ROBERT MOERY’S CAPITOL ASSETS • IMPROVING RURAL ROADS
The Magazine of the Arkansas Good Roads Foundation
Foundation Good Roads. Good for All.
GOVERNOR: ISSUE 1 TOP PRIORITY
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2019-2020 EXECUTIVE BOARD Dan Flowers – North Little Rock President D.B. Hill, III – Little Rock Vice President Bob Crafton – Rogers Secretary/Treasurer Harold Beaver – Rogers JoAnne Bush – Lake Village Mark Hayes – Little Rock Mark Lamberth – Batesville Clay McGeorge – Little Rock Robert Moery – Little Rock Shannon Newton – Little Rock Tom Schueck – Little Rock Chris Villines – Searcy Jim Wooten – Beebe
Dan Flowers President
D.B. Hill, III Vice President
Bob Crafton Secretary/Treasurer
ARKANSAS GOOD ROADS FOUNDATION Mission Statement The mission of the Arkansas Good Roads Foundation is to promote adequate funding and financing for the planning, development, construction and maintenance of a safe and efficient highway, road, street and bridge system, facilitating statewide economic growth, thus increasing private-sector job creation and retention.
Harold Beaver Rogers
JoAnne Bush Lake Village
Mark Hayes Little Rock
Mark Lamberth Batesville
Clay McGeorge Little Rock
Robert Moery Little Rock
Shannon Newton Little Rock
Tom Schueck Little Rock
Chris Villines Little Rock
Jim Wooten Beebe
Joe Quinn, Executive Director firstname.lastname@example.org Bill Paddack, Editor email@example.com Celia Blasier, Designer firstname.lastname@example.org
Winter 2019 | Good Roads Foundation 3
8 Annual Meeting
Gov. Asa Hutchinson tells attendees the Issue 1 campaign is his top priority for 2020.
13 Country Roads
Congressman Bruce Westerman on improving safety on our rural roads.
14 Ballot Issue
Gov. Asa Hutchinson officially kicks off the “Vote for Roads Vote for Issue 1” campaign.
17 Better, Safer Roads 18 Q&A: Aaron Gschwandegger 23 Improvement Projects 24 Thinking Strategically
24 Robert Moery
Governor says approval of tax extension will mean money to fix roads will be there when needed.
Photographer says his inspiration comes from the beauty he finds in nature.
State Highway Commission approves bids for road and bridge work across the state.
Robert Moery on working for the governor and what he learned from him.
REGULAR FEATURES 3 Executive Board 5 ARDOT Update 6 Side Roads
ON THE COVER
Arkansas Good Roads Foundation P.O. Box 25854 Little Rock, Arkansas 72221 WWW.ARGOODROADS.COM
33 By the Numbers 35 Back Talk 4 Good Roads Foundation | Winter 2019
Arkansas Good Roads @arkansasgoodroads AR Good Roads @ARGoodRoads
AGRF leadership with Gov. Asa Hutchinson prior to the start of the Annual Meeting. From left, Vice President D.B. Hill, III, the governor, President Dan Flowers and Secretary/Treasurer Bob Crafton. (Photo by Mike Pirnique)
ARDOT COO Receives National Recognition
Lorie Tudor, deputy director construction contracts. In 2018, the University of Arkansas and chief operating officer at inducted Tudor into its Academy of Civil Engineering, the Arkansas Department of becoming the 30th ARDOT engineer – and the first Transportation, received the ARDOT female engineer – to achieve this distinction in the Alfred E. Johnson Achievement Academy’s nearly 40-year history. Award at the recent annual “We are extremely proud of Lorie for receiving this meeting of the American honor from her peers in the transportation industry,” Association of State Highway ARDOT Director Scott Bennett said. “Her contributions and Transportation Officials. have positively impacted the daily operations of the The award recognizes a department. At ARDOT, we know how important Lorie department of has been to our efforts here. transportation It’s rewarding for that to be “Her contributions official in middle recognized nationally now.” Lorie Tudor management who AASHTO, which have positively has made outstanding contributions in either represents state departments impacted the daily engineering or management. It was one of of transportation in all three major awards presented by AASHTO to 50 states, the District of operations of the transportation leaders for exceptional service Columbia and Puerto Rico, and innovation, according to ARDOT officials. is a nonprofit, nonpartisan department.” Tudor’s exceptional organizational, association serving as a – ARDOT Director technical and analytical skills helped transform catalyst for excellence in Scott Bennett ARDOT’s process for bidding and vetting transportation.
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Officials break ground on the University of Arkansas Civil Engineering Research and Education Center.
Engineering Center to House State-of-the-Art Structures Ground has been broken on the University of Arkansas Civil Engineering Research and Education Center, which will be located within the Arkansas Research and Technology Park in Fayetteville. The building will house new, state-of-the-art structures, a testing laboratory, faculty and graduate offices, and other civil engineering laboratory spaces. It is a phased project that will eventually culminate with a new facility for the school’s Center for Training Transportation Professionals. The building is designed to fit into the existing building stock of the Technology Park. The large, high-bay structures testing lab gives the building a strong presence on what will be a new pedestrian plaza for the park. The new civil engineering facility allows the university’s research and training disciplines to be located within a single complex. The center will provide the capability to evaluate full-scale structural elements, such as beams and girders for buildings, bridges, etc., as well as soils, asphalt, and concrete. The high-bay structures laboratory will feature a structural testing floor, associated materials 6 Good Roads Foundation | Winter 2019
preparation and testing areas, and adjacent office and research spaces for lab personnel. The lab will support both graduate and undergraduate civil engineering students (250 students per year) and graduate research (25 students per year), as well as faculty in civil engineering. (A story on the Civil Engineering Center was featured in the spring 2019 issue of Good Roads.)
App Links Prospective Workers, Construction Industry Employers Contractors, looking for employees for your next project? Construction workers, looking to network for that next job and swap stories with colleagues on how to propel your career? There’s an app for that: Trade Hounds, the first mobile platform built exclusively for commercial trade workers in America. AGC of America members say it can go a long way toward helping to solve the industry’s workforce shortage crisis. Developed by David Broomhead, the Trade Hounds app is a cross between LinkedIn and Instagram,
Side Roads allowing construction workers to connect with each other to discuss their jobs, new work opportunities, their families and their life/work issues and share onthe-job photographs. “We’re working to make this the definitive solution to solve the current labor crisis in the construction industry,” Broomhead said. Indeed, the nation’s low unemployment levels and tight job market have created a hiring bind in construction, he says, citing AGC of America statistics that 78 percent of construction companies nationwide are having trouble finding qualified workers. Early on, Broomhead learned firsthand about the challenges of the industry. “Traditional job boards and resumes don’t suit construction workers, as they’re not able to show their work through photos,” he said. On the app, workers can stay current on the latest jobs, share their work through text updates or photos, share stories with other workers and give or receive advice.
Leadership Change at Garver: Hoskins Now President & CEO In October, Garver brought most of its 700 full-time employees to Central Arkansas to celebrate its centennial year, and it used the occasion to announce it is being led by a new CEO. Brock Hoskins, who was promoted to president in January of this year, is now president and CEO, while former CEO Dan Williams Brock Hoskins is now chairman emeritus. Hoskins has worked for Garver, which maintains its headquarters in North Little Rock, since 1990. In 1999, he was chosen to help establish the firm’s Fayetteville office. He was named chief operating officer and executive vice president in 2012. Talk Business & Politics reported that Hoskins said he will remain in the Fayetteville office, which has 95 full-time employees, and the company’s headquarters will stay in Central Arkansas. “We have been intentional about spreading talent across our footprint, including executives and other senior leaders in several offices in different states,” he said. “However, we will continue to maintain our headquarters in North Little Rock – still our largest office – where we still
have several executives and other senior leaders.” Garver has grown to about 700 employees spread across 31 offices in 12 states. A second office in Northwest Arkansas will add to that total. Garver is planning to open an office inside a new building at The District at Pinnacle Hills in Rogers.
Mayors’ Priority Issues Include Transportation, Infrastructure Governing magazine reports that the U.S. Conference of Mayors has announced its priority issues for the 2020 election, and it put transportation on the shortlist, along with wastewater systems, clean energy tech and digital government. Regarding transportation and infrastructure, specific recommendations include securing the Highway Trust Fund, first established in the 1950s to fund road construction and mass transit; directing more highway dollars to programs like the Surface Transportation Block Grant to support local officials; and making public transit investment a priority.
Winter 2019 | Good Roads Foundation 7
Jeffrey Sand Company President Clay McGeorge, left, with Robert S. Moore, Jr., vice chairman of the Arkansas State Highway Commission.
Arkansas Trucking Association President Shannon Newton with Dick Trammel, former chairman of the Arkansas State Highway Commission.
Manhattan Road & Bridge Co. Vice President Mark Windle, left, who is the 2020 president of AGC Arkansas, with AGC Arkansas Executive Director Joey Dean.
Arkansas Municipal League Deputy Director Whitnee Bullerwell with Robert Moery, principal with Broadview Strategies.
More than 100 people attended the AGRF Annual Meeting at the Association of Arkansas Counties office in Little Rock.
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Arkansas State Highway Commissioner Philip Taldo, left, with Arkansas Municipal League General Counsel John Wilkerson.
From left, state Sen. Jane English with AGRF Executive Director Joe Quinn and Amanda Story Hargraves of Hargraves Consulting.
Hazel Whited, left, with Graycen Bigger of the Northeast Arkansas Regional Intermodal Facilities Authority.
State Rep. Mike Holcomb, left, with state Sen. Lance Eads. From left, Matt King, Stanley Hill and Jessica Clowser Burkham, all with Arkansas Farm Bureau.
Photos by Mike Pirnique, Randall Lee and Bill Paddack
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Speaking at the Good Roads Annual Meeting, Gov. Asa Hutchinson told attendees that passing Issue 1 will be his main priority in 2020. (Photo by Mike Pirnique)
AGRF ANNUAL MEETING
What Unity Looks Like By Joe Quinn Executive Director The Arkansas Good Roads Foundation Annual Meeting in late November was a reminder that a diverse mix of people and groups are working together to improve roads and bridges in Arkansas. It’s also clear that some things are different than previous years. Large stakeholder groups 10 Good Roads Foundation | Winter 2019
are quietly working together rather than approaching the effort with a “what’s-in-itfor-us” attitude. The political culture has certainly changed in Arkansas in the past 10 years, but at this event on this day, it’s apparent that in some ways the change has been for
Annual Meeting the better. It’s an inclusive group working for safer roads and bridges. Two days before Thanksgiving, Gov. Asa Hutchinson came to this large meeting room at the Association of Arkansas Counties to remind a crowd of more than 150 people that passing Issue 1 will be his main priority in 2020. This means a lot coming from a governor who has high approval ratings even after being in office for five years. We live in a world where elected officials with this kind of seniority don’t generally remain this popular with voters. Besides telling the crowd that this issue will be at the top of his 2020 to-do list, the governor also promised the most significant thing any governor can give to any cause. He promised he will devote his time to the effort to pass Issue 1. Statewide Impact Issue 1 is not about a new tax. Let’s say that one more time … this is not a new tax. It’s an extension of an existing tax that will make roads safer for families, and it will create thousands of jobs. As the Arkansas Department of Transportation looks at the next decade, there are three main areas where the funding generated by this extension will be used. It will go to repair State Rep. Jim Wooten, right, is a longtime member of the Arkansas existing roads, repair bridges, and it will Good Roads Foundation Executive Board. At the November 2019 pay for larger new road projects across the Good Roads Annual Meeting, he was honored by Board President Dan state. Flowers for his service to the organization. Dan thanked Jim for his This work doesn’t help one region more dedicated service and named him president emeritus of the foundation. than another – it will impact all counties, Jim is a great leader who has always been a vocal supporter of better roads for Arkansas. His steady leadership is very much appreciated by cities and towns. everyone in the organization. Thank you Jim! It will mean every county judge and mayor in Arkansas can continue to do the week-to-week road work that’s so important If the sales tax to any community. extension doesn’t If the sales tax extension doesn’t pass, every county judge and mayor in the state will be looking at a 30% pass, every county reduction in the local road improvement budget. judge and mayor In areas with a lot of needs and limited resources – hundreds of communities – this would be a real in the state will be hardship. looking at a 30% The annual luncheon was also a moment to recognize people who have been strong voices in this reduction in the local effort for many years. Good Roads Executive Board road improvement President Dan Flowers presented Jim Wooten with an appreciation award for Jim’s years of service to budget. Winter 2019 | Good Roads Foundation 11
Annual Meeting Good Roads. Jim is now a member of the state House of Representatives, but long before that he was advocating for better roads. He is a true gentleman who has dealt with health issues in recent years but keeps coming back to serve his community and state. Jim is a reminder of what quiet and gracious leadership is all about. Get Involved Arkansas Good Roads is a nonprofit AGRF Executive Director Joe Quinn: We have a great membership, and dynamic executive foundation that exists on donations made by board members volunteering their time to make this a better state for our children and grandchildren. (Photo by Mike Pirnique) members. Our mission is to educate families on why good roads matter in terms of safety, job creation and quality of life. If you are a part of an organization that would
Issue 1 is not about a new tax. … It’s an extension of an existing tax that will make roads safer for families, and it will create thousands of jobs. like to join, or just get more information about joining, please call 479-426-5931. We have a great membership, and dynamic executive board members volunteering their time to make this a better state for our children and grandchildren. We would very much like to have you involved in this effort. It would be great to have you at the Annual Meeting next year. 12 Good Roads Foundation | Winter 2019
Patrick Sullenger, Sales Manager 501-490-1535 / email@example.com
Improving Safety On Our Rural Roads U.S. Rep. Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.)
Anytime I am home in Arkansas, I spend quite This toolkit helps rural communities identify their a bit of time driving up and down the state. My safety needs and prioritize the safety projects that will congressional district reaches from the Ozarks to the work best for them. Louisiana border, and if I were to drive from top to Since Rep. Finkenauer and I introduced the bottom it would take about seven hours. Because of Rural Roads Safety Act earlier this year, we’ve all this windshield time, I’m very familiar with the received public support from AARP, the Advocates dangers of traveling on rural roads. Even something as for Highway and Auto Safety, the American Traffic simple as a large pothole or faded road markings can Safety Services Association, the International Union have fatal consequences at high speeds or late at night. of Operating Engineers, the National Association U.S. Rep. Abby Finkenauer (D-Iowa) and I of County Engineers, the National Association of introduced the Rural Roads Safety Act in September Counties and the North America Building Trades 2019 to address some of these systemic issues. Union. As co-chair of the Road Safety Caucus, I’m Unkept rural roads are dangerous and account for glad to see such broad support for this commonsense a disproportionate legislation and hope to see amount of accidents. Whether you’re using a it build as we move the bill In fact, while rural through the legislative process. rural road to commute to roads account for Returning to What Worked only 30 percent of Whether you’re using a work, visit friends or drive our nation’s traffic, rural road to commute to work, to the grocery store, you visit friends or drive to the statistics attribute should have peace of mind grocery store, you should have nearly 48 percent of annual traffic fatalities peace of mind knowing that knowing that the roads on to rural roads. Since the roads on which we drive which we drive are safe. are safe. Everyone from drivers most rural roads are locally owned, funds to construction workers will for maintenance and repairs are often hard to come by. benefit from the Rural Road Safety Act, as we return Broad Support to what worked in the past. From 2005 to 2012, the federal government set This bipartisan bill represents Congress’ ability to aside funding for high-risk rural road projects, and put party politics aside and focus on legislation that this fund helped save lives. However, after the setkeeps Americans safe and improves our infrastructure. aside was eliminated, rural road fatalities declined at I hope to see it passed quickly through the House and a far slower rate. The Rural Roads Safety Act would Senate and signed into law. reinstate this funding mechanism, ensuring states Bruce Westerman is the representative for the Fourth are investing a portion of federal Highway Safety District of Arkansas, and the co-chair of the Road Safety Improvement Program money into their high-risk Caucus. He is a member of the House Natural Resources rural roads. The bill would also update the 2014 Rural Committee and the House Transportation & Infrastructure Local and Tribal Roads Safety Toolkit to include new Committee, and the ranking member on the Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee. best practices for reducing fatalities on rural roads. Winter 2019 | Good Roads Foundation 13
ARDOT Director Scott Bennett, left, visits with Gov. Asa Hutchinson at the press conference announcing the Issue 1 campaign. (Photos by Rusty Hubbard.)
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Vote for Roads Campaign Launch
Representatives from a number of statewide organizations were on hand for the governor’s press conference.
From left, Chris Villines, State Highway Commissioner Robert S. Moore, Jr., and Mark Hayes.
Hutchinson Launches ‘Vote for Roads’ Campaign
At a news conference on Trucking Association President Nov. 15 in Little Rock, Gov. Asa Shannon Newton, chairwoman; Hutchinson officially kicked off Arkansas State Chamber of Arkansas’ “Vote for Roads Vote Commerce President & CEO for Issue 1” campaign to continue Randy Zook, vice chairman; and funding for Arkansas highways, Poultry Federation President roads and bridges at no additional Marvin Childers, secretary/ cost to taxpayers. treasurer. The governor was joined by “A vote for Issue 1 groups from all four corners of the means better roads, state, including a stronger economy mayors, county judges, small and a safer Arkansas – business owners without raising taxes.” and a number of - Gov. Asa Hutchinson organizations. Leadership “Vote for Roads Vote for Issue Joining those organizations on 1” is the name of the committee the committee are the Arkansas promoting the proposal. The Asphalt Pavement Association, committee’s officers are Arkansas Associated General Contractors Winter 2019 | Good Roads Foundation 15
Vote for Roads Campaign Launch of Arkansas, Arkansas Farm Bureau, Associated Builders and Contractors of Arkansas, Northwest Arkansas Council, American Traffic Safety Services Association and the American Council of Engineering Cos. of Arkansas. Stronger Economy “A vote for Issue 1 means better roads, a stronger economy and a safer Arkansas – without raising taxes,” Hutchinson said. “It will benefit every resident and every small business that calls Arkansas home, and I am delighted to lead this effort.” Passage of Issue 1 will continue to provide more than $205 million a year of significant funding to
Finally, a vote for Issue 1 will support thousands of jobs each year and provide more than $8.2 billion in economic activity over the next decade. maintain, improve and construct nearly 7,000 miles of interstate and highway miles and repair and replace dangerous bridges
throughout the state – all without raising taxes. Funding Cities, Counties If Issue 1 succeeds, cities and counties will continue to receive $43 million annually, again, without any new tax on Arkansas residents. (Without this continuation of funding, cities and counties will lose millions from their budgets each year.) Finally, a vote for Issue 1 will support thousands of jobs each year and provide more than $8.2 billion in economic activity over the next decade. To learn more about the “Vote for Roads Vote for Issue 1.” campaign, visit www. VoteForRoads.com.
w w w. p e t e r s o n c o n c r e t e t a n k . c o m 16 Good Roads Foundation | Winter 2019
Voter Approval of Issue 1 in November 2020 Will Mean Better, Safer Roads in Arkansas By Gov. Asa Hutchinson
is our second-largest industry. Our highways give The chance to renew the state’s half-cent sales tax to pay for highway upkeep will be the most important Arkansans and visitors easy access to our mountains and our rivers and to the duck-hunting waters of the issue on the ballot next year, and I’d like to address Delta. why I supported the legislation that will allow us to When the leaders of a company are considering a vote on Issue 1. move to Arkansas, the condition of our transportation Issue 1 does not increase taxes. The state has system is one of their top criteria. been collecting a half-cent sales tax for highway Over the years, this will cost billions of dollars. maintenance since 2013 after the voters approved it in 2012. The current half-cent sales tax is set to expire in Issue 1 allows us to provide the funds for highway maintenance far into the future. Approval of this 2023. Issue 1 allows us to extend it to pay for roads. extension will mean that the money to fix our potholes Roads and bridges are in constant need of and resurface our roads will be there when we need maintenance, and upkeep is not cheap. Issue 1 will it. Renewal ensures stability for bring in more than $205 road funding. It also will give us million annually to repair and Renewal ensures a stronger hand when we apply improve nearly 7,000 miles stability for road for federal funds. of highways and to repair or We all benefit from good replace dangerous bridges. It funding. It also will roads. The half-cent sales tax will bring in $43 million to give us a stronger allows everyone to easily share go to cities and $43 million to in the maintenance of our go to counties. The rest of the hand when we apply transportation infrastructure. $119 million will be used for for federal funds. Issue 1 is the second part of state infrastructure. a historic plan to pay for roads Our roads, streets and and highways. Earlier this year, highways are crucial to so members of the 92nd General Assembly approved many areas of life. Our roads connect the four corners of Arkansas and allow us the freedom to travel almost $95 million for highway upkeep. Legislators, with my support, then approved this initiative for the 2020 anywhere we want to go. ballot. We take the roads to our jobs, to the doctor, to I joined legislators in wanting to give all Arkansans school and to the grocery store. Our roads take us to the chance to approve this extension. Passage of Issue visit family and friends. 1 will mean safer roads around the state, and safe Agriculture is our No. 1 industry, and our farmers roads improve life for everyone. rely on safe roads to deliver their goods. Tourism
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Artisan/craftsman Aaron Gschwandegger finds a market for his photos and stylized graphic prints on fabric. By Bill Paddack A vibrant cardinal perched on an icy dogwood limb. A cute little bluebird surrounded by colorful autumn leaves. A beautiful red-spotted purple butterfly on a wild blackberry bush. Visitors to the Arkansas Craft Gallery in Mountain View, the Arkansas Craft Guild’s annual Christmas Showcase in Little Rock, the gift shops in a number of Arkansas state parks or his FallenPine.com website can count on seeing Aaron Gschwandegger’s beautiful nature photos on an array of products. Winter 2019 | Good Roads Foundation 19
He says his inspiration comes from the beauty he finds in nature, adding that Arkansas’ diversity provides endless artistic ideas. His photos are stunning and demonstrate both his skill as a photographer as well as his patience, since birds and butterflies don’t exactly pose for photos. In addition to taking photographs, he makes decorative wooden handcrafted frames to enhance his pictures. Then, with his photos as a starting point, he takes it a step or two further, creating decorative items that are made by putting his original designs and pictures on various surfaces, including wood and fabric. Gschwandegger and his Fallen Pine company are based out of Melbourne, but he’s familiar – and travels – throughout much of the Natural State. But before returning to Arkansas, he saw a fair bit of the U.S. as well. Born in Jonesboro, he says he moved around a lot before returning to Arkansas in 2009. His father is an Austrian immigrant while his mother grew up on a farm outside Walnut Ridge. He’s lived in Nebraska, 20 Good Roads Foundation | Winter 2019
New York, Texas, Utah and Virginia and previously worked in retail merchandising and display. But photography and artistic design now make up his fulltime career. A former president of the Arkansas Craft Guild, he enjoys visiting with customers at various shows and explaining a bit more about his work. We caught up with him recently and asked him about his photography, the Craft Guild and the many roads and highways across the state that he frequents. Tell us a little about your work, your photography and how you’ve expanded to include your photos in various other products. Nature photography is the basis for all of my work and Arkansas truly is the Natural State. There are so many places and subjects that give me inspiration. One of my favorite things to make from my photographs are stylized graphic prints for fabrics. I then use these fabrics to make other items such as bags, pillows and table runners. Stationery is also one of my key product
Q&A categories, as well as seasonal items like Christmas ornaments.
White River by Cotter, and then into the tree-lined stretches and hills by Yellville. There is a lot to see even before getting to Eureka Springs. Since 1962, Arkansans have counted on the Due to the dynamic landscape, our highways Arkansas Craft Guild aren’t always the quickest as a source of highWith the mountains, drive, and there are many quality handmade gaps between towns, gas rivers and other natural stations and cellular phone products by the state’s artisans and surroundings, there just service. Speed, or lack craftsmen. Why is of speed, is probably one aren’t a lot of straight shots the Guild important of the biggest challenges and what has been anywhere. But, that is also when driving to many your involvement and places in Arkansas. With part of the charm of driving in the mountains, rivers and experience with it? The Arkansas our beautiful state. other natural surroundings, Craft Guild has been there just aren’t a lot of – Aaron Gschwandegger a great resource to straight shots anywhere. market my work, But, that is also part of the charm of driving in our such as the Arkansas Craft Gallery in Mountain beautiful state. View, as well as shows like the Christmas Showcase in Little Rock. In addition to the marketing aspect, What are your favorite travel apps? having a standards committee that reviews your My iPhone map app is probably my most used app work really helps an artisan maintain a high level of when I travel, provided I have service. It’s my gocraftsmanship. to app for directions anywhere. I also like to use the Hotels.com app when I travel to book places to stay. Your products are featured at many state park gift shops and other retail shops and you display at craft fairs, so it’s safe to say you know Arkansas roads and highways pretty well. What are some highways you are on frequently and what are your thoughts of them? Travel is one of my biggest business expenses. Living in rural North Central Arkansas, most places are a bit of a drive. I could go on forever about all the roads I drive, but here are some of my favorites. I travel Highway 9 a lot. The stretch between Melbourne and Mountain View is one of my most familiar routes. This part of Highway 9 not only takes me to Mountain View, but also continues on as part of my trip toward Mount Magazine. It is probably one of the most winding roads I drive. This makes for a slow drive at times, but you cannot beat the natural beauty and scenery. Recently, there have been more signs added to alert drivers to curves in the road. This seems to have made the road a bit safer. When going towards Eureka Springs, I am also a frequent traveler on Highway 5 up to Mountain Home and Highway 412 over to Harrison and then eventually Highway 62. Much of this drive is also very scenic. Passing over the Norfork Dam, then the Winter 2019 | Good Roads Foundation 21
“This is an exciting time for all of us who understand how important it is that we put additional resources into upgrading and repairing roads and bridges. I was the Lake Village mayor for many years and I know how important it is in Arkansas that mayors and county judges have a real voice in how local road budgets are allocated. This is all about safer roads, stronger communities and new jobs.” JoAnne Bush Arkansas Good Roads Board Member Former Lake Village Mayor
“For more than 50 years my family has been in the asphalt business, and as much as anyone we understand that resources dedicated to improving roads and bridges mean new jobs. If Issue 1 passes we could see 3,500 jobs created in Arkansas over the next decade and that is immensely important. We are also all aware that if the current tax is not extended, every county judge and mayor in Arkansas will be looking at a 30% reduction in the local road budget.” Mark Lamberth Arkansas Good Roads Board Member Atlas Asphalt 22 Good Roads Foundation | Winter 2019
Highway Commission Approves Bids Improvement Projects Include Bridge Work in Northeast Arkansas
On Nov. 15, the Arkansas Garland County Highway Commission approved A bid to construct 5.8 a number of bids. These miles of new location on State included: Highway 7 between U.S. Benton County Highway 70 at Hot Springs A bid to construct a rural and State Highway 7 North roundabout at the intersection near Fountain Lake. McGeorge of State Highway 12 and State Contracting Company, Inc., Highway 43, south of Cherokee of Pine Bluff was awarded the Construction crews will be busy across the state after City. APAC-Central, Inc., of contract at $75,151,270.63. the Highway Commission approved a number of Fayetteville was awarded the A bid to construct and highway and bridge projects. (Photo by Bill Paddack) contract at $1,418,263.77. install a traffic signal at the Calhoun and Ouachita Counties intersection of U.S. Highway 270B and Lakeside Road A bid to replace a bridge structure on State in Hot Springs. L.E.G. Enterprises, Inc., of Cabot was Highway 274 over Two Bayou Creek, near East awarded the contract at $231,253.64. Camden. 1911 Construction Company, Inc., of Pine Hot Spring County Bluff was awarded the contract at $1,544,862.80. A bid to replace two bridge structures on State Carroll and Madison Counties Highway 84 near Oak Grove. Crow Group, Inc., of A bid to overlay 23.1 miles of selected sections Morrilton was awarded the contract at $1,472,300.21. of State Highway 23 between Huntsville and Eureka Madison County Springs. APAC-Central, Inc., of Fayetteville was A bid to replace a bridge structure on State awarded the contract at $6,982,304.05. Highway 74 over Pigeon Creek, east of the community Craighead County of Wesley. APAC-Central, Inc., of Fayetteville was A bid to reconstruct and overlay five bridges awarded the contract at $1,441,077.36. and hydrodemolition four bridges on Interstate 555 Mississippi County between U.S. Highway 63B and State Highway 18 in A bid to replace one bridge structure on State Jonesboro. Koss Construction Company of Topeka, Highway 312. Robertson Contractors, Inc., of Poplar Kan., was awarded the contract at $33,837,374.87. Bluff, Mo., was awarded the contract at Crittenden and Poinsett Counties $1,146,395.69. A bid to resurface 13 miles of Interstate 555 St. Francis County between Interstate 55 and Highway 149, south A bid to replace two bridge structures on State of Tyronza. Atlas Asphalt, Inc., of Batesville was Highways 50 and 79 over the Fifteenmile and Cut-off awarded the contract at $11,030,168.55. Bayous. Robertson Contractors, Inc., of Poplar Bluff, Cross County Mo., was awarded the contract at $7,043,344.90. A bid to replace five bridge structures on State Union County Highway 350 near Wynne. Robertson Contractors, A bid to replace one bridge structure on State Inc., of Poplar Bluff, Mo., was awarded the contract at Highway 335 over Haynes Creek, east of Norphlet. $7,147,240.01. Thomco, Inc., of North Little Rock was awarded the Faulkner County contract at $2,715,274.05. A bid for widening for dual left turn lanes, Yell County constructing a new exit ramp and reconstructing an A bid to improve the Liberty Road intersection, entrance ramp at the intersection of Interstate 40 and overlay, and widen State Highway 27 between State U.S. Highway 65 in Conway. Rogers Group, Inc., Highway 10 and State Highway 7, west of Dardanelle. of Nashville, Tenn., was awarded the contract at Blackstone Construction, LLC, of Russellville was $5,611,426.25. awarded the contract at $7,264,731.40. â€‚ Winter 2019 | Good Roads Foundation 23
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Capitol ASSETS Now the principal at Broadview Strategies, the lessons Robert Moery learned from working with Governor Asa Hutchinson are serving him well.
By Bill Paddack When he was a boy growing up in Carlisle, Robert Moery figured his future might center on either sports or agriculture. Maybe he’d be a coach. Or a farmer. While he’s still involved in both of those interests today to a certain extent, his career path has taken a turn he undoubtedly never envisioned. He’s worked for a U.S. senator and an Arkansas governor and now finds himself – as the principal at his firm, Broadview Strategies, and a partner at Shiloh Communications – leading the effort as campaign director to make permanent a half-cent sales tax that is dedicated to roads and highways. This means designing a comprehensive statewide campaign that keeps everyone involved “on message.” Voter approval of the ballot issue known as “Vote for Roads Vote for Issue 1” will continue to provide more than $205 million a year of major funding to maintain, improve and construct nearly 7,000 miles of interstate and highway miles and repair and replace dangerous bridges throughout the state – all without raising taxes. Issue 1 will also provide $86 million in funding for county roads and city streets. ‘Uniquely Equipped’ It’s a big task for the guy who says he “fell into governmental affairs,” but his peers believe he’s the right man for the job. They see – and respect – him as a hard-working, stand-up guy who will help accomplish a victory at the polls in November 2020 that will pay benefits in all four corners of the state. It certainly doesn’t hurt that his former boss, Gov. Asa Hutchinson, considers the effort to pass Issue 1 his
Opposite page: After working closely with Gov. Asa Hutchinson, Robert Moery now has his own government relations, legislative consulting, and business development practice – Broadview Strategies. (Photo by Bill Paddack)
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Member Profile “No. 1 priority” in terms of a 2020 The Good Stuff campaign in Arkansas. Arkansas Trucking Association Full Name: Robert Matthew Moery President Shannon Newton said Hometown: Carlisle she and Moery began working Family: Wife is SaraCate and we have two dogs, a lab named Ernie and a together when Hutchinson was first French bulldog named Carl. elected and Moery served as the Hobbies: Golfing and hunting. governor’s liaison to the Arkansas Favorite Pro Golfer: Justin Thomas State Highway Commission. Favorite Music: I listen to everything. It’s not unusual for my playlist to go from “As we were both in new classic rock to blues, to modern rap, then finish with ’90s country. roles, Robert and I became fast Favorite Movie: Forrest Gump friends during the 2015 legislative Favorite Vacationn Spot: Anywhere along the Gulf Coast. session,” she said. “I would First Car: 2004 Chevrolet Silverado describe Robert as a quick study, Favorite Sports Teams: The Razorbacks and the New Orleans Saints a straight-shooter, dedicated, loyal and genuinely liked by everyone What’s Always With You When You Travel: My navy blazer. that has ever worked with him.” Favorite Stretch of Highway in Arkansas: That’s a tough one. For western Newton, who is serving as Arkansas, Highway 10 from Perry to Greenwood when the leaves are changing. chairwoman for the Vote for For eastern Arkansas, Highway 79 from Stuttgart to Hughes during harvest. Roads campaign, said Moery He served as the governor’s contact for agriculture, “is uniquely equipped to lead the effort on Issue 1,” natural resources, transportation and waterways, game citing his background – growing up in rural Arkansas and fish, insurance, and finance and administration – combined with his personal relationship with the issues for nearly two years. During the 2017 governor and professional experience working on legislative session, Moery was Hutchinson’s deputy transportation policy. director of legislative and agency affairs, overseeing Association of Arkansas Counties Executive the successful implementation of Director Chris Villines agrees with Newton. “I would describe all 13 of the governor’s outlined initiatives. “Robert is an incredibly Robert as a quick study, Later in 2017, he moved into competent and capable role of director of legislative person who has a a straight-shooter, the and agency affairs, tabbed visionary history dedicated, loyal and with the responsibility of all from his work in state duties and relations. government,” he said. “I genuinely liked by legislative He followed that up by serving think the Issue 1 campaign everyone that has as campaign manager for the is in great hands with his successful re-election leadership.” ever worked with him.” governor’s bid. Governor’s Aide – Shannon Newton, President, When Moery left the A member of Sigma Arkansas Trucking Association governor’s office to start his own Chi Fraternity at the practice, he garnered praise from University of Arkansas, Hutchinson. Moery graduated in 2011 “Robert has been a key asset to me from my with a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology. He and his gubernatorial race in 2014, through the last four years wife, SaraCate, have been married over three years. of my administration, and as the campaign manager She’s an attorney with the Hilburn, Calhoon, Harper, for my re-election team this past year,” he said at the Pruniski & Calhoun, Ltd., law firm. time. “He brings together a great blend of knowledge Moery began his career working for Sen. John and experience that I know will be valuable to Boozman before going to work as then-candidate Asa Hutchinson’s personal aide for the 2014 gubernatorial Broadview Strategies’ success. I wish him all the best.” election. 26 Good Roads Foundation | Winter 2019
Member Profile Moery is definitely making a name for himself in the field of governmental affairs. Articles about him have graced the pages of local magazines such as Arkansas Money & Politics, Soirée and even Arkansas Bride, which featured engagement photos of him and SaraCate and noted that they were “on a casual trip to the Governor’s Mansion to see the First Lady’s rose garden when he got down on one knee and popped the question.” Giving Back He’s on the boards of some nonprofit organizations and enjoys giving back and trying to make a positive impact. “I like being involved and the feeling of knowing you’re helping your community,” he said. “I believe it’s important for everyone to do a little bit for their community.” A member of the Arkansas Good Roads Foundation board, Moery also serves on the boards of The First Tee of Central Arkansas and the Arkansas Outdoor Society. When Soirée included him in a feature called “A Few Good Men,” he noted the impact First Tee has. “The First Tee is a national organization that teaches kids from all backgrounds a wide range of life skills and helps them with personal development through the game of golf,” he told the magazine. “We have nine core values that our curriculum is built around: confidence, responsibility, perseverance, courtesy, judgment, honesty, integrity, sportsmanship and respect. All of those things are so important to teach at a young age.” He’s also on the advisory committee for Arkansas Money & Politics and served as a board member of the Arkansas Game & Fish Foundation from 2016 to 2018. Moery took time recently to answer some questions, including about working with the governor, getting involved in governmental affairs and running a campaign. Tell us about your relationship with Governor Hutchinson – how you came to work for him, what it was like, what you have learned from him, what it means to have his support on an issue campaign. The governor and I got acquainted in the fall of 2013 when he hired me to be his personal aide for his gubernatorial campaign. I had never met him before that fall or known a whole lot about
Gov. Asa Hutchinson and Robert Moery retain a close, friendly relationship and their paths still cross regularly. (Photos by Mike Pirnique)
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A map in Moery’s office shows the towns he and Hutchinson visited during the 2014 gubernatorial campaign, trips that they estimate covered about 70,000 miles on Arkansas roads and highways. (Photo by Bill Paddack)
him other than he ran for governor in 2006. Being completely honest, I was just a freshman in college when he ran the first time and I didn’t have any interest in politics at that point in my life so I knew very little about him until I went to work for him. We got to know each other pretty quick. My third day on the job we got caught in an ice storm traveling from Northwest Arkansas to Little Rock that took us over eight hours. At one point, we were stuck on 1-40 in the same spot for over three hours, so we got to know each other well that day. I spent at least five or six days a week with him in 2014. Many of those days we spent overnight in a hotel or at his house. He and the First Lady were very welcoming to me and we got to be close. That position is something that many people would do almost anything to be in, and, at the time, I didn’t realize how fortunate I was to be there. I didn’t have the political resume to be in that position, but the governor took a chance on me and I think he’d say it 28 Good Roads Foundation | Winter 2019
worked out. We still have a close relationship. He still trusts me to coordinate our weekly basketball games on Friday mornings and our paths cross regularly at work. I’ve learned so much from him. His pragmatism, patience and willingness to work with everyone is something to admire and why I think he has so much respect from a lot of people. It means a lot to have him leading the charge on Vote for Roads Vote for Issue 1. He told me a few months ago that he takes this campaign personally and wants to be heavily involved to make sure that it passes. Highway funding has been an issue we’ve worked on since his first day in office in 2015, and many others involved in this campaign have worked on it even longer than that. You mentioned basketball. Tell us more, including about the weekly games with the governor. I’m assuming you played in high school and continue to play for exercise and fun.
Member Profile When the governor first got into office, he wanted extremely important north-south interstates connect to get a group of guys together on a Friday morning here in I-49 and I-55. We have multiple Fortune 500 to play pickup basketball before work. We had our companies located here. We have world-known parks, picture taken by the staff at the school that morning hunting and other attractions all over the state. Our and I still have that picture on my desk today. I think farmers provide food that has to be transported all over it was the second or third Friday of his first month in the world. Our policemen, firefighters, paramedics office, and we’ve kept it going ever since. and other first responders have to have access to every Our group has expanded corner of the state in times of A reliable road system from governor’s office need. A reliable road system staffers to legislators and is so critical to every aspect of is so critical to every people out in state agencies, Arkansas. aspect of Arkansas. too. The governor is Tell us about your farming competitive, Emmanuel background, what you did – Robert Moery Banks with ARDOT can and what you liked about it, play, Mike Preston with the Department of Commerce and if you’re still involved in the family farm today. has way more energy than all of us others combined, Technically, I grew up around the farm. The guys and former House Speaker Jeremy Gillam is a hustler. at home that actually grew up on farms would call me It’s good to get to be around all of those guys in a out on it if I said I grew up on the farm! We have a setting where we aren’t wrapped up in policy or row crop farm that’s been in our family since 1909 and politics. I’ve played basketball since I was in the third my dad and granddad still farm it together today. grade and I love it. It’s all for fun and I for sure need We grow rice and soybeans, but this year was our the exercise. first year to try out corn. Our farm is smaller compared You grew up in Arkansas and have spent time in to others so I had different odds and ends jobs around both a small town and some of our largest cities, so the farm in high school and when I worked out there you are obviously well acquainted with our roads and during college. I definitely have gotten more interested highways. Why do good roads matter? Why should in it all as I’ve gotten older. improving and investing in our infrastructure be a The sense of accomplishment you get from farming priority? is what I like most. You can actually see your hard Logistics is everything in Arkansas. We have the work take effect right in front of your eyes. I’m around most important east-west interstate in the country the farm a lot still, but I can’t say I’m overly involved running right through the middle of us. We have two because of how busy I’ve been with the governor and
928 Airport Road Hot Springs, AR 71913 Phone: 501-767-2366 Fax: 501-767-6859 E-mail:firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.bnfeng.com AN ARKANSAS FIRM PROVIDING QUALITY CIVIL/STRUCTURAL ENGINEERING AND SURVEYING SERVICES SINCE 1972 Winter 2019 | Good Roads Foundation 29
Member Profile now Broadview. I definitely hope next year will be the same. Business Information there’s an opportunity to get more You’ve got to buckle up and go involved in the future, but time will At a Glance do it again. tell. What is a modern issue Broadview Strategies How did you get involved in campaign like? About: Broadview Strategies is a fullgovernmental affairs and what do The main component of service government relations, legislative you like best about this line of work? any campaign is the same – consulting, and business development I have to admit that I really fell messaging. When voters go to the practice based in Little Rock. The into governmental affairs. I grew polls next year, we have to make firm offers a variety of services for its up around farming and sports so I sure they understand the need for clients, such as executive and legislative always wanted to – and thought I long-term highway funding. branch advocacy, strategic messaging, was going to – land in a career in The methods of messaging, public policy oversight, and business to one of the two. After working for obviously, have modernized. business relations. the governor for five years, I had Digital media and social media Address: 1301 W. Capitol Ave., Little gained enough experience in policy have changed everything. The Rock, AR 72201 and established the relationships to voting public in Arkansas is still Phone: 501-516-5067 go into governmental affairs, so I a little behind nationally on being Website: www.broadviewstrategies.com gave it a shot. so reliant on those platforms I’m officially one year into compared to other states, but it working in governmental affairs and it’s been great. continues to evolve every election cycle. I’ve learned so much but I am fortunate to have the Running TV ads is still the biggest portion of an lessons learned from working for the governor that issue campaign budget. We will run a lot of ads next have made this first year a success. But, I tell people fall. That’s still the most effective way of educating all the time that what I do is a lot like farming. Just the public on why we need support for Arkansas because it’s been a good year this year doesn’t mean roads.
MAGNOLIA STREET OVERPASS ROGERS, AR
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The AGC Arkansas Highway Division, along with the full support of our membership of building, utility and associate members, were instrumental in the passage of a historic highway funding package this year.
Weâ€™re not done yet. Join us as we work alongside our Highway Coalition partners to complete this task during the 2020 election.
â€‚ Winter 2019 | Good Roads Foundation 31
To Our Valued AGRF Members: Thank You!
Thanks for supporting us and helping us tell the story of why good roads and bridges matter. For membership information, please contact Joe Quinn at 479-426-5931. AGC Arkansas Alec Farmer ACEC/A APAC-Central, Inc. APAC-Tennessee, Inc. Arkadelphia Alliance Arkansas Asphalt Pavement Association Arkansas Concrete Arkansas Department of Transportation Arkansas Farm Bureau Arkansas Municipal League Arkansas Society of Prefessional Engineers Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce Arkansas Trucking Assocation Ash Grove Cement Company Association of Arkansas Counties/County Judges Atlas Asphalt, Inc. (Jamestown Investments) B & F Engineering, Inc. Bank of Delight Bob Crafton Bobby Glover Burns & McDonnell Cashion Company Clark Machinery Company Commercial Bank - Monticello Contractor’s Specialty Service Company Cowling Title Crafton-Tull & Associates Crisp Contractors Curt Green & Company, LLC D.B. Hill Contracting Dan Flowers David Howard Delta Asphalt Dermott Industrial Developement Dumas Chamber of Commerce Eagle Bank and Trust Fayetteville Chamber of Commerce First Community Bank of Batesville FM Structural Plastic Technology Forsgren, Inc. Garver LLC Harold Beaver Hines Trucking Inc. Horatio State Bank Hudson, Cisne & Company Hutchens Construction Company
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I 49 International Coalition Jack Buffington Jeffrey Sand Company Jensen Construction Company Jim Wooten JoAnne Bush Johnnie Bolin Jonesboro Chamber of Commerce Kiewit Company Koss LaCroix Optical Company Larco, Inc. Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce Lion Oil Company M & T Paving and Construction Company, Inc. Maxwell Hardwood Flooring McGeorge Contracting Company, Inc. Merchants & Farmers Bank Midwest Lime Company Millar, Inc. Mobley General Contractors Monticello Economic Developement Commission NE Ark. Regional Intermodal Facilities Authority NWA Council Ohlendorf Investment Company OK AR Chapter American Concrete Paragould Regional Chamber of Commerce Philip Taldo Razorback Concrete Company Riceland Foods, Inc. Riggs CAT Robert Moery Robert S. Moore, Jr. Rogers Group, Inc. Ronnie Duffield Gravel Company Ryburn Motor Company, Inc. Scott Equipment Springdale Chamber of Commerce SW AR Planning & Development District Tom Schueck Tyson Foods, Inc. University of Arkansas Upper SW Regional Solid Waste Management District Walmart Weaver-Bailey Contractors, Inc. Western Arkansas Intermodal Authority White River Health Systems
By the Numbers
Construction on U.S. Highway 65 near Clinton in Van Buren County. (Photo by Bill Paddack)
GOVERNOR’S LONG-TERM HIGHWAY FUNDING PLAN
The proposed constitutional amendment on the November 2020 ballot, which would make the ½-cent sales tax permanent after state fiscal year 2023, will continue to provide:
$205M To ARDOT annually. $43M
The amount of the $205 million that will go to cities annually.
The amount of road improvement funds designated for cities and counties that will be gone if voters do not approve Issue 1. Failure of the proposal at the polls will mean a reduction in funding to ARDOT, cities and counties.
The amount of the $205 million that will go to counties annually.
3 The date of the 2020 general election is Nov. 3. Winter 2019 | Good Roads Foundation 33
MAINTENANCE is a MUST.
NEVER TAKE SAFETY FOR GRANTED. #ARHwysAreYourHwys
ARKANSAS DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION 10324 Interstate 30 | Little Rock, AR 72209 | www.ardot.gov | www.idrivearkansas.com
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“Current infrastructure gaps are anticipated to cost the United States $3.9 trillion in [gross domestic product] and 2.5 million jobs by 2025 due to lost productivity. Failing infrastructure will cause U.S. businesses to become less efficient, raising the cost of doing business and forcing those costs on to consumers.”
– U.S. House of Representatives Budget Committee Chairman John Yarmuth, D-Ky., warning committee members in September that as a share of the overall economy, U.S. infrastructure spending is lower than it has been at any time since 1956.
Providing adequate investment for our infrastructure now will have profound economic benefits. Improved infrastructure will spur economic activity that will benefit America’s public safety, health and welfare, as well as the [gross domestic product], jobs, personal income and businesses. Infrastructure is the foundation that connects the nation’s businesses, communities and people – driving our economy and improving our quality of life. For the U.S. economy to be the most competitive, we must have a first-class infrastructure system. – Carol Haddock, director of Houston Public Works and a member of the Board of Direction of the American Society of Civil Engineers.
“Let’s make sure we’re making investments not based on the status quo. Not simply repairing our roads and bridges as we always hear, but truly making smart, fact-based, businesssavvy investment in 21st-century infrastructure after examining all alternatives on the table.” – Congressman Seth Moulton, D-Mass.
“As we move forward in the 21st century, it is imperative that our infrastructure keep pace with the people and nation it supports. Thankfully, infrastructure has historically been a priority for both parties. The bipartisan spirit has served our country well – and it will be important as we work to rebuild the system.”
– Congressman Steve Womack, R-Ark. Winter 2019 | Good Roads Foundation 35
Arkansas Good Roads Foundation P.O. Box 25854 Little Rock, Arkansas 72221
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