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ARTBA Industry Leader Development Program Fellows Push Members of Congress for Permanent Highway Trust Fund Solution

Twenty-four emerging leaders in the transportation design and construction industry participated in an intensive May 13-15 Washington, D.C., “boot camp” introduction to the federal legislative and regulatory processes. The American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) Foundation’s Industry Leader Development Program (ILDP) fellows visited Capitol Hill to urge their members of Congress to find a permanent revenue solution for the Highway Trust Fund (HTF) and push for timely action on a new transportation infrastructure investment package.

The annual event was held in conjunction with the association’s Federal Issues Program and the Transportation Construction Coalition Fly-In.

There have been more than 700 graduates from over 200 industry firms since the ILDP’s inception in 1995 when it was known as the Young Executive Development Program.

The ILDP provides participants with a solid understanding of industry economics, how transportation work in the U.S. is funded and financed, how actions by the federal government impact the industry, and how they—and their company or agency—can become politically engaged.  Participants heard from House Ways and Means Committee member Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) at a dinner event, where he discussed prospects for the next federal highway/transit investment bill.

The 2019 ILDP class included:

  • Julia Barker, vice president & area manager, Parsons Corporation, Denver, Colo.
  • Jerae Carlson, vice president, sustainability & public affairs, CEMEX, Inc., Houston, Texas
  • Mitchell Cooper, vice president, Cooper Engineering, Corona, Calif.
  • Tyler Farella, project manager, Parsons Construction Group, Inc., Westminster, Colo.
  • Keith Foxx, manager, transportation, RK&K, Baltimore, Md.
  • Victor Fricke, area manager, Gulf Coast, Texas Sterling Construction Co., Houston
  • Travis Gates, project manager, Ranger Construction Industries, Inc., West Palm Beach, Fla.
  • Cody Jackson, project manager, Jones Bros Contractors, LLC, Mt. Juliet, Tenn.
  • Andrew Kitchen, senior project manager, The Lane Construction Corporation, Glen Burnie, Md.
  • Sherina Lam, project manager, AECOM, Sacramento, Calif.
  • William Letchworth, assistant vice president, Raleigh Office Lead, WSP, Raleigh, N.C.
  • Howard Lubliner, department manager, Burns and McDonnell, Kansas City, Mo.
  • Mark Luther, vice president, WSP, Raleigh, N.C.
  • Kim Maiolo, director of communications and outreach, Associated Pennsylvania Constructors, Harrisburg, Pa.
  • Zach McClellan, geotechnical design manager, Ferrovial Agroman US Corp, Austin, Texas
  • Christopher McGuire, Maryland surface transportation leader, AECOM, Baltimore, Md.
  • Eric Ogren, vice president of estimating, project management, Harrison Construction Division of APAC – Atlantic, Inc., Asheville, N.C.
  • Brett Paulk, vice president, H.O. Weaver & Sons, Inc., Mobile, Ala.
  • Brian Pourciau, senior engineer, Parsons, Washington, D.C.
  • Carrie Rocha, vice president, office leader, HNTB Corporation, Atlanta, Ga.
  • Kenneth Shovlin, director of engineering, American Bridge Company, Coraopolis, Pa.
  • Brian Smith, senior project manager, AECOM, Ontario, Calif.
  • Brian Teles, senior project manager, structures group manager, office principal, Gannett Fleming, Inc., Audubon, Pa.
  • Ryan Terry, project director, The Lane Construction Corporation, Virginia Beach, Va.

Established in 1985, the ARTBA Foundation is a 501(c) 3 tax-exempt entity designed to “promote research, education and public awareness” about the impacts of transportation investment.  It supports an array of initiatives, including educational scholarships, awards, management and education programs, roadway work zone safety training, special economic research and reports, American National Standards Institute-accredited transportation project safety certification, and an exhibition on transportation at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History.

Raising the Bar, Millimeter GPS Technology



Roads and bridges that are deteriorated, congested or lack some desirable safety features cost Illinois motorists a total of $18.3 billion statewide annually – as much as $2,559 per driver in some urban areas – due to higher vehicle operating costs, traffic crashes and congestion-related delays. Increased investment in transportation improvements at the local, state and federal levels could relieve traffic congestion, improve road, bridge, and transit conditions, boost safety, and support long-term economic growth in Illinois, according to a new report released by TRIP, a Washington, DC based national transportation research nonprofit.

The TRIP report, Illinois Transportation by the Numbers: Meeting the State’s Need for Safe, Smooth and Efficient Mobility,”finds that throughout Illinois, more than two-fifths of major locally and state-maintained roads are in poor or mediocre condition and eight percent of locally and state-maintained bridges (20 feet or more in length) are rated poor/structurally deficient. The report also finds that Illinois’ major urban roads are becoming increasingly congested, causing significant delays and choking commuting and commerce.

Driving on roads in Illinois costs motorists a total of $18.3 billion per year in the form of extra vehicle operating costs (VOC) as a result of driving on roads in need of repair, lost time and fuel due to congestion-related delays, and the costs of traffic crashes in which roadway features likely were a contributing factor. The TRIP report calculates the cost to motorists of insufficient roads in the Chicago, Champaign-Urbana, Metro East, Peoria-Bloomington, Rockford and Springfield urban areas.  A breakdown of the costs per motorist in each area, along with a statewide total, is below.

The TRIP report finds that 19 percent of major locally and state-maintained roads in Illinois are in poor condition and an additional 23 percent are in mediocre condition, costing the state’s drivers an additional $5 billion each year in extra vehicle operating costs, including accelerated vehicle depreciation, additional repair costs, and increased fuel consumption and tire wear.

“This report highlights how expensive it can be for Illinois drivers when the state does not maintain its basic infrastructure,” said Illinois Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Todd Maisch. “A stronger transportation system is vital to stronger business and a stronger Illinois. We must act now to improve our economy and quality of life in Illinois through infrastructure investment.”

Eight percent of Illinois’ bridges are rated poor/structurally deficient, with significant deterioration to the bridge deck, supports or other major components. The condition of state-maintained bridges in Illinois is anticipated to decline through 2023 based on current funding.  Forty-one percent of Illinois’ locally and state-maintained bridges have been rated in fair condition.  A fair rating indicates that a bridge’s structural elements are sound but minor deterioration has occurred to the bridge’s deck, substructure or superstructure.

“Poorly maintained roads are both a financial burden and safety hazard for Illinois motorists,” said Nick Jarmusz, midwest director of public affairs for AAA – The Auto Club Group.  “The investments necessary to rebuild our infrastructure would cost a fraction of what drivers are currently paying in the form of additional vehicle expenses, to say nothing of the increased risk of crashes and injuries.”

The Illinois Department of Transportation projects that, under current funding levels, the percentage of state-maintained roads and bridges in need of repairs will increase significantly in the next five years.

Traffic congestion throughout Illinois is worsening, causing up to 63 annual hours of delay for the average motorist in the state’s largest urban areas and costing the state’s drivers a total of $8.5 billion annually in lost time and wasted fuel.

Traffic crashes in Illinois claimed the lives of nearly 5,100 people between 2013 and 2017. Illinois’ overall traffic fatality rate of 1.02 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel in 2017 is lower than the national average of 1.16.  The fatality rate on Illinois’ non-interstate rural roads is approximately two-and-a-half times higher than on all other roads in the state (2.09 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles of travel vs. 0.82). The financial impact of traffic crashes costs Illinois drivers a total of $4.8 billion annually.

The efficiency and condition of Illinois’ transportation system, particularly its highways, is critical to the health of the state’s economy.  Annually, $2.9 trillion in goods are shipped to and from Illinois, relying heavily on the state’s network of roads and bridges. Increasingly, companies are looking at the quality of a region’s transportation system when deciding where to relocate or expand. Regions with congested or poorly maintained roads may see businesses relocate to areas with a smoother, more efficient and more modern transportation system. The design, construction, and maintenance of transportation infrastructure in Illinois support 154,001 full-time jobs across all sectors of the state economy.

“These conditions are only going to get worse, increasing the additional costs to motorists, if greater investment is not made available at the federal, state and local levels of government,” said Will Wilkins, TRIP’s executive director. “Without adequate funding, Illinois’ transportation system will become increasingly deteriorated and congested, hampering economic growth, safety, and quality of life.”




Driving on Illinois roads that are deteriorated, congested and that lack some desirable safety features costs Illinois drivers a total of $18.3 billion each year. TRIP has calculated the cost to the average motorist in the state’s largest urban areas in the form of additional vehicle operating costs (VOC) as a result of driving on rough roads, the cost of lost time and wasted fuel due to congestion, and the financial cost of traffic crashes.



Due to inadequate state and local funding, forty-two percent of Illinois’ major roads and highways are in poor or mediocre condition.   The condition of state-maintained roads and bridges in Illinois is anticipated to decline through 2023 based on current funding.



Eight percent of Illinois’ bridges are rated poor/structurally deficient, meaning there is significant deterioration of the bridge deck, supports or other major components.  The condition of state-maintained bridges in Illinois is anticipated to decline through 2023 based on current funding.  Forty-one percent of Illinois’ locally and state-maintained bridges have been rated in fair condition.



Congested roads choke commuting and commerce and cost Illinois drivers $8.5 billion each year in the form of lost time and wasted fuel. Drivers in the state’s largest urban areas lose up to $1,500 and spend as much as two-and-a-half days each year in congestion.


Nearly 5,100 people were killed in traffic crashes in Illinois from 2013 to 2017. Traffic crashes in which a lack of adequate roadway safety features were likely a contributing factor imposed $4.8 billion in economic costs in 2017.


The health and future growth of Illinois’ economy is riding on its transportation system. Each year, $2.9 trillion in goods are shipped to and from Illinois, mostly by truck. By 2045, total freight tonnage being shipped in and out of Illinois is projected to grow by 40 percent, with 70 percent of the added tonnage moved by truck.

A report by the American Road & Transportation Builders Association found that the design, construction, and maintenance of transportation infrastructure in Illinois supports 154,001 full-time jobs across all sectors of the state economy. These workers earn $6.5 billion annually. Approximately 2.6 million full-time jobs in Illinois in key industries like tourism, manufacturing, retail sales, agriculture are completely dependent on the state’s transportation infrastructure network.

For the full report visit  TRIP

Industry Voices Raised for Fix to Highway Trust Fund

Some 200 Asphalt Industry Leaders Arrive in Washington for TCC Fly-In;
NAPA Urges Public and Industry Alike to Demand Action on Infrastructure from Congress

Asphalt producers, paving contractors, and allied industries from across the country are on Capitol Hill this week with a simple message for lawmakers — Fix the Highway Trust Fund this year.

“We rely on well-maintained roads to get food from farms to tables, goods to market, and to go about our every-day lives,” said John Harper, 2019 Chairman of the National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA) and Senior Vice President of Construction Partners Inc., based in Dothan, Alabama. “But for more than a quarter century, the federal government has not changed how we fund infrastructure maintenance and improvement. We are at a crisis point, and if Washington doesn’t act soon, we will see the Highway Trust Fund go insolvent.”

Congress has a narrow window to act before states will be forced to begin delaying critical transportation projects due to the uncertainty about future federal investments from the Highway Trust Fund. This week, during the Transportation Construction Coalition (TCC) Fly-In, nearly 200 members of the asphalt pavement industry will carry this message to Congress. However, elected officials need to hear this message continuously until an infrastructure bill that includes a sustainable funding stream is signed.

“Well maintained roads are critical to America’s economy and national defense,” said Ashley Jackson, NAPA Senior Director of Government Affairs. “This is a bipartisan issue where everyone agrees that the need is there even if there is no agreement on how to fund it. We cannot continue to keep putting off fixing the Highway Trust Fund.”

To make it easy to send this message to your members of Congress, NAPA has set up a new call to action at http://cqrcengage.com/napa/action.

About the National Asphalt Pavement Association

The 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.

Tom Ewing’s Environmental Update

*   Recall The February 11, 2019, Executive Order on “Maintaining American Leadership in Artificial Intelligence (AI).”  The EO directs the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to create a plan for Federal engagement in the development of technical standards and related tools in support of “reliable, robust, and trustworthy systems that use AI technologies.” Last week the Department of Commerce published a notice requesting information to help NIST understand the “current state, plans, challenges, and opportunities” regarding the development and availability of AI technical standards and related tools, as well as priority areas for federal involvement in AI standards-related activities. NIST will consult with Federal agencies, the private sector, academia, non-governmental entities, and other stakeholders with interest in and expertise relating to AI. Comments due by May 31.
*  The Chairman of the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) issued instructions to Federal agencies for meeting energy and environmental performance requirements “in a manner that increases efficiency, optimizes performance, eliminates unnecessary use of resources, and protects the environment.”  This is required under Executive Order 13834, ‘‘Efficient Federal Operations,’’ signed by President Trump on May 17, 2018. The purpose of the EO is to direct agencies on the management of Federal facilities, vehicles, and operations to achieve statutory requirements while prioritizing actions to reduce waste, cut costs, and enhance the resilience of Federal infrastructure and operations for the effective accomplishment of agency missions.   The Implementing Instructions are available at https://www.sustainability.gov/ resources.html.  About 23 agencies are listed as “Principal and Contributing Agencies.”
*   Here’s an optimistic study: The Federal Aviation Administration will prepare an Environmental Impact Statement to assess the potential impacts of the “proposed LaGuardia Airport (LGA) Access Improvement Project and its enabling projects and connected actions (the proposed action).”  The project would provide for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (Port Authority) to construct an elevated automated people mover (APM) to provide direct access between LGA and two existing transit stations at Mets-Willets Point.  Right now, LGA is accessible only by road – really one big road, Grand Central Parkway. FAA writes that “passengers and employees face increasing and unreliable travel times and traffic congestion on off-Airport roadways.” The people-mover would provide air passengers and employees with a “time-certain option” for LGA access and permit the Port Authority to provide adequate employee parking for the geographically constrained airport.  You likely know this but some may find it surprising: FAA says there may be Native American tribes with a historical interest in the area.  Imagine trying to reshape those boundaries and spaces reflective of, what, maybe 1673…?  Comments due by June 17.
Tom Ewing

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