will help maintain a balanced flow of goods across our transportation networks, ultimately benefitting both the industry and consumers.

In conclusion, through federal grants allocated towards expanding truck parking capacity, we are taking a proactive approach to addressing critical issues within our transportation infrastructure.

By prioritizing safety and efficiency through ample parking facilities for commercial trucks, we can ensure smoother operations and mitigate potential risks associated with inadequate rest areas. It is imperative that we continue to invest in such initiatives to support a reliable and sustainable transportation system that serves both businesses and individuals alike.

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If you are looking for more information about drug and alcohol testing as a truck driver, visit LabWorks USA. Our DOT Consortium's friendly team will be more than happy to discuss any concerns you may have and work with you to ensure you are always fully compliant specially with random DOT drug and alcohol testing pre-employment testing. Moreover, if you need help with FMCSA Clearinghouse registration, we can further support you.