Tag Archive for 'transportation'

TRIP’s Rocky Moretti Speaks with ATM About the Country’s Slumping Transportation Infrastructure

Listen to the 7-minute podcast

In February 2018, the White House released President Donald J. Trump’s infrastructure principles and initiative with this quote from the president: “We will build gleaming new roads, bridges, highways, railways, and waterways all across our land. And we will do it with American heart, and American hands, and American grit.”

But almost two years later, the American public, and the business and labor sectors are still waiting for these shining words to become reality.

Every day, Rocky Moretti lives why this message carries so much meaning. As Director of Policy & Research for the national transportation research nonprofit TRIP, he examines data and information and writes, edits and presents reports that illuminate the deteriorating state of regional and U.S. transportation infrastructure — all toward the goal of promoting sound public transportation policy.

The newest “ATM Podcast,” for the Americans for Transportation Mobility Coalition, features Moretti’s take on topics like quality of life and economic productivity, safety and congestion, bettering mobility, and America’s substantial transportation infrastructure funding gap. He also provides some insight into current transportation infrastructure challenges in Arizona, Ohio and Wisconsin.

In the last few years, Moretti has gone to Alabama, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Carolina and Texas to release reports on their transportation systems.

Sign our petition at http://bit.ly/2rk7EZl and share this story with your friends on social media.

NAPA Notes Opportunities in FY2020 Appropriations Bill

The National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA) 2019 Chairman John Harper, Senior Vice President of Construction Partners Inc. in Dothan, Alabama, released the following statement after final passage of the Fiscal Year 2020 appropriations bills:

“With President Donald Trump signing the appropriations passed this week by Congress, the asphalt pavement industry is looking forward to the opportunities that the New Year will bring. We are pleased that Congress has been forward thinking in developing and funding new programs that will have long-term benefits for America’s infrastructure, public safety, and national defense.

“Included in the $48.6 billion in funding appropriated for surface transportation programs, Congress included a new program to make sorely needed improvements to the Appalachian development highway system, support for building out critical commerce corridors to improve safety and speed the transport of goods across the nation, and research programs to expand the use of innovative materials and permeable pavements, including porous asphalt. We’re also looking forward to new innovations that will arise from the new airfield research program and the new Department of Defense program for extending the service life of military roads and airfields.

“Congress has set the stage for a productive 2020 construction season, but now our eyes turn to the future. From the heartland to the coasts, it’s America’s roads that bring us together, so while we’re hard at work building, maintaining, and improving our nation’s infrastructure, we expect Congress to be hard at work crafting a new long-term surface transportation program to replace the expiring FAST Act.”

About the National Asphalt Pavement Association

The 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.

Real Growth for 2020 Transportation Construction Market, ARTBA Chief Economist Says

he U.S. transportation infrastructure market is expected to grow at least 5 percent next year, according to the annual economic forecast released Dec. 4 by the American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA).

“The real market growth for 2020 is being fueled by increased transportation investments from federal, state and local governments,” says ARTBA Chief Economist Dr. Alison Premo Black, who conducted the analysis.

Total domestic transportation construction and related-market activity in 2020 should reach $300.4 billion, up from 2019’s $286.5 billion, after adjusting for project costs and inflation.

The transportation construction market grew by 8 percent in 2019 compared to 2018, driven largely by gains in highway, street and pavement work, which grew by $9.6 billion to $73.1 billion.

Airport construction work on runways and terminals increased by less than 1 percent in 2019 but was still at record investment levels.  Strong growth in the subway, light rail and mass transit sector, as well as private railroad investment helped support a strong year for transportation construction activity.

One variable, Black says, is the outlook for the reauthorization of the FAST Act transportation law, due in 2020, and the ability of Congress to find additional revenues to support the Highway Trust Fund (HTF).  Any project delays because states are concerned about whether the next federal surface transportation bill is completed in a timely matter could temper 2020 market growth, Black added.  

Overall, transportation construction market activity is expected to increase or be steady in about half of the states, the ARTBA analysis shows.  Some of the largest markets expected to remain stable or grow include Texas, California, Illinois, New York, Florida, North Carolina, Washington, Minnesota, Michigan, Arizona and Wisconsin.

Black shared her findings during a Dec. 4 webinar for analysts, investors, transportation construction market executives, and public officials.

Other market variables include material prices, increased labor costs and labor shortages in some regions.   

Among the other key Black findings:

Public & Private Highway, Street & Related Construction  

  • The real value of public highway, street and related construction investment by state transportation departments and local governments—the largest market sector—is expected to increase by 6 percent to $77.5 billion after growing 15 percent in 2019.
  • Construction work on private highways, bridges, parking lots and driveways will increase from $69.1 billion in 2019 to $71.8 billion in 2020 and will continue to grow over the next five years as market activity increases in those sectors.

Bridges & Tunnels  

  • The pace of bridge and tunnel construction work stayed flat in 2019 and is forecast to grow by $800 million, or 3 percent, in 2020.  Bridge and tunnel market activity fell slightly from $28.8 billion in 2018 to $28.6 billion in 2019, after adjusting for project costs and inflation. 

Light Rail, Subways, & Railroads 

  • Public transit and rail construction are expected to grow from $23 billion in 2019 to $24.2 billion in 2020, a 5 percent increase. 
  • Subway and light rail investment are expected to reach a new record level, increasing from $10.3 billion this year to $11 billion in 2020.

Airport Runways & Terminals  

  • After growing 34 percent in 2018, airport terminal and related construction work, including structures like parking garages, hangars, air freight terminals and traffic towers, is estimated to increase from $18.5 billion in 2019 to $19.6 billion.
  • Runway work is forecasted to increase from $4.7 billion in 2019 to $4.9 billion in 2020.

Ports & Waterways 

  • The value of port and waterway investment should grow to $3.4 billion in 2020. Construction activity in 2019 was $3.3 billion, up from $2.5 billion in 2018. 

ARTBA’s forecast is based on a series of proprietary econometric models for each mode and analysis of federal, state and local data and market intelligence. The full forecast can be purchased at www.artbastore.org.

Established in 1902, ARTBA represents the U.S. transportation construction industry before Congress, the White House, federal agencies, courts, news media and the general public. 

An extensive review of the ARTBA 2020 Forecast and other related materials will be available in the January issues of all Associated Construction Publications (ACP).

60-Minute Webinar for Transportation Construction Professionals, Public Officials & Analysts

American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) Chief Economist Dr. Alison Premo Black will detail the association’s five-year transportation construction market outlook in her annual forecast, 3 p.m. Eastern, Dec. 4.

Topics to be covered as part of the webinar include:

  • National market forecast and which states are driving the activity;
  • Highway, bridge, airport runway, transit, freight, rail, and ports/waterway forecasts; and
  • The impacts of hundreds of recently approved state and local transportation funding initiatives.

ARTBA Senior Vice President of Congressional Relations Dean Franks will also provide an update on efforts to permanently fix the Highway Trust Fund, pass a long-term infrastructure plan and the reauthorization of the FAST Act.

The webinar is for transportation design and construction professionals, public agency officials, analysts and investors.

The registration fee is $350 for the private sector and $175 for public agency officials.  Paid participants will receive a copy of the complete U.S. Transportation Construction Market Forecast report (a $200 value); a PowerPoint presentation and “Q & A” session; and access to an online, interactive summary of the forecast results.

Register here.

Established in 1902, ARTBA represents the U.S. transportation construction industry before Congress, the White House, federal agencies, courts, news media and the general public.

Busy Week at ARTBA — Check It Out

ARTBA & Other Groups Urge Senate Vote on Highway Bill

October 18, 2019 

By John Schneidawind, vice president of public affairs, ARTBA

ARTBA and a cross section of nearly 40 national organizations representing business and organized labor are urging Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) to bring S. 2302, the America’s Transportation Infrastructure Act (ATIA), to a floor vote by the end of the year.

The Senate’s Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee July 29 unanimously passed the ATIA, but “it is up to the rest of the Senate to take the next steps,” the groups wrote in an Oct. 17 letter to McConnell. (see below)

Those steps include consideration by the Senate’s Commerce, Banking and Finance committees. The Finance Committee is tasked with developing a way to pay spending called for by the legislation, which represents the first surface transportation program reauthorization bill in nearly 15 years that would significantly increase federal investment in highway safety and mobility improvements.

In urging McConnell to bring the bill to the Senate floor for consideration, the letter notes that “history has demonstrated that delaying action on such measures until their deadline leads to two outcomes: short-term extensions; and the disruption of state highway improvement plans.”

The letter praises McConnell for moving the last highway program reauthorization through the Senate after the EPW Committee passed it in June 2015, which “with your personal support, spurred action from other Senate Committees and the House of Representatives. This culminated in the enactment of the “Fixing America’s Transportation (FAST) Act six months later.”

The House of Representatives has yet to take any action to introduce similar highway program reauthorization legislation.

Summer Transportation Construction Work Hits Record $45.6 Billion

October 17, 2019

By Mark Holan, editorial director, ARTBA

Transportation contractors were busy this summer, with the value of work up across all modes in June, July, and August compared to the same three-month period in 2018.

Contractors performed a record $45.6 billion in transportation and transportation-related construction work, up 12 percent compared to the $40.8 billion put in place June through August 2018, according to the latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

“Highway and street pavement work has shown continued strength, with $21.7 billion in work between June and August 2019, compared to $19.6 billion in market activity through the same time period in 2018,” said ARTBA Chief Economist, Dr. Alison Black. “Work is also up for bridge, airport, transit, rail and port/waterway construction.”

ARTBA contractor members can have their say about what was going on by taking a few minutes to answer our third quarter industry conditions survey. The deadline is Oct. 28.

State and local government highway and bridge contract awards continue to show strength in some of the nation’s largest markets, Black said, including California, Florida, Georgia, Minnesota, Texas, and Virginia. Year to date, market activity is up 10 percent across all transportation modes.

Dr. Black will take a deeper dive into market conditions and federal, state, and local funding trends at ARTBA’s four upcoming regional meetings. Learn more and register here.

ATIA Group Letter to Senate Leader McConnell

October 17, 2019 

The Honorable Mitch McConnell 

Majority Leader 

U.S. Senate 

Washington, D.C. 20510 

 Dear Leader McConnell: 

The Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee’s America’s Transportation 

Infrastructure Act (ATIA), S. 2302, provides a rare opportunity to benefit all states and continue the nation’s longest economic expansion in history. While the EPW Committee has unanimously approved a critical federal infrastructure initiative, it is up to the rest of the Senate to take the next steps. 

We applaud EPW Committee Chairman Barrasso, Ranking Member Carper and all committee 

members for proactively moving forward with a reauthorization of the federal highway program more than a year before it expires. History has demonstrated that delaying action on such measures until their deadline leads to two outcomes: short-term extensions; and disruption of state highway improvement plans. 

The ATIA is not only timely, but it would also deliver meaningful enhancement to the nation’s 

highway and bridge infrastructure network. It would provide historic investment levels, deliver 

beneficial projects faster by cutting red tape, tap private sector capital and innovations, prioritize safety, and improve the quality of life for rural and urban communities. The ATIA is an important foundation to begin addressing the critical need to modernize America’s infrastructure. 

The ATIA earned unanimous endorsement of EPW Committee members and supportive comments from President Trump. This unique show of broad, bipartisan cooperation speaks not only to the merits of the legislation, but also to its prospects for passage. The EPW Committee approved a highway program reauthorization in June 2015 that, with your personal support, spurred action from other Senate committees and the House of Representatives. This culminated in the enactment of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act six months later. 

We urge you to ensure the progress made on the ATIA continues by committing to schedule a 

reauthorization of the federal surface transportation programs for floor consideration this year. 

Such a pledge would be an unequivocal signal to the other relevant Senate committees to begin developing their respective components of the final bill. 

Sincerely,

American Road & Transportation Builders Association 

Associated General Contractors of America 

U.S. Chamber of Commerce 

American Society of Civil Engineers 

Associated Equipment Manufacturers 

The National Industrial Transportation League 

American Public Works Association 

Transportation Intermediaries Association 

National Association of Chemical Distributors 

North America’s Building Trades Unions 

International Union of Operating Engineers 

Laborers International Union of North America 

American Public Transportation Association 

Equipment Dealers Association 

Associated Equipment Distributors 

National Tank Truck Carriers, Inc. 

American Highway Users Alliance 

National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association 

American Council of Engineering Companies 

American Concrete Pipe Association 

Coalition for America’s Gateway & Trade Corridors 

Energy Equipment & Infrastructure Alliance 

National Ready Mixed Concrete Association 

National Steel Bridge Alliance 

Portland Cement Association 

Industrial Minerals Association – North America 

American Concrete Pavement Association 

Construction & Demolition Recycling Association 

American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) 

International Warehouse Logistics Association 

National Parking Association 

Foodservice Equipment Distributors Association (FEDA) 

National Association of Trailer Manufacturers 

Food Marketing Institute 

CCIM Institute 

Independent Lubricant Manufacturers Association 

Associated Wire Rope Fabricators 

Building Owners and Managers Association 

Cc: All U.S. Senators