Tag Archive for 'Highway Bill'

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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.

Call for Nominations: 2014 ARTBA Foundation “Globe” Environmental Awards & “PRIDE” Public Awareness Awards

image001The American Road & Transportation Builders Association Transportation Development Foundation (ARTBA-TDF) is now accepting nominations for its 2014 “Globe” and “PRIDE” Awards.  These annual competitions highlight U.S. transportation construction industry excellence in community relations and public education, and in environmental protection, respectively.

Established in 1998, the Globe Awards spotlight examples of transportation construction industry excellence in these categories:

Project Awards: recognizes private-sector firms and public-sector transportation agencies that do an outstanding job in protecting and/or enhancing the natural environment in the planning, design and construction of U.S. transportation infrastructure projects.  Nominations may be made for projects in the following seven categories: highways, local or secondary roads, bridges, public transit, airports, railroads­, and waterways and ports.

Process Awards: honors companies that have exhibited environmentally responsible manufacturing, production, resource extraction or other processes related to surface transportation construction.  Such organizations may include:

  • heavy construction equipment and transportation safety product manufacturers (environmentally responsible manufacturing); or
  • materials companies (environmentally responsible resource extraction and/or production)

Established in 1999, the PRIDE Awards celebrate excellence in community relations and public education of projects that enhance the image of the transportation design and construction industry. It is open to all industry firms, agencies and associations.  There are two categories:

Community Relations: honors programs and activities that demonstrate positive civic involvement with the community in which a firm/agency is located.

Public-Media Relations/Education: pays tribute to programs and activities that educate the public and opinion leaders about the significant contributions the transportation construction industry (or a specific sector of it) makes to the economy and/or quality of life.

The deadline for the Globe Awards is April 18 and April 29 for the PRIDE Awards.  To obtain a copy of the application forms, visit www.artbatdf.org or contact ARTBA’s Awards Program Manager Kashae Williams at 202-289-4434.

Winners will be recognized during a special June 9 lunch, held in conjunction with ARTBA’s Federal Issues Program in Washington, D.C.

The ARTBA Foundation was established in 1985 as a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt entity to “promote research, education and public awareness.”  It supports an array of initiatives, including educational scholarships, awards, executive education seminars, roadway work zone safety and training programs, special economic reports and a national exhibition on transportation.

2014

Moving ahead no matter what...

Moving ahead no matter what…

Recapping is a lot easier than forecasting. Looking back to see what has been accomplished is based on what is here. Looking ahead to see what will be, is based on a lot of assumptions, what-ifs, dreams and conjecture. The first is concrete, while the second is often smoke and mirrors as seen through a cloud of wishful thinking.

At a recent meeting with reader-advisors from Texas Contractor we unrolled a short list of what we thought would be hot topics for 2014. On a national level these items included:

  • Expiration of the Federal Highway Bill in 2014 and the loss of jobs as a result. The problem with short-term, stopgap bills is that they provide the states with the necessary funds to do more than stopgap maintenance. Serious improvements cannot become a reality. We are living with a transportation infrastructure that is decades old and in serious need of updating if we are going to remain commercially competitive on a global level. Additionally, the loss of construction jobs will, by some estimates, exceed hundreds of thousands.
  • Motor Vehicle Fuel Tax expiring in 2016. The impact of this equation is obvious: No tax dollars = no funds for transportation maintenance and/or updates. In early December 2013, Representative Earl Blumenauer (OR-03) along with leaders in the fields of transportation, labor, commerce, and construction introduced H.R. 3636 The Update, Promote, and Develop America’s Transportation Essentials (UPDATE) Act.  This bill would phase in a 15 cent/gallon tax increase over the next three years on gasoline and diesel.

“The gas tax hasn’t been increased since the beginning of the Clinton administration,” said Blumenauer.  “Today, with inflation and increased fuel efficiency for vehicles, the average motorist is paying about half as much per mile as they did in 1993. It’s time for Congress to act.  There’s a broad and persuasive coalition that stands ready to support Congress, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, National AFL-CIO, the construction and trucking industry, cyclists, professional groups, numerous associations of small and medium businesses, local governments, and transit agencies. We just need to give them something to support.” Scan below for full article.

  • Skilled labor shortages have been a problem for some time with the condition being exacerbated by the problem with immigration. Many contractors point out the facts that “illegals” are willing to work. They are reliable, they are skilled, and they are willing to do the work when no one else will. Contractors have commented that while they comply with current regulations and don’t hire anyone without green card or suitable papers, their competition will.
  • Creeping inflation and the resulting increase in prices for construction related materials and equipment. The lack of stability, especially with fuel prices, makes it difficult to project costs.

Contractors participating in the meeting voiced their concerns, which focused on:

Quality of workforce

Safety

Keeping the funnel full, i.e. the availability of work, especially transportation.

Workforce/immigration

Contract issues

Training

The workforce problem is more serious in different areas of the country and different segments of the industry. If the economy went into a rapid growth mode this situation would become more universal

FMI has recently released its 2013 report on U.S. Construction Industry Talent Development that is based on responses nationwide from a mix of general contractors and construction managers at firms of all sizes and specialties, including mechanical/plumbing and heavy/highway/civil. To view FMI’s full report scan below.

More than half of respondents report a shortage in skilled labor. As a war for talent begins, construction experts must evolve their methodology of searching for the best and brightest employees. First, construction careers must be made more appealing to women and minorities. Second, there must be an appeal to today’s youth through career counselors, career fairs and utilization of social media channels.

An industry, any industry cannot survive unless it has:

The need for its existence

The materials and equipment

The people trained and skilled to implement its execution

Construction is a very material, equipment and people intensive industry. Without any of these components its continued existence becomes jeopardized. Without construction the economy cannot grow and prosper.

What do you think? What concerns keep you awake at night? If you’d like to share your thoughts and opinions, please feel free to e-mail them to: GSitek@ACPpubs.com.

For fuel tax article: click here

For FMI’s full report:     click here

This article appeared in the January 2014 issues of the ACP publications

 

 

Congressman Bill Shuster visits Volvo Construction Equipment North American Headquarters

Volvo LogoVolvo Construction Equipment has made significant investments in North America and it has not gone unnoticed by key decision makers in America. This was clearly evident when Congressman Bill Shuster, chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee in the United States Congress, visited the company’s Shippensburg, Pa., facility on Jan 6.

Congressman Bill Shuster (R-Pa.) braved sub-zero temperatures on Jan. 6 to visit the North American headquarters of Volvo Construction Equipment in Shippensburg, Pa. The congressman and his team toured the company’s expanded headquarters and saw at first hand the investments Volvo Construction Equipment has made in North America.

Since announcing a series of investments in 2011, Volvo CE has added 300 jobs in the Shippensburg, Pa. area, making a total workforce of over 1000 employees. The most recent investment phase at the facility – of $100 million – has seen localized production of Wheel Loaders at the facility as well as the opening of a state of the environmentally-sustainable headquarters building for the Americas region. These recent investments are a strong signal of Volvo’s commitment to North America – plus its bringing additional manufacturing and jobs to Pennsylvania.

IMG_6330“Touring the Volvo facility in Shippensburg was an incredible experience, the work those men and women do is truly remarkable.  I had a great time speaking with the employees firsthand and witnessing their skills in action,” said Shuster. “Volvo is an integral part of the economy. The construction equipment being built right here in the 9th District is being used on projects all across the country.

Shuster and his team also got a glimpse of the future with a tour of the emerging North American customer center, which will be inaugurated in June. The facility will include an 80,000-square-foot training and customer event facility for the company’s dealers and customers. A new equipment demonstration area will replicate actual job sites, helping to accurately exhibit real world equipment performance.

Highway Bill

During Shuster’s visit, the congressman met with senior executives and discussed the prospects of introducing a fully funded longer term highway bill when the current bill is up for renewal later this year.

“Volvo Construction Equipment was delighted to host Congressman Bill Shuster during his visit to our recently expanded facilities here in Shippensburg, Pa. We support his work as chairman of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee and the efforts being made to secure a fully funded highway bill” stated Goran Lindgren, President Region Americas for Volvo Construction Equipment.

IMG_6334The congressman’s visit is the latest in a line of high profile visitors to Shippensburg and is a clear sign of the growing importance and impact Volvo is making in the area and the country as a whole.