Industry News

ACPA Stands Firm on Surface Transportation Legislation, Opposes Devolution

ACPA was one of more than three dozen organizations that co-signed a letter supporting passage of a robust, long-term bill that will provide certainty for the nation’s future transportation needs. The letter, sent to all 100 U.S. Senators and 435 U.S. representatives, also stated firm opposition to devolution of the Federal-aid surface transportation program.

One such devolution proposal is the “Transportation Empowerment Act” (TEA), previously introduced and considered in the 113th Congress. TEA is an ill-conceived proposal that would strip away most federal funding for surface transportation projects, essentially eliminating the federal government’s constitutionally mandated role in promoting interstate commerce, say the coalition of groups and companies that penned the letter to Congress.

ACPA has remained steadfast in its support of a well-funded, long-term legislation to meet the critical needs of the nation’s surface transportation infrastructure system, and in the same vein, has also strongly opposed devolution programs. 

The letter is one of the latest messages imploring Congress to support reauthorization ahead of the May 31 expiration of the latest extension to the highway bill, which experts liken to “kicking the can” or delaying the Highway Trust Fund solutions and robust, long-term legislation necessary to meet the needs of highway users and others dependent upon the nation’s surface transportation infrastructure.

The letter was advanced by a diverse, but unified coalition of transportation companies and other highway users; transportation-construction groups; and other organizations, including AAA, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. 

ACPA has been at the forefront of outreach and communications efforts with Congress. In February, ACPA and other members of the Highway Materials Group (HMG), sent a similar to message to Congress. The letter emphasized the HMG’s four basic principles for reauthorization and also opposed devolution.   

ACPA, the Chamber of Commerce, and other transportation associations also have been visible and vocal on the issues of reauthorization and devolution.  An example can be seen in a September 2014 coalition letter, which expressed similar messages.

Since then, the groundswell of support for a federal reauthorization and opposition to devolution has resulted in more companies, organizations, and individuals raising an increasingly vociferous call for reauthorization and opposition to programs aimed at “strip(ping) away most federal funding for surface transportation projects, essentially eliminating the federal government’s constitutionally mandated role in promoting interstate commerce.”

Oklahoma/Arkansas Chapter Names Promotional Director for Arkansas

The Oklahoma/Arkansas Chapter of the American Concrete Pavement Association announced the appointment of Alan Meadors, P.E., as Promotional Director of Arkansas, effective March 1.

Meadors is a recently retired Engineer of the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department (AHTD). He received his Bachelors and Masters Degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Arkansas in the early 1980’s. His 35-year career with AHTD included 13 years as the Staff Research Engi-neer; 10 years as Division Engineer of the Planning and Research Division; and one year as the Division Head of the System Information and Research Division. He is a 20-year veteran of AHTD’s Specification Committee and served many years on the Pavement Selection Committee. He is a registered professional engineer.

Meadors and his wife of 30 years, Liane, have two grown children.

Highway Materials Group Urges Congressional Leaders to Take Action

In a letter to U.S. House Speaker John Boehner and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi earlier this month, the Highway Materials Group (HMG)* urged the Congressional leaders to take action by leading their colleagues in Congress to act now to fund America’s surface transportation infrastructure.  

ACPA is a founding member of the HMG, which also articulated in the letter four principles for Federal-aid surface transportation reauthorization.   These include:  

  • America’s Economic Prosperity/Global Competitiveness – America’s economic vitality depends on an
    HMG-BoehnerPelosi-Letter-Feb2015-sm

    Letter from the Highway Materials Group urges Congressional leaders to act now on highway funding.

    integrated national, intermodal surface transportation network that moves goods and people to maximize global competitiveness, quality of life, and economic prosperity for all citizens. Unfortunately, the investments needed to maintain and expand the highway system have been inadequate. As a result, America is ill-prepared to meet the competitive demands of the global economy.
  • Constitutional Responsibility – Maintaining a vital, national infrastructure has been a federal responsibility since the founding of the Republic. Congress is tasked with establishing “post roads,” pre-cursors of today’s national highway system, and regulating commerce among the states and with other nations. Commerce is the lifeblood of our nation’s economy, and America’s transportation infrastructure is its circulatory system. This network of roads and transportation structures – built by Americans employed in well-paying jobs that cannot be exported – is essential for the economic growth, safety, security, freedom of mobility, and quality of life benefiting every American. We oppose efforts to transfer this responsibility to the states as an unfunded federal mandate.
  • User-fee based – In order to overcome the highway funding gap, we support the adoption of any user-fee based funding options and innovative finance tools to provide federal and state transportation departments with the funding they need to make critical investments in our transportation infrastructure.
  • Timeliness/Long-term authorization – The longer Congress delays in making the investments necessary to our highways, roads and bridges, the more difficult and expensive it will be for our nation to finance this critical and necessary endeavor. At a time when cost is paramount, Congress must act now. Timely enactment of a six-year authorization bill is critical for state transportation departments to plan and budget for projects and for our industry to make critical business decisions.

Click  here to see the letter and here to see other legislative news and updates from ACPA.

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* The Highway Materials Group is comprised of the American Concrete Pavement Association, Association of Equipment Manufacturers, Associated Equipment Distributors, Concrete Reinforcing Steel Institute, National Asphalt Pavement Association, National Ready Mixed Concrete Association, National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association, and the Portland Cement Association.

Chapter Names Folkestad Executive Director

Angela Folkestad joins Colorado/Wyoming Chapter-ACPA as Executive Director.

Angela Folkestad joins Colorado/Wyoming Chapter-ACPA as Executive Director.

Angela Folkestad, P.E., will join the Colorado/Wyoming Chapter-ACPA as Executive Director, effective March 1, according to an announcement by Joe Finnegan,  GCC of America (Chapter President), and Greg Scott, Interstate Highway Construction (Chapter Vice President).

Folkestad has nearly 18 years of engineering experience, 11 of which have been spent in the aviation engineering field. She comes to the chapter from Jviation, and prior to that, was with Burgess, as well as Carter & Burgess (and later, Jacobs, which acquired the firm in 2007).

She brings an extensive background and history with pavement materials, and a solid working relationship with the Federal Aviation Administration. Folkestad holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Iowa State University and is a registered professional engineer.  Additionally, She has in-depth knowledge of the best practices and design for pavement construction, as well as promotion and advocacy through her involvement with the Colorado/Wyoming Chapter, where she worked closely with and under the direction of Ron Youngman, P.E., the Chapter’s outgoing Executive Director.

With Youngman’s support and guidance, the Chapter plans to transition the responsibility of running the Chapter to Folkestad during the month of March.   The Chapter’s leadership credited Youngman for dedicating 28 years to the concrete pavement industry and to the association’s membership. 

“This is an exciting new chapter in the future of our association,” they stated in a letter to members.  They also invite well-wishers to welcome and offer support to Folkestad, while also expressing best wishes to Youngman.

ISCP Announces 11th International Concrete Pavements Conference

The International Society for Concrete Pavements (ISCP) has announced details for the 11th International Conference on ISCP-ICCP2016-logo-smConcrete Pavements including the call for papers (letters of intent and abstracts), which are due April 30, 2015.

The conference will be held August 28 through 31, 2016, in San Antonio.   The event will be held at the Marriott Rivercenter, a Riverwalk hotel located at 101 Bowie St. in downtown San Antonio.

The conference is designed for pavement-, materials-, and geotechnical-engineering professionals representing Federal, state, provincial, and municipal agencies; consulting engineers; contractors; materials suppliers; and members of academia.  The course content typically covers all aspects of concrete pavement design, construction, testing, evaluation, and rehabilitation.

The conference is held every four years, and carries forth the tradition of a series of international conferences begun by Purdue University in 1977. As with the previous international conferences, the focus of this conference will be to present information on new technologies related to the design, construction & rehabilitation of various types of concrete pavements.

Additional details about the conference, including the event program, are available on the ISCP website at http://www.concretepavements.org/11thiccp/.  Click here to view the ACPA calendar listing (and event program) for this event, as well as to save it to your Google or Apple iCal calendars.

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