MITA Efforts Positively Impact Buy America

MITA’s relentless advocacy for reasonableness in the interpretation of the Buy America requirements by the Michigan FHWA division office has been rewarded.

On December 21, 2012, the FHWA headquarters in Washington D. C. issued a clarification memorandum for the application of Buy America requirements to manufactured products (click here).  Based on this memorandum it is now FHWA’s position that in order for a manufactured product to be considered subject to the Buy America regulations, the product must be manufactured predominately of steel or iron (minimum 90% steel or iron when delivered to the project).

Per the memorandum: “Examples of products that are subject to the Buy America coverage include but are not limited to:

  • steel or iron products used in pavements, bridges, tunnels or other structures, which include, but are not limited to, the following: fabricated structural steel, reinforcing steel, piling, high strength bolts, anchor bolts, dowel bars, permanently incorporated sheet piling, bridge bearings, cable wire/strand, prestressing/post-tensioning wire, motor/machinery brakes and other equipment for moveable structures;
  • guardrail, guardrail posts, end section, terminals, cable guardrail;
  • steel fencing material, fence posts;
  • steel or iron pipe, conduit, grates, manhole covers, risers;
  • mast arms, poles, standards, trusses, or supporting structural members for signs, luminaires, or traffic control systems; and
  • steel or iron components of precast concrete products, such as reinforcing steel, wire mesh and pre-stressing or post-tensioning strands or cables.

The miscellaneous steel or iron components, subcomponents and hardware necessary to encase, assemble and construct the above components (or manufactured products that are not predominantly steel or iron) are not subject to Buy America coverage.  Examples include, but are not limited to, cabinets, covers, shelves, clamps, fittings, sleeves, washers, bolts, nuts, screws, tie wire, spacers, chairs, lifting hooks, faucets, door hinges, etc.”

MITA is supportive of the reasonableness that has been brought forth by the recent FHWA position and will continue to work with MDOT on the incorporation of this latest directive into the MDOT specifications.  Watch for future bulletins on this very important matter.