The Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA) Buy America requirements provide that 100 percent of all steel and iron comprising a predominantly steel and iron product that is permanently incorporated into a project must be domestically manufactured. With respect to vehicles, manufacturers typically assemble these products with many different components and subcomponents containing steel and iron.
As a result, vehicles are typically referred to as being made where the final product rolls off the assembly line for delivery into the marketplace. The FHWA is unaware of any vehicle that is comprised of 100 percent domestically produced steel and iron, resulting in a need for a partial Buy America waiver for these projects to proceed. No American-made van met the NFRMPO's requirements without this waiver.
On Dec. 30, the North Front Range Metropolitan Planning Organization’s (NFRMPO) VanGo Vanpool Program was granted a Buy America waiver from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). This will allow the VanGo Vanpool Program to immediately release a Request for Proposal (RFP) for the purchase of up to eighteen (18) minivans to replace older, high mileage vans currently in the fleet.
Both of Colorado’s U.S. Senators, The Hon. Michael Bennet and The Hon. Mark Udall were instrumental in assisting the NFRMPO in their filing, request and granting of a waiver from the FHWA.
"Hundreds of Coloradans traveling throughout northern Colorado and to Denver count on the North Front Range Metropolitan Planning Organization's vanpool program for rides to work," Udall said. "I was honored to help this agency cut through the red tape to acquire the vans it needs to keep these Coloradans on the road. The Federal Highway Administration's decision, spurred on by my work, ensures this continued commuting opportunity for area residents, reduced congestion on Colorado's highways and fewer hazardous emissions."
“The FHWA’s decision reflects a commonsense approach to VanGo’s good-faith efforts to comply with the intent of the law in a way that carefully considers vehicle cost and availability, and maximizes taxpayer dollars,” Bennet said. “This decision will allow VanGo to better serve hundreds of commuters in Northern Colorado who want to get to work in an affordable, environmentally friendly manner.”