Tag Archive for 'infrastructure'

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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.”

MIT Research Points to Importance of Road Design in Fuel Consumption

PCA LogopRecently President Barak Obama announced plans to introduce a rule for higher fuel efficiency standards for medium and heavy-duty trucks by 2016. At an appearance at a grocery distribution center in Upper Marlboro, Md., President Obama charged Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and U.S. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy to “develop fuel economy standards for heavy-duty trucks that will take us well into the next decade.”

According to the White House, heavy-duty trucks account for just four percent of highway vehicles, but are responsible for 20 percent of carbon pollution from the transportation sector. Current fuel-economy standards are aimed at reducing truck fuel use by as much as 20 percent.

Gregory M. Scott, president and CEO of the Portland Cement Association, said it is time to not only look at the efficiency of cars and trucks on the road, but to look at the actual road for fuel economy and emission reductions.

“We should expand the debate beyond making more efficient cars and trucks to making more efficient infrastructure. Stiffer pavements – such as pavements made from concrete — produce less rolling resistance and better fuel economy,” Scott said.

Researchers at the MIT Concrete Sustainability Hub recently found that how the road is constructed could have a significant impact on the fuel economy of cars and trucks. Research models predict the use of stiffer pavements, for example, could reduce fuel use by as much as three percent, a savings that would add up to 273 million barrels of crude oil per year.

Florida International University tested MIT’s research models in real-world conditions with similar results. They studied vehicles traveling on I-95 and found that riding on rigid pavements consumes 3.2 percent less fuel than riding on flexible pavements for passenger vehicles and 4.5 percent less fuel for loaded tractor-trailers. If all Florida pavements were rigid, it could amount to an annual fuel savings of more than $2 billion for highway users.

About PC

Based in Washington D.C. with offices in Skokie, Ill., the Portland Cement Association represents cement manufacturing companies in the United States. It conducts market development, engineering, research, education, and public affairs programs. More information on PCA programs is available at www.cement.org.

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.