Tag Archive for 'road construction'

ARTBA Foundation Hall of Fame Class: Two Highway Contractors, Former U.S. DOT Secretary & Engineering Family

Peter Kiewit, Jim Peterson, Norm Mineta and the Roebling Family are the 2020 inductees into the American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) Foundation’s Transportation Development Hall of Fame. 

Launched a decade ago, the Hall “honors individuals or families from the public and private sectors who have made extraordinary contributions to U.S. transportation development during their careers.”  Nominees are considered in two categories:

  • Transportation Design & Construction Industry Leaders (Individuals or Families): Recognizes men, women and families who have made significant contributions—beyond just having successful businesses or careers—that have notably helped advance the interests and image of the transportation design, construction and safety industry.
  • Transportation Design & Construction Industry Innovators: Honors the men and women who discovered or created a “game changing” product or process that significantly advanced transportation design, construction and/or safety.  It seeks to honor the original innovator.

Leader: Peter Kiewit (1900-1979)

Peter Kiewit transformed a small Omaha, Neb., construction company, Peter Kiewit Sons’, Inc., into one of North America’s largest and most respected contractors.  In 1931, at the age of 30, Kiewit became president of the company.  America was in the depths of the Great Depression, leading to limited building work at or below cost.  Kiewit shifted the firm’s emphasis to the highway market.  Transportation work rapidly became the largest portion of Kiewit’s business.  As a result of this shift, the company was ready when it was time to build the U.S. Interstate Highway System after World War II.  Under Kiewit’s leadership, the firm built more lane miles of the original System than any other contractor, prompting Forbes magazine to call him the “Colossus of Roads.” 

Kiewit attributed his success to the work ethic of Nebraskans, wanting to return his wealth to their communities.  Before his death, he requested his personal estate be used to establish a foundation supporting public-purpose projects in Nebraska and Western Iowa.  The Peter Kiewit Foundation has awarded more than $640 million in grants and scholarships since its founding in 1979.

Leader: Norm Mineta (1931-)

“Norm made a reputation in the Halls of Congress as someone who understands that a sound infrastructure in America will lead to economic opportunity for all Americans.”  – President George W. Bush  

The son of Japanese immigrants, Norman Y. Mineta was confined with his family in an internment camp during World War II.  It was there he vowed to serve his country throughout his life and prove that he could do great things, regardless of his background. And he did.  

Mineta began his public life as a member of his city council and then mayor of San Jose, Calif.  Serving in the U.S. House of Representatives for 20 years, Mineta chaired the Aviation & Surface Transportation Subcommittees, rising to become chairman of the Public Works & Transportation Committee.  In 1991, he was the principal author of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA), which provided a then record federal surface transportation investment.

In 2000, President Clinton appointed him U.S. secretary of commerce, making him the nation’s first Asian-American Cabinet member.  In an historical rarity, he stayed in the cabinet under an administration of the opposite party, when President Bush appointed him to be his only Democratic cabinet member—as U.S. secretary of transportation.  He served 5 ½ years in that position, the longest tenure in the department’s history.  He played a high-profile in the response to the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, grounding all aircraft in U.S. airspace to save lives.

Following his retirement, Mineta has continued to strive to serve his country in numerous ways, including the establishment of the Mineta Transportation Institute at San Jose University.

Leader: Jim Peterson (1936-)

Jim Peterson, vice president, Wisconsin-based James Peterson Sons, Inc., has been a national, state and local transportation construction advocate for more than 50 years.  Peterson has made many notable impacts on Wisconsin’s transportation policy development and is a two-time Wisconsin Transportation Builders Association president (1980 & 2006).  One the hallmarks of his leadership was the ability to get a return phone call from governors, regardless of political party, when it was necessary to discuss pending infrastructure issues.

In the 1970s during an era of diminishing transportation-related revenues, Peterson led an industry effort to educate the public about these negative impacts on motorists and the economy.  He helped garner bipartisan support in the state legislature to boost infrastructure investment.

By the mid-1980s, Peterson’s tenacity was a key factor in Governor Anthony Earl (D) signing a law to index the state’s fuel tax to generate additional revenue for transportation improvements.  The next governor, Tommy Thompson (R) introduced an ambitious “Corridor 2020” highway expansion agenda.  Peterson championed its enactment.  It empowered long-term transportation modernization and is estimated that 90 percent of the jobs created in Wisconsin during the 1990s were within five miles of a Corridors 2020 route. 

Peterson’s honed political and leadership skills were put to the test again during a 1990s effort to help ensure Wisconsin was getting an equitable return on the gas tax dollars it paid into the federal Highway Trust Fund.  It resulted in TEA-21’s (1998) “minimum guarantee” and SAFETEA-LU’s (2005) “equity bonus” programs, which helped generate tens of millions of dollars in additional Wisconsin highway investment.   At the national level, Jim was 2003 chairman of The Road Information Program (TRIP).  He’s been an ARTBA director for decades and the 2000 Contractors Division president.  He’s also a recipient of the Nello Teer Award, ARTBA Contractors Division’s highest honor.

Innovators: The Roebling Family

The story of the Roebling family—John (1806-1869), Washington (1837-1926) and Emily Warren (1843-1903)—is one of bravery, heroism, and triumph over great obstacles.  Without this famous family, the iconic Brooklyn Bridge might not have come to pass.  An immigrant from Berlin, John Roebling was a civil engineer with decades of experience in road and bridge construction.

A pioneer in wire rope bridge supports, Roebling developed the modern suspension bridge and is responsible for the design and construction of numerous spans throughout the United States.  He began work on the new Brooklyn Bridge in 1867.  He was joined by his son, Washington, who had distinguished himself in both combat and military infrastructure design with the 83rd New York Artillery Battery during the Civil War. 

Following an accident at the bridge site, the elder Roebling died of tetanus and Washington took charge of the Brooklyn Bridge’s construction as chief engineer.  In 1870, fire broke out in one of the caissons and he directed the efforts to extinguish the flames.  During the rescue he contracted decompression sickness (“the bends”) rendering him bedridden.

As the only person to visit her husband during his sickness, Emily relayed information to the project team.  She developed an extensive knowledge of stress analysis, cable construction, and advanced mathematics. For the decade after Washington took to his sick bed, Emily’s dedication to the completion of the Brooklyn Bridge was unyielding.  She took over much of the chief engineer’s duties, including day-to-day supervision and project management.  Emily managed many politicians, competing engineers, and all those associated with the work on the bridge to the point where people believed she was behind the bridge’s design. The Brooklyn Bridge was completed in 1883.

Learn more: www.artbahalloffame.org.

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.

“Re-open, Renew and Revitalize” Campaign Tells Lawmakers: Economic Recovery Begins with Multi-Year Transportation Investment Package

A coalition of 31 national construction associations and labor unions today launches an advertising and grassroots campaign designed to encourage Congress to make new infrastructure investments as the major catalyst for economic recovery in the wake of COVID-19.
 
The primary message of the campaign by the Transportation Construction Coalition(TCC) is that re-opening, renewing and revitalizing the economy starts with passage of a robust, multi-year transportation bill that creates jobs and keeps goods and services like medical supplies quickly moving to their destinations – now and for decades to come.
 
The campaign’s message is directed at two audiences: legislators and their staffs on Capitol Hill and the four primary leaders who are critical to final passage of infrastructure investment legislation: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), House Minority leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.).
 
The campaign features four components: cable TV, digital TV, Facebook ads and digital ads.
 
The cable TV spots will run in the Nation’s Capital and are designed to drive members of Congress, their staff and other policy influencers to the TCC website, “FundInfrastructureNow.org.” There they find an opinion piece that underscores the urgency for action and lays out why investing in transportation infrastructure is vital to helping rescue America’s economy from recession and double-digit unemployment.
 
That same primary message is also driven home in a series of Facebook and digital ads,  each directed to the home districts of House Speaker Pelosi, House Minority Leader McCarthy, Senate Majority Leader McConnell and Senate Minority Leader Schumer. The ads invite constituents to communicate their support for infrastructure legislation to each of those lawmakers via an easy-to-use digital grassroots action platform.
 
About the Transportation Construction Coalition
Established in 1996 and co-chaired by the American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) and the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC), the 31 associations and labor unions that make up the TCC have a direct market interest in the federal transportation program. A complete list of members can be found at: www.transportationconstructioncoalition.org.
 

Transportation Construction Continues in Most States; Industry Taking Steps to Ensure Worker Safety as Business Impacts Felt, National Survey Finds

Respondents Urge Congress to Pass Multiyear Highway and Transit Funding Bill to Aid U.S. Economic Recovery

Many of the businesses and public agencies that design, build and maintain the nation’s critical transportation infrastructure continue to work while taking necessary precautions to protect their workforce from COVID-19, according to a new survey of American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) members.
 
With a few exceptions, transportation design and construction projects continue across the country, but survey respondents say they are feeling the effects of the pandemic.  More than two-thirds are experiencing changes or adjustments to project schedules.  Nearly 75 percent are expecting some or major financial impacts on their businesses.
 
When asked what messages they wanted to deliver to Congress and the Trump administration relating to the next coronavirus relief bill, the most common refrains: pass a strong multi-year transportation funding bill to help the economic recovery, “keep workers working” and don’t shut down projects.
 
The survey also showed transportation construction firms have taken additive measures to protect the health and safety of their workers.  Nearly 80 percent are rotating office employees between work and home or allowing them to work remotely. 
 
Respondents said they are taking additional project site safety and health measures, including more regular cleaning of portable toilets (78 percent), third party cleaning (70 percent) and improved handwashing stations (61 percent). 
 
The March 23-27 survey, initiated by ARTBA Chief Economist Dr. Alison Premo Black, included 225 respondents representing the association’s eight membership divisions: contractors, planning and design firms, traffic safety and equipment manufacturers, materials and services firms, public officials and university professors/researchers.  
 
A link to the full results can be found here. 
 
Established in 1902 and with more than 8,000 public and private sector members, Washington, D.C.-based ARTBA advocates for strong investment in transportation infrastructure to meet the public and business community demand for safe and efficient travel.

ARTBA: President Trump & Michigan Governor Reinforce Bipartisan Desire for Infrastructure Investment

By Lauren Schapker, vice president of legislative affairs, ARTBA

In his Feb. 4 State of the Union address, President Donald J. Trump urged Congress to pass infrastructure legislation.

“We must also rebuild America’s infrastructure,” he said. “I ask you to pass Senator John Barrasso’s highway bill to invest in new roads, bridges, and tunnels all across our land.”

His comments represent the first time during a State of the Union address that Trump asked Congress to act on specific infrastructure legislation. The Senate Environment & Public Works Committee (EPW), led by Barrasso (R-Wyo.) and Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), in July unanimously passed the America’s Transportation Infrastructure Act.

The bill is still waiting for consideration before the full Senate. House Republicans and Democrats have put forward separate infrastructure principals, but not a detailed bill.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, who delivered the Democratic response to Trump’s speech, highlighted the actions governors in states are taking to improve infrastructure. “During my campaign, people told ​​me to fix the damn roads, because blown tires and broken windshields are downright dangerous, and car repairs take money from rent, childcare or groceries,” she said.

Whitmer recently led an effort to approve $3.5 billion in one-time bond revenue for Michigan roads, doubling the state’s funding for roads over the next five years.

Having infrastructure mentioned in both speeches reinforces the bipartisan appeal of infrastructure—a message ARTBA staff emphasizes every week with Capitol Hill offices. ARTBA will continue to work with Congress to ensure passage of a new surface transportation reauthorization bill before the current law expires Sept. 30.

Neal Manufacturing Updates Full Line to Tier 4 Final

Neal Manufacturing, a division of Blastcrete Equipment LLC and a leader in asphalt pavement preservation equipment, announces all their machines are Tier 4 Final compliant, including the DA 350 Dual Sealcoat Applicator and High-Volume Road Maintenance Vehicle

“As a customer-focused company, Neal Manufacturing is continually innovating, making sure our products employ the latest technology to meet or exceed all equipment standards,” said Tripp Farrell, president of Neal Manufacturing, a division of Blastcrete Equipment LLC. “Updating our line for Tier 4 Final compliance is just one of the many ways our team helps keep customers jobsite ready.”

Neal Manufacturing’s lineup of asphalt preservation equipment meets Tier 4 Final emission standards.

The DA 350 offers a 100 gpm hydraulic piston pump, for a robust, versatile application vehicle capable of handling pavement preservation products with heavy aggregate loads. The three-wheeled self-propelled sealcoating machine features a built-in, high powered blower and AutoTrim, an automatic cutting-in attachment, allowing contactors seven times the productivity on prep work along curb-and-gutter streets. A 35-horsepower Yanmar Water Cooled Diesel Tier 4 final engine powers the DA 350.

For high-quality results on large road projects, the High-Volume Road Maintenance Vehicle features Neal Manufacturing’s Generation IV pump that delivers infinitely variable outputs from 0-150 gpm, even with larger aggregates mixes. The Road Maintenance Vehicle is available with a Yanmar 3TNV88C, 35-horsepower Tier 4 Final engine. Individually or in combination with the DA 350 as part of Neal Manufacturing’s Asphalt Road Preservation Package, the High-Volume Road Maintenance Vehicle features innovative, productivity enhancing options for lasting sealcoat applications.

Neal Manufacturing backs their equipment with industry-leading customer support including free training seminars at the company’s Anniston, Alabama location. 

About Neal Manufacturing

The Neal Manufacturing Division of Blastcrete Equipment, LLC is an industry leader in the manufacture of pavement maintenance and sealcoat production equipment. Blastcrete Equipment LLC manufactures mixing, pumping and spraying equipment for the refractory, shotcrete, concrete construction and repair, underground mining and tunneling, and power generation industries worldwide. For more information: Neal Manufacturing Division of Blastcrete Equipment LLC, 2000 Cobb Ave., Anniston, AL 36201 770-830-1282; fax 256-236-9824; eric@nealequip.com; or www.nealequip.com.