Tag Archives: infrastructure investment

ACPA Visits White House for Highway Briefing

ACPA participated in an infrastructure briefing on highways earlier this month at the White House.

ACPA Vice Chairman Chuck Niederriter (Golden Triangle Construction Co., Inc.), ACPA President & CEO Jerry Voigt, and ACPA Executive Vice President Leif Wathne represented ACPA members and affiliates at the meeting.

The meeting was led by Transportation Deputy Secretary Jeffrey Rosen, as well as D.J. Gribbin from the National Economic Council and Alex Herrgott from the Council on Environmental Quality.

Key pillars of the infrastructure framework highlighted during the briefing were:

  1. Regulatory reform (fixing parts of the regulatory system that are broken, and realigning priorities to ensure federal agencies are a help to business rather than a burden),
  2. Rewarding local action (leveraging local/state moneys with federal seed moneys, using grant programs), and
  3. Expanding the reach of federal lending programs (such as TIFIA and RIF).  The overarching objective of the Administration with this change in approach is to grow infrastructure investment partly by enacting policies that lower cost and speed delivery.

Briefings such as this give ACPA first-hand insights into key priorities of the Administration, and also increase the awareness of the Association and its members’ priorities in our nation’s capital.

NACA Presents Views on Infrastructure Investment

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.

ACPA: Take the Grand Challenge

ACPA is encouraging all civil engineers to take the “Grand Challenge” initiative, which is aimed at reducing the life cycle cost of infrastructure projects by 50 percent by 2025.  The initiative also fosters innovations and promotes optimization of infrastructure investments.

Sponsored by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), the initiative has been formally endorsed by ACPA. To get started, ACPA is encouraging all civil engineers to visit the dedicated website, at https://ascegrandchallenge.com/.

Taking the challenge is quick and simple.  From the home page, users can learn why their support is needed, then take the pledge by clicking the “I’m In” tab and completing a simple online form.  Users also have the option of sharing stories about how they are helping achieve the goal, as well as communicating about the initiative through social media channels.

After taking the Grand Challenge, or if you’ve taken it already, please take a moment to click on the highlighted link to send ACPA a preformatted email confirmation.

Why is This Important?
The goal of the program is to encourage civil engineers to rethink what is possible, and to transform the way they plan, deliver, operate, and maintain the nation’s infrastructure.   At the core is the goal of closing a gap between available funding and infrastructure needs. 

“Our policy and funding advocacy are no less important than in the past. However, they cannot close the gap alone,” says Leif Wathne, P.E., ACPA Executive Vice President. “We must do what our profession alone is uniquely qualified to do. We must lead the significant improvement in the delivery and life cycle performance of infrastructure investments through innovation spurred on by performance based standards; increased focus on life cycle performance, especially through life cycle cost analysis, and enhanced resilience.

He emphasizes that advocacy for increased funding, a solution to the Highway Trust Fund issue, and fair and equitable policies (including competition) are still important, but adds that the Grand Challenge is an important process for civil engineers to make a profound impact by raising awareness, controlling life-cycle costs, and optimizing investments in highways, airports, and other infrastructure.

ACPA Endorses Civil Engineers’ Grand Challenge

ACPA has formally endorsed the American Society of Civil Engineers’ (ASCE’s) Grand Challenge initiative. 

In a letter to ASCE, ACPA President & CEO Jerry Voigt commended ASCE Executive Director Thomas Smith and the ASCE for developing and implementing the Grand Challenge, which is aimed at reducing infrastructure life-cycle costs by 50 percent by 2025, while also fostering optimization of the nation’s infrastructure.  Click here to see the letter.

The initiative asks civil engineers from all backgrounds and at every career stage to implement performance-based standards, resilience, innovation, and life cycle cost analysis in all projects.   The program also encourages engineers to rethink and re-invent project delivery, share successes and lessons learned with others, and embrace their own unique leadership role in helping to transform the construction industry.  

As part of the Grand Challenge, ASCE is sponsoring an innovation contest. The 2017 contest has 5 topics, including innovative business models and technologies; the Internet of things, sustainable (green) engineering, resilience, and next-generation transportation.

ACPA is encouraging engineers to take the Grand Challenge and to enter the innovation contest.  Click here to read more and get involved. Click here for additional information about the innovation contest.

Why India is Investing in Concrete Highways & Roadways

Hon. Nitin Jairam Gadkari, India Minister of Transport.

Hon. Nitin Jairam Gadkari, Minister of  Road Transport & Highways, New Delhi, India.  (Photo courtesy of the Government of India.)

The Road Transport & Highways Minister of India, Sri. Nitin Gadkari, says 100% of roads in a $4.7 billion development project will be cement/concrete. This large-scale infrastructure program involves converting 12 major ports into smart cities.

This is a significant investment in surface transportation infrastructure, and even more so when considering the economies of the United States and India. In the United States, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is $17 billion; in India it’s $2 billion. Gross national income (GNI) per capita in the United States is $53,750, while in India, the figure is $5,350.

As for the decision to use cement/concrete for roadways, the transport minister says, “Cement roads have a life of 100 years and bitumen roads have a life of five years.”

Click here to read the complete article. 

Sources:  Business Standard, Rediff, Wikipedia, and the World Bank.
e World Bank, World Bank 

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