Industry News

ACPA Issues Statement in Response to Highway Funding Extension

(August 9, 2014) – The American Concrete Pavement Association (ACPA) acknowledges the work and efforts of the President and Congress in taking action on the Highway Trust Fund and the extension of the current highway and public transportation programs.

The President has signed into law a short-term measure that will transfer nearly $11 billion into the Highway Trust Fund and extend the HTF and extend the highway and transit programs from September 30 until May 31, 2015.  

Although this, the fifth and latest temporary trust fund “patch” in seven years comes as a relief to the transportation-construction industry, ACPA continues to emphasize the need for longer-term solutions to meet the needs of the nation’s federal-aid highway system. 

The actions of the President, as well as the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, staved off depletion of the Highway Trust Fund and allowed the programs to continue at current levels.  Failure to take action, particularly on the HTF, would have required the U.S. Transportation Department to cut to funding for highway construction, rehabilitation, and preservation projects.  Failure to act also would have put 700,000 jobs at risk, according to the Administration. 

“Although this measure avoids drastic cuts that would have adversely affected our industry, state agencies/owners, and others in the transportation-construction community, we remain very concerned about finding long-term solutions to address the Highway Trust Fund (HTF) issue and the critical needs of our nation’s highways,” said Gerald F. Voigt, P.E., ACPA President & CEO.    “We urge Congress and the Administration to work on addressing the HTF situation, as well as to support long term legislation that allows companies to invest in the future and agencies to adequately plan for the current and future needs of our highways. 

“Along with our other partners in the Highway Materials Group, we remain committed to a six-year surface transportation authorization to stabilize and grow the Highway Trust Fund, as well as the four reauthorization principles that have been circulated to all Members of Congress.”  

These principles include:

  • Increased investments needed to maintain and expand the highway system essential to meet the competitive demands of the global economy;
  • Fulfillment of the Constitutional responsibility as provided in Article 1, Section 8 to “establish Post Offices and post Roads,” which are the precursor of the National Highway System;
  • Retention of the user-fee based system that ensures all users of the highway system contribute toward its construction, maintenance and rehabilitation; and,
  • No more delays, which only makes the investments necessary to highways, roads, and bridges, more difficult and expensive.  

Voigt explained that more than a decade’s worth of short-term legislation and temporary fixes to the Highway Trust Fund have impeded the ability of many state agencies and private companies to make capital investments, to plan ahead, and to invest in the technologies necessary to remain competitive in the marketplace.

“Although the industry and agencies have adapted to austere budgets and anemic funding levels, the familiar guidance of ‘doing more with less’ has meant stagnation, lingering high unemployment, and an overall weakening of the highway and heavy construction industry, not to mention weakening our infrastructure.   Agencies have been increasingly forced to cover up real problems, instead of fixing them properly.    This is analogous to putting a paint job on rotten wooden siding,” he says.

ACPA Completes Video, Photo Work for Training Modules

ACPA has completed the field interviews, as well as other video and photographic work for its upcoming stockpile management and smooth concrete pavement construction courses.   The two courses are being developed by ACPA and sponsored by the Federal Highway Administration.  

ACPA is grateful to the Chapter/State associations and contractors who assisted as we worked through scheduling, which was complicated by severe weather conditions this season.  

ACPA also appreciates the support of the owners, principals, and other staff of Martin-Marietta; Milestone Contractors LP; the Trierweiler Construction & Supply Co., Inc., and the Zignego Company, Inc. for their generous support and assistance with our efforts.  

Thanks also to Mike Byers, P.E. (Indiana Chapter-ACPA), and Kevin McMullen and  Heath Schopf, P.E. (Wisconsin Concrete Pavement Association) for their assistance with logistics and their on-site support with this program.

ACPA to Exhibit at Public Works Event

Continuing the practice of interacting with top public works officials throughout North America, ACPA will again exhibit at the annual APWA Congress & Exhibition, scheduled for August 17 through 20 at the Metro Toronto Convention Center in Ontario.

As has been the practice for several years, local Chapter/State affiliates will represent the ACPA network, not  only in the booth, but also through outreach efforts during the conference and show.  

Representing the concrete pavement industry will be Chapter/State Committee Chairman Rico Fung, P.Eng., LEED®AP; Sherry Sullivan, P.Eng., LEED®AP, both of the Cement Association of Canada; Todd LaTorella, P.E. (Missouri/Kansas Chapter-ACPA), and John Cunningham (Iowa Concrete Paving Association).

ACPA Urges Increased Participation in Legislative Issues Task Force

ACPA is urging members to participate in the association’s Legislative Issues Task Force (LITF).   

The two-fold request is centered on developing a group of people who can quickly mobilize to contact Congress on key issues as they arise, as well as to participate by “opting in” to LITF emails.   Specifically, the requests are:

  • For help from time to time in engaging with your members of Congress to educate them on the importance of investing in infrastructure, and the critical role our industry plays in that regard.  This will enable ACPA and its members to to more effectively influence Congress to move quickly, decisively, and in full support of well-funded, long-term solutions that will create more opportunities for our concrete pavement industry.
  • For members and Chapter/State affiliates to “opt in” to our Legislative Issues Task Force emails, which include advisories, alerts, and calls to actions.   (Respecting people’s valuable time, ACPA “color codes” these as green (information items); yellow (urgent or time-sensitive alerts), and red (requests for action and response).

Why is this Important?
Given the severe funding challenge the federal aid highway program is currently facing, and the importance that federal investment plays for our concrete pavement industry, it’s vital for everyone in the transportation-construction industry to help with the “heavy lifting.”   Only if we all do our part—whether it’s a small part or a larger role—will we ever break the impasse and influence our elected officials to provide the long-term funding and policy solutions that have a direct positive impact on construction projects in every state.

How You Can Help
The best way to start is to send us an email to legislative@acpa.org with the subject line “Opt In.”   (In fact, interested parties can simply click on the link, add your name, and hit the send button.)

 We’ll then add your name to our distribution list, which will keep you posted on some of our actions directly with Congress, as well as our efforts with the Transportation Construction Coalition (comprised of ARTBA, AGC, and other transportation and labor organizations), the Highway Materials Group (ACPA, NSSGA,  NRMCAPCA , CRSI and NAPA), as well as the American Highways Users Alliance.

 With your help, we have a great opportunity to secure the funding that will allow long-term investments in both our nation’s infrastructure, as well as your company, your employees, and your bottom line. 

 Please “opt in” to let us know we can count on your involvement!

 

ACPA Distinguished Service and Recognition Award Nominations

 The 2015 ACPA Distinguished  Service Awards were presented to the recipients at the Association’s 52nd Annual Meeting.  The annual meeting this year is scheduled for December 1st through 4th at the Hyatt Regency Coconut Point Resort & Spa, Bonita Springs, Fla. 

ACPA’s Distinguished Service Awards program was  established in 1968 when the Association’s first honoree was James W. Johnson, Iowa Highway Commission Testing Lab for invention of the slip form paver.  Nominations are open for five awards, described and web-linked below:

  • Hartmann-Hirschman-Egan Award – Awarded annually since 1968.   The award is presented to individuals or organizations for unparalleled, long-term commitment, dedication, participation, and leadership in the concrete pavement community. 
  • Marlin J. Knutson Award for Technical Achievement – Awarded annually since 1998.  The award is presented to an individual or group who has made significant contributions to advance the development and implementation of technical innovations and best practices in the design and construction of concrete pavements. 
  • Outstanding Pavement Promotion Award – Awarded selectively since 1998.  The award is presented to an individual or group who has made significant contributions through promotion efforts or programs to advance the awareness, specification, and/or placement of concrete pavements.   
  • Lifetime Pavement Recognition Award – Awarded annually since 1994.  The award is presented to the agency owner of an in-service concrete pavement that has demonstrated exceptional performance and service to its local community, state, and users.  (This recognition rotates annually between public market segments: highway, street and airport. In 2014 we will recognize an airport pavement.)
  • Sustainable Practices Recognition Award – A recognition starting in 2010, the award is presented to an organization or team (owner and contractor) that demonstrates leadership by implementing sustainable design and construction practices that consider societal, environmental and economic factors.

 

Click here to see past award recipients.

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