Government Affairs

ACPA Paper Emphasizes Importance of Competition

View/Download the Paper

ACPA is encouraging members and promoters to read its newest position paper, which reflects the association’s philosophy on competition between the industries in the transportation construction marketplace.

 “The Role of Competition in the Pavement Type Selection:  What is the Ideal Process?”  is a  well organized, clearly written 14-page document that describes both the role and the importance of competition in pavement type selection.  Competition

With facts and illustrations, the document presents the history of pavement type selection in the U.S.; the guidance behind these practices; and a proposed pavement type selection process that attempts to include all possible and proper measures to ensure the taxpaying public receives full value of every highway dollar spent. 

The paper reflects ACPA’s philosophical views, backed by research and clear examples, which the Association is using to encourage agencies to adopt healthy competition in the marketplace.

The paper concludes with the point that competition represents the most significant opportunity for highway agencies in today’s economic environment.

House Advances HTF Fix, Senate Action Hopeful

CapitolBuilding

There have been several actions related to the Highway Trust Fund (HTF) in Washington, D.C., recently.

The U.S. House of Representatives this week passed H.R. 5021, the Highway and Transportation Funding Act of 2014. The measure passed 367 to 55, with 10 Members not voting. . The Senate adjourned for the week yesterday without voting on the HTF fix, but lawmakers are expected to take up the measure again next week.

As for the Executive Branch, the Administration has also been pressing hard on the infrastructure funding issue, says ACPA’s Leif Wathne, Vice President of Highways & Federal Affairs. The topic was discussed at a White House roundtable in which ACPA Vice Chairman Mike Lipps and Wathne participated. (See related story above).

Earlier this week, the President, along with U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx also visited the FHWA’s Turner Fairbank Highway Research Center, McLean, Va., where the HTF was again the topic of discussion.

All of this activity in both houses of Congress and by the Administration suggests that ACPA’s collective efforts over the last several months with the broader infrastructure community is starting to bear fruit.

We are cautiously optimistic that a short term fix may in fact be acted upon in the final days of July, ahead of both the scheduled August recess and the date the Transportation Department is prepared to cut construction spending by 28 percent.

As has been widely reported, without resolution of the HTF crisis, states may have to halt and delay thousands of projects, putting as many as 700,000 people out of work.

ACPA Participates in White House Roundtable

Vice President Joe Biden (right) urges business leaders to pressure lawmakers to resolve the Highway Trust Fund crisis.

Vice President Joe Biden (right) urges business leaders to pressure lawmakers to resolve the Highway Trust Fund crisis.

ACPA’s Vice Chairman Mike Lipps (Duit Construction) and VP of Highways and Federal Affairs Leif Wathne, P.E., were among 51 business leaders invited to a White House Business Council meeting on transportation & infrastructure on July 9. 

The purpose of the meeting was to brief Vice President Joe Biden and other senior White House and Administration officials on the importance of funding transportation infrastructure.

The meeting and luncheon included comments by Vice President Joe Biden, who urged the participants to pressure federal lawmakers to act on the Highway Trust Fund crisis.

“We need your help,” he said. “We need you to remind your representatives in both parties that when they fail to invest in infrastructure, we’re putting America behind almost every leading country in the world.” 

He said not acting would put 700,000 jobs at risk, while also delaying 112,000 highway and 5,600 transit projects.

Leif Wathne and Mike Lipps speak with one of the meeting participants.

Leif Wathne and Mike Lipps speak with one of the meeting participants.

The meeting also focused on jobs creation and promotion of competitiveness, issues of great importance to ACPA members and staff.   Also participating in the meeting were senior Administration and White House staff, including U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and FHWA Deputy Administrator Greg Nadeau.

One of the benefits of the meeting was the association’s participation in a forum of this caliber and stature, and one in which senior transportation agency officials from both the U.S. DOT and FHWA were present. 

ACPA was one of a select group of organizations that represented the highway & heavy construction industry.   The group also included ACPA members Lane Construction, BASF Corporation, Volvo Group N.A., Vulcan Materials, and Zachry Corporation. 

Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx addresses the group.

Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx addresses the group.

 The diverse roundtable included companies that top the Fortune 500, as well as small to medium sized companies, representing a broad cross section of the American economy.  

All of these organizations–including AAA, American Airlines Group, Caterpillar Inc., CSX Corporation, CVS/Caremark, The Dow Chemical Company, FedEx Freight Corp., General Electric Company, General Motors, Wal Mart, and  Xerox–share a vested interest in the nation’s highways, airports, and other transportation infrastructure systems.   

ACPA’s involvement in the roundtable discussion and luncheon came via an invitation from Ami Copeland, Executive Director of Business Forward.    Copeland and ACPA’s Bill Davenport previously collaborated for several years on political fundraising activities.

ACPA Offers Perspectives on Life Cycle Cost Analysis

The topic of life cycle cost analysis (LCCA) of concrete pavements has been the subject of much discussion over the years.   Unfortunately, there is some confusion about what LCCA is and is not, and a lack of awareness about how industry and the public sector regard the topic in the context of pavement construction and management.

“Life Cycle Cost Analysis: Enhancing our Investment Decisions” is ACPA’s most recent “Perspectives” document.   The two-page document defines LCCA clearly and provides details about how LCCA has been  applied in highway decision‐making processes for more than a half century.  Click here to download the document.

 

How You Can Help Preserve Highway Funding

Fix-the-HTFIt’s no secret the Highway Trust Fund (HTF), the primary source of federal funding for the nation’s federal-aid highway system is rapidly nearing total depletion.  

The underlying system is badly broken and needs viable, sustainable, long-term solutions.   There are some simple and quick ways you can help preserve highway funding.  Here’s how:

  1. Visit http://www.fixthetrustfund.org/
  2. Click the “Take Action” button.
  3. Sign the petition to tell Congress to find a solution. 
  4. Contact your elected officials to send pre-formatted messages aimed at fixing the HTF.
  5. Tell others in your company about it directly, as well as through social media.

These five steps will only take about 5 to 10 minutes, but will make a significant and lasting impression on lawmakers to Fix the Highway Trust Fund.

 

 

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