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The Official Magazine of The Associated General Contractors of Texas

Highway Funding Proposals Numerous and Varied, but all Positive as We Head into the 83rd National AGC Corner Certainties Amid an Uncertain Future


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2012 BOARD OF DIRECTORS Mr. Roger Albert (PRESIDENT) Reece Albert, Inc. Mr. Jim Anderson Haas-Anderson Construction, Ltd


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Mr. Clint Henson Texas Sterling Construction LP Mr. Larry Hurley The Lane Construction Group

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Highway Funding Proposals Numerous and Varied, but all Positive as We Head into the 83rd


Texas Project Awards


Manager Trevilynn Blakeslee Editor Adam Greulich Advertising Account Executives Walt Daniels, Kati Grote, Jennifer Siorek, Shirley Lawrence, Steven Hazouri

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Graphic Designers Tim Sost Stephanie Lindsey Return undeliverables to: AGC of Texas P.O. Box 2185, Austin, TX 78768 All rights reserved. The contents of this publication may not be reproduced by any means, in whole or in part, without the prior written consent of the association.

November/December 2012 9


Wow, What A Great Year.


EASY TO PLACE Wet and Compact 

By Roger Albert, Reece Albert Inc., 2012 AGC of Texas President


was told by several people a year ago that this year would fly by, and they were right. I am now wondering if I will have withdrawal symptoms come January—NOT. It has been a great experience for me personally, and I want to say thank you to all those folks who had faith in me being the quasi-voice of AGC of Texas. I have done the best I could, and I do not believe I pulled any of my uh-oh stunts in front of anyone that did not already know me. I am of course not including the summer board attire or the tattooed arms that came out early in the year. Joking aside, the year has been busy for AGC of Texas. Between getting prepared for the legislative session, working with the Comptroller’s office to refine the maintenance material RFP, dealing with the new DBE regs coming down from FHWA, working with the TCEQ on their new regs for pits, quarries, and borrow pits, and the multitude of other issues that came around, your AGC staff and committees have had their hands full. I want to commend Past President Bob Lanham and his Highway Funding Task Force on the excellent work they have done on the “Cost of Doing Nothing” information packet that will be going to all the state legislators in the near future. The information contained in these documents is vital to assuring all the members of the legislature fully understand what has to happen with highway funding. Also put together by the Task Force were two smaller pamphlets designed for you,


the members of AGC of Texas, to take to your social and civic groups to help spread the word to the voting public. I encourage you to do this at every opportunity. Another item created by the Task Force is a website which all citizens of Texas can visit and send a letter to their legislators asking them to fund highway construction. Please distribute this website address to everyone you know. The address is on the aforementioned pamphlets, so all you have to do is distribute them to your friends and neighbors and they will have all the information they need. We enjoyed a great time in Santa Fe at the Management Conference and an equally good time on South Padre Island at the Administrative Conference. I encourage all of you to take advantage of the networking opportunities that are afforded at these events. Our staff does a tremendous job of putting these together every year and bringing in speakers who are afforded the chance to speak to a group of friends without having to worry about their meeting agendas possibly ending up as a twisted statement in some news article. The Scholarship Gala was a tremendous success bringing in over $500,000 to our scholarship program. Thank you to all who participated in this event either as sponsors, item donators, buyers, or staff members. Without the dedication you folks give to this event we could not continue to help fifty-plus young people achieve their education

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TEXAS CRUSHED STONE 800.772.8272 Roger presents the “Cost of Doing Nothing” materials at a recent area meeting. The Official Magazine of The Associated General Contractors of Texas November/December 2012


PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE goals in fields related to our industry. I think we all know we have to grow our future leaders from within our ranks, and the best place to start is during their years in school. One of my goals for this year was to find a way to encourage younger people to get involved in the activities of AGC. Thanks to Brian Lee of The Lane Construction Group, that goal is becoming a reality in the DFW area. Once the ground work is in place for this group, I intend to push for it to expand to other metro areas. As I said above, we must grow our leaders from within and this is another area from which they will grow. Thank you, Brian, for your outstanding efforts. Well, I know more happened this year than I have mentioned, but you need to know that your board and committees work hard every month doing their best to improve our industry and deal with all the regulatory changes. I encourage each of you to find a place to participate, as we will all benefit from everyone’s participation. Lastly, I want to thank our incredible staff. You have made my year on the


Roger, joined by Bob Lanham and Art Daniel, form the distinguished panel at the DFW Future Leaders Event throne easy and have made me look good despite me trying to thwart your efforts. I am sure it will come as a shock to most of you but there is a very small streak within me that tends to escape occasionally and make me do or say things that probably are better left undone or unsaid. Oh well, you won’t have to worry much longer. I wish good luck to our President Elect, Mr. Forshage; I know you will lead us well. end

The Official Magazine of The Associated General Contractors of Texas

November/December 2012


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A Brief Review

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of Our Recent Letting History,

and a Forecast

for the Next Legislative Session

Let’s work. Get it built by visiting your local ROMCO location.

By Tom Johnson, Executive Vice President, AGC of Texas


oised between the end of FY 2012 and the beginning of the next legislative session, I thought this would be a perfect time to review the Texas Department of Transportation letting figures over the past several years. Most of us recall that 2006 and the years preceding were excellent for highway construction in Texas. Then, in 2007, the contracts plummeted. The total statewide amount let by the commission was $2,785,000,000. In 2008 that number fell to an even lower $2,492,847,000. Fortunately, because of a combination of revenue enhancements in 2009, TxDOT made its first motions towards an upward swing and let $2,830,000,000. In 2010 that number climbed to a little over $3 billion, and in 2011 TxDOT went to contract in Austin for $3,968,933,000. The almost $4 billion letting was indeed a welcome sight. Calendar year 2012’s totals look to be around $3.8 billion and it appears that that number or possibly a little bit more will be available for bidding in Austin in calendar year 2013. When we look at the total amount of highway work under contract by TxDOT, we see that they currently have $10,616,000,000 under contract. Our back-log is running about 49%, which is not necessarily a healthy number for the industry. The state let maintenance numbers are $627 million under contract, and it also is a little over 50% earned out. The local let maintenance of $149 million is 55% earned out. As a result of the outstanding effort by a lot of different people, the traveling public has been made aware of the shortfall in highway funds. There is a special awareness of our failure to maintain our system. The Highway Funding Task Force has done a superb job in developing specific figures showing the amount of debt that TxDOT currently has, which will require about $1 billion in debt service. Couple that with $1 billion in diversion and you are talking about a real impact on our available funds. More and more the citizenry recognizes that our first priority must be to maintain our current system. That has become 14

apparent in the oilfields where roads are beginning to turn to dust, and there is a greater than $1 billion need just to bring the damaged oilfield roads back to their original level. A number of statewide officials, as well as house and senate members here in Texas, have recognized the shortfall and are in search of meaningful solutions. Starting at the top, Governor Perry recently announced it was time to stop diversions from the Highway Trust Fund in the interest of transparency so the government can talk honestly with the public about spending money, in the way the public was told it would be spent when the taxes were collected. Lt. Governor David Dewhurst has and continues to be a champion, as has Speaker Joe Straus. With the recent announcement of Senator Nichols as chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee, we can expect to have one of the most knowledgeable members of the Senate overseeing the future of the department’s activities. Senator Nichols’ years on the Texas Transportation Commission give him a unique advantage in developing legislation which will benefit the future of our industry. One of the greatest supporters of increased funding for our program is Senator Tommy Williams, who this year graduates from chairman of the Senate Transportation and Homeland Security Committee to Chairman of the all-important Senate Finance Committee. It should be noted with special interest that Senator Williams will have a strong and meaningful voice on the future expenditures for TxDOT. The department and members of the legislature realize that the last several years have depended on bonds and other methods of short-term financing in order to build the program to its current level. Those programs are no longer available, and the legislature will be required to address the problems head-on. There are several good solutions on the table, and hopefully through effective participation from our membership and other like-minded industries we will be successful in obtaining additional meaningful amounts of money for our construction program. end The Official Magazine of The Associated General Contractors of Texas

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Highway Funding Proposals Numerous and Varied,

but all Positive

as We Head into the 83rd

By Bob Lanham, Chairman, Legislative Drafting & Review Committee


nderfunding highways is not a static problem. The longer it is disregarded, the worse the problem becomes. Without adequate resources, the Texas Department of Transportation will continue to face challenges in constructing and maintaining Texas' highway infrastructure and these challenges will worsen moment by moment. Our current funding sources are incapable of keeping pace with our needs. A new funding source must be identified. This affects our industry and others, obviously, and word is spreading that this underfunding actually hurts Texas. Despite the almost unanimous consensus that infrastructure funding needs new revenue sources, we have a very real challenge ahead. We know there is a significant funding challenge with regards to school financing and Medicaid, and those must be addressed for the sake of the state and its residents. But transportation must also be addressed. A solid, consistent, and predictable revenue stream must support transportation investment which is essential in providing the mobility, safety, and economic opportunity that makes Texas a world leader. Fortunately, our state leaders have begun beating the drum months ago for increased highway funding. Governor Perry 16

has called for an end to Fund 6 diversions as part of his Texas Budget Compact, which aims to increase budgeting transparency, among other things. Even before this, our grassroots efforts were gaining momentum statewide. Using the prodigious knowledge of our members, AGC staff were able to create several documents for distribution at local meetings, on our websites, social media sites, and at Good Roads’ press events. This was an integral tool to help our legislators garner enough support at home so they can support transportation funding increases. A significant difference between this year and other years preceding a legislative session has been the overwhelming interest we have received from other organizations with the same goal: to increase funding for our state’s highways. From the Texas Association of Business to the Texas Realtors’ Association, there is widespread consensus amongst the business community that if highway funding suffers, everybody suffers. There are several funding ideas being floated about right now. Members, this is great news for us. Our state leaders are negotiating ideas in the public sphere, looking for support, and seeing a huge return. It is in sharp contrast to where we were last The Official Magazine of The Associated General Contractors of Texas

session, with several funding ideas dying on the vine. In addition to Perry’s call to “pledge” an end to Fund 6 diversions, we have also seen several ideas—in the news and in our Public Affairs meetings—which would translate to a great deal of funding. Texas Transportation Commission Chairman Ted Houghton has called for a portion of the state Rainy Day Fund to pay for the degradation of our roads due to the increased traffic around the Eagle Ford shale formation and others. Senator Tommy Williams has raised the idea of raising the vehicle registration fees. Senator Robert Nichols is an early proponent of an incremental dedication of existing vehicle sales taxes to Fund 6, over the course of the next decade. And, as is typical in recent sessions, we will likely see more “local option” legislation to allow cities and counties to finance specific projects in their region. Regardless of which option garners the most support, it is up to this membership to show that there is indeed enough support for the legislators to put their names to it. To speak bluntly, we need to deluge our elected leaders with our branding and our messaging. Our presence needs to be louder than our opponents’. We have several means to get the word out, and I implore you to perform one or more of the following: Send letters using the Legislative Action Center via the AGC’s website or Texas Infrastructure Now; sign up for Texas Infrastructure Now social media accounts, as well as their newsletters; contact your legislators and hand deliver our “Cost of Doing Nothing” documents; and make plans to attend a “fly-in” in January. In order for the legislature to be determined, so must you all. The AGC of Texas has done a great job in the interim with its “Cost of Doing Nothing” brand, but now is the time to strongly voice your support for measures to increase transportation funding. The legislature won’t increase funding unless there is local support. I look forward to working with this association and seeing your influence at the Capitol next session. end November/December 2012

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Dallas • Austin • Houston 17

creating tomorrow today

TxDOT Goes Back to School

Darren Hazlett, Deputy Director, Construction Division

By John Obr,TxDOT Construction Division Director


e work with laser-like focus building safe and reliable transportation systems for Texas, but we also must take the time for education and collaboration. Learning about new methods, best practices, and technologies can energize us and make us more valuable when we get back on the job. In October, many of us convened at Texas A&M to attend our annual TxDOT Short Course. It was an opportunity to learn from each other and honor those who make outstanding contributions to our work building the Texas transportation system. The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) provided two outstanding opportunities for professional development in November. The EDC2 Summit in Dallas November 7-8 expanded on the Every Day Counts (EDC) initiative launched by the FWHA in 2010. Every Day Counts encourages us to develop a sense of urgency to utilize innovative transportation solutions on a wider basis. Time-saving methods and cuttingedge technology can shorten project delivery, enhance the safety of our roadways, and protect the environment. FHWA is hosting eight EDC2 summits across the country this year. An excellent example of an EDC Initiative is the Safety Edge construction method that tapers the edge of the roadway to allow drivers who drift off highways to return to the pavement safely. According to FHWA, Safety Edge now has been applied to pavements in all fifty states. Other innovative ideas that are off the drawing board and onto the pavement include warmmix asphalt, accelerated bridge construction, and adaptive signal control technologies. New EDC 2012 Initiatives that the FHWA is encouraging state DOTs to implement include 3D modeling for highway construction, Intelligent Compaction, and high-friction surfaces.


The Southwest Construction Peer Network Exchange in Salt Lake City

November 14-15 included representatives from each state department of transportation in the Southwest region, the Central Federal Lands Highway Division, the Association of General Contractors, the American Road and Transportation Builders Association, and the FHWA. Roundtable discussions addressed topics including determining staffing levels on projects, establishing qualifications for contractors, and implementing the digital jobsite. Participants shared successful practices with their colleagues. Goals of the Construction Peer Network Exchanges are to: • find and share exemplary construction processes and practices; • provide options to state transportation agencies for maximizing limited resources; • widely deploy proven practices and innovations across the nation; • promote ways to use construction funding more effectively, resulting in a positive impact on quality, cost, time, and other important project delivery metrics; • and determine national baselines for critical construction processes to guide information sharing, research, and training. The newly signed federal transportation authorization bill, Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century (MAP-21), directs us to identify efficiencies and best practices to help shorten project delivery times and become more effective with limited resources. By taking the time to collaborate and learn about improved methods, materials and technology, we can achieve that goal. end The Official Magazine of The Associated General Contractors of Texas

November/December 2012



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The Official Magazine of The Associated General Contractors of Texas

November/December 2012 21

Feature Weekly updates were provided to stakeholders including each of the TxDOT districts along the I-35 corridor and the University of Texas. When full closures were necessary, they were scheduled on weekends beginning on Friday night and reopening by 5:00 am on Monday morning. Other solutions included the use of up to twenty-five Austin Police units to control and direct traffic, a contraflow detour of Ben White Blvd., and waiving of tolls to encourage motorists to use Texas Hwy.130. Congratulations on a job well-done.

Texas Project


• Marvin Weaks, Glenn Fuqua, Inc. • Ryan Jackson, P.E., Bryan District This 2.7 mile project widened Wellborn Road in Brazos County from a two-lane roadway to a six-lane, curb, and guttersection highway. Traffic counts at the time of letting showed

Construction Award #2 goes to a project in the AMARILLO District:


t the September Monthly Luncheon, TxDOT and AGC members gathered together to commend transportation design and construction professionals by presenting them with this year’s Texas Project Awards. This year, eight outstanding projects in the construction category and three projects for exceptional design were recognized. Although each project is different, the consistent characteristic among all of them is that TxDOT contractors and staff displayed high levels of collaboration and skill to achieve tremendous results.

Construction Award #1: Brenda Guerra, TxDOT; Lloyd Chance, TxDOT; and Ryan Ohlendorf, SEMA Construction. Not pictured: Brett Walker, Michael Miller, and John Hurt, TxDOT.

Construction Award #3 is for a project in the BRYAN District:

• William Doreen, Williams Brothers Construction Co. • Reid Steger, Engineering Specialist, Amarillo District • Eric Walterscheid, J. Lee Milligan Along I-40, this project involved removing fourteen inches of old asphalt and flex base and replacing it with continuously reinforced concrete pavement. After removing the existing pavement structure, the subgrade was found to have a higher PI than anticipated and was holding moisture. Reid Steger, TxDOT Inspector in the Amarillo District, Eric Walterscheid of J. Lee Milligan, and William Doreen, Williams Brothers superintendant, quickly worked together to find a solution to this problem by adding fly ash to stabilize the existing subgrade. This allowed for the project to proceed and complete with minimal added days to the project.

Construction Award #2: Reid Steger, TxDOT.

Construction Awards

These awardees have gone "above and beyond" in using cooperation and partnership to do a quality job. These awards are presented to TxDOT project engineers and inspectors and to those project managers representing AGC partner contractors.

Construction Award # 1 is for the I-35/US 290 Interchange in the AUSTIN District:

Construction Award #2: Doug Walterscheid, standing in for Eric Walterscheid, J. Lee Milligan; and William Doreen, Williams Brothers Construction. 22

• Ryan Ohlendorf, SEMA Construction • Brett Walker, P.E. • Brenda Guerra, P.E. • Lloyd Chance, Engineering Specialist • Michael Miller, Engineering Specialist • John Hurt, Public Information Officer The Austin District is recognized for outstanding work on the construction of four direct connectors at I-35 and US 290, south of downtown Austin. Construction of this important interchange increased connectivity in all directions and improved access to the Austin Bergstrom International Airport. The project was complicated by high-traffic and a number of hotels, restaurants, business parks, and a cemetery nearby. These award winners worked to handle complex traffic control challenges and maintain traffic flow throughout construction. The Official Magazine of The Associated General Contractors of Texas

November/December 2012


Feature 20,700 cars a day passed through this section of Wellborn Road with dramatic increases during Texas A&M events. The high traffic and congestion caused by the many side streets required a good working relationship between TxDOT personnel and Glenn Fuqua workers. Ryan Jackson of the Bryan District and Marvin Weaks of Glenn Fuqua worked together to ensure everything was in place to construct each intersection. In addition, they had to coordinate traffic reconfigurations with the contractor on an adjacent job. The effort Ryan and Wayne put into managing this project as a team allowed the many challenges to be resolved efficiently and in a timely manner.

Construction Award # 4 recognizes another project in the BRYAN District: Construction Award #3: Ryan Jackson, TxDOT. Not pictured: Marvin Weaks, Glenn Fuqua.

• Alan Krenek, Knife River Corporation, South • Ryan Jackson, P.E., Bryan District This next project is located adjacent to the widening of Wellborn Road, an award-winning project that we just recognized. The project was to construct a grade separation at FM 2818 and FM 2154 and the Union Pacific Railroad. The structure was designed to accommodate all the necessary movements of the two intersecting roadways, while preventing car/train incidents. Phasing was the biggest challenge on this project. Grade railroad crossings had to be shifted to allow construction of retaining walls and overpasses. A shifted detour conflicted with one of the cloverleaf quadrants requiring many phases and traffic switches. The team had to coordinate the many traffic reconfigurations required. The weekly meeting and coordination efforts of Ryan and Alan Krenek of Knife River Corporation enabled them to resolve issues quickly and efficiently.

Construction Award # 5 is for a project in the HOUSTON District: Construction Award #4: Ryan Jackson, P.E., Bryan District; Alan Krenek, Knife River Corporation.

• Wayne Stewart, Williams Brothers Construction Co. • Rajendra Hada, P.E., Houston District This Brazoria County project was to widen FM 2004, a twolane facility to a four- lane divided highway. The project included the historic bridge over the Brazos River, which is a US jurisdictional waterway. In addition, much of the project passed through a high-quality wetland area. The alignment also travels through historic downtown Brazoria, past the Pioneer historic cemetery. Graves in the cemetery were within the right-of- way outside the roadway and additional graves were suspected to be under the existing roadway. Coordination efforts during design and contingency plans in place during construction played a key role in the success of the complex project. The efforts of the construction team of Rajendra Hada, P.E. of the Houston District and Wayne Stewart of Williams Brothers also enabled this project to be successfully completed with minimal added change order work.

Construction Award # 6 is for a project in the SAN ANGELO District (No Image): Construction Award #5: Rajendra Hada, TxDOT. 24

• Ben Clark, Acme Bridge Company, Inc. • Louis Leinweber, P.E., San Angelo District This project extended FM 2169 to US 377 in Junction, Texas. The Official Magazine of The Associated General Contractors of Texas

Prior to construction, the two roadways were connected by Flatrock Lane, which is a city/county road with two twelve-foot lanes and a low bridge structure crossing the South Llano River. The proposed cross-section was to construct two eleven-foot travel lanes, two eight-foot parking lanes and a six-foot sidewalk on the west side of the roadway. A diversion channel was created on the South Llano River to maintain river flow and allow river users safe passage, while a new 130-foot structure consisting of six, open-bottom, arched culverts was constructed. TxDOT and Acme Bridge partnered extensively on this project to work through issues such as unplanned utility relocations of sewer and water lines that had to be cut into the bedrock of the river channel. Louis Leinweber, P.E. of the San Angelo District and Ben Clark of Acme Bridge worked together to resolve as many issues as possible quickly to ensure the success of this project.

Construction Award # 7 is for a project in the SAN ANTONIO District:

• Glenn Allen, Williams Brothers Construction Co. • Paul Kieke, Engineering Specialist, San Antonio District This project was to raise three underpass structures on Interstate 37 in Bexar County. These three structures had a low vertical clearance and had experienced a significant number of impacts by high loads. Also, due to the highly expansive soils in this stretch of I-37, the project was to re-establish a profile of the I-37 main lanes. And finally, the cloverleaf interchange at I-37 and Loop 13 were to be converted to a diamond interchange. Paul Kieke of TxDOT’s San Antonio District and Glenn Allen of Williams Brothers worked together through the challenges that surfaced during construction. With each structure being raised more than three and a half feet, it was necessary to reconstruct the existing approach intersections. These intersections were left open as long as possible during the structure raising, then closed for reconstruction, minimizing the time intersections had to be closed. They also were able to revise construction sequence when a pedestal needed to be re-fabricated due to incorrect plan dimensions. On the re-established profile construction, Williams Brothers profiled the existing pavement, and then TxDOT revised the profile grade to allow for variable milling, but a constant depth hot mix section. The active role both Williams Brothers and TxDOT took on this project to find better ways to accomplish the work helped this project to be successfully completed with quality construction.

Construction Award #5: Wayne Stewart, Williams Brothers Construction

Construction Award #7: Paul Kieke, TxDOT; Glenn Allen, Williams Brothers Construction

Construction Award # 8 is also for a project in the SAN ANTONIO District:

• Ervin Wolfshohl, Hunter Industries • Jerome Pavliska, P.E., San Antonio District This award is actually for two projects let at the same time with Hunter Industries. The projects FM 1620 and FM 464 are in Seguin and are located near Commercial Metals Company, a large employer in the area. The plant has several shift changes each day and a constant stream of trucks to receive and ship materials. The scope of each project was to rehabilitate both roadways and to replace the FM 1620 and FM 464 intersection with concrete pavement. Jerry Pavliska, P.E. of TxDOT’s San November/December 2012

Construction Award #8: Jerome Pavliska, TxDOT; Ervin Wolfshohl, Hunter Industries 25

Feature Antonio District, and Ervin Wolfshohl, of Hunter Industries, worked closely, coordinating and communicating with CMC. This allowed them to coordinate phasing of the projects to minimize the impact to the company, while completing their work with minimal impact from truck traffic.

Design Awards

Design Award #1: Paul Warden, TxDOT.

Design Award #2: Michelle Milliard, TxDOT.

Design Awards recognize those who have designed a major project with no or only minor construction problems. All three of the design engineers we will honor today designed projects that were among the winning construction projects we recognized earlier. With excellent design, those projects were well on their way to success before construction even started. Our first Design Award goes to the engineer who designed the Wellborn Road project in the BRYAN District, Paul A. Warden, P.E. (Allen). This project widened Wellborn Road in Brazos County, a two lane roadway with shoulders and steep open ditches. The facility is now a six-lane curb and gutter section with an underground drainage system. The roadway is in an area that has seen significant residential and commercial development in recent years. In addition, it is in close proximity to an extremely active railroad track. The tight right-of-way contained a utility corridor with major municipal water, waste water, and high voltage electric transmission lines. Needless to say, the project was a design challenge. Allen Warden led the Bryan District Central Design Office to design a traffic control plan to accommodate the high traffic volumes throughout construction. The design involved a detailed fast-track paving sequencing plan at the main intersections, while coordinating access to the frequently spaced commercial and retail drives. The underground drainage system design required close coordination to minimize utility adjustments, and the design had aesthetic requirements with brick pavers used for raised medians and sidewalks throughout the project, illumination, and sound walls with murals.

Our Final Design Award goes to an engineer in the SAN ANGELO District, Dennis M. Heap II, P.E.: Dennis designed the Junction project that we honored with a construction award that extended FM 2169 to US 377. At the time of design, Flatrock Lane connected US 377 with the west end of FM 2169. Flatrock Lane included a low bridge structure that was just two feet above the South Llano River. The river is designated as an ecologically sensitive river due to its high water quality, exceptional aquatic life, and aesthetic value. The proposed crosssection was to construct two eleven-foot travel lanes, two eightfoot parking lanes, and a six-foot sidewalk on the west side of the roadway. In order to incorporate this onto the Texas state highway system, Dennis had to coordinate with landowners, the City of

Design Award #3: Dennis and Mrs. Heap, TxDOT Junction, Kimble County, and Texas Tech University to design a roadway that would meet the needs of all parties. An alignment had to be designed to eliminate a 90-degree curve at the south end of Flatrock Lane. This new alignment would have to pass through a grove of native pecan trees, however, and Dennis was able to find a gap in the grove to minimize the number of trees that had to be removed. The design called for the roadway to be closed to through traffic, a diversion channel was created on the South Llano River to maintain river flow and allow river users safe passage during construction. Congratulations Dennis for an exceptional job. end

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Design Award #2 is for an engineer in the HOUSTON District, Michelle Milliard, P.E.

Michelle designed the Brazoria County project that widened FM 2004, a two-lane facility to a four- lane divided, and it included the historic bridge over the Brazos River. Design challenges included issues such as the facility passed through a high-quality wetland area, through historic downtown Brazoria, and past the Pioneer historic cemetery. And finally, a leaking petroleum storage tank in the City of Brazoria created a hazardous material site within the limits of the proposed storm sewer work. The design called for the historic bridge to remain in place requiring an alignment around the historic bridge. New approaches were designed for the historic bridge to meet AASHTO bike and pedestrian requirements. The proposed new 26

structure involved a complex design with multiple transitions, which required detailed information to complete construction while crossing over the Brazos River, the Union Pacific Railroad, and the sensitive wetland area. The traffic control plan had to be staged to prevent delays to construction, while dealing with outstanding right-of-way parcels, utility adjustments, and the known and suspected graves in the right of way. As you can imagine, these challenges required Michelle to stay in constant coordination with many agencies such as the Texas Historical Commission, Army Corps of Engineers, the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, the Texas General Land Office, the US Coast Guard, FHWA, and the Union Pacific Railroad. Michelle, congratulations on this accomplishment for you and for all involved.

The Official Magazine of The Associated General Contractors of Texas

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November/December 2012


the good roads view

THE GOOD ROADS VIEW Doug Pitcock welcomes Senator Nichols to the standing-room-only Public Affairs Meeting sors, Luther Deberry, became the last “state highway engineer” in 1973. In 1975, the Highway Department became the State Department of Highways and Public Transportation, and the CEO took on the title of engineer-director. In 1991, the name was changed again to, finally, the Texas Department of Transportation. TxDOT’s first executive director was Arnold Oliver. Arnold succeeded South Texan Raymond Stotzer who became the department's leader in 1986; he had compiled an enviable record as the district engineer in San Antonio and previously in Pharr. He was elected by a Commission chaired by Bob Lanier and named commission chairman in 1983 by Governor Mark White. In later years, Lanier was elected Mayor of Houston

By Lawrence Olsen, Executive Vice President


OLLEGE STATION—Since 1927 Texas A&M has hosted the (originally named) Texas Highway Department for a conference to discuss a wide variety of issues involving the state's highway program. This year marked the 86th Annual Transportation Short Course and it drew nearly 2,000 registrants for the three-day gathering. During the last forty-five years, a tradition has developed at this conference to recognize individuals within the department who have exceled in their particular specialties. This year four more names were added to the list of very high achievers whose accomplishments have been officially recognized by their peers. Winners for the 2012 Short Course are Dean Van Landuyt, Bridge Division; Steve Warren, Lubbock District; Cheryl Flood, Lufkin District; and Terry Pence, Traffic Operations Division. In the 1980s, an award was named to honor Texas Good Roads leader Russell Perry, Dallas businessman and philanthropist. It was created to laud a citizen whose extraordinary efforts advanced public awareness of the ongoing needs of the highway program. This year's winner of the Perry Award was Judy Hawley of Portland, Texas. When a person reads the names of the Short Course Award recipients, it would be similar to a baseball fan reviewing the names of the initial class of Baseball's Hall of Fame in 1939 (which all know my heart—Babe Ruth, Ty Cobb, and so on). “The Highway


and served as chairman of the Texas Good Roads Association. Both the Greer and Gilchrist Awards were endowed by former Highway Commissioner John S. Redditt of Lufkin, and Reagan Houston Jr. of San Antonio, named Commission Chairman by Governor Briscoe, funded the Deberry Award. And Bob Lanier and wife Elyse donated the Stotzer Award. Also, the Russell Perry Award is sponsored by the Department, TTI, and Texas Good Roads. Gilchrist Award winner Warren is a thirty-year veteran of the Department and serves as director of transportation planning and development; he has an undergraduate and master's degrees from Texas A&M University. He's been instrumental in pushing forward projects in the Lubbock District such as the Marsha Sharp Freeway, and he has been quick to lend his expertise to the Bryan and Waco districts, as well. Steve is a prime example of partnership within the Department and with those who work for the Department Van Landuyt, recipient of the Greer

McCourt & Sons Equipment, Inc. 1-888-838-9252

Department” has its own version of the baseball giants. Accordingly, the awards are named for Gibb Gilchrist, Dewitt C. Greer, Luther Deberry, and Raymond Stotzer. Gibb Gilchrist of Wills Point, Texas, became State Highway Engineer in 1924; and he resigned two years later after Mrs. Miriam (Ma) Ferguson was elected governor. Her husband, former Governor James E. (Pa) Ferguson was impeached and removed from office in 1918. After Dan Moody defeated Mrs. Ferguson in 1926, Gilchrist returned as the department’s chief executive. In the1930’s, he left the Department for Texas A&M, where he served as dean of engineering, university president, and the system's first chancellor in 1944. The Texas A&M Transportation Institute headquarters is named for Mr. Gilchrist, widely known as the architect of the post-Ferguson highway department. This blueprint was upheld by Greer when named State Highway Engineer in 1940. The thirty-seven year-old Greer ruled the roost until state law compelled him to retire at sixty-five at the end of 1967. Shortly thereafter, Governor Preston Smith named him chairman of the three member Highway Commission, and he was appointed to a second term by Governor Dolph Briscoe. A year after he left the Commission in 1980 the state highway building was named for him. His successors, known as Greer's boys, all WWII vets, continued to consult their mentor until his death in 1986. One of his succesThe Official Magazine of The Associated General Contractors of Texas


November/December 2012


d the begun orship e sure mber, e and you’re Booth pened ailable

y new Show aware uccess of the would to list them

the good roads view Thanking Many For Their Fine Efforts

HMU Report

TxDOT Local Let Providing

800 Million Reasons

By Richard Gresham Cory Kosse of RDO Equipment Steve Siddons of Frank Siddons Insurance - Ft. Worth Larry Lesikar of ROMCO Equip. Co. Don Snider of Colorado Materials, Ltd. Jason Lynch of Trinity Industries Lenard Steglich of Franklin Ind. Mnrls. LaDonna Morgan of Excel Machinery Charlie Stone of Johnson Oil Company Liz Moucka of Texas Contractor Craig Wallace of SMI-Texas David Newton of Oldcastle Precast Chuck Williams of Texana Machinery Bryan Nichols of Colorado Materials Brandi Wilson of Whitley & Siddons Lawrence with Mark Marek, Bill O’Learychats of Martin Asphalt Co Director, Bridge Division Joey Zavesky of GCR Truck Tire Centers Julie Schatte of Ins. Network of Texas Award, is also a lifer with more than thirty years’ service. The UT-Austin graduate is a Jim Shewmaker of CIT Construction AGC Staff member of the UT-Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Academy of Distinguished Alumni. His bridge designs in the Waco and Beaumont districts Jim Siddons of Frank Siddons Ins, Kimberli Koehler have garnered national awards and recognition. end Lee Taylor a USI Southwest Co. Cheryl Flood, planning and transportation development for the Lufkin district, has




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t Co. eers o. o. 30

devoted twenty-nine years to the state and the department. She has been instrumental in moving forward a large number of significant projects, including the SH 150 overpass. She said it was privilege to know Mr. Deberry, who spent many years of retirement in Lufkin prior to his death at age ninety-six late last year. Stotzer recipient Terry Pence is the Traffic Operations Director and has also devoted more than three decades to public service. Pence has won more than eighty national awards for his safety work, including advocacy of safety belt usage and child safety seats. Former state representative Hawley, named as the Russell Perry recipient, is currently serving on the Port of Corpus Christi Commission. She has chaired the I-69 Advisory Committee since 2008 and is a tireless advocate for improved infrastructure. In 2004, she was named as a prestigious Texas Road Hand. And all of these recipients would agree that each was able to achieve many lofty goals because of teamwork with their peers. But the Short Course highlight is recognition of a courageous group of TxDOT employees cited because of their on job activities which involved putting themselves at risk to rescue those who are in serious harm's way. The Extra Mile Winners for this year are: Branda Whitley and Danny Massey, Amarillo District; Jason DeLeon (Corpus); Caleb Bryant and Ross Ozuna (Houston); and Jason Dale and Dean Gatlin (retired), Paris District. Congratulations to these valiant role models. end

The Official 1 Magazine of The Associated General Contractors of Texas

for M&U Contractors to Pursue Local Government Opportunities By Art Daniel, Chairman Municipal and Utilities Division


hen the phrase “local let” is uttered, one typically thinks of TxDOT maintenance contracts, not $20 million road construction projects. While it may be our preference to see TxDOT or FHWA funds let through Austin, the facts are that the TxDOT “Local Let” market is one for members to watch in FY 2013 with an estimated program at or exceeding $800 million. The significant boost in this market in the coming year will provide AGC members with additional traditional and non-traditional market opportunities. This volume of work has also necessitated an increased need for enhanced outreach by the chapter to work with cities and counties on behalf of the membership to ensure fairness, competition, and a construction process that is familiar and workable. November/December 2012

Projects falling in the local let category range from traditional road and street work to various other municipal public works projects, such as curb and gutter, sidewalks, and hike and bike trails. Projects may be the result of ear marks, involve pass through, and federal or local funds. Most of the design work on these projects is being done by consultants, although there is significant coordination required with TxDOT and FHWA throughout the process depending on the particular project. Ultimately your local public works officials will likely be responsible for the bidding process, contract administration, and compliance with state and federal requirements. In order to facilitate a better local let process TxDOT has created a new Local Government Project Office which is tasked with assisting local governments and TxDOT district 31

HMU Report

Press Release ROMCO Equipment Company Announces The Acquisition Of CONLEY LOTT NICHOLS 5151 Cash Road | Dallas, TX 75247 | (214) 819-4100 | fax: (214) 819-4131

offices under the direction of David Millikan. Millikan and his staff of three are tasked with covering various regions of the state to provide support and coordination as necessary. In addition to the Local Government office, designated responsible persons from both consultants and funding recipients are required to take a course covering sixteen modules administered by TEEX which provide an overview of roles and responsibilities from project oversight and technical specifications to change order administration and DBE requirements. In addition to working with the Local Government Projects Office, the chapter has also been working to reach out to and meet with local governments with proj-



(361) 573-3292



ects. This effort has paid off with enhanced communications, increased opportunities to partner with local governments, and the provision of more accurate bid information. This effort has also yielded information on additional locally-funded opportunities for AGC members and related add on projects as well. I have no doubt there will be many additional market opportunities for all AGC members including those active in municipal and utility markets as a result of our outreach efforts to local governments. I would like to encourage members involved with local city and county government entities to take full advantage of your membership and to utilize the resources and staff of your AGC chapter to assist in building a better market place and enhanced communications with all owners. By working together and reaching out to more local entities as we engage in this process we are building a stronger market for AGC members. Enhancing communications, partnering, establishing better relationships, and fostering accountability with local entities has served us well in the TxDOT market and can be repeated elsewhere. end

The Official Magazine of The Associated General Contractors of Texas

(From left to right) Charlie Clarkson - President of ROMCO Equipment Co., Bob Mullins - Founder and Chairman of ROMCO Equipment Co., Robert Nichols - CEO of Conley Lott Nichols, Robert Mullins - CEO of ROMCO Equipment Co.


allas, TX - ROMCO Equipment Company a leading distributor of equipment for the construction, mining and aggregate industries announces the acquisition of Conley Lott Nichols (CLN), a provider of road construction, aggregate and hydroseeding machinery, headquartered in Dallas, Texas. “The acquisition of Conley Lott Nichols continues our commitment to growth,” said Robert Mullins, CEO of ROMCO Equipment Co. “After opening our Remote Oilfield Location in Three Rivers, TX earlier this year, supporting our commitment to the oil and gas market, ROMCO now expands its services to the paving and aggregate industries.” CLN has specialized in meeting the needs of contractors, construction materials producers and municipalities since 1936 by providing quality products and services throughout Texas and beyond. We look forward to serving CLN’s current customers and adding new customers to all product divisions. On September 28, 2012, ROMCO completed a transaction to purchase all assets of Conley Lott Nichols and retained almost the entire operations staff. To integrate this acquisition, we are creating new paving and aggregate divisions. “The acquisition of our company was an all around win for all parties,” said Robert Nichols CEO of CLN. “I am espeNovember/December 2012

cially pleased that our employees will be able to continue to serve our customers into the future.” “Both companies are family owned and have the same commitment to serving our customers.” The paving division headed by Guy Brown (formerly General Manager of CLN’s Road Building Division) will include GOMACO, LeeBoy, Blaw-Knox, and Volvo paving and asphalt compaction products. FINN hydroseeders will allow ROMCO to participate from ground breaking to hydromulching the finished job. The MPS Aggregate Division led by Donna Bossert (also formerly with CLN) will include McLanahan Universal, Sandvik, TEREX/Finlay and Weir Minerals products and services. ROMCO proudly carries Eagle Iron Works aggregate equipment in most of our 10 dealer locations. For more information, please contact A family owned, Texas based distributor with over 50 years of experience, ROMCO carries the full line of Volvo Construction Equipment, Hitachi Construction and Mining Equipment, BlawKnox Road Equipment, Eagle Iron Works Aggregate Equipment and GOMACO Concrete Pavers. Our dealer services are fully backed by highly trained sales and product support personnel with 10 locations. 33

National AGC Corner


Amid an Uncertain Future By Stephen E. Sandherr


s I am writing this column, the elections are still a week away. With conflicting poll results and tight margins for the Presidential and many Congressional races, it is anyone’s guess who will be in the White House or running the Senate come January. This makes it extremely difficult to predict the fate of many legislative and regulatory initiatives—such as the EPA’s mud rules or “Obamacare”—that have been initiated during the past four years. No matter how the elections turn out, however, there are as many certainties about what the future has in store as there are uncertainties. We know, for example, that Congress and the Administration are going to need to set tax rates for next year and beyond, decide what to do about the looming sequestration budget cuts, and find new—and hopefully more effective—ways to jump start an economic recovery that is fragile and tepid. And in many ways, the health of our industry is very much dependant on how our elected leaders in Washington choose to resolve these vital issues. There is little doubt that Congress and the Administration will have to work quickly to set tax rates for next year. The fact that it is late October (at the time of writing) and tax payers and many employers have no idea what their tax rate


contractors, sequestration also poses significant risks to a host of federal infrastructure and construction programs. Everything from federal building renovations, lock improvements, and hurricane and flood protection work would be slashed unless Congress and the Administration can figure out a better, more targeted way to address out of control spending, especially for existing and new entitlement spending programs. And of course, no matter what happens on November 6th, we know that officials in Washington are going to have to find new ways to jump start our anemic economic recovery. Those measures should include reductions in needless and costly regulatory burdens, new investments in our aging infrastructure, construction of the Keystone Pipeline, and corporate tax rate reform designed to encourage new domestic investments. While none of these measures on their own are likely to prove silver bullets, combined they should provide a much needed boost. Yet just because Washington is certain to work on these issues, doesn’t mean the solution they reach is a foregone conclusion. Indeed, there is every risk—especially if President Obama wins reelection—that Washington will try to raise taxes, continue making indiscriminate cuts, double down on new regulatory burdens, and continue finding ways to punish success. That is precisely why every member of the Associated

General Contractors of America needs to make sure their voice is heard as Congress and the Administration work on these and other important issues throughout the remainder of 2012 and much of 2013. Needless to say, AGC will continue to vigorously fight for the interests of the construction industry regardless of the electoral outcome. But no matter how aggressive we are, how many visits with members of Congress we schedule, or how much noise we make in the media, the bottom line is that our most effective lobbying resource is our membership. Studies repeatedly show that Senators and Representatives are more likely to be influenced by in-person meetings from constituents, especially when those constituents are employers, followed closely by personal letters from those constituents. No matter how uncertain the future seems—especially two weeks from an extremely close national election—we know what many of our next fights will be about. And no matter who is sitting in the White House or running either house in Congress, I can guarantee our job will not be easy. But we can all be certain that AGC will be out there fighting for you. And to the extent that you are willing to get involved in the fight, we can control our own future and shape our own destinies. Working together, we can make our uncertain future as clear, and predictable, as possible. end

We know that officials in Washington are going to have to find new ways to jump start our anemic economic recovery. will be in 2013 is extremely problematic. The uncertainty that comes with unset tax rates is likely putting many otherwise sound projects on hold, while making life very difficult for anyone attempting to make plans for 2013. Setting tax rates at competitive levels would help bring a lot of capital back into play, giving a needed boost to construction demand and overall economic activity. Even as uncertainty about future tax rates is undermining economic activity, the looming mandatory, across-the-board, federal spending cuts known as sequestration put large segments of our economy at risk. And while much has been made about the potential impacts of defense cuts on military The Official Magazine of The Associated General Contractors of Texas

November/December 2012


around the state Houston Area Chairman Seth Schulgen

Bob Lanham and Tucker Ferguson at a recent Beaumont Meeting

Keith Dosch,Widgeon Construction, Inc. and John Choate,TxDOT Beaumont Area

Lubbock D.E. Doug Eichorst with Chair Doug Walterscheid and next Chair Daniel Wetzel

Future Leaders Council with Bob Lanham, Roger Albert, and Art Daniel

Lubbock D.E. Doug Eichorst provides his forecast

Atlanta Skeet Shoot Participants at the Johnson Ranch

Randy Rogers and John Obr Newly-appointed Senate Transportation Committee Chairman Robert Nichols stops for a quick pic with Johnny Weisman of Hunter Industries before the public affairs meeting.

Doug discusses The Cost of Doing Nothing.

TWDB’s Melanie Callahan discusses the project opportunities made available through the Prop. 2 water bonds.

Brad Everett of Abrams and David Fuller of Tri-State Electric LTD 36

The Official Magazine of The Associated General Contractors of Texas

November/December 2012


Index to advertisers Acquisition Announcement

Consulting Engineers

ROMCO Equipment Co. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29

Surveying & Mapping, Inc.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31

Asphalt Maintenance

Drilling Equipment & Supplies

Dustrol, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16

Venture Drilling Supply . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8


Engineering Consultants

Ford, Nassen & Baldwin, P.C.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13

Colorado Materials, Ltd.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28

Concrete Precast

General Contractors

Tricon Precast, Ltd. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3

Balfour Beatty Infrastructure, Inc.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16

Construction Equipment

Heavy Duty Trucks

RDO Equipment Company. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 ROMCO Equipment Co. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11

Dallas Freightliner-Western Star. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31

Construction Equipment & Supplies

Williams Brothers Constr. Co., Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17

Closner Equipment Company, Inc.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 Kirby-Smith Machinery, Inc.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 RDO Equipment Co.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 ROMCO Equipment Co. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 Texas Caterpillar Dealer Group. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Outside Back Cover Waukesha-Pearce Industries, Inc.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19


Heavy Highway Construction Lubricants Midtex Oil, LP . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17

Manhole Rings & Covers Bass & Hays Foundry, Inc.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 26

Materials Suppliers Texas Crushed Stone Company. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7

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Petroleum Refining & Asphalt Emulsion Ergon Asphalt & Emulsions, Inc.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Inside Front Cover

Portable & Stationary Crushing, Screening & Conveying McCourt & Sons Equipment, Inc.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25 Powerscreen Texas, Inc.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16

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Astec, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23

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has sold, delivered and supported more machine control systems in North

Craig Olden, Inc.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 4

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GeoShack. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Inside Back Cover

Timber Mats American Mat & Timber Co., Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 22

Trucking & Transportation

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Sunbelt Express Services, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 16 Trout Trucking. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17

Wholesale Petroleum Lubricants Tex-Con Oil Co.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34 38

The Official Magazine of The Associated General Contractors of Texas


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November/December 2012


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The Official Magazine of The Associated General Contractors of Texas

© 2012 Caterpillar All rights reserved. CAT, CATERPILLAR, their respective logos, “Caterpillar Yellow,” the “Power Edge” trade dress as well as corporate and product identity used herein, are trademarks of Caterpillar and may not be used without permission.