Tag Archives: Transportation Research Board

ACPA Reception Planned for TRB Week

ACPA is once again hosting its popular reception at the Transportation Research Board’s 99th annual meeting. The event will be held Monday (January 13) at the historic Willard InterContinental Hotel. 

The guest list includes members of Congress, Federal and State transportation agency officials, cement & concrete industry officials, members of academia, and others representing research and technology interests. Jerry Voigt, Leif Wathne, Scott Mueller and Eric Ferrebee will be on hand to greet and visit with the guests.

The reception is an ideal opportunity for ACPA to express thanks and appreciation to the diverse group of people whose common bond is the dedication to the advancement of transportation through research and technology development and implementation. 

This much-anticipated and popular event is made possible through the generosity of ACPA sponsors.  Please click here to see our sponsors.

Heading to the TRB Annual Meeting?

The Transportation Research Board is urging people planning to attend their 99th Annual Meeting to complete event registrations before the discounted registration rate ends on Nov. 30. Registration is required for all Annual Meeting attendees, including session speakers, poster presenters, and those who attend the exhibit hall, career fair, or any workshops.

Meeting registration and hotel reservation processes are combined, so only registered attendees are permitted to reserve rooms in the TRB block. In addition to event registrations, TRB is encouraging guests to complete hotel registrations at any of the 20 hotels reserved in the block.

As part of TRB’s Centennial Celebration, all full registrants at the 99th Annual Meeting will be eligible to pick up a complimentary copy of the book, “The Transportation Research Board, 1920–2020: Everyone Interested Is Invited” by Sarah Jo Peterson. The book chronicles the events, people, and successes that helped make TRB what it is today. The number of books will be limited and distributed while supplies last. The meeting is scheduled for Jan. 12-16, in Washington, DC.

 

ACPA Participates in TRB Concrete Pavements Meeting

Eric Ferrebee of ACPA participated in the Transportation Research Board’s recent Mid-Year Meeting for the Concrete Pavement Design and Construction Committees in Orlando, FL. 

The Florida Chapter hosted the meeting and welcomed Florida DOT, Alabama DOT, and FHWA personnel, as well as other transportation experts. In addition to chair reports, the meeting also included TRB staff comments, as well a presentation on designing long-life concrete pavements (by Rich Rogers, Texas Cement Promotion Council), an FHWA concrete pavement update (by Tom Yu, FHWA), Florida DOT’s concrete pavement test road (by Jamie Greene from Florida DOT), and an in-depth analysis of concrete pavement cracking (by Georgene Geary GG&GA).

The group also heard presentations about the I-4 Ultimate Project , which they also toured. At $2.3 billion, this is one of the most expensive projects the Florida DOT has ever done.  The project reconstructs a 20-mile section of I-4 through Orlando and also creates express lanes through the corridor. 

ACPA Supports Interstate Renewal Plan

The ACPA Board of Directors approved a resolution in support of the recently released consensus report titled, “Renewing the National Commitment to the Interstate Highway System: A Foundation for the Future.”  

The report and plan within were the result of language in the FAST Act, which called for the Transportation Research Board (TRB) to conduct a study on the actions needed to upgrade and restore the Interstate and Defense Highway System. 

From the study, an action plan was developed that includes 10 key recommendations to Congress, including innovative concepts and actionable measures that are favorable to state transportation agencies, taxpayers, highway users, and the transportation-construction industry.

One of the key points of the study suggests current spending levels are much too low, and that $45 to $70 billion are needed annually over the next 20 years to undertake the long-deferred rebuilding of pavements and bridges, as well as to accommodate and manage growing user demand. This figure applies to Interstate highways only and not the full Federal-aid highway system or other highways.  

The plan is seen as especially credible and valuable because of TRB’s world-class reputation in transportation research.  TRB is one of seven program units of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, which provides independent, objective analysis and advice to the nation and conducts other activities to solve complex problems and inform public policy decisions. The oversight committee also adds credibility because it was led by 14 prominent professionals representing the public and private sectors and academia, including the Honorable Norman Mineta (former U.S Representative and Secretary of Transportation).

ACPA is hopeful that this well-crafted plan (in whole or in part) will inform the next transportation reauthorization legislation. Click here to see the ACPA resolution in support of this plan.

Renewing the National Commitment to the Interstate Highway System

Renewing the National Commitment to the Interstate Highway System: A Foundation for the Future.  The recommendations of the committee are included in their Blueprint for Action.  The recommendations are summarized below:

  • RECOMMENDATION 1. Congress should legislate an Interstate Highway System Renewal and Modernization Program (RAMP). This program, presumed to be pursued without sacrificing normal ongoing system maintenance and repair, should focus on reconstructing deteriorated pavement, including their foundations, and bridge infrastructure; adding physical capacity and traffic demand and operations management capabilities where needed; and increasing the system’s resilience.
  • RECOMMENDATION 2. A “rightsizing” component of RAMP should address current and emerging demands to extend the Interstate System’s length and scope of coverage, and to remediate economic, social, and environmental disruption caused by highway segments that communities find overly intrusive and are not deemed vital to network and intermodal traffic.
  • RECOMMENDATION 3. To better ascertain the spending levels required for RAMP investments, Congress should direct U.S. DOT and FHWA to join with the states to assess the foundational integrity of the system’s pavements and bridges, and identify where full reconstruction is needed based on accepted life-cycle cost principles.
  • RECOMMENDATION 4. To pay for RAMP investments, Congress should, as a near-term step, (1) increase the federal motor fuel tax as needed to a level commensurate with the federal share of the required investment, and (2) adjust the tax as needed to account for inflation and changes in vehicle fuel economy.
  • RECOMMENDATION 5. To provide states and metropolitan areas with more options for raising revenue for their share of RAMP investments and for managing the operations of Interstate segments that offer limited opportunity for physical expansion, Congress should lift the ban on tolling of existing general-purpose Interstate highways.
  • RECOMMENDATION 6. To ensure that the federal government’s long-term commitment to RAMP is not threatened by declining fuel tax revenues as the vehicle fleet and its energy sources evolve, Congress should prepare for the need to employ new federal and state funding mechanisms, such as the imposition of tolls or per-mile charges on users of the Interstate Highway System.
  • RECOMMENDATION 7. To support renewal and modernization investment decisions, Congress should direct, and provide sufficient funding for, U.S. DOT and FHWA to develop modeling tools and databases that track the full condition of Interstate assets, including interchanges, and their reconstruction history; can be used to assess transportation options that can supplement or substitute for additions to Interstate highway capacity; allow for the monitoring and modeling of network-level traffic flows on the Interstate Highway System; and further federal and state understanding of the demand for long-distance and interregional passenger and freight travel by highway and other modes.
  • RECOMMENDATION 8. Congress should direct U.S. DOT and FHWA, working with states, industry, and independent technical experts, to start planning the transition to more automated and connected vehicle operations.
  • RECOMMENDATION 9. Expanding upon earlier legislative directives (e.g., the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century [MAP-21] Act and the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation [FAST] Act) for transportation agencies to consider resilience in long-term planning, Congress should direct U.S. DOT and FHWA to substantiate that state Interstate highway renewal and modernization projects have fully taken into account the need for resilience.
  • RECOMMENDATION 10. Congress should direct U.S. DOT and FHWA to ascertain the Interstate Highway System’s contribution to the country’s emission of greenhouse gases and recommend options for reducing this contribution in conjunction with reductions in other emissions of pollutants.

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