Tag Archive for 'bridges'

ARTBA Launches “Transportation Investment Advocate Center” To Help Move State & Local Campaigns

image001The American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) recently announced the start-up of the “Transportation Investment Advocacy Center™” (TIAC), a first-of-its kind, dynamic education program and internet-based information resource.  The program is aimed at helping private citizens, legislators, organizations and businesses successfully grow transportation infrastructure resources at the state and local levels through the legislative and ballot initiative processes.

The cornerstone of the new program is the website, www.transportationinvestment.org.  ARTBA Chairman Doug Black says the site has been structured “so those interested in making action happen do not have to ‘re-invent the wheel’ to mount successful campaigns.” The idea, he said, is “to put in one place—and promote the sharing of—current strategies, sample political and communications tools, legislative and ballot initiative language, and information on where to obtain professional campaign advice, research and help.”

image003The transportationinvestment.org site features 39 detailed case studies of recent transportation funding campaigns—both successful and unsuccessful—mounted in 28 states.  It includes the actual television, radio and print ads, polling data, and media and coalition strategies used in the campaigns.  The site features a blog, which will be updated regularly with new developments and economic-based research and messaging developed by ARTBA to help frame the political debate.  An overview of funding and financing mechanisms utilized to support state and local transportation programs is also included.

Complementing the dynamic website site, the TIAC program includes an annual workshop to be held in Washington, D.C., and ongoing webinars for transportation investment advocates featuring case studies, best practices, and the latest in political and media strategies.

The inaugural “National Workshop for State & Local Transportation Advocates™” will be held July 16 at the Washington Court Hotel on Capitol Hill.  The workshop will be marketed to state and local chamber of commerce executives, state legislators, state and local transportation officials, “Better Roads & Transportation” group members, industry and labor executives, and leaders of state and local chapters of national organizations with an interest in transportation development programs.

The Transportation Investment Advocacy Center™ is a project of the American Road and Transportation Builders Association’s “Transportation Makes America Work!” (TMAW) program and funded through voluntary contributions and sponsorships. To become a sponsor or to make a contribution, contact TIAC staff directly through the website.

Established in 1902, ARTBA represents the U.S. transportation design and construction industry in the Nation’s Capital.

Meeting a Federal Highway Trust Fund Crisis: A Profile in Courage … and

ARTBAFebruary 28 is a special day in the history of the federal highway program and Highway Trust Fund that supports it.  On this day, 53 years ago, President John F. Kennedy (JFK) saw a threat to the nation’s future economic growth and security and grabbed the reins of leadership.

The year was 1961.  Americans were paying 27 cents per gallon for gasoline, including a 4 cents per gallon federal gas and diesel fuel tax to support capital investments though the federal highway program in their personal mobility and the nation’s economy and security.  The 2014 equivalents would be a 31 cents per gallon federal gas tax on a $2.11 gallon of gasoline.

“Our federal pay-as-you-go highway program is in peril,” JFK said in the first sentence of a “Special Message to the Congress on the Federal Highway Program” sent up to Capitol Hill that day.

The problem:  the user based revenue stream going into the Highway Trust Fund was not sufficient to sustain the level of authorizations necessary to keep the highway program running without going into deficit spending.  Kennedy told the Congress $900 million more dollars per year ($7.04B in 2014 dollars) was necessary.

“Our objective,” Kennedy said, “is to finance this program on a pay-as-you-go basis from… user taxes… at rates sufficient to pay the full cost of the program, without charge on general federal revenues… “The pay-as-you-go principle… requires an increase in the revenues from user taxes…”

It is clear, he said, “that a program essential to the nation, and to [the public’s] own welfare, requires that they cooperate in determining how present sources are to yield the additional revenues needed.”

Kennedy offered what he called “A New Plan to Finance the Highway Program.”  He urged Congress to sustain the federal gas tax revenue stream and increase the user fees on trucks—the federal diesel fuel excise increased from 4 cents per gallon to 7 cents; truck weight excise for vehicles over 26,000 lbs. from $1.50 per 1,000 lbs. to $5.00 per; the excises on sale of new tires from 8 cents per tire to 10 cents, the sale of tire inner tubes from 9 cents per to 10 cents, and tread rubber from 3 cents to 10 cents.

On June 29, 1961, the 87th Congress of the United States responded, approving the “Federal Aid Highway Act of 1961,” (Public Law 87-61), generally following the path outlined by the President.

The Highway Trust Fund crisis was averted.  Filling out and construction of the 41,000-mile Interstate Highway System and ongoing improvements to the 848,677 miles of state roads deemed worthy of federal investment due to their importance to the nation’s economy and security continued forward.   No American jobs were lost.

Footnote:   Despite claims to the contrary, the federal gas tax is not “broken” or “outmoded” as a mechanism to raise user revenue for the Highway Trust Fund.  The only problem with the gas tax as a revenue generator is that the rate has been frozen for 20 years and the rate has never been indexed, or adjusted, to keep pace with annual price inflation or to meet identified needs.  It is a fact that if Congress had indexed the 1961 federal gas tax rate of 4 cents per gallon to future annual inflation, the gas tax alone would be generating almost $56B this year for Highway Trust Fund investments.  There would be no 2014 HTF crisis looming October 1 that could shut-off federal investment for any new state transportation department highway, bridge and transit projects during FY 2015.  It is also a fact that today’s 18.4 cents per gallon federal gas tax has 50 percent less purchasing power than the 4 cents per gallon tax had in 1961.

Trust Fund in Crisis

TRIP Reports: As Harshest Winter In 30 Years Depletes Road Maintenance Budgets And Causes A Bumper Crop Of Spring Potholes, Nation Faces Looming Summer Cut To Federal Transportation Dollars

TRIPA bumper crop of potholes is emerging on the nation’s roads as a result of a winter that, in many regions, has been the harshest in 30 years.  Across the nation, more than a quarter of major urban roads are already in poor condition, and in some cities, as many as two-thirds of major roads are in poor condition. Those conditions were already projected to worsen due to a lack of transportation funding at the local, state and federal levels. But states and cities could experience even further deterioration as a result of the harsh weather conditions that have caused approximately three-quarters of states and many cities to exceed their snow removal budgets, forcing them to reallocate monies that would otherwise be available for road repairs.

Pavement failure is caused by a combination of traffic, moisture and climate. Moisture often works its way into road surfaces and the materials that form the road’s base, damaging their foundation. Extreme freeze-thaw cycles exacerbate the rate of pavement deterioration and can cause increased rutting and cracking.

Rough roads are more than just a nuisance for motorists. Driving on deteriorated roads costs the average urban driver $377 annually – a total of $80 billion nationwide.  In areas with the roughest roads, drivers lose as much as $800 each year. These costs include accelerated vehicle depreciation, increased maintenance, additional fuel consumption and tire wear. This is according to a report released by TRIP in October 2013 titled “Bumpy Roads Ahead: America’s Roughest Rides and Strategies to Make our Roads Smoother”.

The Federal surface transportation program is a critical source of funding for states. The impact of inadequate federal surface transportation revenues could be felt as early as summer of 2014, when the balance in the Highway Account of the federal Highway Trust Fund is expected to drop below $1 billion, which will trigger delays in the federal reimbursement to states for road, highway and bridge projects. Because of this funding delay and uncertainty, states will likely delay or postpone numerous projects.  And, if a lack of adequate revenue into the Federal Highway Trust Fund is not addressed by Congress, funding for highway and transit improvements throughout the nation could be cut by $44 billion for the federal fiscal year 2015, beginning October 1, 2014.

“America’s already deteriorated road conditions are only going to get worse if greater funding is not made available at the local, state and federal levels,” said Will Wilkins, TRIP’s executive director. “Unless Congress acts this year to adequately fund the Federal Highway Trust Fund, all states are going to see their federal funding decrease dramatically starting this summer. This will result in fewer road repair projects, loss of jobs, higher vehicle operating costs for drivers, and a burden on state economies.”

Highway Trust Fund Fix Will Be “Painful Scenario” Without New Revenue, ARTBA Tells Senate Committee

image001Fixing the Highway Trust Fund (HTF) without generating any new revenue would require the equivalent of Congress passing and the president signing a 2013-level Murray-Ryan budget deal every year just to maintain current highway and transit program investment levels, American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) President Pete Ruane Feb. 12 told a Senate panel. 

According to a new Congressional Budget Office (CBO) report, the HTF will be unable to support any investments in new projects come September, and will require, on average, $16.3 billion annually just to preserve the current transportation program.  By comparison, over a two-year period, the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2013—the Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) budget deal—reallocates resources to increase the non-defense discretionary spending cap by an average (ironically) of $16 billion per year.

Calling that process a “painful scenario,” Ruane warned the Senate Environment & Public Works Committee that if the HTF shortfall is not addressed, more than 12,000 highway, bridge and safety capital projects across the nation—on the routes most important to the U.S. economy—could be lost.

Ruane noted that trucks carry freight worth more than $11 trillion over the nation’s roads and bridges every year, and nearly 75 percent of that travel takes place on the federal-aid system.  “Without that federal investment in these roads, trucking mobility and economic productivity are at risk,” he said.

Ruane explained ARTBA’s economics team set about to research how the public’s federal gas tax dollars were put to use in 2012.  Unfortunately, it took a Freedom of Information Act request and sophisticated computer analysis of literally millions of data points to get answers.

Among the highlights he said the public deserves to hear:  the federal program helped fund 12,546 capital improvement projects (7,335 road, 2,407 bridge, and 2,804 road safety)—all focused primarily on the system that moves most of that $11 trillion.

“There are projects in every state.  Every one of them can be identified by name, and location, and by how much was invested in them,” he said, acknowledging that more transparency is needed so the public understands where its tax dollars are invested.

“We believe one of the federal program’s biggest problems is that government at all levels does a poor job of telling the American public how their federal gas and diesel tax dollars are invested each year,” Ruane added.  “We believe the public would be impressed and widely support this federal program if they knew the full story.”

He told Senators the average American household spends roughly $160 per month for cell and landline phone service, and only $46 per month through state and federal motor fuels excises to support the road, bridge and transit systems they depend on every day.

 

“If the public was asked to invest each month as much as they willingly spend on cell and landline phone service, we would not be here talking about the Highway Trust Fund problem.  We would be providing Americans with the first-class transportation network they deserve,” Ruane concluded.

NAPA ANNOUNCES WINNERS OF NATIONAL AWARDS FOR EXCELLENCE IN ASPHALT PAVING

NAPA _ Logo _ GradientThe National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA) announced today the winners of its 2013 Quality in Construction Award for excellence in construction of an asphalt pavement. The winning companies received their awards on Wednesday, Feb. 5, at a ceremony during the association’s 59th Annual Meeting in Boca Raton, Fla.

For 2013, 198 projects completed by 81 companies were honored with a Quality in Construction Award. One hundred of the projects were singled out for their use of sustainable construction practices, such as incorporating reclaimed and recycled materials and using warm-mix asphalt.

“As an industry, asphalt pavement producers have devoted a great deal of time and

effort to determining the best practices necessary to construct long-lasting, high-quality asphalt pavements that offer the durable performance pavement owners and the public value. The Quality in Construction Awards compare nominated pavements against best practices and standards, and honor those that exemplify excellence in construction standards,” stated John J. Keating, 2013 Chairman of the NAPA Board of Directors.

A list of the winners, arranged alphabetically by state, follow:

ALABAMA

APAC Mid-South Inc., an Oldcastle Materials Co., of Dothan, Ala.

Dunn Construction Co. Inc. of Birmingham, Ala.

Wiregrass Construction Co. Inc. of Ariton, Ala.

ALASKA

Granite Construction Co, Alaska Branch, of Anchorage, Alaska

ARIZONA

J. Banicki Construction Inc. of Tempe, Ariz.

ARKANSAS

Rogers Group Inc. of Conway, Ark.

CALIFORNIA

Ghilotti Bros. Inc. of San Rafael, Calif.

Granite Construction Co. of Indio, Calif.

Sully-Miller Contracting Co., of Brea, Calif.

COLORADO

The Brannan Sand & Gravel Co. of Denver, Colo.

Martin Marietta Materials of Fort Collins, Colo.

Martin Marietta Materials of Westminster, Colo. 

United Cos. of Mesa County, an Oldcastle Materials Co., of Grand Junction, Colo. 

FLORIDA

Ajax Paving Industries of Florida of Nokomis, Fla.

Ajax Paving Industries of Florida of Tampa, Fla.

APAC-Southeast Inc., an Oldcastle Materials Co., of Jacksonville, Fla.

APAC-Southeast Inc., an Oldcastle Materials Co., of Kissimmee, Fla.

C.W. Roberts Contracting Inc. of Freeport, Fla.

Community Asphalt Corp. of Miami, Fla.

Community Asphalt Corp. of West Palm Beach, Fla.

Duval Asphalt Products Inc. of Jacksonville, Fla.

The Lane Construction Corp. of Lakeland, Fla.

Ranger Construction Industries Inc. of West Palm Beach, Fla.

GEORGIA

C.W. Matthews Contracting Co. Inc. of Marietta, Ga.

Pittman Construction Co. of Conyers, Ga.

Reeves Construction Co. of Macon, Ga.

The Scruggs Co. of Hahira, Ga.  

IDAHO

Interstate Concrete & Asphalt, an Oldcastle Materials Co., of Rathdrum, Idaho

Poe Asphalt Paving Inc. of Lewiston, Idaho

ILLINOIS

Gallagher Asphalt Corp. of Thornton, Ill.  

INDIANA

Brooks Construction Co. of Fort Wayne, Ind.

E&B Paving Inc. of Anderson, Ind.

E&B Paving Inc. of Evansville, Ind.

J.H. Rudolph & Co. Inc. of Evansville, Ind.

Rieth-Riley Construction Co. Inc. of South Bend, Ind.

Walsh & Kelly Inc. of Griffith, Ind.

Walsh & Kelly Inc. of South Bend, Ind.

IOWA

Des Moines Asphalt and Paving, an Oldcastle Materials Co., of Ankeny, Iowa

Heartland Asphalt Inc. of Mason City, Iowa

Manatt’s Inc. of Newton, Iowa

Norris Asphalt Paving Co. of Ottumwa, Iowa

KANSAS

APAC-Kansas City Inc., an Oldcastle Materials Co., Overland Park, Kan.

Cornejo & Sons Inc. of Wichita, Kan.

Koss Construction Co. of Topeka, Kan.

KENTUCKY

Eaton Asphalt Paving Co. Inc. of Walton, Ky.

Hamilton-Hinkle Paving Co. of Georgetown, Ky.

Hinkle Contracting Co. LLC of Paris, Ky.

LOUISIANA

Diamond B Construction of Alexandria, La.

MARYLAND

Gray & Son Inc. of Timonium, Md.

P. Flanigan & Sons Inc. of Baltimore

MICHIGAN

Ajax Paving Industries of Troy, Mich.

Payne & Dolan Inc. of Gladstone, Mich.

Rieth-Riley Construction Co. Inc. of Charlevoix, Mich.

Rieth-Riley Construction Co. Inc. of Lansing, Mich.

Rieth-Riley Construction Co., Inc. of Prudenville, Mich.

MINNESOTA

Knife River Materials, Northern Minnesota Division, of Bemidji, Minn.

MISSISSIPPI

Adcamp Inc. of Jackson, Miss.

APAC-Mississippi Inc., an Oldcastle Materials Co., of Columbus, Miss.

MISSOURI

APAC-Missouri Inc., an Oldcastle Materials Co., of Columbia, Mo.

NEVADA

Granite Construction Co. of Sparks, Nev.

NEW HAMPSHIRE

Pike Industries Inc., an Oldcastle Materials Co., of Belmont, N.H.

R&D Paving Inc. of Franklin, N.H.

NEW JERSEY

Tilcon New York Inc., an Oldcastle Materials Co., of Wharton, N.J.

NEW YORK

Barrett Paving Materials Inc. — New York Central Region of Liverpool, N.Y.

NORTH CAROLINA

APAC-Atlantic Inc., Thompson-Arthur Division, an Oldcastle Company of Greensboro, N.C.

S.T. Wooten Corp. of Wilson, N.C.

OHIO

Barrett Paving Materials Inc. of Middletown, Ohio

Gerken Paving Inc. of Napoleon, Ohio

John R. Jurgensen of Cincinnati, Ohio

Kokosing Construction Co. Inc. of Columbus, Ohio

Shelly & Sands Inc. of Zanesville, Ohio

The Shelly Co., an Oldcastle Materials Co. of Findlay, Ohio

The Shelly Co., an Oldcastle Materials Co., of Thornville, Ohio

The Shelly Co., an Oldcastle Materials Co., of Twinsburg, Ohio

OKLAHOMA

The Cummins Construction Co. Inc. of Enid, Okla.

PENNSYLVANIA

Independence Construction Materials, an American Infrastructure Co., of Malvern, Pa.

Pennsy Supply Inc., an Oldcastle Materials Co., of Annville, Pa.

Pennsy Supply Inc., an Oldcastle Materials Co., of Wapwallopen, Pa.

SOUTH CAROLINA

C.R. Jackson Inc. of Darlington, S.C.

TENNESSEE

Lehman-Roberts Co. of Memphis, Tenn.

Summers-Taylor Inc. of Elizabethton, Tenn.

TEXAS

Austin Bridge & Road LP of Irving, Texas

Clark Construction of Texas Inc. of San Antonio, Texas

Duininck Inc. of Roanoke

Hunter Industries Ltd. of San Marcos, Texas

J.D. Ramming Paving Co. Ltd. of Austin, Texas

The Lane Construction Corp. of Roanoke, Texas

Longview Asphalt Inc. of Longview, Texas

Ramming Paving Co. Ltd. of Schertz, Texas

UTAH

Granite Construction Co. of Salt Lake City

Kilgore Contracting of Salt Lake City, Utah

Staker Parson Cos., an Oldcastle Materials Co., of Draper, Utah

VIRGINIA

Superior Paving Corp. of Gainesville, Va.

WASHINGTON

Granite Construction Co. of Vancouver, Wash.

ICON Materials, an Oldcastle Materials Co., of Pacific, Wash.

Inland Asphalt Co., an Oldcastle Materials Co. of Richland, Wash.

WISCONSIN

Northeast Asphalt Inc. of Greenville, Wis.

Payne & Dolan Inc. of Waukesha, Wis.

For detailed information on any of the above awards and the projects that were involved, visit,  http://www.asphaltpavement.org 

National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA) is the only trade association that exclusively represents the interests of the asphalt producer/contractor on the national level with Congress, government agencies, and other national trade and business organizations. NAPA supports an active research program designed to improve the quality of asphalt pavements and paving techniques used in the construction of roads, streets, highways, parking lots, airports, and environmental and recreational facilities. The association provides technical, educational, and marketing materials and information to its members; supplies product information to users and specifiers of paving materials; and conducts training courses. The association, which counts more than 1,100 companies as members, was founded in 1955.