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September 30, 2019 1:00 PM, EDT

AASHTO Conference to Feature Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao

Elaine Chao 2018 photo of Elaine Chao by Yuri Gripas/Bloomberg

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The nation’s top transportation officer will be among the headline speakers at the annual conference of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials.

Secretary Elaine Chao is scheduled to address transportation officials from around the country Oct. 8 at the group’s meeting in St. Louis.

The Federal Highway Administration in September issued a rule that rescinds requirements limiting the use of federal funds in paying for patented or proprietary materials, specifications or processes specified in project plans and specifications. The rule is effective Oct. 28, according to the agency.

“This much-needed update of a century-old, obsolete rule will benefit state transportation infrastructure projects and save millions of taxpayer dollars,” Chao said when the rule was announced.

“This final rule promotes innovation by empowering states to choose which state-of-the-art materials, tools and products best meet their needs for the construction and upkeep of America’s transportation infrastructure,” Federal Highway Administration head Nicole Nason added.

Also scheduled to appear at the AASHTO conference is Don Butler, executive director of connected vehicle and services at Ford Motor Co.

The conference will be held Oct. 5-9.

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