American Road Builders In China Brazil’s Infrastructure Boom Transportation Bill Debate Picks Up Steam Jan.-Feb. 2012
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VOL. 24, NO. 1
JAN. FEB.2012 The official publication of the American Road & Transportation Builders Association www.transportationbuilder.org
26 ON THE COVER
American Road Builders In China: Part 1 of 3
13 18 23 30
Early 2012 Reality Check on Surface Transportation Bill
Brazil’s Infrastructure Boom:
From the Chairman
Nation Readies for World Cup & Olympic Games
Historic Town in Maine Gets Modern Bridge ARTBA Leadership Experience Has Yielded “Greatest Rewards”
Cover shot: Nanpu Bridge in Shanghai, China.
Q&A with former Senator Voinovich
PUBLISHER T. Peter Ruane firstname.lastname@example.org DEPUTY PUBLISHER Matt Jeanneret email@example.com EDITORIAL DIRECTOR Beth McGinn firstname.lastname@example.org PUBLICATIONS EDITOR & GRAPHIC DESIGNER Jenny Ragone email@example.com CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Dan McNichol Author: “The Roads That Built America” Philip Fox-Drummond Gough Head of the Trade & Investment Office, Embassy of Brazil Dave Bauer ARTBA senior vice president, government relations Rich Juliano ARTBA senior vice president for strategic initiatives
Chairman: Paul Yarossi
HNTB Holdings, Ltd., New York, N.Y. Senior Vice Chairman: Steve Wright Wright Brothers Construction, Charleston, Tenn. First Vice Chairman: Doug Black Oldcastle Materials, Atlanta, Ga. Northeastern Region Vice Chairman: Nick Ivanoff Ammann & Whitney, New York, N.Y. Southern Region Vice Chairman: Tom Elmore Eutaw Construction Company, Aberdeen, Miss. Central Region Vice Chairman: Kathi Holst RoadSafe Traffic Systems, Romeoville, Ill. Western Region Vice Chairman: Jim Andoga Austin Bridge & Road, Austin, Texas Vice Chairman At-Large: Ward Nye Martin Marietta Materials, Raleigh, N.C. Vice Chairman At-Large: Bob Luffy Grandview Consultants LLC, Pittsburgh, Pa. Vice Chairman At-Large: David S. Zachry Zachry Construction Corporation, San Antonio, Texas Vice Chairman At-Large: John Houle 3M Traffic Safety Systems Division, St. Paul, Minn. Vice Chairman At-Large: Bob Close Parsons Brinckerhoff, Orange County, Calif. Vice Chairman At-Large: John Kulka HRI, Inc., State College, Pa. Treasurer: Tom Hill Summit Materials, LLC, Washington, D.C.
Transportation Builder® (TB) is the official publication of the American Road & Transportation Builders Association, a federation whose primary goal is to aggressively grow and protect transportation infrastructure investment to meet the public and business demand for safe and efficient travel. In support of this mission, ARTBA also provides programs and services designed to give its members a global competitive edge. As the only national publication specifically geared toward transportation development professionals, TB represents the primary source of business, legislative and regulatory news critical to the success and future of the transportation construction industry.
Secretary & President/CEO: T. Peter Ruane ARTBA, Washington, D.C. ARTBA-TDF Board of Trustees Chairman: Leo Vecellio Jr., Vecellio Group, West Palm Beach, Fla. Young Executive Leadership Council Chairman: Chris Fronheiser, AECOM, Baltimore, Md. Contractors: Jeff Nelson David Nelson Construction Company, Palm Harbor, Fla. Contractors First Vice President: Bob Alger The Lane Construction Corporation, Cheshire, Conn. Planning and Design Division: Larry Peterson Kleinfelder, Kuna, Idaho
Transportation Builder® (ISSN 1043-4054) is published bi-monthly by the American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA). Postmaster: Send change of address to Transportation Builder®, c/o ARTBA, The ARTBA Building, 1219 28th Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20007. Telephone: 202289-4434, Fax: 202-289-4435, Internet: www.artba.org; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Periodicals postage paid at Washington, D.C., and additional mailing offices. Subscriptions are $120/year for ARTBA members, which is included in the dues; $105/year for non-members; and $200/year non-U.S. mailing addresses.
Traffic Safety Industry: Taylor Bowlden 3M’s Traffic Safety Systems Division, Washington, D.C. Materials & Services: Steve McGough HCSS, Sugar Land, Texas Transportation Officials: Tim Zahrn Sangamon County Engineer, Sangamon, Ill. Manufacturers Representative: Ron DeFeo Terex Corporation, Westport, Conn. Research and Education: Deborah Underwood North Carolina A &T University Transportation Institute, Greensboro, N.C. Public-Private Partnerships: Patrick Rhode Cintra U.S., Austin, Texas
publisher. Reg. U.S. Patent & Trademark Office.
Council of State Executives Chairman: Marc Herbst Long Island Contractors’ Association, Hauppauge, N.Y. Immediate Past ARTBA Chairman: Bill Cox Corman Construction, Annapolis Junction, Md.
Visit us: www.transportationbuilder.org
Past Chairmen’s Council Representative: Jim Madara Gannett Fleming, Allentown, Pa.
Copyright ©2012 ARTBA. All rights reserved. Material may not be reproduced in any form without written permission from the
WITH ARTBA Facebook: American Road & Transportation Builders Association Twitter: @artba YouTube: www.youtube.com/user/ARTBA 2007 LinkedIn: ARTBA Young Executive Leadership Council
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Editor’s Note: With the start of a new year, we are focusing our editorial coverage in several new areas.
Jenny Ragone, Publications Editor & Graphic Designer
This issue begins a three-part series that we are calling “American Road Builders in China.” We were inspired by the idea based on famed author David McCullough’s recent best-seller “The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris.” Dan McNichol, the author of “The Roads That Built America,” spent more than a month in China late last year, and visited with many top representatives of American companies that are involved in helping support the country’s massive infrastructure improvements. We reached out to officials at the Embassy of Brazil to learn more about the nation’s transportation improvement program, and they graciously agreed to pen a column. On page 16, we take a look at how Brazil is preparing its ports, bridges, roads, rail and airports for the 2014 FIFA World Cup and 2016 Summer Olympic Games. On page 20, we are very excited about a new feature, where TB staff interviews current or former policy makers who are or were involved in transportation issues. Former U.S. Senator George Voinovich (R-Ohio), a stalwart transportation investment champion during his long career in federal and state governments, shares his candid, post-politics opinions on the challenges facing the pending highway and transit reauthorization bill. Finally, this issue also contains another article, on page 29, in our ongoing series on industry innovation, and spotlights the first public roadway bridge in the U.S. to be constructed entirely out of recycled plastic. We hope you enjoy reading the new articles and commentary. As always, please feel free to send your comments or suggestions for upcoming issues to 202.289.4434 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
from the chairman Paul Yarossi, President, HNTB Holdings Ltd. HNTB Corporation
information they need to get engaged and stay engaged.
Tomorrow’s Leaders Are Made Today
hen I was elected chairman last fall, I announced that one of my key goals was to build on the success of ARTBA programs that are aimed at the next generation of industry leaders. The transportation design and construction industry is full of bright minds and eager talent. We need to make sure these individuals understand the critical role the federal government plays in their chosen profession. So much of what happens to our businesses and organizations depends on the decisions being made on Capitol Hill, and at the White House and federal agencies. Yet few young executives know much about the process. Our challenge moving forward is to make sure these future leaders not only understand the process, but also have the tools and
The primary vehicle for this effort will be ARTBA’s annual Young Executive Development Program (YEDP), held May 29-June 1 in the Nation’s Capital. Now in its 17th year, the YEDP is a three-day “boot camp” that introduces the industry’s “up and comers” to the federal legislative and regulatory processes and how they impact transportation development. It features sessions on highway/transit financing, economics, environmental, regulatory and legal issues, public-private partnerships and industry innovation. The program is held in conjunction with ARTBA’s Federal Issues Program and Transportation Construction Coalition Fly-In so that participants have the opportunity to meet with their congressional delegation about pending transportation issues. YEDP fellows also hear from industry firm CEOs, who share their career experiences and offer their perspective on leadership and business issues. Check out the 2012 YEDP application on page 8 of this issue. We strongly encourage you to nominate someone from your company, organization or agency.
earned during their time in Washington, D.C. Additional hours can be earned through a “Summer Series” of ARTBA webinars on topics the YEDP class themselves will identify when they are here in May, and up to 10 more hours are available to those who attend the 2012 ARTBA National Convention in Memphis. We will also use social media sites like LinkedIn and Facebook to keep all of the YEDP classes connected. These collaborative social media outlets provide an opportunity to share information, start discussions, and even mobilize group members when their voice is needed on critical legislation. Also new for this year, the ARTBA convention will feature sessions geared specifically toward young executives. If YEDP fellows participate in these events and earn the PDHs, they will receive a certificate and public recognition during a special event in Memphis. Through these and other planned activities, we hope to create an ongoing dialogue that will foster within them a sense of pride in their industry and a leadership role in supporting ARTBA’s core mission of growing and protecting the transportation market. After all, tomorrow’s leaders are made today.
This year, we will offer YEDP participants the opportunity to earn up to 30 professional development hours (PDH). Twenty of those hours may be
2012 Young Executive Development Program Helping Shape Future Transportation Design & Construction Industry Leaders
The ARTBA Transportation Development Foundation (ARTBA-TDF) will conduct its 17th Annual Young Executive Development Program (YEDP) May 29 - June 1, 2012, in Washington, D.C. Designed to develop future transportation design and construction industry leaders, it gives top young executives an intensive introduction to the legislative and regulatory processes that affect the industry. The YEDP curriculum features sessions on highway/transit financing, economics, environmental, regulatory and legal issues, public-private partnerships and industry innovation. Participants are introduced to the role of trade associations in the policy-making process and how leadership in their trade association can benefit their industry, and their careers. The program is held in conjunction with the ARTBA Federal Issues Program and Transportation Construction Coalition’s Fly-In so that participants have the opportunity to meet with their congressional delegation about pending transportation issues. Applications are welcome from any sector of the industry, including private sector firms, government transportation agencies, and colleges and universities. ARTBA membership is not required to participate.
APPLICATION & Selection Process
Admission is competitive. Applicants should be under 40 years of age, although exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis. Applicants also should have at least three years of industry experience, have made a significant contribution to the work of their firm or organization, and shown evidence of strong leadership potential for the industry.
Candidates must submit a completed application form and a one-to-two page statement of intent (500 words or less). Please include in your statement why you wish to participate in the program, how you believe this program will benefit you as an executive, and how you plan to contribute to the industry as a future leader.
Due to special recognition that will take place, YEDP participants are expected to attend the 2012 ARTBA National Convention held September 11-14 in Memphis, Tenn. A few words from program graduates: “The ARTBA YEDP provided a thorough insight into the legislative process concerning our industry. The diversity and quality of participants added great perspective and value to the program.” “Absolute eye-opener. Great investment of time and money.” “YEDP made me aware of [industry government relations] needs and gave me clear direction as to how to contribute to our common objective.”
Each application form must be accompanied by a detailed letter of nomination and recommendation from a principal of the firm, senior executive within the governmental agency or senior-level faculty member/ administrator at the university which employs the applicant. Applications must be either mailed to Attn: Young Executive Development Program, The ARTBA Building, 1219 28th Street., N.W., Washington, D.C., 20007, faxed to 202-289-4435, or e-mailed to Kenyon Gleason at email@example.com and Caitrin Reed at firstname.lastname@example.org by March 15, 2012. The application form is also available at www.artbatdf.org.
LOCATION, DATES & Costs The YEDP will be held Tuesday, May 29 - Friday, June 1, in Washington, D.C. The $795 registration fee, which is due upon notice of acceptance, covers the cost of speakers, training materials and most meals. Applicants are responsible for transportation, accommodations and related costs.
Major support for the YEDP is provided by Volvo Construction Equipment. Jan.-Feb. 2012
2012 Young Executive Development Program Deadline: March 15 Please type or print clearly.
Name: _______________________________________________ Date of Birth: ______________________ Employer: ____________________________________________ Job Title: _________________________ Business Address:________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________________ Business Phone: _______________________________________ Email: ___________________________ Job Description (include responsibilities and important achievements): ______________________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________________ Trade or Professional Association Membership (include offices held and important achievements): ______________________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________________ Community/Service Organization Membership (include offices held and important achievements): ______________________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________________ ______________________________________________________________________________________ Education (start with highest level attained): School
____________________________________ __________________ ______ ________________ ______ ____________________________________ __________________ ______ ________________ ______ ____________________________________ __________________ ______ ________________ ______ Type of License Year Earned
Professional/Vocational License: _________________________________________________ _________ Academic/Professional/Service Awards: ______________________________________________________
Application Check List: Completed Application Form
Statement of Intent
Send the completed application by March 15 to: Young Executive Development Program, The ARTBA Building, 1219 28th Street., N.W., Washington, D.C., 20007, fax to 202-289-4435, or e-mail to TransportationBuilder Jan.-Feb. 2012 email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org.
DS Jan.-Feb. 2012
Honoring excellence in community relations and public education that enhance the image of the U.S. transportation construction industry.
DEADLINE: March 9, 2012
Honoring U.S. transportation construction industry excellence in environmental protection & mitigation.
DEADLINE: March 23, 2012
Hall of Fame
Honors individuals or families from the public and private sectors who have made extraordinary contributions to the U.S. transportation development.
DEADLINE: April 27, 2012
Recognizes innovations that make our transportation network the best it can be in serving those who pay for it, use it and rely upon it.
DEADLINE: June 1, 2012
Honors the extraordinary efforts of individuals, companies and public agencies that have demonstrated leadership and dedication to innovation and the promotion of women leaders within the U.S. transportation construction industry.
DEADLINE: June 12, 2012
Nomination Forms: www.artbatdf.org TransportationBuilder
president’s desk T. Peter Ruane, President & CEO ARTBA
RTBA earned some media attention recently when we unveiled a new “Gridlock Clock” on our website homepage. The clock records the exact number of days, hours, minutes and seconds since the expiration of SAFETEA-LU, the nation’s most recent surface transportation law, at the end of September 2009. While the Gridlock Clock is ticking away in “reauthorization overtime,” it’s also symbolic of the millions of hours Americans continue to lose in traffic congestion while our elected officials hide from the problem. And in another sense, the clock is counting us towards the expiration of SAFETEA-LU’s current extension—the eighth one, in fact—on March 31. As our handy new chronometer tells us, we’ve been waiting more than two
extra years for the President and Congress to do their jobs. Instead, most of them have postured, press-released, glad-handed, Tweeted, Facebooked, YouTubed and used every other political dodge. Fortunately, we do have some congressional transportation champions who have moved the reauthorization process along—to the point that we are now entering the most critical period since SAFETEA-LU expired so many months ago. In fact, we may see reauthorization bills on the floor of each chamber in the coming weeks. The Senate continues its work on a two-year reauthorization bill, with Environment & Public Works Committee Chairman Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and Ranking Member Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) as the prime movers. As I write this column, The House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee and other committees with jurisdiction over the surface transportation programs have marked up the five-year bill. While hurdles clearly remain on both sides of the Capitol, floor action and a subsequent conference committee for a reauthorization bill are now real possibilities. You’ve read my requests over the past several months for you and your company to get engaged with your members of Congress at the grassroots level. Many of you have taken up the cause by holding meetings with and making calls to your elected representatives. We can point to examples where you have made a
difference, including the House Republican leadership’s new-found willingness to consider a reauthorization bill that doesn’t feature a 30+ percent cut to the highway and transit programs. At the same time, some in the industry may have tuned us out after all the delays and extensions. Yet the threat of continued short-term extensions—and a significant cut—remains. That’s why we absolutely need you to get engaged and stay involved as both houses work on their bills, and hopefully, we get to a conference committee to hammer out a final product. And don’t believe the pundits and self-appointed “insiders” who will tell you that no bill is possible. Please follow the developments as ARTBA keeps you fully informed. Schedule meetings with your members of Congress and their staff when they are home. Call your congressional staff regularly as we work through the process and use the ARTBA Action Hotline at 888-448-2782. As always, the transportation construction industry can influence its own destiny at the grassroots political level. The clock is ticking, and we need you now more than ever!
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With this new video refresher produced by ARTBA’s expert safety team, you will:
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6 Become a better and more commanding flagger. Available in Spanish and English. Order at www.artbastore.com or contact ARTBA’s Peter Embrey: email@example.com or 202.289.4434
$150 members $180 non-members Jan.-Feb. 2012
Early 2012 Reality Check on Surface Transportation Bill
by Dave Bauer
ore than two years after the expiration of SAFETEA-LU, both chambers of Congress and political parties are getting serious about advancing multi-year reauthorizations of the federal surface transportation program. Despite the clear statements from congressional leaders, however, there are a surprising number of self-proclaimed pundits and experts who continue to insist temporary extensions will be the order of the day for the rest of 2012.
To fully appreciate the current highway and transit bill outlook, it is important to understand what has happened since 2009. The House Highways & Transit Subcommittee approved a six-year, $450 billion reauthorization bill in June 2009 when Democrats controlled the chamber. The Obama Administration, Senate Republicans and Democrats, and the House Democratic Leadership, however, succeeded in their plan to put off a multi-year bill in favor of temporary extensions. Republicans regained control of the House of Representatives during the 2010 elections. It is no secret that 2011 was a challenging year for the federal transportation programs, which saw: elimination of the Highway Trust Fund’s guaranteed spending requirement; repeal of the TEA-21 budgetary firewalls; a lapse in the federal aviation programs; and a $2 billion cut in federal highway investment. There were, however, two key positive developments last year. First, the Senate Environment & Public Works Committee unanimously approved a two-year reauthorization of the federal highway program that not only maintained investment Jan.-Feb. 2012
levels, but increased them to compensate for inflation. Secondly, the House Republican leadership in September abandoned its 10-month push to restrict surface transportation investment to incoming Highway Trust Fund revenues—a move that would have forced a 34 percent cut in the highway and transit programs. In early 2012, the reauthorization situations in the House and Senate are remarkably congruous. While much has been made about the differences between the bills (two years in the Senate vs. five in the House; Senate’s modest increase in highway investment vs. House’s slightly below FY 2011 funding levels), the prospects for success in both chambers rests on the ability of each reauthorization proposal to “show me the money.” According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the proposed Senate investment levels would exceed available Highway Trust Fund revenues by approximately $12-$13 billion. The House five-year plan is estimated to need an additional $50 billion.
In the current political environment, legislation that adds to the deficit is a non-starter and neither chamber appears willing to consider increasing dedicated revenues. That leaves the House and Senate tax committees with the unenviable task of finding federal revenues elsewhere in the budget and redirecting them to support transportation investments. This will be an equally tricky challenge in both chambers. While the Senate Finance Committee has to come up with significantly less than their House counterparts ($12 billion vs. $50 billion), its plan must be able to attract bipartisan support—due to Senate rules that basically give the minority party the ability to require any legislation to secure a 60-vote super majority and the chamber’s 53-47 split between Democrats and Republicans. On the House side, finding $50 billion or more to support the investment in the chamber’s reauthorization bill is also a tall order. The House Ways & Means Committee is assisted in this effort by House GOP leadership plans to marry the surface transportation bill with initiatives to increase domestic energy exploration. The energy proposals will not be fully implemented during the life of this bill, but CBO is expected to ascribe some new Highway Trust Fund revenues to the proposals. The House also has the luxury of coming up with a revenue proposal that does not need bipartisan support. Republicans hold a substantial majority in the House and that chamber’s rules provide the majority party great latitude to advance legislation. From a policy perspective, the House and Senate bills are pursuing similar goals. Both measures would eliminate earmarks and streamline the environmental review process for transportation projects. Each would increase flexibility afforded to state departments of transportation to spend federal funds, but would also impose new transparency and accountability measures on the use of transportation resources. Both would consolidate the number of spending categories within the federal highway program by roughly two-thirds. They would also expand the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) program to leverage federal funds by increasing the participation of the private sector in transportation solutions. All of these are reforms ARTBA proposed back in 2007 when it released in comprehensive 72-page reauthorization legislative blueprint. The difference between the proposed House and Senate surface transportation investment levels is best demonstrated by the chart to the right. As you can see, the Senate clearly includes higher investment levels, but the House bill remains fairly close to FY 2011 (the last full federal fiscal year) investments. We expect both chambers to approve their respective surface transportation bills by the March 31 expiration of the latest
extension of the highway and public transportation programs. Another temporary extension will almost certainly be needed to allow the two chambers to reconcile their proposals. There will undoubtedly be further twists and turns once the details of the House and Senate revenue packages become public. The ultimate end game—a compromise between the respective bills—however, will be dictated by the ability of negotiators to “show me the money.” Once representatives and senators get to the point of sitting down across from each other, the two items that have been getting all the attention—the differences between the House and Senate duration and investment levels—will go by the wayside and these matters will be resolved by whatever bipartisan agreement can be reached on how to support investment beyond what current revenues can support. Once a consensus on how to fully pay for a final bill is reached, the investment and length specifics of will be tailored to fit those revenues. As convoluted as this process may seem, it is important to remember that we are closer to securing enactment of a multi-year transportation bill now than we have been since SAFETEA-LU expired more than two years ago. Much work remains, however, and we will need to remain engaged in every step of the reauthorization process. Please keep in mind conditions on the ground are changing daily and we fully expect the reauthorization picture will have changed by the time this issue is printed and when it reaches you. For up to the minute updates, please consult the ARTBA “Washington Newsline” and “Newsline Plus” on a regular basis. And be prepared to help keep the grassroots pressure on all members of the House and Senate until the job gets done! House/Senate Authorization Levels
House vs. Senate
(Billions of $s)
41.5 10.5 1.3
42.2 10.5 1.3
10.4 1.2 52
Dave Bauer is ARTBA’s senior vice president of government relations: firstname.lastname@example.org.
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to the point where it gets the attention of the President and members of Congress. President Obama claims that he understands the critical need of transportation and infrastructure and the jobs created, but he has not taken a leadership role, as President Reagan did in 1982, when he pushed for a multi-year reauthorization bill and supported a nickel increase in the gas tax to pay for it.
Former Senator George Voinovich (R-Ohio)
BM: What’s the one message that resonates most with members of Congress when talking to them about transportation investment? Is it jobs, competitiveness on traffic congestion?
SV: There are many things that should resonate with members of Congress. Interviewed by ARTBA’s Beth McGinn But many of them are afraid to move forward because of the fact that they George Voinovich is a former U.S know the only way, at this time, that Senator from the state of Ohio. He also we are going to be able to get a multiserved as the state’s 65th governor, th year, robust reauthorization of the the 54 mayor of Cleveland, and is a highway and transit reauthorization long-time champion of transportation act, is that they are going to have to infrastructure investment. support an increase in the gas tax. And frankly, too many of them have taken the pledge that they will not increase taxes, failing to understand that this is Beth McGinn: Senator, the last a user fee that has been traditionally surface transportation reauthorization bill expired more than two years used to finance highway infrastructure improvements. ago and a multi-year reauthorization of the aviation took more than BM: I think you may have answered four years to pass. Why are these measures, which are core functions the next question. What’s the best way to shore up the federal of government, having such a hard Highway Trust Fund? time? SV: The fact of the matter is that we Senator Voinovich: I’ve spent a great worked very hard to encourage the deal of time on this and have worked Bowles-Simpson group to come back with ARTBA’s President Pete Ruane and APTA to try and elevate this issue with money for reauthorization of the
highway and transit act, and also deal with debt and deficits. And they responded. Most [members of Congress] don’t understand that [the BowlesSimpson Commission] came back with a recommendation of a 15-cent increase in the gas tax to help take the pressure off the general fund that is now supporting highways, because the highway trust fund has not been adequate. If we could get Congress back to the table, I believe that as part of their dealing responsibly with debt and with this issue of balancing our budgets and reducing costs, that the highway and transit reauthorization could be part of that. BM: You have long been considered a true deficit hawk. At the same time you are a staunch supporter of infrastructure investment. How can we convince current members of Congress that updating the nation’s transportation infrastructure is not inconsistent with stabilizing the federal fiscal outlook? SV: Here is something we can pay for and not have to borrow money. In other words, it’s a “twofer,” and it will take the pressure off the U.S. general fund. We are borrowing money now to pay for highways in this country because the trust fund is not adequate. What [Congress] can do is provide additional money through the gas tax, to not only deal with the infrastructure problems that we have, but they also can do something about reducing the debt. And if you go back in history, this is what president Ronald Reagan did. There are many reasons why in communities people would be respon-
Most elected officials want to do the right thing, but so many of them are afraid to offend a portion of their constituency. They fear that they might not be reelected. We need patriots today in this country. I honestly believe that if you do what you really believe is the right thing that in the long run at least you can look at yourself in the mirror and say, ‘I did the right thing.’ My experience has been, that when you do the right thing, explain what you are doing—the public understands. They may not agree in some instances, but they respect you for doing what you think is right to do.
Senator Voinovich received the 2009 “ARTBA Award,” the association’s highest honor, in recognition of his career-long advocacy for increased transportation investment.
sive. All you have got to do is sit and wait 45 minutes because of a bottleneck. And I’ve done that, now that I am out of the Senate, many times. People are probably chewing their nails. They are frustrated, they are burning gasoline that they shouldn’t be burning...And I think that the public is willing to pay for things, but they are at the point right now where they don’t think we should be borrowing money anymore.
BM: As mayor of Cleveland and governor of Ohio you, worked to revitalize the regional infrastructure and economy. Are there any lessons to be learned from these efforts in terms of restoring and maintaining a healthy nation? SV: I think the lesson learned is this: The first thing you have to do is identify what your needs are. Then you have to identify your costs. Next, you respond to those needs and make the case to those individuals who can do something about it, and that is the citizens. When I became mayor of the city of Cleveland, we had bridge, highway, sewer, and water problems. I got the Urban Institute to come in and specify exactly what the needs were, and the costs to address those needs. We created something called the “Build Up Greater Cleveland Committee,” which involved all of the players: the local district guy from the highway state department; the county engineer; the guy who ran the sewers.
You name it, they were all together in the same room and we talked. We systematically identified things that needed to be done, and quite frankly, we needed to raise water rates and sewer rates to move forward. The public knew that they were going to get something in return for it. I’ve talked to more people who said, “George, I will support an increase.” Most of them say to me, “Look George, if I know that we are really going to do something about dealing with our debt and we are going to reduce the costs and do the things that are necessary, and I have confidence that we are going to get in the game, I’ll do it.”
Beth McGinn is ARTBA’s director of public affairs & new media: email@example.com
by Philip Fox-Drummond Gough
Brazil’s Infrastructure BOOM
n recent years, the Brazilian government has put forth substantial effort to upgrade the country’s infrastructure, including transportation, energy, and public utilities. Such projects are part of Brazil’s strategy to accommodate its booming economy, growing middle class, and the large inflow of tourists expected for the 2014 FIFA World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympic Games. Most of the initiatives to improve infrastructure in Brazil are components of the Growth Acceleration Program, or PAC, for its acronym in Portuguese. PAC consists of two phases: the first version (2007-2010) called for investments of almost $400 billion, while the second phase, PAC-2, envisages investments near $600 billion for 2010-2014. Both PAC programs aim to support Brazil’s economic growth through investment in key sectors. The development axes of PAC-1 include; 1) Investment in infrastructure; 2) Stimulation of credit and financing; 3) Improvement of the investment climate; 4) Long-term fiscal measures; and 5) Restructuring of the tributary system.
The infrastructural development axes for PAC-2, designed to complement and expand upon the initiatives in PAC-1, are: 1) Transportation; 2) Energy; 3) Urban infrastructure (“Better Cities”); 4) Community citizenship; 5) Housing (“My House, My Life” program); and 6) “Water and Light for All.” The PAC development projects are being implemented in all areas of Brazil in order to reduce regional inequalities and promote investment in a broad range of industries. The programs target infrastructure for energy, transportation, housing and sanitation, which are essential to strengthen and sustain economic growth. Projects in the area of transportation exemplify the wide variety of development activities underway. As part of efforts to increase efficiency in logistics, Brazil’s roads, railways, seaports, waterways and airports are being expanded and integrated. The programs will construct approximately 5,000 miles of new roads and have allocated resources for the maintenance of 34,000 miles of existing roads. Jan.-Feb. 2012
Brazil has approximately 4,000 runways, making it the country with the second largest number of airports in the world. The bidding process for the expansion and revitalization of Brazil’s largest airports has attracted considerable attention. In August 2011, a contract was awarded for the renovation of the São Gonçalo do Amarante airport, in the State of Rio Grande do Norte. At the end of the third quarter of 2011, feasibility studies for the concession of the Guarulhos and Viracopos airports, both in the state of São Paulo, and the International Airport of Brasília, were also concluded, and the bidding process for these projects will likely occur in early February 2012. A wide array of upgrades are planned, including restructuring of passenger terminals, widening of runways, and construction and expansion of cargo and passenger terminals, taxiways, passenger lounges and control towers. In addition, four passenger operations modules in the airports of Viracopos, Guarulhos, Vitória and Goiânia have already been finalized. The nation’s seaport system will also undergo significant changes as part of the PAC programs. The third quarter of 2011 unveiled successful upgrades to the Port of Rio de Janeiro and restructured docks in São Francisco do Sul in the state of Santa Catarina. The Ports of Suape, in the state of Pernambuco; Vitória, in the state of Espirito Santo; Santos, in the state of São Paulo; and Areia Branca, in the state of Rio Grande do Norte, are very near conclusion. PAC-2 also recently introduced Paperless Port (Porto sem Papel), an initiative to reduce port bureaucracy and increase efficiency. Another essential component of Brazil’s transportation infrastructure is the country’s waterways. PAC-2 proposed improvements to the Tietê and São Francisco riverways, including
channel widening, dredging, and the creation of an operational control center. These projects, currently in progress, will integrate Brazil’s waterway system with other modes of transportation, thereby facilitating the transportation of cargo and merchandise. As far as railway infrastructure, PAC-2 is improving approximately 2,000 miles of rails. The program is focusing on developing the North-South Railway (Ferrovia Norte-Sul TO/ GO/SP), the new Trans-Northeast (Nova Transnordestina, covering the states of Ceará, Pernambuco and Piauí in the Northeast of the country) system, the Ferronorte in the Alto Araguaia region, and the East-West Railway in the state of Bahia. These railways will connect production regions of the north and northeast parts of Brazil to the southeastern and southern exporting ports.
economic slowdown. The PAC projects stimulate Brazilian industry, multiplying investments to meet demands for machinery and other inputs on construction sites. These positive effects extend beyond Brazil’s borders, since many of the inputs are imported, and several of the projects have the participation of foreign investment. PAC-1 and PAC-2 demonstrate Brazil’s commitment to expanding its productive capacity and infrastructure to raise the country’s quality of life and promote a more robust business environment. Philip Fox-Drummond Gough is Head of the Trade and Investment Office, Embassy of Brazil, Washington, D.C.: firstname.lastname@example.org
These major investments in infrastructure will not only benefit Brazil in the coming decades, but will also have a positive countercyclical nature in times of international
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Historic Town in Maine Gets Modern Bridge This article is the latest in an ongoing series that highlights the many innovations within the transportation design and construction industry that improve safety, save time, enhance the environment and provide users and taxpayers with a greater return on their infrastructure investments.
he Birch Hill Road Bridge in York, Maine, is the first public roadway bridge in the United States to be constructed entirely out of recycled plastic. The superstructure is made of recycled plastic girders, and all the substructure components, including piles, pier caps, backwalls, and wingwalls are made of recycled thermoplastic. The new bridge, designed by Parsons Brinckerhoff, carries two lanes of traffic over a stream. It opened in December 2011 and represents the latest step in an ongoing effort to expand the use of recycled thermoplastic materials.
“This bridge will be a great addition to our historic, forward-thinking and environmentally-conscious town,” says Dean Lessard,York’s director of public works. “Our Board of Selectmen was extremely supportive in utilizing recycled plastic technology to replace the undersized culvert that was prone to causing that section of Birch Hill road to flood. I recommended thermoplastic over other options due to the structure’s environmental credentials combined with its durability and minimum maintenance requirements.” The bridge’s materials were produced by Axion International, which takes waste from discarded plastics, such as home detergent, juice and milk containers, and mixes them with previously unused scrap from the automotive industry or computers to create I-Beams, railroad ties, and pilings. “No other company has been able to use scrap materials so efficiently or in such high load for infrastructure applications,” said Axion’s co-founder and CTO, Jim Kerstein. “Our cooperative think-tank partnership with Rutgers certainly doesn’t hurt!” Scientists at Rutgers University were at the forefront of identifying the type of materials being disposed in landfills, and Axion identified markets and uses that would be best served by the long lasting and low maintenance materials. “We weighed this country’s pressing infrastruc-
ture needs, the use of historical materials that seemed to have a planned level of obsolescence built in, and decided to become a solutions provider by converting waste into a positive response,” Kerstein explained. “We then identified and worked with industry professionals, engineers, and purchasing agents to develop product solutions.” Thermoplastic materials are least susceptible to typical environmental factors such as water and UV rays. With minimal required maintenance and an expected service life of more than 50 years, the lifecycle costs of recycled plastic bridges are notably lower than those of conventional construction materials. A unit weight similar to that of timber enables the use of lighter construction equipment and accelerated scheduling when compared to typical steel and concrete structures. The bridge was manufactured and prefabricated at Axion’s plant in Portland, Pennsylvania, and shipped to Maine via flatbed truck before installation. The bridge is fully built except for the asphalt overlay, delayed due to the onset of winter, and is open to traffic. Vijay Chandra, national director of structures at Parsons Brinckerhoff said, “We are pleased to have the opportunity to work on the first vehicular bridge in the state of Maine designed from 100 percent recycled plastic. It’s a pleasure to work with the town of York on this eco-friendly bridge and be given the opportunity to design with Axion’s products, which are some of the most exciting new structural materials in the marketplace today with distinct advantages over conventional alternatives.”
The Birch Hill Road Bridge in York, Maine, opened to traffic in December 2011.
This is not the first “plastic bridge” Parsons Brinckerhoff has designed. Several years ago, the firm helped design the world’s first railroad bridges made of recycled plastics at Fort Eustis, Virginia, for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The bridges were designed to handle the weight of 130 tons of rail road loadings. The new structures replaced two timber railroad bridges and were opened in June 2010.
Reprinted with permission from Parsons Brinckerhoff. For more information, contact Vijay Chandra, senior vice president: 703.742.5776 or email@example.com
by Dan McNichol
part one of three
merica is the greatest country on earth. I authored the book “The Roads That Built America: The Incredible Story of the U.S. Interstate System,” as a proud member of an Irish-American road building clan. This needs to be said because I’m writing to you about China, a subject that raises the nation’s collective blood pressure. ARTBA and I are sharing stories of your fellow road builders working in the Orient in a three-part series in “Transportation Builder.” Recently, I spent a month in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) meeting with U.S. heavy construction companies, manufacturers and engineering firms with operations there. Pulitzer Prize-winning author David McCullough’s recent book, “The Greater Journey: Americans in Paris,” inspired this series. The famed author’s literary career launched while penning books about infrastructure. Before my departure, I had a chance to ask my literary hero why he stopped writing about the built world. McCullough quipped, “Don’t let anyone tell you what to write. One subject naturally leads to another. While writing “The Path Between the Seas,” I became intrigued with Teddy Roosevelt. Reading his diaries and letters led me to write “Mornings on Horseback.” Pursuing American biography, the scribe was sent packing to Paris, a city he says without which we would not have an America.
Headed West En route to the Far East, I head west. While laying over in San Francisco, I’m invited to tag along on a VIP inspection of a bridge made—in part—in China. The new Oakland-San Francisco Bay Bridge is the world’s most seismically advanced superstructure and the first major self-anchored suspension span in the world. Malcolm Dougherty, director of the California Department of Transportation, is hosting fellow Western DOT chieftains. Charging up the deck of largest public works project in the Golden State’s history, Director Dougherty is the envy of his colleagues. Understatedly, he calls the superstructure, “Remarkable.”
In 1936, upon completion, the span was listed as one of the seven modern marvels—a tribute to American ingenuity. Today, the DOT heads discuss how the current work exemplifies the global economy. Center stage on the bridge’s deck is a Terex crane, and I’m reminded of the appointment Terex CEO Ron DeFeo is arranging for ARTBA and me in Shanghai. American Bridge Company, which built the original Bay Bridge in the 1930s, and Fluor Construction, are partners on the super-span. Brian Peterson, Fluor’s project director on the job, is leading the onsite briefing giving me a chance to introduce myself to David Parker, Fluor’s executive director of Infrastructure Business Development. We casually discuss Fluor’s year ahead. His optimism is contagious. Bullish on the coming year, he’s enumerating many domestic endeavors adding the obvious, “We’re excited about 2012, our pipeline is full.” He offers an introduction to colleagues in China. I accept. Prior to my flight to Beijing, I head down the coast to Watsonville to congratulate Jim Roberts on his first year as the CEO
Chasing tales of concrete and steel, I’m led to the land of great infrastructure projects—ancient and modern. Just, as France shaped America’s past, China appears to be shaping America’s future.
LEFT: Blue Sky Day in Beijing: Inside the Forbidden City clear skies are welcomed after three days of heavy smog-fog shut down Beijing’s international airport. Fighting pollution in China today is becoming a populist issue as it was in the United States during the 1960s. RIGHT: PR in the PRC: USA’s Navistar engine’s chief of communications, Jim Spangler (far right) explains Navistar’s plans for expansion into China to a Chinese public relations firm in Beijing.
I later research, was a part of more than 25 percent of the largest P3s in the U.S. over the last 19 years. China, I ponder, is the world’s largest PPP. From afar, the country seems more business partner than regulatory body when it comes to infrastructure initiatives.
ABOVE: “The World’s Best Airport”: “Conde Nast Traveler” ranked Beijing’s airport the best in the world for safety, cleanliness and luggage delivery. Built to impress arriving guests for the 2008 Olympics, Terminal III (pictured) of Beijing Capital International Airport is China’s modern main gate to the world. Terminal III is larger than Heathrow Airport and it is the largest terminal in the world built in one construction phase.
Into the Orient Jim bids me farewell as he walks me down the hall to introduce me to Kent Marshall, Granite’s guru of P3s, a.k.a. vice president of development. Not surprisingly, Kent has spent much time honing his craft in Asia. We discuss how P3s are slowly taking root in the United States. In Europe, P3s seem to be the sledge hammer—the EU’s favorite tool.
London’s fog was really smog. America followed taking its turn at charcoaling downtowns. Today, it’s Beijing’s turn. Flying over the Arctic, I land into three days of darkness. Absent desert winds, a thick smog-fog, as one ex-pat’s small son calls it, settles over the city. An executive team of Navistar’s, the manufacturer of International’s truck engines, is delayed. I’m holed up for days in the German owned Kempinski Hotel. A nice place to be while under house arrest.
ABOVE: Beijing’s Ring Roads: Beijing’s Ring Roads, or beltways, are now six in number. There are plans for a seventh. Rationing access to roadways, the government allows cars to take the road on alternating days according to license plate numbers. Green and white signage on the ring roads looks similar to U.S. signage.
of Granite Construction. Waiting in the lobby, I witness work on what I call: Granite’s Wall of Fame—a timeline of the company’s 100 years. Jim’s confident in the corner office. His space, like his appearance, is impeccable—the windows are spotless. Jim reflects, “We’ve weathered the downturn and emerged stronger. Our goal is to continue to grow, just as we have over the last 90 years. We’re excited about what’s in store for Granite as we look to expand through acquisition with like minded companies to build our nation’s infrastructure.” Granite,
As Navistar’s guest speaker at the 2011 Shanghai Auto Show—now the world’s largest with over 1,200 models—I’ve been invited to partake in the review of their short-listed public relations firms, of which one will assist them in their China operations. Every U.S. firm doing business starts out in an arranged marriage with a joint venture partner. Navistar’s joint venture partner in China is JAC trucks. It’s being hailed as the first U.S./Chinese truck partnership in the country.
LEFT: Copy-Cat: Looking like a Caterpillar front-end loader in color and design is China’s Cheng Dong wheel loader. Despite over 30 Chinese heavy equipment manufacturers, Caterpillar’s head of Asia, Michael Young, says, “We are selling more excavators in China than we’re selling in the rest of the world together right now.” BELOW: Heavenly Gate: A Red Army Soldier peers around the corner of his post at the Forbidden City’s main gate. Erected in the 1950s, the obelisk outside the gate that sits in Tiananmen Square is called The Monument to the People’s Heros. Beyond it is Chairman Mao Zedong’s mausoleum where the former General is lying in state. Tiananmen, which means “Heavenly Gate,” has been a famous gathering place for hundreds of years and is one of the world’s five largest city squares.
Blue skies returning to Beijing, and with Team Navistar in place, we head out for the first interview. Being publicly minded, I’m curious what public relation firms inside China look like. The short answer: just like they do in the U.S. The meetings are intense, and the stakes are high. They are long, but well run. One conference room is complete with dueling U.S. and Chinese flags. Thankfully, the discussions are conducted in English. Fascinating is that social media is the rage in marketing in the PRC, as it is in the U.S. However,YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and Google are superseded by Chinese versions of the same. Still, traditional media dominates. Hundreds of public and industry publications are tracked—all of them state owned enterprises. During a break for lunch, I hail a cab. Heading to Caterpillar’s new headquarters, a LEED certified building, I show what all Chinese cab driver’s hope foreigners have in hand, directions to the destination written in Chinese characters. The driver smiles saying approvingly, “Heng hao!” (very good). On the way to break-bread with Michael Young, Caterpillar’s head of Asia, I think how appropriate it is that CAT’s headquarters is in a twin tower with an equally well-received brand. The Caterpillar logo atop the high-rise is in the shadow of what looks like a 50-feet tall hood ornament on the opposing tower. The neighboring building is occupied by Mercedes Benz. Part II: Dan explores the world’s longest high-speed rail line (Beijing to Shanghai) and visits with Caterpillar,Terex and Parsons Brinckerhoff team members in China. Dan McNichol is the author of “The Roads That Built America:” firstname.lastname@example.org
Wagman: ARTBA Leadership Experience Has Yielded “Greatest Rewards” Before nearly 2,000 attendees in the grand ballroom of the Hilton New York January 25, the Moles, a fraternal organization of the heavy construction industry, bestowed its prestigious annual awards on two long-time ARTBA leaders. Tom Iovino of Judlau Contracting, College Point, New York, received the Moles Member Award. Iovino is immediate past president of ARTBA’s Contractors Division and also served as president of the General Contractors Association of New York, ARTBA’s chapter. Rich Wagman of G.A. & F.C. Wagman, York, Pennsylvania, received the Moles Non-member Award. Wagman served as 2004 ARTBA chairman, and also held the top elected positions at TRIP and ARTBA’s chapters in Pennsylvania and Maryland. The following are excerpts from Rich Wagman’s acceptance remarks, including comments he made about the business value of his involvement in ARTBA.
2004 ARTBA Chairman Rich Wagman, chairman & CEO, G.A. & F.C. Wagman, Inc., received the Moles award January 25 in New York City.
have been asked to say a few words about my company, my career and how I got here. They say behind every great man there is a great woman. For me, I have a great wife, a family, a hunting dog and a small army who helped me get to where I am today… Our business was started by my grandfather, George A. Wagman, back in 1902 as a producer of precast concrete products. He built his first bridge in 1908. My father, Francis C. “Bud” Wagman, bought into the business and incorporated it as G.A. & F.C. Wagman, Inc. in 1948. Bud had a civil engineering degree from Lehigh University and grew the business, taking on larger more complicated bridges and expanding into neighboring states… I took over as president in 1977, shortly before my father passed away. I focused on growing the company by getting into commercial construction, latex-modified concrete overlays, excavation, grading, and drainage… However, our core competency remains in large and complex bridge projects. The company excels in this and other areas because of
our people. We have been able to attract and retain good people by adhering to and constantly promoting our core values. We are a value-driven company. We have many people with 30 to 45 years of employment and several families with two and three generations of Wagman employees... In addition to instilling values in me, my father also taught me the importance of being involved in industry associations. They not only improve industry conditions, but it is also a way of giving back to an industry that has been so good to us… The ARTBA involvement took the greatest time commitment, but also had the greatest rewards. Pete Ruane had been after me for several years to take on the chairmanship. I viewed it primarily as an honor and a way of giving back to the industry. Although initially altruistically motivated, that turned out to be one of the best strategic business decisions I ever made. For at that time, we were just getting into the emerging mega-projects and were not sure which way the market was going and what direction in which to take the company.
our contacts. Most of these contacts were a result of our participation in industry organizations. From 2004 through 2010, our volume and profits grew steadily on the heavy civil side. In 2010, over 90 percent of our revenue came from participation in large joint ventures. In two of those, we were managing partner. I can’t overemphasize the importance of relationships, as our market has been moving from hard bid toward best value and other alternative delivery methods. There is no better way to network and develop relationships with the contractors and engineers you need as partners to be successful in these changing markets than by industry participation… In conclusion, I am extremely proud and grateful to be recognized by this prestigious Moles organization... And as our company celebrates its 110th anniversary this year, I am particularly proud of my family and the fact that the family business will go on to the fourth generation. My sincere thanks to all of you and may God bless all of you.
In 2004, Pete offered me the opportunity to go on a FHWA/ AASHTO “scan tour” to Canada and several European countries to study construction management and alternative contract delivery methods, two In his remarks, Rich Wagman cited the following topics I was keenly interested in at the time. I was truly impressed with how advanced joint venture projects as having grown out of some of the transport authorities were in the relationships made through his involvement in ARTBA: use of alternative contract delivery methods such as design-build, design-build-finance• Pennsylvania’s first precast segmental bridge on the operate, early contractor involvement, and Pennsylvania Turnpike across the Susquehanna River. P3s, and how much construction management responsibility the owners were passing on to the contractors. I also observed from • Several interchanges on the Maryland approach to the the comments by the FHWA and AASHTO Woodrow Wilson Bridge, making Wagman the largest officials, and from understanding the driving single contract holder for that mega-project. forces for these changes in Canada and Eu rope, that this was the way things were going to go in the U.S. • Intercounty Connector (ICC) Contracts A and B in Based on that experience, and our position in the market, we decided to focus on the larger projects where these alternative delivery methods were starting to be used. The wholesale change we had to make to our business model was very challenging and extensive, but was also very successful because of our people, our reputation and
• The I-95/I-695 interchange on the north side of Baltimore.
ARTBA Leaders Honored At Moles Dinner
Robert R. Buckley presents the moles non-member award to Rich Wagman (left)
Salvatore Mancini presenets the moles member award to Tom Iovino (right).
ARTBA Director Elected Chairman of TRIP
Ken Lanford, the president of Roanoke, Va.-based Lanford Brothers Company and a director on the ARTBA Board, has been elected chairman of The Road Information Program (TRIP). He has been in the construction field since 1977 and became a member of the TRIP Board of Directors in 2006, joining his uncle, TRIP Chairman Emeritus Jack Lanford, who has served on the TRIP board since 1986. Jack served as ARTBA chairman in
Two prominent ARTBA members received prestigious awards Jan. 25 at the annual Moles dinner in New York City. Nearly 2,000 heavy construction professionals attended. The fraternal organization bestowed its annual member award on Thomas A. Iovino of Judlau Contracting, based in College Point, N.Y. Iovino was the 2011 ARTBA Contractors Division president. The group presented its non-member award to 2004 ARTBA Chairman Rich Wagman of G.A. & F.C. Wagman in York, Pa. During his acceptance remarks, Wagman cited his longtime ARTBA involvement—and resulting networking opportunities—as key to his company’s growth. Featured speaker Governor Andrew Cuomo outlined his plans for the Tappan Zee Bridge replacement project and numerous other infrastructure priorities. The Moles is composed of individuals now or formerly engaged in the construction of tunnel, subway, sewer, foundation, marine, sub-aqueous or other heavy construction.
1991, and Ken’s father, Stan was 1999 ARTBA chairman. Ken joined Lanford Brothers in 1977, holding the positions of field superintendent, project manager and vice president, leading to his appointment in 2004 as president of the company.
Parsons Brinckerhoff Developing I-35 Corridor Plan
AUSTIN, TEXAS—January 12—The city of Austin has awarded a contract to Parsons Brinckerhoff for the development of a transportation corridor plan along an 11.5-mile portion of IH 35 in central Austin. The intent of the project is to achieve better performance, efficiency and connectivity through greater Austin, while minimizing impacts to right-of-way and adjacent development. The project is applying a context-sensitive process involving a wide range of agency and public stakeholders. A variety of potential highway, transit, bike and pedestrian improvements are anticipated to be generated from this process. Parsons Brinckerhoff is leading a multidisciplinary team involved in collecting, evaluating, ranking and prioritizing a wide range of mostly short- and medium-term transportation improvements along the corridor. In addition to overall management, the firm’s specific roles include planning and evaluating alternatives, traffic and civil engineering analysis, cost estimating, public and stakeholder outreach and program development of recommended solutions. The corridor plan is scheduled to be completed in early 2013. For more information visit: www.pbworld.com
(17 percent of the total U.S. population), 83 percent of U.S. land, and almost all of the 2.2 million farms.
Robust funding for surface transportation infrastructure offers more benefits, and may have more support than many politicians realize. For instance, did you know that transportation infrastructure is vital to maintaining an affordable food supply? Food stuffs originate in rural areas but reach most urban populations by means of surface transportation. The condition of rural roads and bridges makes a difference to how much it costs us to eat well. AEM is committed to better roads for all Americans and therefore supports the research of The Road Information Program (TRIP), a Washington, DC-based nonprofit that released an important study last September titled “Rural Connections: Challenges and Opportunities in America’s Heartland.” Not surprisingly, the research shows that rural America needs infrastructure upgrades just like the rest of the country. According to USDA, better roads and bridges can mean more affordable prices for farming inputs such as fertilizer and seed. In turn, those prices lower farming costs and therefore translate into better food prices for consumers. For instance, the study reported: • Rural America—all places and people living in areas outside of urban areas with a population of 5,000 or greater—is where most of our food is produced. Rural America has 50 million residents
• Most agriculture products go to market on trucks, and better, wider roads make a difference. Trucks account for 91 percent of the “ton-miles of all fruit, vegetables, livestock, meat, poultry, and dairy products in the U.S.” • Annual U.S. agricultural value is $2.2 trillion. Farming provides only six percent of all U.S. jobs, but seven more jobs result from each of those in other facets of agribusiness. Better roads for the six percent mean better quality of life for the rest of us. • Poor rural road design, narrower lanes, limited shoulders, sharp curves, and other deficiencies help make the rate of fatalities on rural roads three times higher than all other roads. To illustrate; lane width for arterial roads should be at least 11 feet, but in rural areas width is often 10 feet or less. And there are many wide agriculture vehicles on the roads in rural America.
obsolete. (Perhaps that doesn’t sound like much of a problem until we recall the Minneapolis bridge collapse on I35W Mississippi River. Thirteen died, 145 were injured, and a much-needed bridge had to be replaced). The world’s population is expected to reach nine billion by 2050. For food to reach that population, we need modernized surface transportation systems. In 1894, at their initial gathering, AEM equipment manufacturer members agreed that our quality of life depends in part on rural road improvements. Since then, the demands for increased productivity, efficiency, and faster delivery of goods has only increased. For more on AEM’s commitment to, and advocacy for improved surface transportation, please see www.IMakeAmerica.com. The TRIP study was also supported by organizations with which AEM frequently coordinates: The American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA), the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), and the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC).
• Rural roadways provide “the first and last link in the supply chain from farm to market and other retail outlets.” And the quality of rural America life is “based largely on the production of energy, food and fiber, and is highly reliant on the quality of the nation’s transportation system.” • In 2010, 13 percent of our rural bridges were structurally deficient and 10 percent were functionally
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