Industry News

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.

Rep. Blumenauer Reintroduces Gas Tax Increase

Blumenauer joined by leaders in transportation, commerce, labor, and construction to introduce UPDATE Act that funds our nation’s infrastructure

 On Tuesday, Feb. 3,  Representative Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.-03), with the support of leaders in the fields of transportation, labor, commerce, and construction, introduced HR 680 to allow passage of the first comprehensive, six year transportation bill since 1997, according to a press release from the Congressman’s office. 

The bill, The Update, Promote, and Develop America’s Transportation Essentials (UPDATE) Act, would phase in a nickel a gallon tax increase over each of the next three years on gasoline and diesel. Of all the proposals being circulated on Capitol Hill, this is simplest, easiest to pass, and the only one giving long term stability. Blumenauer spoke with a diverse cross section of groups at a press conference to emphasize the momentum behind such a proposal.

As President Ronald Reagan said when he led a similar effort in 1982, it will not increase the deficit or increase taxes due on April 15.  Instead, it will be paid for by the gas tax user fee that has supported the Highway Trust Fund since 1956.

“Every credible independent report indicates that we are not meeting the demands of our stressed and decaying infrastructure system – roads, bridges and transit,” Blumenauer said.  “Congress hasn’t dealt seriously with the funding issue for over 20 years and it’s time to act. The gas tax used to be an efficient road user fee, but with inflation and increased fuel efficiency, especially for some types of vehicles, there is no longer a good relationship between what road users pay and how much they benefit.

“The average motorist is paying about half as much per mile as they did in 1993. There’s a broad and persuasive coalition that stands ready to support Congress, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, National AFL-CIO, the construction and trucking industry, cyclists, professional groups, numerous associations of small and medium businesses, local governments, and transit agencies. We just need to give them something to support,” he added.

In 2011, the Federal Highway Administration estimated that over $70.9 billion worth of repairs were needed just to maintain safe bridges; that number has since increased each year. The American Society of Civil Engineers estimates that surface transportation in the US needs over $2 trillion of investment in order to remain economically competitive by 2020.

In recent years, Congress has added to the deficit by transferring over $65 billion of General Fund revenue to the Highway Trust Fund to keep it afloat. In order to maintain current funding levels in the following years, the Highway Trust Fund will need over $15 billion a year by 2018 in addition to current gas tax receipts. Continuing down the current path will mean a 33% drop in federal transportation spending by 2024. The UPDATE Act would solve the problem by providing $210 billion over ten years.

“Addressing the infrastructure deficit, stabilizing transportation funding, and helping America’s all-too-slow economic recovery is critical if we want a livable and economically prosperous country in the years to come,” said Blumenauer. “The UPDATE Act will put hundreds of thousands to work at family wage jobs in every state, while improving the environment and quality of life.”

Statements of Support for the UPDATE Act of 2015  

A number of organizations, including the Highway Materials Group, comprised of ACPA, NRMCA, and PCA, offered statements of support.   The following statements are a representative sampling of those statements.

“In concurrence with the Highway Materials Group’s funding principles for the next highway surface transportation authorization, the group supports Congressman Blumenauer’s proposed bill that would continue funding the Highway Trust Fund through user fees, while bolstering awareness about the impending Highway Trust Fund insolvency.  Due to the magnitude of importance of the issue, increasing the gas tax and implementing a road usage charge based on vehicle miles traveled are only two of the numerous options we support to increase revenues into the HTF.  We commend the Congressman for taking this bold step toward solving the dire problem facing the nation’s surface transportation infrastructure in the months and years ahead.” – Highways Materials Group

“Getting America To Work applauds Congressman Blumenauer for continuing his efforts to ensure America’s transportation and infrastructure needs are funded for years to come. America’s businesses and workers rely on public transportation to keep our economy moving. Our coalition of transit agencies, councils of government and business groups strongly urges all members to follow Rep. Blumenauer’s lead and work together to bring our public transportation systems into a state of good repair.”  – Getting America to Work Coalition

“Congressman Blumenauer’s proposal for a modest adjustment to the gas tax is a no-brainer for Americans concerned about road and bridge safety. Every day, Americans pay what amounts to a pothole penalty because of the failure of Congress to fully invest in our nations crumbling roads, bridges and transit.” – General President Terry O’Sullivan, Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA)

“The challenges facing the Highway Trust Fund could be easily solved if Congress and the President demonstrated a little policymaking courage.  Representative Blumenauer has put forward a very thoughtful proposal to avert the next trust fund crisis and to do so in a fiscally responsible way.  Most importantly, his plan would help provide the sustainable revenue stream necessary for states to begin fixing and modernizing their roads, bridges and transit systems.”   – President Pete Ruane, American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA)

“On behalf of the Association of Equipment Manufacturers and our more than 900 member companies, we applaud Congressman Blumenauer for his leadership in finding solutions and building bipartisan support to address our infrastructure needs.  The UPDATE Act of 2015 could spur economic growth and competitiveness while improving our nation’s ability to efficiently move goods and people.  Investing in our national infrastructure is critical to keeping America competitive, and we appreciate Congressman Blumenauer taking these important steps to ensure we can reauthorize the federal highway bill for the long-term.” – John Patterson, Chairman, JCB Inc. and Chairman, Association of Equipment Manufacturers.

“It is time for our nation’s leaders to stand with Rep. Blumenauer and others who support pragmatic and cost-effective steps to improve our country’s transportation system. Americans are paying the price for years of congressional inaction with nothing to show for it but increasing frustration and less time with friends and families. A continued failure to act costs drivers an average of $324 annually in additional vehicle operating costs and 38 hours wasted in traffic each year. Congress should act immediately to restore stable and required funding for our roads and bridges.” – CEO Bob Darbelnet, American Automobile Association (AAA)

“The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) hails Congressman Blumenauer on his steadfast leadership to restore America’s infrastructure and strongly endorses the Update, Promote and Develop America’s Transportation Essentials (UPDATE) Act. This bill will provide long-term, sustainable funding to address America’s surface transportation infrastructure and comes at a critical juncture as the nation’s Highway Trust Fund veers toward insolvency in a matter of months. In ASCE’s 2013 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, a comprehensive assessment of infrastructure across 16 sectors, the cumulative GPA for the nation’s infrastructure was an abysmal D+.  The Report Card estimates total investment needs at $3.6 trillion by 2020 across all 16 sectors, leaving a funding shortfall of $1.6 trillion based on current funding levels. We look forward to working with Rep. Blumenauer and all members of Congress to advance this important legislation to revitalize our nation’s roads, bridges and transit systems for decades to come.” – Robert D. Stevens, Ph.D., P.E., President, American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)

“The American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) strongly supports Congressman Blumenauer’s efforts to update the federal user fee dedicated to improving and maintaining our nation’s surface transportation system.  We need to look for new ways to fund critical infrastructure projects in the future, and embrace a range of options for doing so.  In the near term, however, we must restore the purchasing power of the user fee that has been the basis of the federal-aid program for decades.  This is a relatively small price to pay for improving safety, enhancing mobility and ensuring American competitiveness.  Congressman Blumenauer’s legislation helps to achieve all of these goals.” – The American Council of Engineering Companies

“While we remain open to considering other potential revenue sources, ATA continues to believe a user fee-based system of federal fuel taxes is still our most equitable, efficient , reliable and best source of long-term, sustainable funding for the Highway Trust Fund. We hope the introduction of this important legislation by Rep. Blumenauer will move us closer to passing a long-term surface transportation bill that addresses funding and other important issues prior to the expiration of the current authorization in May.” – President and CEO Bill Graves, American Trucking Associations (ATA)

“Congressman Blumenauer is demonstrating the kind of wisdom and courage we need more of in D.C. by pushing for the kind of common-sense solution to the funding challenges that have made it increasingly difficult to invest in needed improvements to our roads, bridges and transit systems.”–CEO Stephen E. Sandherr, Associated General Contractors of America

 

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