Tag Archive for 'roads'

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AEM Launches Competition to Address $3.6 Trillion 
Infrastructure Problem in America

Infrastructure Vision 2050“Infrastructure Vision 2050” Challenge Competition to Award $150,000 
to Innovative Infrastructure Solutions

 

The Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) today announced the Infrastructure Vision 2050 Challenge— a three-phased, crowd-sourced competition to award a total of $150,000 in prizes for innovative ideas to overhaul the crumbling infrastructure that Americans rely upon to move people, materials, products, services and information.

Open to everyone everywhere, the Infrastructure Vision 2050 Challenge leverages the HeroX crowdsourcing model designed to bring about radical business, technological and social innovation benefiting local and global communities, inspiring new industries and catalyzing markets.

“The United States is the strongest and largest economy in the world and yet the overall quality of our infrastructure is falling dramatically behind our global competitors,” said Dennis Slater, AEM president. “AEM’s members thought it was time to break the cycle of patchwork fixes and deferred maintenance and lead the conversation in a different direction.”

“We need to engage innovators who we haven’t heard from before and who have the ability to imagine how people, freight, energy and information will move in the country of tomorrow – even as far out as the year 2050,” Slater added. “With the HeroX crowdsourcing model, we’re confident we can bring these solutions to life.”

“HeroX was founded on our conviction that the crowd – everyday people with great ideas – can and will solve the world’s most pressing problems,” said HeroX CEO, Christian Cotichini. “The Infrastructure Vision 2050 Challenge moves the U.S. infrastructure conversation beyond traditional political channels for the first time and gives everyone affected by these issues a chance to voice their opinions and find solutions.”

The American Society of Civil Engineers’ 2013 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure gave the U.S. a combined grade of D+ for the condition of its infrastructure. The report cites the nation’s 70,000 (one-in-nine) structurally-deficient bridges, the fact that 42% of America’s major urban highways remain congested, costing the economy an estimated $101 billion in wasted time and fuel annually, and an estimated 240,000 annual water main breaks as examples for why rebuilding the country’s infrastructure is such a critical issue. The report further estimates that it would take a $3.6 trillion investment by 2020 to bring U.S. infrastructure up to exceptional standards.

Competition Phases, Judging and Prizes
Finalists and winners of the three-phased Infrastructure Vision 2050 Challenge will be determined by a judging panel and crowd voting. The first two phases launch today. The third phase is scheduled to launch in mid-summer, 2016.

First phase: The “Complain Phase” will engage the public to describe the biggest infrastructure challenge facing their community.
Total Prize: $5,000 (10 finalists receive $250; overall winner receives $2,500)
Deadline to enter: March 15, 2016

Second phase: The “Dream Phase” will seek to solicit new thinking and solutions, especially from non-experts.
Total Prize: $45,000 (5 winners receive $9,000 each)
Deadline to enter: May 31, 2016

Third phase: The “Build Phase” takes the second phase a step further and solicits plans to implement those solutions on a larger scale.
Total Prize: $100,000 (Winner receives $100,00)
Deadline to enter: TBD

Judging criteria and other information can be found at the Infrastructure Vision 2050 Challenge website.

About AEM http://www.aem.org AEM is a trade association that provides services on a global basis for companies that manufacture equipment, products and services used worldwide in the following industries: Agriculture, Construction, Forestry, Mining and Utility. AEM’s membership is made up of more than 850 companies and represents 200+ product lines. Twitter: @aemadvisor Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AssociationofEquipmentManufacturers

About HeroX http://www.herox.com Founded in 2013, HeroX exists at the intersection of crowdsourcing, competition and collaboration, using each to drive positive change. A suite of tools and services to help spark and build awareness for new solutions to social and economic challenges, the HeroX incentive prize platform connects funding companies and individuals with problem solvers. Twitter: @Iamherox Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/IamHeroX

Walker Neuson – Expanding Its Product Offerings In North America

Wacker Neuson Wacker Neuson2 Wacker Neuson3

NCAT Makes Pavements Fail To Produce Better Designs

NCAT NCAT 2

A Gap In Sustainability In The Paving Industry

A Gap 1 A Gap 12

2016 — You Will Be Living In Interesting Times

Remus  and Mill my best friends, both victims of lymphoma in 2015.

Remus and Mill my best friends, both victims of lymphoma in 2015.

By Greg Sitek

May you live in interesting times” is an English expression purported to be a translation of a traditional Chinese curse. Despite being so common in English as to be known as “the Chinese curse“, the saying is apocryphal, and no actual Chinese source has ever been produced.

The nearest related Chinese expression is “宁為太平犬,莫做亂离人” (nìng wéi tàipíng quǎn, mò zuò luàn lí rén), which is usually translated as “Better to be a dog in a peaceful time, than to be a man in a chaotic (warring) period.” (1)

As you read through the 2016 forecasts in this issue you’ll notice that predictions for the coming year are encouraging because they allude to an overall improvement in the economy: GDP + 2 %(+/-),

Nonfarm unemployment 5 % (+/-); motor vehicle & arts sales kissing $94 billion; US auto production 17 billion in 2015 and 20 billion by 2017, housing starts bumping 1.4 million units (combined) and there’s more goo news. Oh yes, construction, non-residential could be up as high as 4% give or take a point.

A major legislative accomplishment was the passing of the FAST Act (“Fixing America’s Surface Transportation” Act) — a five-year, $305 billion initiative (including $207.4 billion for the federal highway program). It only too something like 10 years and 35 extensions to produce the FAST Act (I wonder if there might be a touch of sarcasm in naming this piece of legislation.)

Unfortunately Congress chose not to replenish the Highway Trust Fund (HTF) by increasing user fees (e.g., increasing the gas tax). Instead, the roughly $70 billion needed to fully fund the FAST Act and supplement the projected five-year HTF shortfall will essentially be a combination of general fund transfers resulting from savings and revenues generated by:

  • Passport revocation for “seriously delinquent” taxpayers
  • Federal Reserve Board dividend payment reduction and surplus account transfer
  • Strategic Petroleum Reserve sale of 66 million barrels of oil
  • Customs fees on airline and cruise passengers
  • Internal Revenue Service hiring private tax collectors
  • Office of Natural Resources Revenue royalty overpayment fix

While five-years of guaranteed funding is welcomed and will restore much needed near-term certainty for transportation construction programs, there is work left to do. AED and other industry organizations will continue to work with lawmakers to identify real and sustainable revenue streams to increase and stabilize the HTF for decades to come.

I remember that time before there was a six-year highway bill when we, the industry, waited for a proclamation of how much money was going to be allocated from the general to cover highway construction. It was the other time when potholes grew fasted than corn. We need a Highway Trust Fund because we can’t depend on our representatives in Washington to keep their promises and provide the funds necessary to maintain and upgrade our highways.

That aside, 2016 is also an election year. What will happen with oil prices? Or, what about gold? Silver? Interest rates? Oh they did go up 0.25% as we approached the end of 2015.

Of course there all the other concerns that we as a nation face – ISIS, terrorism, climate,, education, safety, healthcare, wages, insurance, etc. The list is endless. During an election year we are a nation in flux. Is this good? Or, is this bad? One thing for certain, it is interesting…

(1) Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/May_you_live_in_interesting_times)