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Members Prepare for February 12th Fly-In Chapter Introduces its 2013 Board of Directors Senator Nichols Talks Solutions

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2013 BOARD OF DIRECTORS Mr. Roger Albert (Immediate Past President) Reece Albert, Inc. Mr. Jim Anderson Haas-Anderson Construction, Ltd Mr. Gary Botkin Capital Excavation Company


Mr. Chad Clark Clark Construction of Texas Mr. Joe Forshage (President) Foremost Paving, Inc. Mr. Larry Hurley The Lane Construction Corporation

President's Message


Executive Vice President's Report


Mr. Eric Johnson Austin Bridge & Road Mr. Kal Kincaid APAC-Texas, Inc., Trotti & Thomson Division Mr. Dustin Lennon D.L. Lennon, Inc. Contractor Mr. Doug Walterscheid J. Lee Milligan, Inc. Mr. Dan Williams Dan Williams Company Mr. Dean Word, III (President-Elect) Dean Word Company

INFRASTRUCTURE is published bi-monthly for AGC of TX, PO Box 2185, Austin, TX 78768 Kristen Ogden Smith Publications Director, AGC of Texas

COLUMNS Creating Tomorrow Today


The Good Roads View


Area Chair Chronicles


Save the Date


Around the State


PRODUCTS & SERVICES Contractors' Resource


Index to Advertisers


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2246 NW 40th Terrace, Suite B Gainesville, FL 32605 Toll Free: (877) 234-1863, ext. 6701 Fax: (877) 584-2176 Publisher Michael Brown Manager Trevilynn Blakeslee Editor Adam Greulich Advertising Account Executives Walt Daniels, Kati Grote, Jennifer Siorek, Shirley Lawrence, Steven Hazouri Graphic Designers Tim Sost Stephanie Lindsey

FEATURES AGC Welcomes Its 2013 Board of Directors


Constitutional Amendment Dedicating the Sales Tax on New and Used Vehicles 12 to the highway fund 2013 Transportation Construction Market Outlook: Modest Growth


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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.

January/February 2013 5


It’s 2013

Do You Feel Lucky? By Joe Forshage, President

President Forshage discusses the cost of doing nothing at the Pharr DE Meeting


Did he fire six shots, or only five? his year our cylinder is full and we’re ready to do a bang-up job this 83rd legislative session.* It’s going to be a tough fight and the stakes are high. As you may recall, we’ve two more years of good lettings projected. Then after 2014, this industry’s forecast reverts back to less than $2B per annum. We cannot let that happen. I am not a superstitious guy, and I am an optimist, which basically means I only believe in good luck. My take on good luck is that it is usually the result of hard work and strategic planning to take advantage of opportunity as it presents itself. Come to think of it, the answer to a good “focused prayer” can be mistaken for good luck, but that’s different. In the end you’re down to this: work hard, work smart. Don’t count on good luck, but take it when you can get it. Under the leadership of Immediate Past President Roger Albert, the preparation for this legislative session during 2012 is consis6

tent with this philosophy. We have been part of the largest, most focused, funding campaign that I have seen in my more than twenty-seven years in the industry. Thanks to last year’s Immediate Past President Bob Lanham for his vision and hard work as the Chairman of the Highway Funding Task Force. Many thanks are also in order to the participants of the task force; because through their efforts the ground work has been laid to further our efforts toward increased funding. The cornerstone materials of the funding campaign are “The Cost of Doing Nothing” publications and “The Wake-Up Call” video. Both can be viewed on the websites,, and, and they are also floating around on the various social media platforms such as Facebook, Linked-in, Twitter, and Youtube. Our funding campaign is “going viral,” as they say. Do you know “the cost of doing nothing?” A great philosopher (actually, just a slightly above average Joe from South Texas) once The Official Magazine of The Associated General Contractors of Texas

said, “The cost of doing nothing is great, but the cost of doing something great can be almost nothing.” Hard work is cheap, intelligence is—well, it’s priceless, but it doesn’t cost much. We have scores of members willing to roll up their sleeves and commit their intelligences to working on this funding issue. “The Cost of Doing Nothing” publications are comprised of a pamphlet, a brochure, and a book of facts on highway funding using historical data and future projections. Population growth data and the need to accommodate that growth are displayed along with economic impact to Texas. Also displayed are data showing how poor road condition and traffic congestion leads to increased vehicle maintenance costs, decreased fuel economy, and accidents. These publications have been widely distributed across the state. “The Wake Up Call” video is a short video that you can see on YouTube or by clicking a link on any of the websites listed above. The video focuses on the costs to the average household that are associated with poor road conditions and traffic congestion. If you haven’t seen it, find it and watch it. It paints a picture of doom and gloom, and that’s where we’re headed in transportation if we “do nothing.” In addition to these media materials, the task force also put much effort toward cultivating relationships with the multitude of elected officials around the state and furthering our outreach through communications with other organizations

January/February 2013

that are also interested in a long term commitment to the continued improvement of Texas’ vast transportation system. Due to this effort, our connectivity to our transportation allies has never been stronger. While funding is foremost in the minds of the highway industry this 83rd legislative session, there will be many other issues come up before it’s all over. The Legislative Drafting and Review Committee, has already (in December) been reviewing and categorizing bills filed early. By the time this magazine hits the newsstand, the session will be in full swing, and there will be many more bills filed. Some will be good. Some will be bad. And yes, some will be ugly. We’ll be reading, analyzing, and sorting them. We will make a determination as to what effect they will have on our industry, and oppose or support or take ‘em off the list. You’ve probably heard the phrase “I’d rather be lucky than good.” The odds for success increase dramatically when you’re both lucky and good. Thanks to all of you for allowing me to serve as AGC of Texas President this year. With your help, and at least a little bit of luck, 2013 should pave roads to success for years to come. *Note: This lead-in should not be considered a threat to anyone. I would hope that it would be a cold day in South Texas when you couldn’t use a gun reference as a lead in to an article targeting a bunch of Texas contractors and engineers. end


Executive vice president's report

Water, Roads Among Top Contenders for Increased Funding This Session By Thomas L. Johnson, Executive Vice President


s we begin the legislative session, it is time to make sure that we have done everything possible to make sure that the legislature clearly understands the crisis facing our infrastructure. Both water and highway issues should be a top priority for everyone in Texas. It is apparent that the Governor, Lt. Governor, and Speaker of the House all realize how important these issues are to the future growth of our state. Lt. Governor Dewhurst announced he would support using a part of the Rainy Day Fund to establish an infrastructure bank for water and roads. This would not be a diversion of the Rainy Day Fund but a proper utilization of some of those monies as an investment to be paid back in a revolving fund. Both Chairman of the Senate Transportation and Homeland Security Committee Robert Nichols and House Transportation Committee Chair Larry Phillips have indicated they understand the crisis facing the Texas Department of Transportation. They are keenly aware that a long-term solution is needed and that bonds are quick fixes and can no longer sustain the amount needed to fund our highways adequately. We expect Senator Nichols to introduce two bills: one that would convert the sales tax on automobiles to the Highway Fund over a ten year period and another that would cap the sales tax on automobiles at its current level and all additional revenue would go to the Texas Mobility Fund for leverage use by TxDOT. Chairman Phillips has indicated support for modifications of shifting the sales tax on automobiles to the Highway Fund with the understanding that it would be specifically used for highway construction and not for other purposes. It was interesting that a number of the Tea Party delegation held a press conference at the Capitol and supported a $3 Billion increase in highway construction. The Tea Party in the past had been against the increase; however, they have recognized that 8

increased mobility is an income generator for the state and that one of our basic freedoms is, and will always be, mobility. The Legislative Drafting and Review Committee hit the ground running and has started reading legislation filed before the session has even began. It is going to be extremely important that the members’ input is given to the Legislative Drafting and Review Committee so that a sense of direction on each bill will be provided to the staff and to the members of the legislature. We expect all of our members to participate at some level in this legislative exchange; in return we are revamping the way we distribute information for unprecedented access to our advocacy and what our priorities are. Chairman Lanham has scheduled a fly-in to Austin for February 12, which will feature meetings with each member of the legislature and a possible report from some of the leadership on what might be expected during the session. Our area meetings continue to be the heart of the association’s activity and as we move through the legislative session we anticipate full reports at each area meeting on the status of legislation and particularly on the status of the funding of our water program and our highway program. The Texas Transportation Commission continues to do an excellent job in pushing projects forward as fast as possible consistent with the flow of funds. In addition we expect the Texas Water Development Board to continue with their strong loan program. Check our website and our advocacy partner’s website through Texas Infrastructure Now with news and updates on the session. Also make sure you are signed up for our electronic bulletins and notices. For a full run-down of all the ways we have for you to stay connected, contact the Chapter Office and they will get you set up. With your help, we are looking forward to a great session end . The Official Magazine of The Associated General Contractors of Texas

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January/February 2013


2013 Board Members

AGC Welcomes

Its 2013 Board of Directors


he AGC of Texas is proud to announce its 2013 Board of Directors. At the January Board of Directors meeting, Mr. Dean Word, III of Dean Word Company was elected President-Elect. Congratulations and thanks go to Mr. Word for this appointment.

Mr. Roger Albert (Immediate Past President) Reece Albert, Inc.


Mr. Eric Johnson Austin Bridge & Road

Mr. Jim Anderson Haas-Anderson Construction, Ltd

Mr. Kal Kincaid APAC-Texas, Inc., Trotti & Thomson Division

Mr. Gary Botkin Capital Excavation Company

Mr. Dustin Lennon D.L. Lennon, Inc. Contractor

Mr. Chad Clark Clark Construction of Texas

Mr. Doug Walterscheid J. Lee Milligan, Inc.

Mr. Joe Forshage (President) Foremost Paving, Inc.

Mr. Dan Williams Dan Williams Company

Mr. Larry Hurley The Lane Construction Corporation

Mr. Dean Word, III (President-Elect) Dean Word Company

The Official Magazine of The Associated General Contractors of Texas

January/February 2013



Constitutional Amendment

Dedicating the Sales Tax on New and Used Vehicles

to the Highway Fund By Senator Robert Nichols, Chairman, Senate Transportation Committee


s we enter the 83rd Regular Session, there is general consensus among legislators that infrastructure funding is a top priority. As automobiles become more fuel efficient and new alternate fuel technologies are introduced, our traditional funding sources have become increasingly unstable. In order to keep up with a growing number of cars and the cost of inflation, a new funding source must be identified. In my opinion there are five critical elements we should look for when identifying a new funding source for transportation. To be effective, transportation revenue should be (1) predictable, (2) constitutionally dedicated, (3) transportation-related, (4) independent of fuel source and (5) able to adjust with inflation. We can no longer rely solely on unit-based financing, such as the fuel tax or registration fee, going forward. For the past decade, Texas has relied on a series of one-time financing solutions to address its growing transportation needs. Though various programs (such as the Texas Mobility Fund, stimulus dollars, Propositions 14 and 12) have been helpful they 12

are anything but predictable. The bonds are typically sold over the course of one or two biennia, leaving transportation forecasts woefully shortsighted. The bonding approach further degrades the stability of future forecasting by consuming hundreds of millions of dollars in debt service over the life of the bonds. Our traditional funding methods are made up of vehicle registration fees, federal motor fuel tax, and state motor fuel tax. These revenues are constitutionally dedicated and transportation-related, but they do not adjust for inflation. Registration fees and fuel taxes are unit-based and frozen until the Legislature votes to raise them. This is the primary source of the quandary we are in now: registration fees have largely remained unchanged since 1987, state fuel taxes since 1991, and federal fuel taxes have been frozen since 1993. In those twenty-plus years, inflation has reduced the buying power significantly. Fuel efficiency, even with its obvious advantages, also tends to allow drivers to use the system while paying less than their share in fuel taxes on a per mile basis. The Official Magazine of The Associated General Contractors of Texas

There is one revenue source that can provide all the qualities necessary to be an effective revenue stream. I have proposed a constitutional amendment which would dedicate the existing sales tax on new and used automobiles to the state highway fund. Approval of this constitutional amendment will give TxDOT a predictable revenue stream which they can use to implement long-range transportation plans. The existing sales tax rate is 6.25% of the sale price of all new and used vehicles. Conservative forecasts for this revenue stream come in at around $3 billion annually. We all know there is a significant funding challenge with regard to school financing and Medicaid, and those must be addressed for the sake of the state and its residents. That’s why legislation for this proposal would incrementally transfer the vehicle sales taxes by 10% per year, and would not begin until the next biennium. That should provide adequate time for lawmakers to fill in the gaps in general revenue. This is a common sense solution to a major problem. If the Legislature is determined to find additional revenue for transportation, this, or some variation of this, is an option that will give the department the revenue it needs to alleviate congestion statewide. Transportation infrastructure is a core function of government and must be addressed. What could make more sense than to dedicate the tax on a vehicle to the infrastructure on which it depends upon? Editor’s Note: Senator Robert Nichols, recently appointed by Lieutenant Governor David Dewhurst to chair the Senate Transportation Committee, joined AGC members at the October letting to discuss his plan for increasing revenue for highway funding. Nichols, formerly a Texas Transportation Commissioner, is uniquely well-suited among senators to lead this committee. The Chapter looks forward to working with the chairman and his staff to fulfill his goal of infusing Texas’ depleted highway funds with a stable, predictable revenue stream. The following article outlines his funding proposal for the upcoming session. end . January/February 2013

Upon his appointment to Chair the Senate Transportation Committee, Senator Nichols comes to discuss his funding initiatives at the Chapter’s Public Affairs Meeting.


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Transportation Construction Market Outlook:

Modest Growth

By Dr. Alison Premo Black, ARTBA Chief Economist Editor’s Note: Curious to see how Texas lettings measure up to the rest of the country? The following article details several factors affecting the nation’s construction industry—not only highways, but also specifically addressing bridges, tunnels, airports, and rail. The “modest growth” exemplified by the following national statistics are not indicative of the projected amount of highway work in Texas for 2013. Texas’ 2013 letting is estimated at over $7 billion, due to underestimation of the Highway Trust Fund, the Mobility Fund, and other cost savings.


he U.S. transportation construction infrastructure market is expected to show modest growth in 2013, increasing 3% from $126.5 billion to $130.3 billion. That’s the key finding in ARTBA’s annual economic forecast which we released on November 30. Growth is expected in highway and street pavements, private work for driveways and parking lots, airport terminal and runway work, railroads, and port and waterway construction. We predict the bridge market, which has shown substantial growth over the last ten years, to remain flat next year. The federal surface transportation program, combined with state and local government transportation investments, are the most significant drivers of the national transportation infrastructure construction market. Let’s take a closer look at the 2013 numbers. 14

MAP-21’s Impacts

The pavements market will be sluggish in 2013, growing 2.8% to $58.4 billion. This includes $47.7 billion in public and private investment in highways, roads, and streets, and $10.7 billion in largely private investments in parking lots, driveways, and related structures. With no new real federal funding in the 2012 MAP-21 surface transportation law, still recovering state and local tax collections and modest new housing starts, the pavements market will be uneven across the nation. Pavement work is anticipated to be down in twenty-five states. Growth above a 5% range is expected in nineteen states. Major markets California and Texas will be down slightly from 2012, but will actually be returning to a normal baseline level after several major project awards over the past several years. The Official Magazine of The Associated General Contractors of Texas

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Feature There are at least two developments related to MAP-21 that could lead to additional construction market activity in the sector in the short term and strengthen the market in 2013 and 2014. First, the law’s restructuring of the federal highway program offers state transportation departments more flexibility in their use of federal funds. This could result in slightly increased investment in highway, bridge, and pavement work above the forecast in some states. Second, MAP-21’s expanded federal Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) loan program could also boost construction activity in some states.

Hurricane Sandy

While the economic costs of Hurricane Sandy are still being calculated, it’s fair to say that major reconstruction work along the East Coast in states that were affected by Hurricane Sandy will also be a market factor in 2013 across all modes. Additional federal, state, and local emergency funds for rebuilding this infrastructure will be a boost as projects get underway.

Bob Tally, FHWA Division Administrator, speaks with the Houston area contractors.

After a four-year run of significant market growth—reaching a record high $28.5 billion in 2012—the bridge and tunnel construction market will cool off in 2013, likely remaining flat at about $28.2 billion. Our forecast shows projects in eight states— California, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Washington—will continue to account for about half of the U.S. market activity in this sector. With a number of major bridge projects on the horizon, however, the bridge and tunnel sector should rebound smartly in 2014.

The uncertainty caused by the thirty-three month long delay in passage of MAP-21 will be felt in the subway and light rail markets. Construction activity is projected to be down by 8%. There will be some bright spots, however. Based on recent contract awards, these states will be moving forward on key transit projects: California, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Kansas, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Washington. The overall subway and light rail market should rebound in 2014 with the federal funding certainty brought with enactment of MAP-21.

Ports and Waterways

“Wild Card”

Bridges and Tunnels

One very bright spot will be U.S. port and waterway construction, which will jump nearly 25% to $2.65 billion—driven largely by expanded sea trade expected with completion of the Panama Canal expansion project in 2015. Increased market activity is anticipated in California, Florida, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Jersey, New Hampshire, New York, Texas, Virginia, and Washington.

Airport Runways and Terminals

Airport runway and terminal construction is expected to show growth in twenty-eight states, with sector growth overall of 4.5%, reaching $12.5 billion. Market-driving states include: Alaska, Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, New York, Ohio, Tennessee, and Texas. Funding for airport projects is anticipated to increase over the next five years, largely tracking growth in passenger enplanements.

Railroads, Light Rail, and Subways

The U.S. railroad construction market, driven largely by private investment in Class 1 freight tracks and structures, is expected to grow just under 5% in 2013, reaching $10.4 billion from $9.9 billion in 2012. 16

A major wild card in this forecast: the so-called “fiscal cliff”— the dire financial situation set to occur at the beginning of 2013 if Congress and the president can’t agree on tax and spending reforms. Although the “fiscal cliff” would not directly impact federal highway investment to the states, it could affect state and local finances, and thereby cause governments to pull back or delay projects. Such action in turn would have negative consequences on the highway construction market. Individual businesses may also delay capital and hiring decisions amid the uncertainty. As this issue goes to press, it remains to be seen if the two sides will jump or not. The forecast uses an ARTBA econometric model that takes into account a number of economic variables at the federal, state, and local level. It is measuring the public and private value of construction put in place, published by the U.S. Census Bureau. The ARTBA estimate of the private driveway and parking lot construction market is based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s “Economic Business Census.” The preceding article has been reprinted with permission from the American Road and Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA). AGC of Texas is an affiliate of ARTBA. For more information, visit end . The Official Magazine of The Associated General Contractors of Texas

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Thanking Many For Their Fine Efforts By Richard Gresham


nly a few months in and the 2007 Trade Show has begun to take shape. Sponsorship opportunities are available, so make sure to get your name out there. Remember, this is the biggest (and best) Trade and Equipment show in the state, and you’re certain to get a lot of exposure. Booth sales for last year’s exhibitors opened March 9. New exhibitors will be available beginning April 13.

As I am getting accustomed to my new role as Associate Division and Trade Show Committee Chairman, I am keenly aware of the amount of dependence the success of this show has on the willingness of the WHOLESALE PETROLEUM Trade Show Committee to serve. I would LUBRICANTS like to take advantage of this article to list these fine people and to recognize them for their efforts. Board Liaisons Mr. Dale Kornegay of BorTunCo Mr. Terry Williamson of Texas Sterling Committee Midtex Oil L.P. is a full line fuels and Shell Lubricants distributor. Donnie Barnett of Hunter IndustriesWe primarily service South Central Laurie Bush of RDO Equipment and South East Texas, including Austin, San Joan Callahan of Texas Construction Antonio, Houston, Beaumont, and all Joe Carreon of HOLT CAT areas in between. “Quality Products” Rick Chapman of Cooper Equip. Co. and “Quality Service”. Dennis Clark of HOLT CAT Kelly Oil, Durham Midtex L.P. of E.D. Etnyre & Co. Leslie Guajardo of Padgett, 1-800-248-8042 Stratemann & Co, CPAs Charlie Hayes of T-K-O Equipment Co. Bill Hogan of Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers Chuck Hughes of R.B. Everett & Co. Shelli Kleen of Niece Equipment Co. March-April J a n u a r y / F e b2007 ruary 2013

Cory Kosse of RDO Equipment Larry Lesikar of ROMCO Equip. Co. Jason Lynch of Trinity Industries LaDonna Morgan of Excel Machinery Liz Moucka of Texas Contractor David Newton of Oldcastle Precast Bryan Nichols of Colorado Materials Bill O’Leary of Martin Asphalt Co Julie Schatte of Ins. Network of Texas Jim Shewmaker of CIT Construction Jim Siddons of Frank Siddons Ins, a USI Southwest Co.


Steve Siddons of Frank Siddons Insurance - Ft. Worth Don Snider of Colorado Materials, Ltd. Lenard Steglich of Franklin Ind. Mnrls. Charlie Stone of Johnson Oil Company Craig Wallace of SMI-Texas Chuck Williams of Texana Machinery Brandi Wilson of Whitley & Siddons Joey Zavesky of GCR Truck Tire Centers AGC Staff Kimberli Koehler Lee Taylor



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creating tomorrow today

Implementing the

Digital Jobsite

Commissioner Ned Holmes receives recognition for his service at the Houston Monthly Luncheon.

By John Obr, Director of Construction,TxDOT


s we search for ways to use construction funding more effectively, advances in technology offer unlimited opportunities for cost savings. At the recent Southwest Construction Peer Network Exchange in Salt Lake City, a session on implementing digital jobsites provided a wealth of information on everything from Web-based information sharing to automated machine control. As I’ve acknowledged before, we tackle ever-increasing workloads each day. However, dedicating time and resources to the transition to the digital jobsite allows us to take advantage of the efficiencies and cost-savings technology provides. It’s more and more common to see laptops and tablet computers replacing bound field books on the jobsite. Project engineers, managers, and inspectors can upload project records to web application platforms such as Microsoft SharePoint, making the most current information accessible to the department, our district offices, and contractors. Everything from correspondence, plan sheets, material specifications, and executed change orders to project schedules and concrete and asphalt material receipts are available to everyone involved in the project. Daily diaries are more accurate with the capability to document events as they happen, instead of completing paperwork at the end of the day in the field office. Automated machine control technology offers incredible potential to save time, increase accuracy, extend the life of new construction, and reduce maintenance. Drivers operating compacting equipment, excavators, scrapers, and other equipment are guided by GPS-location data. In the most extreme


cases, equipment can be operated robotically by GPS controls. Intelligent compaction equipment, for example, was used on the $1.1 billion DFW Connector project, which is scheduled to open in the summer of 2013. The system measures rebound data to indicate the extent of soil and base compaction. Color-coded maps display compaction results, which provide information to ensure roadways are compacted uniformly and sufficiently. Other equipment such as diamond grinders use automatic grade controls to grind the surface of rough roadways to make the road ride smoother. Automated asphalt laydown machines and concrete pavers provide similar grade controls to produce smoother surfaces from the start and help prevent future maintenance problems. Industry resistance to implementing automatic machine control technology due to higher initial costs should be offset by the long-term benefits of increasing the integrity and life of the roadway. Using web-based programs for training or executing contracts through web links and electronic signatures are other opportunities for utilizing digital capabilities. With as many as 1,200 active contracts, electronic recordkeeping increases accessibility, eases retention, and saves space. When representatives from DOTs in Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, California, Nevada, Utah, and Colorado gathered in Salt Lake City in November, no DOTs reported a 100% use of digital jobsites, although all were targeting that as the ultimate goal. In the effort to do more with less, Every Day Counts. This may apply to implementing the digital jobsite most of all. end . The Official Magazine of The Associated General Contractors of Texas

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January/February 2013


The good Roads View

A Program (with Pictures) Needed

to Watch the New Texas House

By Lawrence Olsen


hen the 83rd edition of the Texas House of Representatives was gaveled to order January 8, observers required a roster with photos to identify the forty-one rookies being sworn in. It's the biggest crop of freshmen members in a while, and combined with those elected to second terms this cycle, the One-Term-and-Less Gang makes up almost 50% of the 150 members. Three other members are recycled—that is, they all beat incumbents in 2012 but were each beaten two years prior. As Yogi Berra might say it is “Deja vu all over again.” The first 24

is Chris Turner of Arlington, who won in an unusually drawn district that could only be won by an Anglo Democrat, (which he is). Turner ousted Rep. Bill Zedler in 2008 (a presidential year, meaningfully) and Zedler turned the tables on him in 2010. This go-round, Turner won an open seat and had to beat fellow Democrat Paula Pierson in a primary before easily beating a general election foe. Secondly, in El Paso, Republican freshman Dee Margo, appointed by Speaker Joe Straus to the prestigious Appropriations Committee, was ousted by Democrat Joe Moody. Same The Official Magazine of The Associated General Contractors of Texas

Job Abrams and Rep Joe Pickett discuss the upcoming session at the El Paso area meeting.

Representatives Marisa Marques and Naomi Gonzales from El Paso.

story here, Mountain Time Zone version: Moody, with the big boost from the top of the ticket, beat Margo in 2008. In 2010, Margo whipped Moody and, now back to square one, the El Paso delegation has no Republicans. The third incumbent knocked off in the general election was Corpus Christi Republican freshman Connie Scott. Two years earlier she had successfully chalJanuary/February 2013

lenged incumbent Abel Herrero. In 2012, Herrero beat Scott. Despite the fact that President Obama ran about two points behind the lackluster 44% he garnered while losing Texas to Senator John McCain in 2008, there was at least enough of an uptick in the Hispanic Democratic vote to aid the victories of Reps. Moody and Herrero. There's been a good deal of press speculation in the post-election musings about how soon the growing Hispanic voting strength in Texas will make Democrats competitive on a statewide basis. Most observers have concluded the answer is “no time soon.� Republicans proudly point to the election of Rep. J.M. Lozano of Kingsville, elected in 2010 as a Democrat but switched parties, beat two longtime GOP players in the primary, and then resisted former Rep. Yvonne Gonzalez-Toureilles, a Democrat, in November. In addition, another Hispanic Republican won an open seat in the Dallas area, Jason Villalba. But the rising star that the Republicans proudly point to is George P. Bush, son of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. Young attorney Bush, thirty-six, has announced that he will make the race for state land commissioner in 2014. 25

The good Roads View

Senator Hegar visits with Quint Seal and Houston Area Meeting

Current Commissioner Jerry Patterson has declared that he will be a candidate for Lt. Governor in 2014. David Dewhurst, Lt. Governor since 2003, has told the press that he will make a decision on his political future after the 83rd Legislature concludes. This is similar to the statement by Gov. Rick Perry about his future political plans. Gov. Perry has served in his current capacity since December 2000 and surpassed the previous longevity record holder for a Texas governor (the late William P. Clements) by fifty percent. It is clear that Republicans in Texas will not concede the growing Hispanic vote to the Democrats and this continues a tradition carried by Sen. John G. Tower and most especially President George W. Bush.

Longevity Will Be Missed in State Senate

Speaking of experienced hands in state government, the thirtyone member state senate in January christened the new ship with several veteran top sailors among the missing. And the metaphor is apt because one of those diligent in guiding the ship of state over the last few years was a former submarine naval officer, Steve Ogden of Bryan. He led the Senate Finance Committee through some fiscal turbulence. In addition to Mr. Ogden, also departing are Florence Shapiro of Plano, a longtime leader in public education; Chris Harris, an Arlington attorney and committee chairman; and fellow committee chairman Mike Jackson of La Porte. All four stepped down voluntarily, but only Jackson vacated to run for new office: a new Congressional seat eventually won by Steve Stockman. Sen. Jeff Wentworth of San Antonio lost handily in a runoff to Donna Campbell, an emergency room physician who lives in New Braunfels and practices medicine in Columbus. In 2010, she lost a fairly close race to U.S. Rep Lloyd 26

Doggett, an Austin Democrat who Republican mapmakers have been trying to erase for years. The sixth new member of the Senate is yet to be determined. Veteran Democrat Mario Gallegos of Houston died in October. His name remained on the ballot (his death coming after the deadline to change the nominee) and he won over a nominal (29%) Republican challenge. Gov. Perry will call a special election to fill this vacancy. Thus far, Republican R. W. Bray has said he will run again and two Democrats have declared: State Rep. Carol Alvarado and former Harris County Commissioner Sylvia Garcia. Odds favor this remaining a Democratic seat but certainly stranger things have happened. If the D’s retain the Gallegos seat, the Republicans will hold a nineteen-twelve margin in the State Senate. So the Republicans can do whatever they want, right? Not so fast. Current Senate rules state that no bill can be considered (out of the so-called regular order) unless two-thirds of those in attendance say that it can: translation, you gotta have twenty-one votes to pass a bill. Six years ago rookie Senator Dan Patrick wanted to change the so-called two-thirds rule, and when the vote was taken it was one (Patrick) for the change and thirty against. Now, Senator Patrick is Chairman Patrick, named this fall by Lt. Gov. Dewhurst to head the Public Education Committee. Other key committee chairmen in the 83rd session will be Tommy Williams of the Woodlands chairing the vital Senate Finance Committee and Robert Nichols of Jacksonville to head the Senate Transportation Committee. So, with the backdrop of all this new blood and new leadership roles, fasten your seat belts for a rollicking 140 days, with the final whistle May 27. end . The Official Magazine of The Associated General Contractors of Texas

Area chair chronicles

Tyler Area:

Atlanta’s first PAC skeet event

Good Workers, Working Together By Casey Johnson, Longview Bridge & Road


t shouldn’t come as a big surprise that Tyler’s primary focus right about now is funding for more projects. The fewer the jobs, the cheaper the bidding. Right now, there’s a lot of cheap work being done. Our recent forecast shows some decent jobs ahead for us in 2013, but nowhere close to the district’s capacity. We expect there to be some pretty stiff competition for the larger projects coming up. Because of this, the East Texas districts are making a dedicated, concerted effort towards building our PAC. I would say it is the cornerstone of our local endeavors. The area is fortunate to boast some excellent legislators: Senator Nichols is now Chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee, Senator Eltife is a smart and capable friend of the industry. Even the disappointing loss of January/February 2013

our good friend Representative Hopson has (fortunately) gained us an ally with Representative Clardy. And freshman Representative Chris Paddie has proven to be open and accessible to industry concerns. With such a conscientious group, the bar is set high for us to make sure we engage them. The area contractors have met with each in turn and handed over our Cost of Doing Nothing materials, and they have explained to them the effects that last-minute funding has on our workforce. Atlanta ran their first PAC event earlier in the year. Atlanta Area Chairman Reece Sterling put together a skeet shoot out at my place; we were joined by Rep. Paddie and had a great talk with him about industry needs. The event turned out great—so great, 27

Area chair chronicles we are making it an annual event. We maintain a golf tournament in Tyler, Lufkin Area Chairman Robert Adamson continued the area’s golf tournament this year, and in Paris, Chairman Dustin Lennon had both a golf and skeet PAC event. Together, our East Texas districts are really running PAC initiatives at full throttle. We hope this camaraderie with our legislators will really help out in the upcoming session. That, coupled with the motivation of the contractors and suppliers we have out here, will ensure us a seat at the table come January. Despite the less-than-stellar letting figures, the Tyler District does have a good degree of stability due to the presence of Randy Hopmann as district engineer. We have a great relationship with him, but perhaps more importantly, he has confidence and a great relationship with his district personnel. We rarely feel the need to escalate our issues beyond the area engineers, which expedites projects and makes our area meetings run smoothly. Recently, we were joined by Phil Wilson who talked about how to cut spending through TxDOT in order to preserve that money for more maintenance and construction. He also stressed the importance of safety in our work zones. At the end of the day, Tyler is a great place to work. With the contractors, TxDOT personnel, and suppliers we have an area working together. If we could just get a little (or a lot) more of that work this district would be pretty close to perfect. end .

Casey Johnson welcomes attendees to the Tyler Quarterly Meeting

Tyler PAC Golf Tournament


The Official Magazine of The Associated General Contractors of Texas

JB Closner (North Texas) Chad Linahan (Central Texas) Bennett Closner (Rio Grande Valley)

January/February 2013



February 12, 2013 The chapter has scheduled a legislative fly-in for members at the Texas Capitol on Tuesday, February 12, 2013. This is an excellent opportunity to come to Austin and visit with your elected Representatives and Senators in the Texas Legislature about important industry issues and highway funding. See below for a tentative schedule:

10:30 am

Industry Briefing @ Four Seasons Hotel, Austin

11:30 am

Luncheon with Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives Joe Straus (Invited)

1:00 pm

Board buses to Texas Capitol

1:00-5:00 pm

Visits with Texas House & Senate Members

5:00 pm

Board buses to Austin Club

5:30 pm

Cocktail Reception @ The Austin Club (All members of the Texas House & Senate Invited Guests)



around the state

Dir. of Construction Tracey Friggle, Area Chair Rick Shafer and Dallas D.E. Bill Hale

Hoy Gatlin recognized on her 92nd birthday at the Houston monthly luncheon

Dir. of Construction Tracey Friggle, Area Chair Rick Shafer and Dallas D.E. Bill Hale

Roger Albert, Lauren Gardu単o, and Terry Bryant in Abilene

January/February 2013


around the state

Art Daniel at the National Highway and Joint Issues Meeting

Tracy Cain, San Angelo District Engineer, Louis Leinweber and Terry Bryant

Mike Hamilton,The Voice of the Houston Astros, at Houston’s December luncheon

Rick Shafer visits with Bill Hale after the meeting 32

The Official Magazine of The Associated General Contractors of Texas

Houston Fall PAC Golf Tournament

Bob Lanham and National Highway and Joint Issues Meeting

Highway Vice Chair Jason McLear with Fort Worth D.E. Maribel Chavez

Art and Tracey visit after the meeting

January/February 2013


Index to advertisers Asphalt Maintenance


Dustrol, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18

Midtex Oil, LP . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21


Manhole Rings & Covers

Ford Nassen & Baldwin PC. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17

Bass & Hays Foundry, Inc.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 21

Concrete Precast

Petroleum Refining & Asphalt Emulsion

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

Ergon Asphalt & Emulsions, Inc.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Inside Front Cover

Construction Equipment & Supplies Texas Caterpillar Dealer Group. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Closner Equipment Company, Inc.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18, 29

Portable & Stationary Crushing, Screening & Conveying McCourt & Son Equipment, Inc.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23 Powerscreen Texas, Inc.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20

Holt Cat. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Outside Back Cover

Sand, Gravel, and Cement Stabilized Sand

Kirby-Smith Machinery, Inc.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11

Hallett Materials Co.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19

RDO Equipment Company. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Inside Back Cover ROMCO Equipment Co. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15

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

Waukesha-Pearce Industries, Inc.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7

Sub-Contractors Engineering Consultants

Marek Bros. Systems, Inc.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19

Colorado Materials . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13

Timber Mats General Contractors Balfour Beatty Infrastructure, Inc.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18

American Mat & Timber Co., Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20

Trucking & Transportation

Heavy Highway Construction

Sunbelt Express Services, Inc. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 18

Williams Brothers Construction Company, Inc.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20

Trout Trucking Company, Inc.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19

Heavy Duty Trucks

Wholesale Petroleum Lubricants

Dallas Freightliner-Western Star. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23

Tex-Con Oil Co.. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23


The Official Magazine of The Associated General Contractors of Texas

January/February 2013


3302 So. W. W. White Road • San Antonio • 800-275-4658 AUSTIN BRIDGEPORT CORPUS CHRISTI FORT WORTH


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The Official Magazine of The Associated General Contractors of Texas


January / February 2013


January / February 2013