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Topcon Technology Roadshow Hits Northern Illinois

As part of a 24-stop North American tour, the Topcon Technology Roadshow visited Wilmington, Ill., located just south of Joliet—approximately 55 miles from Chicago. The two-day visit—June 25th and 26th—was held on the grounds of the IUOE Local 150 Union Training Center and was hosted by Positioning Solutions Company, Carol Stream, Ill., an authorized Topcon dealer.

6L4A2525ext copy 2“It was an awesome opportunity for construction and survey customers to see everything in one spot,” said Ed McCaffery, marketing director with Positioning Solutions Company. “From my observations and interactions, it was clear to me that contractors were surprised by the breath of the offering, enjoyed the hands-on exhibits both in the trailer and on the grounds, and they were intrigued with some of the new technologies that were demonstrated.”

Outdoor-Presentation-Areas_Overview copyThe Technology Roadshow displays and demonstrations covered the full range of machine automation, Topcon Enterprise Solutions, BIM and 3D layout, Sitelink3D site management, GNSS and robotics, and scanning and mapping. Contractors were able to maximize their time by scheduling their visit at a convenient time and choosing which displays or demos were of interest.

Justin Smith, survey/machine control manager with K-Five Construction Corporation, Lemont, Ill., liked the opportunity to see engineers and product reps that he’s worked with. “I was able to talk directly with them and get answers to my questions and learn better ways to take advantage of the technology I have.”

Interior Presentation Areas-Overview copyThe 53-foot mobile solutions center truck showcases the latest technology for the construction, survey, civil engineering, architecture, and design industries. The information provided is designed to help contractors learn:

  • The latest tools and technologies available for the job site and office.
  • The impact of field computer technology on project data and administration.
  • The latest software technologies and the ability to improve business productivity.
  • Total job site solutions to fit any size business.

6L4A2622int copy 2“My area of knowledge and expertise is in machine control, so it was nice to have the opportunity to learn the intricacies of survey systems,” stated Dan Breunig, mechanical supervisor with The Lane Construction Corporation, Shorewood, Ill. “The Technology Roadshow was beneficial to me because I had access to Topcon experts and was able to meet other contractors.”

6L4A3154 copy 2During the two-day stop, there were contractors from Illinois and southern Wisconsin.

“All in attendance were decision-makers and key personnel with keen interest in getting as much as they could out of their time there,” McCaffery stated. “Everything is geared toward helping the contractor understand the state of our ever-changing industry and what technologies they should consider adopting to stay competitive. After all, that’s what it’s all about!”

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TRIP Report: Americas Rural Roads And Bridges Have Significant Deficiencies And High Fatality Rates; Repairs And Modernization Needed To Improve Conditions, Boost Safety And Support Agriculture, Energy And Tourism

TRIPAmerica’s rural heartland is home to nearly 50 million people, and its natural resources provide the energy, food and fiber that support the nation’s economy and way of life. But, a new report finds that the nation’s rural transportation system, which is critical to the nation’s booming agriculture, energy and tourism sectors, is in need of modernization to address deficient roads and bridges, high crash rates and inadequate connectivity and capacity. The report, “Rural Connections: Challenges and Opportunities in America’s Heartland,” was released today by TRIP, a national non-profit transportation research group based in Washington, D.C. It defines Rural America as counties that lack an urban area of at least 50,000 in population or lack a large commuting flow to an urban county.

STATE Percent Rural Roads in Poor Condition STATE Percent Deficient Rural Bridges STATE Fatality Rate Rural/All Other Roads
1 Connecticut 35 Pennsylvania 25% South Carolina 3.99 / 0.68
2 Rhode Island 33 Rhode Island 25% Florida 3.35 / 0.95
3 West Virginia 33 Iowa 22% West Virginia 2.8 / 0.99
4 Hawaii 32 South Dakota 21% Texas 2.76 / 1.03
5 Michigan 32 Oklahoma 20% Arkansas 2.71 / 0.87
6 Kansas 30 Hawaii 19% Tennessee 2.68 / 0.95
7 Oklahoma 29 Nebraska 19% Arizona 2.66 / 1.11
8 Maine 28 North Dakota 17% Kentucky 2.64 / 0.78
9 Mississippi 25 Maine 16% California 2.61 / 0.63
10 Arkansas 23 Louisiana 16% Pennsylvania 2.6 / 0.91
11 Missouri 23 Missouri 15% Oklahoma 2.52 / 0.92
12 Washington 22 New Hampshire 15% Hawaii 2.48 / 0.89
13 New Mexico 21 Mississippi 14% North Carolina 2.44 / 0.64
14 Alabama 21 North Carolina 14% Montana 2.4 / 0.95
15 V ermont 21 New Jersey 14% North Dakota 2.33 / 0.77
16 Alaska 20 Wyoming 14% Kansas 2.26 / 0.74
17 New Hampshire 18 New York 14% South Dakota 2.21 / 0.74
18 Virginia 18 Michigan 14% Ohio 2.15 / 0.63
19 Wisconsin 17 West Virginia 13% New York 2.13 / 0.59
20 Pennsylvania 17 California 13% Indiana 2.09 / 0.56

TRIP_Rural_Roads-2-segments-01 (1)The TRIP report finds that traffic crashes and fatalities on rural roads are disproportionately high, occurring at a rate nearly three times higher than all other roads. In2012, non-Interstate rural roads had a traffic fatality rate of 2.21 deaths for every 100 million vehicle miles of travel, compared to a fatality rate on all other roads of 0.78 deaths per 100 million vehicle miles of travel. Rural traffic fatality rates remain stubbornly high, despite a substantial decrease in the number of overall fatalities.

“More than 46 million Americans live in rural and less densely populated areas of the country where their primary mode of transportation is a personal vehicle,” stated Kathleen Bower, AAA Vice President, Public Affairs. “Motorists expect and deserve safe, well maintained roads and bridges no matter if they are traveling on the Interstates or rural roads. Congress must act quickly to provide a sustainable solution for the federal Highway Trust Fund to ensure that states can continue to make necessary infrastructure investments that will benefit all travelers.”

TRIP_Rural_Roads-2-segments-02 (1)In addition to disproportionately high traffic fatality rates, the roads and bridges in rural America have significant deficiencies. In 2012, 15 percent of the nation’s major rural roads were rated in poor condition and another 40 percent were rated in mediocre or fair condition. In 2013, 12 percent of the nation’s rural bridges were rated as structurally deficient and 10 percent were functionally obsolete.

“America’s rural transportation system is an integral component to the success and quality of life for U.S. farmers and ranchers,” said Bob Stallman, president of the American Farm Bureau Federation. “Adequate roads and bridges are necessary to deliver our agricultural bounty to markets at home and abroad. As we see additional growth and opportunities in rural America, we must work together to take advantage of those opportunities and to ensure that infrastructure supports and enhances our rural communities.”

TRIP_Rural_Roads-2-segments-03The report also finds that the development of major new oil and gas fields in numerous areas as well as increased agricultural production are placing significantly increased traffic loads by large trucks on non-Interstate rural roads, which often have not been constructed to carry such high load volumes. The average travel per-lane mile by large trucks on major, non-arterial rural roads in the U.S. has increased by 16 percent from 2000 to 2012.

The federal surface transportation program is a critical source of funding for rural roads. But a lack of adequate funding of the federal program may result in a significant cut in federal funding for the country’s roads, highways and bridges. The impact of inadequate federal surface transportation revenues could be felt as early as this summer, 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, which would likely result in states delaying numerous projects.

“So many of our industry’s manufacturing facilities and their workers are located in rural America, where they depend on safe and efficient roads for their livelihoods,” said Rick Patek, group president of Astec Industries and 2014 chairman of the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM). “As Congress weighs how to extend the Highway Trust Fund, they would be well-advised to read this report and consider the effects of their actions on rural roads.”

TRIP_Rural_Roads-2-segments-04Nationwide federal funding for highways is expected to be cut by almost 100 percent from the current investment level for the fiscal year starting October 1, 2014 (FY 2015) unless Congress provides additional transportation revenues. This is due to a cash shortfall in the Highway Trust Fund as projected by the Congressional Budget Office.

The TRIP report finds that the U.S. needs to adopt transportation policies that will improve rural transportation connectivity, safety and conditions to provide the nation’s small communities and rural areas with safe and efficient access to support quality of life and enhance economic productivity. To accomplish this, the report recommends modernizing and extending key routes to accommodate personal and commercial travel, implementing needed roadway safety improvements, improving public transit access to rural areas, and adequately funding the preservation and maintenance of rural transportation assets.

TRIP_Rural_Roads-2-segments-05“The safety and quality of life in America’s small communities and rural areas and the health of the nation’s economy ride on our rural transportation system,” said Will Wilkins, executive director of TRIP. “This backbone of the heartland allows mobility and connectivity for millions of rural Americans. The nation’s rural roads provide crucial links from farm to market, move manufactured and energy products, and provide access to countless tourist and recreational destinations. But, with long-term federal transportation legislation stuck in political gridlock in Washington, America’s rural communities and economies could face even higher unemployment and decline. Funding the modernization of our rural transportation system will create jobs and help ensure long-term economic development and quality of life in rural America.”

For additional information visit:

National Rural Roads News Release | 07/10/2014
America’s Rural Roads and Bridges Have Significant Deficiencies and High Fatality Rates; Repairs and Modernization Needed to Improve Conditions, Boost Safety and Support Agriculture, Energy and Tourism

State Rural Roads News Releases | 07/10/2014
AZ, AR, CA, CT, HI, IA, KS, LA, ME, MI, MS, MT, NE, NH, NJ, NM, NY, NC, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, VT, VA, WA, WV, WI & WY

Rural Roads Report | 07/10/2014
Rural Connections Challenges and Opportunities in America’s Heartland

Rural Roads Report Appendix A | 07/10/2014
Urban Areas with Populations Over 50,000 with No Direct Access to Interstates

Rural Roads Report Appendix B | 07/10/2014
2012 Rural Non-Interstate Traffic Deaths

Rural Roads Report Appendix C | 07/10/2014
2012 Fatality Rate per 100 million Vehicle Miles of Travel

Rural Roads Report Appendix D | 07/10/2014
2012 Rural Arterial and Major Collector Pavement Conditions

Rural Roads Report Appendix E | 07/10/2014
2013 Rural Bridge Conditions

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