NACA Presents Views on Infrastructure Investment
- Tuesday, 17 October 2017 17:50
The North American Concrete Alliance (NACA)* presented strong views on transportation investment to U.S. House Transportation Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-Pa.-09) and Ranking Member Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.-04).
In particular, the NACA partner associations recognized the Committees focus on the challenges affecting the nation’s infrastructure, but also expressed concern, “….That the investment in our surface transportation infrastructure is painfully inadequate to meet our current needs, let alone the needs of future generations. We believe that previous efforts fell short and as a result, the Highway Trust Fund (HTF) is still not adequately funded and Congress is no closer to enacting a permanent, or even long-lasting, solution to address its solvency.
The group further stated, “We cannot squander the investments previous generations made by allowing our infrastructure to crumble and collapse,” and encouraged the T&I Committee, “…To make the investments that help ease the congestion and capacity issues that plague our surface transportation network, while simultaneously, building highways for the future that can accommodate current and future trends, including autonomous vehicles, business and distribution corridors, and enhanced access for e-commerce.”
Click here to see a complete copy.
* NACA is comprised of the American Concrete Pavement Association, American Concrete Pipe Association, American Concrete Pressure Pipe Association, American Concrete Pumping Association, Concrete Reinforcing Steel Institute, National Concrete Masonry Association, National Precast Concrete Association, National Ready-Mixed Concrete Association, Portland Cement Association, Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute, and Tilt-Up Concrete Association.
Transportation Briefing Targets Red Tape
- Tuesday, 17 October 2017 14:14
Transportation Deputy Secretary Jeffrey Rosen (L) and Deputy General Counsel James Owens (R) briefed stakeholders on the agency’s efforts to reduce regulatory burdens.
ACPA participated in a briefing at the U.S. Department of Transportation earlier this month to hear more about the agency’s role in the Trump Administration’s initiative to reduce burdensome regulations.
During the briefing, the agency’s Deputy Secretary Jeffrey Rosen and Deputy General Counsel James Owens informed stakeholders on the agency’s efforts to reduce regulatory burdens. The officials also used the event to announce a formal Notification of Regulatory Review at the DOT. This notice encourages the public to comment on proposed regulatory changes. To view the information or submit comments, please follow this link.
Owens noted that rising regulatory burdens may have slowed gross domestic product (GDP) by an average of 0.8 percent since 1980. “Many regulations are well intentioned, but create harmful economic consequences for the economy and restrict transactions among Americans,” he said. He added GDP could be as much as 20% greater if the regulatory burden was still at 1980 levels.
The Administration’s regulatory reform principles aim to: reduce regulatory burdens; regulate effectively and efficiently; promote due process; provide fair notice; and respect individual liberty and property rights, according to the presentation.
The initiative began with the President signing Executive Order 13771 on January 30, and since then the Administration has made significant progress on reducing regulations. At the DOT, as with other federal agencies, the Executive Order is aimed at eliminating two regulations for every one introduced and eliminating regulatory costs, which will have a net savings for the public. Along with a regulatory reform task force, agencies will have a regulatory reform officer, a role filled by Deputy Secretary Rosen at DOT.
Other key goals are to “unleash the economy and leave space for innovation,” according to the presentation. ACPA’s Leif Wathne participated in the briefing on behalf of association members. Although anecdotal, the effects of regulatory reduction are already being observed by some ACPA members. ACPA TODAY will continue to report news on this topic.
Sources: NPR report: http://www.npr.org/2017/02/24/517059327/trump-orders-agencies-to-reduce-regulations and independent reporting.
Highway Materials Group Urges Support of Airport Construction Funding Provisions
- Tuesday, 17 October 2017 12:15
As Congress continues efforts to pass an omnibus appropriations bill, the Highway Materials Group* sent letters to appropriations committee leaders to urge them to retain two key airport-related provisions in the FY18 Senate Transportation-HUD Appropriations Bill.
The HMG says the provisions would “dramatically improve aviation infrastructure across the country by modernizing the Passenger Facility Charge (PFC) user fee on originating flights and increasing funding for the Airport Improvement Program (AIP).”
The letters state that ACPA and other national associations whose members provide the construction materials and equipment essential to building America’s roads, highways, and bridges, support these long overdue increases to aviation infrastructure funding that will support critical infrastructure projects for our nation’s airports.
The letters also note that recent infrastructure needs identified by the Airports Council International – North America show airports of all sizes face $100 billion in infrastructure improvements over the next five years. “It is estimated that an additional 9.6 million jobs would be created if projects to meet these infrastructure needs were created – many of which would occur in our sector,” the letters continue. Click on the following links to see the full text of the Senate and House versions of the letters.
* The Highway Materials Group is comprised of the American Coal Ash Association, American Concrete Pavement Association, American Traffic Safety Services Association, Associated Equipment Distributors, Association of Equipment Manufacturers, Concrete Reinforcing Steel Institute, National Asphalt Pavement Association, National Ready Mixed Concrete Association, National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association, Portland Cement Association, and the Prestressed/Precast Concrete Institute.
FHWA Issues AID-PT Annual Report
- Wednesday, 11 October 2017 17:39
FHWA publishes an annual report of AID-PT results and benefits.
The Federal Highway Administration has released its 2017 Accelerated Implementation and Deployment of Pavement Technologies (AID-PT) program annual report. The 28-page report includes case histories and other summary benefits of the program.
The AID-PT program was the result of a legislative provision that was championed by ACPA and first included in the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP 21). This ACPA-led initiative created both a mechanism and funding for the delivery of pavement technology for both the concrete- and asphalt-pavement industries.
Since 2012, the Federal Highway Administration has administered AID-PT with direct input from industry, including ACPA, which remains actively involved in assisting FHWA with support for the program, including continuing to advocate for renewal of the program in highway reauthorization efforts, as well as communicating program results and benefits to the concrete pavement industry. In 2015, again with strong support by ACPA and other stakeholder groups, Congress included the program in the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, which provides funding through 2020.
Since its inception, the program has resulted in benefits to the concrete pavement community, including contracts and cooperative agreements with the National Concrete Pavement Technology Center (CP Tech Center), an ACPA Technology Partner. AID-PT has had direct and tangible benefits for highway agencies, contractors, consultants, and academia. Concrete overlays and performance-engineered concrete mixtures (including the use of recycled concrete aggregates) are two technology initiatives that have received support in the form of outreach, education & training, and technology transfer.
White House Announces FHWA Nominee
- Monday, 09 October 2017 16:08
President Donald J. Trump announced he will nominate Paul Trombino III to be the 24th Administrator of the Federal Highway Administration.
“We look forward to Mr. Trombino’s confirmation and look forward to advancing and building on the relationship we developed with him during his tenure in key transportation leadership positions in Iowa and Wisconsin over the years,” said ACPA President & CEO Jerry Voigt.
Trombino is currently the President of McClure Engineering Company, a civil engineering company focused on transportation, aviation, water, and structures projects.
Previously, he served as the Director of the Iowa Department of Transportation from 2011 to 2016, where he was responsible for planning, design, construction, and operation of 9,400 miles of highways, 4,300 bridges; the modal programs of transit, rail, and aviation; and motor vehicle services.
Trombino also served with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation for 17 years, where he held several positions, including Bureau Director and Operations Director of the Highway Division.
In addition to key posts, he also served as the 2015-2016 President of the American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials and as the 2016 Vice-Chair of the Transportation Research Board Executive Committee.
He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and a Bachelor of Science degree in economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Trombino is a licensed professional engineer in the states of Iowa and Wisconsin.