Tag Archives: highways

Taking a Closer Look at The Invest in America Act

As we reported in this week’s “3 Minutes on Monday” special report and in an article in ACPA TODAY last week, the House T&I Committee Majority released H.R. 7095, the five-year, $495 billion surface transportation reauthorization bill called the “Investing in a New Vision for the Environment and Surface Transportation in America Act” or the “INVEST in America Act.”

Let’s take a closer look at the bill, as well as what steps lie ahead in the process of securing a surface transportation reauthorization bill. Click here to view the bill and here to view a section-by-section summary. Leif Wathne provided these insights:

  • The bill provides $319 billion in highway funding, or roughly a 42% increase over current spending levels, although there are no- pay-fors identified in the bill.
  • The INVEST Act is based on the “Moving America and the Environment Forward,” framework introduced by T&I Committee Chair Peter DeFazio (D-OR) and two other influential House Chairs in January. Click here to see our brief summary of that framework published last January.
  • The major themes of the bill are state of good repair, safety, climate mitigation and resiliency.
  • The highway-relevant portion of the bill is divided into two sections, “Division A,” essentially a one-year extension of the current highway bill through FY 2021 with an additional $14.7 billion in DOT funding, and 100% federal cost share, and “Division B” covering the remaining four years of the bill with significant program changes.
  • Of some concern to our industry is a “fix it first” provision, which requires DOTs to focus on maintaining the system in a state of good repair rather than adding new highway capacity, unless they can meet a series of requirements. There are a number of other program-changes of interest to our industry, including:
    • Bridge Program: Requires States to spend 20 percent of their NHPP and Surface Transportation Block Grant Program (STBGP) dollars on bridge repair and rehabilitation projects, amounting to $28 billion between FY 2022-2025.
    • Climate Change: Requires USDOT to establish a new greenhouse gas emissions performance measure based on carbon emissions per capita on all public roads. The bill also creates a new formula program ($8.4 billion for FY 2022-2025) to reduce carbon emissions across a wide range of eligible projects.
    • Resilience: Creates a new formula program to fund resilience and emergency evacuation needs. Requires states and MPOs to develop an infrastructure vulnerability assessment to guide investments under the program.
    • Formula Study: Calls for a study by FHWA to consider modernizing highway formulas and factors.
    • Highway Safety Improvement Program (HSIP): Reestablishes a state’s ability to flex up to 10% of their HSIP funds to non-infrastructure safety improvements. Focuses on high-risk rural roads and expands eligibility for the Safe Routes to School program.
    • Freight: Removes the National Highway Freight Program cap on multimodal projects and allows states to designate additional rural and urban freight corridors and increases States power to expend funds across the National Highway Freight Network.
    • Tolling: Reestablishes the requirement that FHWA enter into a toll agreement before allowing tolling on a Federal-aid highway and creates new requirements for tolling and congestion pricing implementation.
    • Research and Innovation: Focuses on Intelligent Transportation Systems Program and “smart infrastructure” investment in localities similar to USDOT’s SmartCities program. Also establishes a new multimodal freight transportation research program and a new Highly Automated Vehicle and Mobility Innovation Clearinghouse.
    • Vehicle-Miles Traveled Fee Pilot: Increases funding for state pilot programs and establishes a national program.
    • Projects of National and Regional Significance: Provides more than $9 billion for large highway, transit, and freight projects that cannot be funded through annual apportionments or other discretionary sources.
  • We’re particularly excited to report that the $12 million Accelerated Implementation and Deployment of Pavement Technology (AID-PT) program is included in the bill, with some additional language added related to greenhouse gas emissions. ACPA originally led and successfully championed this important pavement technology deployment program, first in MAP-21 and then in the FAST Act. We’re excited about the prospect of building upon the successes of those past programs, with the CP Tech Center’s continued outstanding contributions.

Although we are encouraged by the committee’s release of this reauthorization proposal, it is worth noting that Democrats did not work with their Republican counterparts in crafting it, something that may hamper bipartisan efforts to get highway authorization passed by the end of September when the current authorization expires.

It is our hope however, that a more bipartisan process will emerge – either as the committee moves toward Markup in the coming weeks, or when (or if)  the bill ultimately goes to conference with the Senate EPW-passed reauthorization proposal from last summer (the ATIA Act, which we reported on in ACPA TODAY).

The White House is expected to announce the “Deliver Act,” the Administration’s proposed transportation reauthorization package in the coming days.  This is expected to be a 10 year roughly $1 trillion dollar measure with approximately $810 billion for surface transportation. In addition, House T&I Committee Ranking Member Sam Graves (R-MO) is working on their own version of a reauthorization proposal, much in line with the framework he released last February.

Although there are many steps required to bring the disparate and complimentary legislative packages together, we are encouraged that there is considerable activity in Washington this summer (both in Congress and in the Administration) on surface transportation legislation. ACPA will continue to monitor the various funding and programmatic changes proposed thus far, and will engage with elected officials as appropriate, based on how they impact contractors and the industry overall, as well as our agency customers.

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 Follow this link to see ACPA’s government affairs repository.

ACPA Announces Excellence Award Recipients

The American Concrete Pavement Association (ACPA) has named recipients of its 30th Annual “Excellence in Concrete Pavements” awards, which recognize quality concrete pavements constructed in the United States and Canada.  The awards program encourages high-quality workmanship, quality and creativity in constructing,   rehabilitating and restoring concrete pavement projects.  

The award-winning projects were paved by 23 different contractors.  Projects are located in 15 ACPA areas represented by ACPA-affiliated Chapters and State paving associations.  Winners were determined by 41 professionals who devoted their time and expertise to serve as judges.   

The program recognizes contractors, engineers, and project owners who completed outstanding projects.   Please click on links below for more information and photo of the award recipients.  To see all the award photos (recipients and projects, please click here).

The 2019 award recipients are:

Silver Commercial Service & Military Airports The Lane Construction Corporation
Gold Commercial Service & Military Airports Ideker, Inc.
Silver Concrete Pavement Restoration (CPR) Interstate Highway Construction, Inc.
Gold Concrete Pavement Restoration (CPR) Duit Construction Co., Inc.
Silver County Roads Cedar Valley Corp., LLC
Gold County Roads Interstate Highway Construction, Inc.
Silver Divided Highways (Rural) Golden Triangle Construction Company
Gold Divided Highways (Rural) Cedar Valley Corp., LLC
Silver Divided Highways (Urban) Koss Construction Company
Gold Divided Highways (Urban) Archer Western Construction, LLC
Gold Industrial Paving McCarthy Improvement Company
Silver Municipal Streets & Intersections (<30k SY) Complete Concrete, Inc.
Gold Municipal Streets & Intersections (<30k SY) Ptaschinski Construction Company
Silver Municipal Streets & Intersections (>30k SY) Prus Construction
Gold Municipal Streets & Intersections (>30k SY) Castle Rock Construction Company
Gold Overlays (Airports) Hi-Way Paving, Inc.
Silver Overlays (Highways) Croell Inc.
Gold Overlays (Highways) E&B Paving, Inc.
Gold Overlays (Streets and Roads) Milestone Contractors
Silver RCC (Industrial) AG Peltz Group, LLC
Gold RCC (Industrial) Morgan Corp.
Silver RCC (Special Application) Andale Construction, Inc.
Gold RCC (Special Application) FBD Vanguard Construction, Inc.
Silver Reliever & General Aviation Airports E&B Paving, Inc.
Gold Reliever & General Aviation Airports Cedar Valley Corp., LLC
Silver State Roads Primco, Inc.
Gold State Roads Emery Sapp & Sons

 

TRIP Report Focuses on Freight Transportation Issues

The Road Information Program (TRIP) today released a report called America’s Rolling Warehouses: Opportunities and Challenges with the Nation’s Freight Delivery System.” 

The report examines the ability of the nation’s freight transportation system to accommodate the growing demand for freight movement efficiently and safely in spite of significant issues. Some of the top issues include inadequate transportation capacity, a lack of funding for needed improvements to the freight network, a shortage of drivers, and consumer demands for faster delivery.

The report ranks the states with the greatest amount of freight shipped to or from sites in their state, states with the highest share of Interstate vehicle miles of travel by combination trucks, states with the largest average annual number of large truck fatalities, and states with the largest projected increase in freight movement between 2016 and 2045.

TRIP’s report also identifies the nation’s 20 worst freight highway bottlenecks and concludes with a series of recommendations to improve the nation’s freight transportation system.  TRIP released the report this morning and is supporting the public affairs initiative with national and state media work. Click here to download a copy.

TRIP Executive Director Will Wilkins will be addressing this and other issues at ACPA’s upcoming 56th Annual Meeting, which is scheduled for December 3 through 5, in New Orleans. TRIP is a national transportation research nonprofit, based in Washington, DC.  

Conference Focuses on Highway and Airport Pavements

ACPA participated in the 2019 International Airfield and Highway Pavements Conference in Chicago this week.

Sponsored by the American Society of Civil Engineers’ Transportation and Development Institute (T&DI), included a presentation by Jerry Voigt on ACPA’s VISION2040 initiative. The presentation provides a long-term view of technology-driven changes anticipated in the next 20 years, as well as projections on how the concrete pavement industry will both adapt to and drive innovation. 

Eric Ferrebee presented on concrete pavement preservation and rehabilitation techniques and also did a poster presentation on PavementDesigner.org, the cement & concrete industry’s pavement thickness design platform.  Eric also participated in the highway- and airfield-pavements committee meetings.

Two pre-conference workshops were held on Sunday. Peter Taylor and Gordon Smith from the CP Tech Center were among presenters in the PEM workshop. The second workshop, led by Jeffrey Gagnon of the FAA, covered the agency’s pavement evaluation software. 

TDI supports the advancement of integrated transportation and development that is safe, secure, and sustainable. 

Update: A Game Changing Roadway Plan

Editor’s note:  Since our story last week about proposal on Autonomous Truck Corridors, we’ve learned of some new additional information on the topic.  A two-page flyer explains the ATC concept and its benefits. Please click here to download the flyer.

As reported previously, the concept* is being advanced by Dr. Tyler Ley, Professor of Structural Engineering at Oklahoma State University.  In the video, Dr. Ley calls for a “massive, huge, game changer approach” to improving roadways. He also says there is a need to “create money, reduce traffic, improve safety, improve sustainability and create long-lasting roadways.”  Click here to see the video. 

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* People who contributed to this concept include: Paul Tikalsky, Kelvin Wang, Joshua Li, Dan Cook, Norb Delatte, and Tyler Ley of Oklahoma State University;  Aleksandra Radlinska of Penn State; and Tara Cavaline, Don Chen, Matthew Whelan of UNC-Charlotte.

Events Calendar

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Tue 21
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CFA Convention 2020

July 23 - July 25
Wed 29

2020 Concrete Foundations Convention

July 29 @ 8:00 am - July 31 @ 8:00 pm

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