ACPA Supports Interstate Renewal Plan
- Wednesday, 13 March 2019 08:00
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
- Wednesday, 23 January 2019 01:35
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.
Click here to return to the main story about this report.
Presentation Outlines a Viable Plan for Interstate Highway Investment
- Wednesday, 23 January 2019 01:11
ACPA had the opportunity to hear a compelling presentation that could serve as a viable plan for Interstate highway investment.
The presentation, Renewing the National Commitment to the Interstate Highway System: A Foundation for the Future, was based on a consensus report developed in response to language in the FAST Act of 2015. The language requested the Transportation Research Board to conduct a study of the actions needed to upgrade and restore the U.S. Interstate Highway System.
ACPA Chairman Jim Mack (CEMEX); ACPA President & CEO Jerry Voigt, and ACPA Executive VP Leif Wathne heard the presentation by the Hon. Norman Y. Mineta* and TRB Chair Norman Augustine during the TRB Chair’s Luncheon last Wednesday.
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 and to accommodate and manage growing user demand.
Particularly encouraging is that this figure applies to Interstate highways only and not the full Federal-aid highway system or other highways. To see some additional highlights of the report, please click here. To view an online copy of the presentation, please click here. To download the complete report on which the presentation was developed, please click here. To see a video of Messrs. Mineta and Augustine commenting about the consensus report, please click here.
The TRB Chair’s Luncheon is the premier event of the TRB Annual Meeting, drawing an estimated 750 leaders in transportation from the public and private sectors throughout the United States and abroad. 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.
* Mr. Mineta served as the 14th U.S. Secretary of Transportation and was previously a U.S. Representative. Mr. Augustine is the retired Chairman of Lockheed Martin Corp. They serve with more than a dozen other transportation and business leaders who provided oversight and other leadership in the development of the consensus study report.
Interested in other government affairs news? Follow this link to see ACPA’s government affairs repository.
ACPA Reception Takes Center Stage at TRB Week
- Wednesday, 16 January 2019 08:52
Heavy snow and the government shutdown in Washington, DC, did not slow the steady stream of guests who enjoyed the always popular ACPA reception during the Transportation Research Board’s 98th annual meeting.
ACPA Chairman Jim Mack (CEMEX) welcomed hundreds of guests Monday night as they enjoyed refreshments, appetizers, and the fellowship of other professionals at the event, which was once again held at the historic Willard InterContinental Hotel.
The guests represented Congress, Federal and State transportation agencies, research and technology interests, the cement & concrete industry, academia, and the media. Jerry Voigt, Leif Wathne, Eric Ferrebee, and Larry Scofield also were 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.
The reception also provides an excellent opportunity for informal discussions among new acquaintances and old friends.
This special event is extremely popular with TRB attendees, and it is possible because of the generous support from ACPA sponsors. Please follow this link to see the sponsors.
TRB Offers Curated Programs
- Sunday, 02 December 2018 09:43
The Transportation Research Board (TRB) is keeping pace with the current trend of offering curated programs, which are typically customized and grouped by interest categories.
Ahead of its 98th annual meeting, TRB has assembled a sample of curated progams to help newcomers and veteran attendees navigate the premier transportation research and technology event this year.
In addition to these sample program suggestions, TRB is offering an interactive program, also to help registered guests find and prioritize program content. Click here for more information.