Government Affairs

News from Capitol Hill

Leif Wathne participated in a fundraising dinner late last week in honor of Rep. Sam Graves (R-MO-6), Chairman of the House T&I Committee’s Highways and Transit Subcommittee. Graves is widely considered to be in line for Chairman of the T&I Committee, as Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA-09) is retiring at the end of the year. Graves is also considered a national leader on federal aviation policy, according to a 2017 press release. 

The event–co-hosted by ACPA PAC, NRMCA PAC, PCA PAC and Truck PAC–also featured T&I Committee Chairman Shuster and Rep. Scott Perry (R-PA-04).  Perry serves on both the Aviation and Highways & Transit subcommittees.  Events such as this provide an opportunity to meet with lawmakers who directly impact transportation construction policy and spending.


Industry Remembers Caltrans “Trailblazer”

ACPA is mourning the passing of Kirsten Stahl, District Materials Engineer with Caltrans.  She died unexpectedly last week.  

We remember her as someone who was not only well respected by her staff and colleagues, but also by those of us in the industry who worked with her on pavement projects.

Over her career, Kirsten was an energetic participant in several pavement preservation activities of ACPA and IGGA, and was considered among the most open to innovation and embracing new ideas, said Jerry Voigt, ACPA President & CEO. She was involved with pioneering rapid reconstruction and repair techniques for pavements around Los Angeles, where she worked for Caltrans District 7. 

“Her input as an agency representative was always welcome and she was always appreciated for her desire to advance ideas.  She had a very refreshing ‘can do’ nature,” Jerry remembers. 

Jerrel Kam, District 7 Deputy Director for Design said she and a colleague were recently instrumental in trailblazing the use of precast concrete panels, which are now a standard for repairing some of the most heavily trafficked freeways in the nation.

Kirsten came from an important lineage within Caltrans.  Her mother, Marilyn Jorgenson Reece, a Senior Transportation Engineer, was the first female registered engineer in the State of California. Her father Alvin was a Caltrans Transportation Engineer before moving on to the County of Los Angeles, and her late husband Stewart Stahl, was a 40-year Transportation Engineering veteran and well respected designer in Caltrans’ District 7.  Her father-in-law Ernie Stahl also was an Engineering Technician with the Department.

Just a few days removed from celebrating Women in Construction Week, ACPA extends our heartfelt sympathies to those that had to pleasure to know and to work with Kirsten.   We hold up her memory as inspiration to all young women entering or thinking about pursuing a career in a construction field, including in concrete paving.

Funeral arrangements for Kirsten Stahl are as follows: 

Rosary Service: Sunday, March 25, at 7 p.m. (PDT) at Custer/Christiansen Mortuary, 124 S Citrus Ave, Covina, CA 91723.

Funeral Mass: Monday, March 26, at 10 a.m., St. Vincent de Paul Roman Catholic Church, 621 W. Adams Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90007. 

Lunch Reception:  A reception will follow at Caltrans District 7, at 100 S Main St, Los Angeles, CA 90012.  District 7’s office is about a 10-minute drive from the church.

Committal Service:  Tuesday, March 27th at 11:10 a.m., Riverside National Cemetery, 22495 Van Buren Blvd, Riverside, CA 92518.  Please plan to arrive no later than 11:10 a.m. to Staging Area #7, where cars are lined up to proceed to the grave at the appointed time.  Her service is scheduled to begin promptly at 11:31 a.m. and will be brief, per military procedures in accordance with the cemetery.  Kirsten is being buried next to her beloved husband Stewart who predeceased her in December of 2016.

Memorial Gifts:  In lieu of flowers, the family of Kirsten Stahl have requested gifts in memoriam to Cats in Need of Human Care, an organization of volunteers who work to find forever homes for homeless pets, and also promote spaying/neutering and responsible ownership.  Please follow this link to make a contribution:

ACPA Participates in Joint Industry Meeting

Jerry Voigt and Bill Davenport represented ACPA at the first-ever combined meeting of the National Sand, Stone & Gravel Association, National Ready Mixed Concrete Association, and Portland Cement Association in Houston.  The meeting March 4 through 6. 

Key focal points were the PCA Paving Committee, PCA Communications Committee, and Board of Directors’ meeting.  ACPA’s participation in the meeting also created opportunities for further discussion about collaborative efforts, including the continued implementation and promotion of

ACPA Participates in AASHTO Washington Briefing

Leif Wathne attended AASHTO’s Washington Briefing last week, including the Transportation Policy Forum Meeting, where AASHTO’s policy priorities were reviewed and discussed. 

The highest priority is fixing the HTF as part of any infrastructure legislative package that may be advanced.  Several revenue mechanisms are  recommended, including raising the taxation rate (fee rates) of existing federal revenue streams, including the motor fuels tax; heavy vehicle user fees; and sales tax on trucks, trailers and truck tires.

FAA authorization that grows the AIP program is also a policy priority for AASHTO. Congressional Leadership priorities were also highlighted during the briefing, as provided by the Chairmen and Ranking Members of both the House T&I and Senate EPW committees.  

It’s still unclear how Congress will tackle infrastructure in the wake of the Administration’s release of its proposal, but one challenge is coming up with the requisite revenues to provide meaningful, sustainable infrastructure investment long term.   It was clear during the meeting the longer Congress waits to address this challenge, the more costly it will be. 

Register for the Cement & Concrete Fly-In

ACPA is urging all members and affiliates to participate in the annual Cement & Concrete Fly-In, scheduled for April 24 and 25 in Washington, D.C. Given the Trump Administration’s focus on infrastructure investment, as well as reauthorization proposals being developed, now is the time to let elected officials know about our priorities, as well as the need for funding and a durable HTF fix.  Don’t miss this opportunity to hear legislative briefings and to be part of the discussion with Congressional offices and other Federal officials.   

Click here to see the agenda; here to register for the event; and here to reserve a hotel room at the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill. 

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