Vote: 2011-12 ARTBA Officers & Directors Ballot The official ballot for 2011-12 was emailed to the membership on Friday, September 2. Please exercise your right as a member and vote online by the close of business, September 19.
SEPTEMBER 6, 2011
President Urges Clean SAFETEA-LU, FAA Extensions President Obama August 31 called on Congress to immediately pass clean shortterm extensions of the federal surface transportation and aviation programs, which expire September 30 and September 16, respectively. A spokesperson for House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said â€œRepublicans
Former ARTBA Chairman Testifies Before Obama Jobs Council
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Obama Ozone Standards Withdrawn In a huge victory for the transportation construction community, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency September 2 said it would end efforts to prematurely tighten the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for ozone. Though EPA is required by the federal Clean Air Act (CAA) to examine the ozone NAAQS sometime in 2013, the agency had been pushing to prematurely tighten the
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User fee financing of surface transportation improvements is sound public policy and a model envied around the world, Past ARTBA Chairman Mike Walton told President Obamaâ€™s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness September 1. The Council, charged with exploring ways to promote growth and create jobs in the U.S., focused on the role of transportation investment at a hearing held at Southern Methodist University in
Dallas, Texas. Walton, the Ernest H. Cockrell Centennial Chair in Engineering at The University of Texas, represented ARTBA at the event. He said the federal Highway Trust Fund has shortterm revenue challenges that should be addressed so the nation can continue making infrastructure improvements. Walton also told the Council one of the most powerful things Congress can do to support existing jobs, create
new ones and strengthen the foundation of U.S. economic competitiveness is to pass a robust, multi-year federal highway and transit investment bill before the end of 2011. Government and business leaders appearing at the hearing included U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood, U.S. Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Tom Donohue, Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly and BNSF Railway CEO Matt Rose.
ARTBA P3 Conference Early Bird Rate: Register by September 15 to save $100! ARTBA Washington Newsline
President Urges Clean Highway, Transit, and Aviation Extensions
Register by September 15 , Save $100 23rd Annual ARTBA P3 Conference
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support an extension of the highway bill and appreciate the need for a long-term solution for infrastructure projects.” Additionally, House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman John Mica (R-Fla.) said “in the interest of getting Americans back to work and moving vital transportation legislation…I will agree to one additional highway program extension.” With regards to a multi-year federal aviation bill, Mica said, “I’ll find any means I can to move the process forward. I’ll compromise in a reasonable fashion.”
The nation’s premier conference for innovative financing on transportation projects is returning for its 23rd year. ARTBA’s Public-Private Partnerships (P3) Conference is scheduled Nov. 14-16 at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C. The event offers an excellent opportunity to connect with hundreds of key decision makers, project sponsors, private sector finance executives, consortium leaders and officials from all levels of government. It will also feature a half-day workshop with FHWA’s Office of Innovative Program Delivery, and an optional project tour of one of the nation’s largest P3 projects—the I-495 Capital Beltway HOT Lanes. Register by September 15 to take advantage of our early bird rate of $850 (members) and $1500 (non-members). Rooms are available at a reduced $279 per night rate. Call 800.266.9432 to reserve a room and mention the “ARTBA P3 Conference.” Visit www.artbaP3.org to register or contact ARTBA’s Hank Webster at 202.289.4434, email@example.com.
Upcoming Events Visit our Events Page for more information. TransOvation Workshop
September 6–9 Near Dulles Airport, Va. [Add to Calendar]
Transportation Development Hall of Fame Gala Dinner at TransOvation September 7 Near Dulles Airport, Va. [Add to Calendar]
ART BA Washington Newsline
ARTBA National Convention October 2–5 Monterey, Calif. [Add to Calendar]
ARTBA Public-Private Partnerships Conference November 15–16 Washington, D.C. [Add to Calendar]
ARTBA REGIONAL MEETINGS Northeastern
November 28–29 New York, N.Y. [Add to Calendar]
November 30–December 1 Tampa, Fla. [Add to Calendar]
December 5–6 Los Angeles, Calif. [Add to Calendar]
December 7–8 Chicago, Ill. [Add to Calendar]
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standards as early as October 2010. EPA’s ozone standards, last tightened in 2008, are of particular concern to the transportation construction industry as any county not in compliance with the CAA’s ozone standards could lose its federal highway funding. ARTBA has submitted multiple sets of regulatory comments and in-person testimony to EPA explaining counties were still trying to comply with the 2008 standards and EPA should not negate such efforts by “moving the goalposts.” Further,
Environmental & Regulatory Advocacy Program
ARTBA-Opposed Ozone Standards Withdrawn ARTBA has called on EPA to take notice of current progress in reducing overall ozone levels before making new public policy decisions which would result in further regulation and delays to critically-needed transportation projects. ARTBA will continue to remain involved with EPA in the future and oppose any proposals which would needlessly put federal transportation improvements at risk.
Products & Services Now Available: 2011 ARTBA “Transportation Officials & Engineers Database” The ARTBA TO&E Database is your one-stop guide to key local, state, and federal transportation officials. Offered as an Excel spreadsheet, it includes contact information for more than 6,000 state and local transportation departments and authorities. The database connects you to the people, agencies and programs you need to get ahead and stay ahead. Individual segments of the directory are available by region, state and occupation. Price: $475.00 Contact Peter Embrey for more information. To learn more about other products and services available, visit the ARTBA Store today!
ARTBA Washington Newsline
Overheard “If we allow the transportation bill to expire, over 4,000 [federal] workers will be immediately furloughed without pay. If [the bill] is delayed for just 10 days, it will lose nearly $1 billion in highway funding. That’s money we can never get back. And if it is delayed even longer, almost 1 million workers could lose their job over the course of the next year.” President Obama at an August 31 White House event on the need to immediately pass clean SAFETEA-LU, FAA extensions. “At some point, in the national interest, somebody has to say, ‘Whoa, we’ve got to pass a long-term bill.’ I’ll find any means I can to move the process forward. I’ll compromise in a reasonable fashion.” House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee Chairman John Mica (R-Fla.) to the “Daytona Beach NewsJournal” editorial board.
ART BA Washington Newsline
Legislative & Regulatory News
New Trust Fund Forecast Shows Little Change
House Republicans Announce Fall Jobs Agenda
Infrastructure Was Best Bang for ARRA Buck
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its summer forecast for the Highway Trust Fund August 30 showing little improvement in Highway Account revenues for the next surface transportation bill—$204.2 billion for FY 2012-17 compared to $201.6 billion in March. Projected Transit Account revenues for the six-year period were revised down $0.7 billion to $30.2 billion. The Highway Account projections include an increase in revenues from the expected growth in the sale of heavy truck equipment which is nearly offset by a decline in motor fuel tax revenues—a result of CBO’s projection of lower economic growth. Both accounts draw revenues from motor fuel sales, but the Mass Transit Account does not benefit from truck tax revenues resulting in the projected decline. The forecast does not significantly change the outlook for the Highway Trust Fund balances, with the Highway Account balance still projected to hit zero in late 2012 or early 2013, followed by the Mass Transit Account later in 2013.
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) announced August 29 the House Republican legislative agenda for the remainder of the year. The plan includes pursuing several regulatory reforms longsupported by ARTBA. H.R. 2273, the Coal Residual Reuse and Management Act, would legislatively pre-empt the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) from regulating coal-ash—used to strengthen concrete—as a hazardous material. ARTBA has warned EPA several times against any regulation which would deter the use of coal ash in construction as it would cause a rise in materials prices and lead to less durable cement. H.R. 674 would repeal an impending mandate set to take effect January 1, 2013, to withhold three percent of most payments to government contractors at the federal, state, and local levels for tax purposes. ARTBA opposes this requirement which would be applied to all contractors regardless of their tax compliance status and will severely restrict much needed
A report released August 24 by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) finds payments made to state and local governments for infrastructure investments— including transportation— provided the highest economic benefit of all American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) expenditures. CBO estimates that each $1 in ARRA infrastructure investments raised gross domestic product (GDP) by $1 to $2.50 above what it would have been otherwise. Direct purchases of goods and services by the federal government also created a return of $1 to $2.50. Other ARRA programs generated less GDP growth per dollar invested, including: between $0.70 and $1.80 for transfers to state and local governments for non-infrastructure purposes; between $0.80 and $2.10 for transfer payments to individuals; between $0.30 and $1.00 for one-time payments to retirees; between $0.60 and $1.50 (low and middle-income) and between $0.20 and $0.60 (higher-income) for tax cuts; and between $0.30 and $0.80 for an extension of the first-time homebuyer credit. The CBO data confirms the economic benefits of making robust investments in transportation infrastructure and highlights the role multiyear surface transportation and aviation bills will play in longterm economic recovery.
TRB Newsletter: August 30, 2011
ARTBA is pleased to make available another service for members that highlights new research, technologies, industry best practices and information resources available to the transportation design and construction industry. This material comes from the Transportation Research Board. Read the most recent newsletter.
cash flow for future business investments. The memorandum also announced the House will act swiftly to prevent the EPA from implementing new ozone and particulate matter (PM) attainment rules. Tightening ozone and PM standards while local governments are still trying to meet current levels could dramatically increase the number of “nonattainment” areas, which in turn could jeopardize federal highway funds for much needed transportation improvement projects. While Cantor’s memo did not include the House surface transportation reauthorization proposal, the list was not described as exclusive and the chamber may consider other matters. ARTBA will continue to work with Congress and the EPA to protect the interests of the transportation construction and design industry.
FHWA Proposes to Eliminate Deadlines for Replacing Traffic Signs Citing current economic and budget challenges, the Obama Administration August 30 proposed eliminating the deadlines for state and local governments to inventory and replace roadway signs which are faded or difficult to read with new models with improved retroreflectivity. ARTBA previously told the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) such replacements would result in significant roadway safety improvements and the federal government should provide adequate funding to local governments to offset replacement costs. FHWA asked for comments
on the proposed changes by October 31, which ARTBA plans to submit on behalf of the transportation construction industry.
ARTBA Talks to Media About TRIP Rural Road Safety Report ARTBA Vice President of Safety & Education Brad Sant participated in a September 1 news conference with other industry allies to release The Road Information Project’s (TRIP) latest report, “Rural Connections: Challenges and Opportunities in America’s Heartland.” It quantifies economic and safety pitfalls of deterioration on U.S. rural roads. “The back roads of America shouldn’t be on the back burner of public policy priorities,” Sant said. “Making timely and sustained investments that are necessary to ensure rural roads are safer and more forgiving is the collective responsibility of elected officials at all levels of government.” Read Sant’s full statement.
Economic News July 2011 Highway/Bridge Construction Employment Up Employment in highway and bridge construction in July 2011 rose 1.9 percent over a year ago, according to the latest data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Overall construction employment changed little in August, and the construction sector’s unemployment rate was 13.2 percent. Employment in the U.S. stagnated in August. The economy failed to add jobs for the first time in almost a
ARTBA Welcomes New Member Firm: BASF—The Chemical Company BASF is the world’s leading chemical company. Its fullrange portfolio includes: chemicals, plastics, performance products, agricultural products, oil and gas. In 2010, BASF posted sales of more than $91 billion (€63.9 billion) and had approximately 109,000 employees. BASF’s Construction Chemicals division is the leading supplier of chemical systems and formulations for the construction industry. Continuous innovation and tailormade solutions ensure its customers are more successful. Its Admixture Systems business unit specifically helps customers in the ready-mix, precast, manufactured concrete and underground construction industries. The Construction Systems unit offers a wide range of products for sports and industrial flooring, external renders and wall insulation, expansion joints, wood preservatives as well as specialist repair mortars, tile adhesives and waterproofing membranes. Learn more: www.basf.com.
year and the jobless rate was unchanged at 9.1 percent.
ARTBA News Russell to Lead Southern California Contractors Association The Southern California Contractors Association (SCCA) named Larry C. Russell to its executive leadership position, effective September 1. For the last seven years, Russell served as ARTBA vice president of development and national field operations; managing director, planning & design division; and executive
director, High Speed Rail Development Council. He was a liaison to the industry’s leading transportation design, construction and finance firms. In announcing the appointment, SCCA President Curtis Farrow said, “We are pleased to have a person with Larry’s combination of proven abilities, high skill level and industry contacts to help SCCA with our strategic goals of growth and improved services for our members.” Prior to joining ARTBA, Russell led the ground operations for the BushCheney 2004 presidential campaign in Ohio and directed the grassroots operations for Senator John Thune’s (R-S.D.) 2004 election.
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