News roundup, April 15: OOIDA asks grocers for more access to supplies for truckers

Trucking news and briefs for Wednesday, April 15, 2020:

OOIDA petitions grocers to support truckers
The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association is asking for help from the grocery industry to keep truck drivers supplied with essential items on the road.

In a letter penned by OOIDA Executive Vice President Lewie Pugh, the group asked grocers, as well as retail giants Walmart, Target, CVS and Walgreens, to make basic items like paper towels, hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes available to truckers for purchase or through donations.

“We are currently receiving several hundred calls daily from drivers who are unable to buy essential supplies to protect themselves from COVID-19,” the letter said. “Basic items like paper towels, hand sanitizer and disinfectant wipes are nearly impossible to find right now. The irony is that truckers are hauling these supplies, but they are unable to actually buy them.”

Pugh added in the letter that “it would also be nice if truckers were able to use your restroom facilities” when delivering to warehouses and retail stores.

“Truckers are on the front lines of the supply chain,” Pugh said. “If they get sick, the supply chain will be disrupted more than it already is, which is precisely why it is important to support them as much as reasonably possible.”

Last week, OOIDA sent a letter to President Trump asking for improved access to COVID-19 testing, personal protective equipment and more for truckers.

TSA extends TWIC expiration dates
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the Transportation Security Administration is extending the expiration date on Transportation Worker Identification Credential (TWIC) cards that expired on or after March 1. TSA, in a Federal Register notice published Wednesday, said TWIC holders will have 180 extra days to renew the ID.

The temporary exemption is in effect until July 31. TSA said if the 180-day period extends beyond the duration of the temporary exemption, the TWIC will be valid for the remainder of the 180 days based on the expiration date of the card.

There are a number of detours drivers can take next weekend when I-5 is closed through a section of Los Angeles. (Click to enlarge)There are a number of detours drivers can take next weekend when I-5 is closed through a section of Los Angeles. (Click to enlarge)

Section of I-5 in Los Angeles to close later this month
Interstate 5 in Los Angeles will close for approximately 36 hours next weekend for a construction project, according to my5LA.com. The closure will be in place from 2 p.m. Saturday, April 25, through 2 a.m. Monday, April 27, through Glendale, Burbank and the Sun Valley area of Los Angeles.

All northbound lanes will be closed at State Route 134 (Ventura Freeway), and all southbound lanes will be closed at State Route 170 (Hollywood Freeway). Drivers are asked to avoid using I-5 during the closure.

Southbound I-5 will be reduced to only one or two open lanes from Buena Vista Street to Burbank Boulevard beginning at 10 p.m. Friday, April 24, and continuing until the full freeway closure begins Saturday afternoon. All southbound lanes will reopen by 6 a.m. Monday, April 27.

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