Florida Transportation Builder - Winter Issue

Page 1




A New Vision in 2021 A look at new leadership, legislative priorities, economic recovery and more

Interview with Florida’s New Speaker of the House Chris Sprowls

Update on Orlando-South Florida Brightline Project

2021 Construction Conference Preview

Marketing and Communication Tips for Contractors


GRIND Make life easier with Cat® Cold Planers. The Cat® Cold Planers are high-production, highly maneuverable milling machines that perform controlled full-depth removal of asphalt and concrete pavements in a single pass. Clean milled surfaces are left behind due to precise control of moldboard pressure. • Advanced true-track steering minimizes track wear • Simple operation with intuitive operator and ground controls • Optimized, integrated and highly accurate Cat grade controls uses Cat smart cylinder technology • Designed for easy service • Cat designed high production rotors can be fitted with Cat diamond bits

Cat PM312

Contact Ring Power and experience the Cat difference.

Cat PM622

Paving Products Division 904-494-7560 | ringpower.com/paving © 2020 Caterpillar and Ring Power Corp. All Rights Reserved. CAT, CATERPILLAR, LET’S DO THE WORK, 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. Ring Power is trademark of Ring Power Corp.

305.582.1489 | nielsonbonds.com



NIELSON, HOOVER & COMPANY We get your business.

Winter 2020





orking Together for Floridians: A W Q&A with Incoming Florida House Speaker Chris Sprowls By Jill Andreu


hat’s on the Horizon This W Legislative Session?


op Employment Law Changes T to Expect Under the Biden Administration 2 021 U.S. Hiring Trends and Compensation Insight Shock to the System: A The 2021 Economic Outlook s Premiums Rise, Captive A Insurance Solutions Become the Answer for Best-in-Class Contractors n the Fast Track: O Passenger-Rail Project Linking South Florida to MCO is Humming Along By Nick Fortuna


OurOur Bessemer, Alabama yardyard consists of 25,000 Bessemer, Alabama consists of 25,000 tons of predominantly ASTM A252 ASTM tons of predominantly ASTM A252 and and ASTM A500 grades of pipe. A500 grades of pipe.

SheetPile Pile Sheet

We are a supplier of both hot rolled and cold We are a supplier of both hot rolled and cold formed sheet pile available for purchase or formed sheet pile available purchase rental. Inventories includefor ASTM A572, or A588, and rental. include ASTM A572, A588, A690Inventories to grades 50 and 60. and A690 to grades 50 and 60. Cast steel end protection can attached Cast steel end protection can bebe attached toto our sheet pile with a minimum of weld. This our sheet pile with a minimum of weld. This prevents tearing and leakage and provides for prevents tearing and leakage and provides for maximum salvage. Reinforcing pile ends makes maximum salvage. Reinforcing for optimum penetration intopile anyends soil, makes which forisoptimum penetration into any soil, whichare especially beneficial when obstructions is especially beneficial when obstructions anticipated. are anticipated.

S low Down, Listen and Chill: FDOT’s Dan Hurdato, P.E. Provides Best Practices for Communicating Effectively and Resolving Conflict HOT ROLLED

Florida Transportation Builders Association 1007 E. DeSoto Park Drive Tallahassee, FL 32301 Phone: (850) 942-1404 Fax: (850) 942-5632 info@ftba.com



We currently stock 10- and 14-inch sizes We currently stock 10- and 14-inch sizes of ASTM 572 Grade 50 H-pile. Point of ASTM 572 Grade 50 H-pile. Point attachments, mechanical splicers, and allall ofof attachments, mechanical splicers, and our Consolidated Pipe and Supply specialty coatings areare available forfor useuse onon allall H-pile. coatings available H-pile.

A look at new leadership, legislative priorities, economic recovery and more

Consolidated Pipe H-pile features APF Consolidated H-pile features Hard-Bite point with Pipe integrally cast cutting APF Consolidated Pipe H-pile features APF point with teethHard-Bite that typically allows forintegrally maximum cast cutting Hard-Bite point with integrally cast cutting penetration by breaking through debris and teeth that typically allows for maximum teeth that typically allows for maximum boulders. These teeth cut into ledge rock debris and penetration by by breaking through penetration breaking through debris and for full bearing and are optimal forinto finding boulders. These teeth cut ledge rock boulders. These teeth cut into ledge rock secure toe-hold on rock.

for for fullfull bearing andand areare optimal forfor finding bearing optimal finding secure toe-hold rock. secure toe-hold on on rock.

Interview with Incoming Speaker of the House Chris Sprowls


By Nick Fortuna


F uel Your Company with Marketing and Deliver More Than a Project By Sharlene Francois Lairscey

45 49


E mbry-Riddle College of Engineering Earns Funding for Research to Maximize Bridge, Highway Safety

Update on Orlando-South Florida Brightline Project

2021 Construction Conference Preview

Marketing and Communication Tips for Contractors

Related stories on page 11, 16, 20, 23.

DEPARTMENTS 7 Update from the Chairman:

Time to Reflect and Move Forward

hat a Combat Patrol Can Teach W You About Business Planning By Shawn Rhodes

By A.J. de Moya, The de Moya Group

9 President’s Message:

Florida’a State of Affairs By Ananth Prasad, P.E.


Member News

By Michaela Jarvis

59 W elcome, New FTBA Members

anger Construction Honored as R 2020 Good Corporate Citizens


By Jill Andreu


Pivotal Time in Construction: A 2021 FTBA Construction Conference Information


A New Vision in 2021


Consolidated and Supply specialty coatingsour are available for usePipe on all H-pile.

P.O. B OX 247 2 4 7 2 ,2, B IBIRMINGHAM, RMINGHAM, AL 3520 1 35201 P.O. BOX AL P H O N E : 2 0 5 - 3 2 3 - 7 2 6 1 | 1 - 8 0 0 - 4 6 7 - 7 2 6 1 | FA X : 2 0 5 - 2 5 1 - 7 8 3 8 P.O. B OX 2 4 7 |2 1-800-467-7261 , B I R M I N G H A M , A L |3FAX: 5 2 0 1 205-251-7838 PHONE: 205-323-7261 CO N S O L I DAT E D P I P E .CO M P H O N E : 2 0 5 - 3 2 3 - 7 2 6 1 | 1 - 8 0 0 - 4 6 7 - 7 2 6 1 | FA X : 2 0 5 - 2 5 1 - 7 8 3 8 CONSOLIDATEDPIPE.COM

By Jonathan Perrillo, MBA, CRIS


OurOur welders are are certified, and and our procedures welders certified, our procedure performed to AWS areare performed to AWS D1.1D1.1 and and AWSAWS D1.5D1.5 specifications. Reports arehand on hand specifications. MillMill TestTest Reports are on if if required, supplemental testing provided required, supplemental testing provided uponupon request, on-site testing is available request, andand on-site testing is available fromfrom Consolidated’s team of specialists. Consolidated’s team of specialists.


By Cody Smith


We offer various types of fabrication for all piling We offer various types of fabrication for all piling accessories, as well as splicing, wheelabrating, accessories, well as splicing, wheelabrating, beveling,as grooving, and threading for any specific beveling, grooving, and threading for any application. specific application. 5/8 offers an inventory from OD through CPSCPS offers an inventory from 6 5/8"6OD” through 48” OD structural carbon steel pipe. 48" OD structural carbon steel pipe.

ecellio Honored with National V Highway Progress Award By John Schneidawind

By Michaela Brchlova, LL.M.




By Jill Andreu

By Jim Plunkett, Esquire



PipePile Pile Pipe

By Ananth Prasad, P.E., President, FTBA



Florida Transportation Builder – Winter 2020


eys to Being Prepared for and K Adapting to Change: A Q&A with Construction Conference Keynote Speaker Shawn Rhodes

he Many Benefits of Joining an T FTBA Committee By Stacy Heidel

Executive Committee Chairman A.J. de Moya The de Moya Group Chairman-Elect Henry Mayfield M of Tallahassee, Inc. Secretary-Treasurer Keith Waugh Leware Construction Company President Ananth Prasad FTBA

Immediate Past Chairman Bob Schafer Ranger Construction Industries, Inc. Directors Joe Anderson, III Anderson Columbia Co., Inc. Foster Bachschmidt D.A.B. Constructors, Inc. Kevin Hicks Gator Grading & Paving LLC Scott Pittman Ajax Paving Industries of Florida, LLC

FDOT Insight: Interview with Turnpike Construction Engineer Albert Salas, P.E.

Please Support Our Advertisers


Advertiser Index

Published by:

For advertising information, please contact Katie White at (352) 388-7031 or kwhite@thewymancompany.com.

Florida Transportation Builder is the official publication of the Florida Transportation Builders Association. All rights reserved. Contents of this publication may not be reproduced without permission of FTBA and The Wyman Company.

Cover credit:




Chairman’s Update

Time to Reflect and Move Forward


The most positive news of the year is that we are part of a truly special organization. FTBA is our home for education, information and camaraderie with industry partners and friends.


inally, we get to wrap up this crazy and difficult year. I look back on 2020 and think of so many individuals who fought tough battles – with work, personal life, family issues, or, most unfortunately, their health or the health of someone they love. Promising vaccine news gives us hope for a better 2021.

The year also had bright spots, particularly for FTBA members whose projects were accelerated due to low traffic on Florida’s roads. We learned valuable leadership lessons as we reconsidered business strategy, transformed work environments and took additional measures to ensure the safety of employees. It makes me so proud to think of the out-of-the-box thinking and collaboration between FTBA members that helped us get through such a trying time. Over the Thanksgiving holiday, I took time to reflect on the year and think of what we have to be thankful for as an organization. Just a few things came to mind: • Governor Ron DeSantis and other state leaders understand the importance of our industry and an infrastructure that keeps up with the state’s growth. Having projects pushed along during the start of the pandemic was incredibly important for our members. • Membership is increasing, which is a reflection of the great benefits our association provides. While we are on the front lines managing projects and teams, FTBA continues to work with industry leaders and individuals in Tallahassee to ensure projects continue to come our way and our state transportation budget remains healthy. • While most groups canceled events in 2020, we moved forward with a smaller-scale

Convention, which allowed us to safely gather and have a business meeting to share information and see each other in person. We had a great lineup of speakers, including the governor, and the experience helped us prepare for our upcoming Construction Conference. We are doing everything we can to ensure members get the education they need. As I look forward to 2021, I know there will be new challenges. We have a new president and administration in Washington, which brings so much uncertainty. We will fight a difficult battle when the Legislature convenes and determines how a diminished state budget will be spread among vital industries. We will continue to work on safety for our employees, both when they are on the jobsite and when they return to their homes and COVID-19 safety measures are out of our control. The most positive news of the year is that we are part of a truly special organization. FTBA is our home for education, information and camaraderie with industry partners and friends. As we end one year and start anew, let’s remember how important that partnership and our collective voice really is. I hope you all have a safe and happy holiday season, and I wish you much success in 2021.



President’s Message

Florida’s State of Affairs



Fortunately, or unfortunately, FDOT has experience in dealing with such downturns in the economy, and time and time again has demonstrated its exceptional abilities to mitigate.


s Florida over? That was the headline on an article in the Wall Street Journal on September 29, 2007. The article started with the premise that, “For almost a century, Florida has been a magnet for mobile Americans.” Carl Hiaasen, the novelist and Miami Herald columnist, said “Florida is in the business of cramming people into real estate for absurd prices.”

I think you get my point. The pandemic has created an economic crisis unlike anything one can imagine. Our leaders are doing their very best to manage the public health crisis while not exacerbating the economic crisis. As history bears fact, Florida has been through this. The state recovered, and the next boom occurred. The same will be true when 2020 is in our rearview mirror. The State of Florida’s revenue forecasters decreased the revenues to the State Transportation Trust Fund by 5.7 percent over the Five-Year Work Program Period with the biggest impact coming in the current fiscal year with a decrease of 10.63 percent. That is a decrease of $400 million in cash, which equates to $700 million in project commitments in the Florida DOT’s Financial Model. Fortunately, or unfortunately, FDOT has experience in dealing with such downturns in the economy, and time and time again has demonstrated its exceptional abilities to mitigate. One such mitigation strategy is being ever ready with eligible projects to accept any redistribution of federal funds that the other states are unable to obligate. Historically, Florida has been a benefactor of $150 million of such funds, but this year, Florida stands to gain $227 million of redistributed federal funds. Some ques-

tion the need of what appears to be a disproportionate amount of funds spent on preliminary engineering, but the return on that expenditure is what allows Florida to be the benefactor of redistribution of federal funds each and every year over the last two decades. Looking ahead, there is good news! Monthly general revenue collections have been exceeding the newly revised projections that were adopted in early August 2020, and I hope this trend continues by the time you are reading this article. As to transportation revenues, I look at my crystal ball from the driver seat of my car! I have driven about 1,000 miles a month the last few months, and it is heartening to see the traffic levels on our highways. Folks at FDOT tell me that the traffic levels are within 5 to 10 percent of pre-pandemic levels, which bodes well for our industry going forward. They also tell me that the peak hours are not as pronounced, which is to be expected, considering that many employees are still working from home. As we enjoyed the holiday break with our families, while being safe, my wish for 2021 is for our state and the country to continue to make steady economic recovery. From our family to yours, we hope you had a great holiday season and wish you a very happy new year!



Working Together for Floridians

Rep. Chris Sprowls, with the support of wife Shannon and children Prescott and Conrad, takes the oath of office as Florida’s Speaker of the House. Photo credit: www.myfloridahouse.com.

A Q&A with Incoming Florida House Speaker

Rep. Chris Sprowls


lorida Transportation Builder recently spoke with Florida’s new Speaker of the House, Rep. Chris Sprowls (R), about his career accomplishments, the importance of bipartisan support, and what he envisions on the 2021 agenda.

looking at decades in prison. The only way to get ahead of problems is to get in front of them, and the only way to really do that is on the public policy side. I thought I could do more for my community by running for the state legislature.

What made you decide to go into public service?

What are some of your biggest accomplishments since you were elected to the Florida House in 2014?

Sprowls: I grew up with a passion for public service. My dad was a retired police officer who became a teacher. When I graduated from law school, I was a prosecutor for the better part of a decade, prosecuting gang and homicide crime, and there came a point one day in court where I thought to myself, you know, the people I meet are usually in the worst of situations. They are either a victim of a crime, they have lost a loved one, or they are a defendant and

Sprowls: I think I can break them into categories. I have a passion for school choice, and one of the first bills I filed was what I consider a “districts without borders” bill, meaning any student in the public school system can go to any other public school regardless of what school they are zoned for, and regardless of what district the school is in, as long as there is room for that child. There are kids who might be in poorperforming schools, but just down the road

there is a great school and seats available, but because of government bureaucracy and made-up lines that have been drawn by districts or government, they are prevented from going to that school. We were able to pass the open enrollment bill and it was signed into law. Senator Rob Bradley (R) and I created a healthcare transparency package that fundamentally changed how healthcare works in the state. The package dealt with things like getting surprise medical bills and making sure people could know what the price of an actual procedure costs well before they go into the hospital. It also allowed individuals to compare prices from hospital to hospital to begin to get them to think about pricing prior to buying. That is kind of unique about healthcare. At Amazon, we look at the price, we look at WWW.FTBA.COM


the product, and then we buy. With healthcare, we buy and find out later whether it was good and how much it cost. We are trying to change that system. I’ve also been part of a criminal justice data transparency package, which makes Florida the most robust collection and public reporting of criminal justice data of any state in America. This past session we also passed a DNA privacy bill that makes us the most aggressive state in the nation at protecting people’s genetic privacy and genetic information.

I’ll ask the same type of question I asked of incoming Senate President Wilton Simpson. With politics being more adversarial and less common sense by the day, what kinds of partnerships do you see occurring between the state’s democrats and republicans when session begins in the spring? Sprowls: Too often Tallahassee is confused with Washington, D.C. For the most part, pieces of legislation that hit the House floor or the Senate floor are met with bipartisan support. Tallahassee is not a place like Washington that is constantly engaged in gridlock, and constantly engaged in not being able to accomplish even the simplest of tasks on behalf of Americans. Tallahassee has been a place historically where most things that have passed are bipartisan. We don’t have the kind of gridlock that exists in Washington, and we don’t have the type of hyperbolic atmosphere that exists in Washington, which is why it works so well for the people of Florida. It is also why Floridians time and time again have returned Republican governance to the House and the Senate because they are happy with that type of government.

Our readers obviously have a special interest in the state’s transportation budget. Are there champions in both the House and Senate who understand the need for sound roads, bridges, runways, etc. in a state that is growing at Florida’s rate? Sprowls: Absolutely. I think all the members understand that part of Florida’s success and future is this strength and quality of our infrastructure, and that includes our roadways – whether it’s your drive to school, 12

Tallahassee is not a place like Washington that is constantly engaged in gridlock, and constantly engaged in not being able to accomplish even the simplest of tasks on behalf of Americans. Tallahassee has been a place historically where most things that have passed are bipartisan. your drive to work, or in the event of things like natural disasters, how to you ingress and egress from the state. When we think about our environmental infrastructure and protecting our communities from things like coastal flooding and flooding of roadways, all of these networks tie together to give people a good quality of life and access to jobs, the marketplace, and access to getting kids to school. The benefit of infrastructure is that it doesn’t benefit just the person who is building the road, it doesn’t benefit just the person who is taking their child to school or going to work, it benefits the 18-wheeler that is transporting goods and helping us engage in commerce. It helps businesses develop and expand when they know they have easy access to roadways, easy access to ports, and easy access to airports. It is wildly important for our economic future.

Gas tax plays an important role in transportation funding, and some of that funding is lost with the advent of electric cars. What are your thoughts about a state tax or fee on electric cars that do not pay gas tax and therefore ride free on Florida’s highways? Sprowls: The last time I checked about our gas taxes as they compare nationally, they were a little higher than the national average. I think that is something to take into consideration, but also we have to realize that the environment for cars is changing and the types of technology in our marketplace are changing. As electric cars become more prevalent, we do have to look at ways we can continue to fund our roads in a manner that is consistent tax policy that doesn’t raise taxes on Floridians.

You stood with Gov. DeSantis and Senate President Simpson to push back against rioting and destructive protests, and as you mentioned earlier, your father was a police officer (a New York City


detective). Advocating for police must be something you’re very passionate about. Talk to us a little about that. Sprowls: I am passionate about it, and as I mentioned, I spent the better part of a decade as a prosecutor in this state. Not only have I seen the good that police officers can do, but I have seen the need that victims have for an officer who values the rule of law and values the victim over the criminal. I think sometimes that is lost in this conversation, and I want our justice system to be fundamentally fair. I want every person, whether that person is a victim or defendant, to feel like they had equal access to the court system, that they had the ability to get justice at the end of the day. The fundamental promise of government, the reason that government started and exists, is because people have a desire to have safety and to have justice. When we begin to back off of that fundamental promise of keeping your neighborhood safe and keeping your family safe and enforcing the rule of law, then our government becomes delegitimate. It is a priority of mine and should be a priority of any government to ensure the rule of law and the safety of our neighborhoods.

Tell our readers a little about some of the things that will be big on the legislative agenda when the session starts in 2021. Sprowls: It’s no secret that we are starting to have budget challenges as a result of the government shutdown and COVID-19 in Florida. It will be a priority to get our state back on its economic feet, make sure that commerce is totally open, and be able to succeed and prosper. Another priority will be looking at our workforce and ensuring that people have the ability to get back into their careers easily. Our priorities are Florida’s priorities, whether that is the budget, workforce, K-12 education or healthcare. The priorities of the Florida House are the priorities of the people of Florida.



We’ve Got You Covered. Volusia

Dobbs Equipment offers the full line of John Deere and Hitachi construction equipment, serving the residential and commercial construction, heavy construction, aggregate and mining industries. The better we know you, the better we can serve you. That’s why we invest in understanding your business and your equipment needs. You can depend on us for great advice and long term partnership to make your business successful. See us for: • High quality new, used and rental equipment • Extensive high quality parts line - new, used, and remanufactured all certified, inspected, and guaranteed • The highest quality, industry-leading product support • No charges for mileage, labor or travel time for all warranty related field service calls related to basic manufacturer’s original warranty • 24/7 emergency parts and service support • And, factory certified remote machine monitoring, guaranteed service response times, and more!

Fort Myers
















Indian River



Okeechobee St. Lucie

Highlands Sarasota

De Soto Martin Charlotte




Palm Beach

Broward Collier

Monroe Dade










West Palm Beach Riverview Parts

Sumter Hernando

Sarasota Parts 941.960.2004

Pompano Beach Parts 954.977.9541


REL ABLE trusted




8 6 3 . 6 2 2 . 8 5 0 0


What’s on the Horizon for FTBA This Legislative Session? BY ANANTH PRASAD, P.E. PRESIDENT, FTBA


e definitely have our work cut out for us in the 2021 legislative session. It’s going to be tough. We still are not sure how large the state’s budget deficit will be as a result of COVID-19, but some of it will be mitigated by flexibility given by the federal government to states through CARES Act funding. FTBA has engaged additional lobbying support so we have the necessary firepower and resources to speak with lawmakers about the importance of growing investment in infrastructure. Our primary objective is to protect the State Transportation Trust Fund. Over the last 10 years we have experienced a couple of sweeps of the trust fund, where $100-$150 million was taken out to balance the state’s budget. We want to protect the trust fund and avoid any sweeps in 2021. Passing M-CORES was beneficial to the trust fund’s growth, and now that we have new leadership in both the Senate and House, we will continue to educate them on the virtues of M-CORES and the importance of making investments for the long term. We cannot abandon our playbook on how we will position Florida for growth because of budget shortfalls. We assume we will hear the narrative that Florida’s growth has been thwarted a bit because of COVID-19, but in every economic downturn, Florida has recovered – and come out of it stronger. We also need to work on growing investments in the trust fund. One way we can do that is through electric vehicle fees. Those vehicles do not pay their fair share to use our transportation system. A gas-powered vehicle driver pays state and federal gas tax to help build infrastructure, while electric car drivers pay nothing. Florida is one of the only states in the Southeast that has not instituted an annual fee on electric vehicles. If you use the highway system, you should pay for it – whether that is through gas tax or a fee. In addition to advocating for the 2021 transportation budget and growing the trust fund, the following items will be part of our focus when session begins: • We will push for reallocating resources to focus on programs that are a bigger priority for construction, such as work zone safety. Last year, Rep. Alex Andrade (R) sponsored House Bill 395, and it got lost in the

shuffle. We want to bring back HB395, which supports additional signage and law enforcement presence in work zones. • We have a state arbitration board and alternative dispute resolution (ADR) process. We plan to work with legislators to refine how that process should work, with the goal of having as many disputes as possible settled through that system. We do not want our members to get mired down with lawyers and court processes when ADR should replace that. So far, it has worked, as there is not active litigation in the court with a contractor and the FDOT, meaning ADR has served taxpayers well. When both the department and contractor are working through the court system, no one wins. • The M-CORES legislation allocated $2.5 million a year to workforce development, and that funding sunsets after this year. We will start working to extend those funds for the longer term. • Many local governments require a general contractor license to bid on their work, and the general contractor license has a heavy emphasis on building. We have been working with the Associated Builders and Contractors (ABC) and the Associated General Contractors (AGC) to get language changed so when local government work does not involve a building, a contractor who has been prequalified with the FDOT also can do the work. Both ABC and AGC are willing to work with us in that narrow construct, and we hope to close that loop. • We want borrow pits to be properly recognized under the law as fill, not as a mine. Currently, the law implies that a borrow pit is a mine, which brings with it a whole list of safety and liability issues. We want to make a legal distinction between the two, with the understanding that permitting processes will remain intact, but from a liability perspective, borrow pits are properly defined. Trust that we will work tirelessly to advocate on behalf of our industry and FTBA members. Look for regular updates in our newsletter and a status report in the next issue of Florida Transportation Builder. If you have ideas or suggestions, please reach out to me at aprasad@ftba.com. WWW.FTBA.COM



Top Employment Law Changes to Expect Under the Biden Administration BY JIM PLUNKETT, ESQUIRE OGLETREE DEAKINS


ormer Vice President Joseph Biden is now President-elect Joseph Biden. Democrats have held the U.S. House of Representatives, but they will be working with the slimmest House majority in years. Control of the U.S. Senate is still not known, though Republicans enjoy a 50–48 majority as we await two runoff elections in Georgia scheduled for January 5, 2021. If Democrats win both of those races, they will seize control of the upper chamber, as the vice president (who under the Constitution of the United States also serves as president of the Senate) can provide a tie-


breaking vote in the event of a 50-50 deadlock. Any other outcome in Georgia will tilt the Senate balance in favor of Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and the Republicans. While the results of the congressional elections may put a damper on a robust Democratic legislative reform agenda, the Biden presidency still will bring a dramatic shift to the federal labor and employment policy landscape. The 180-degree turn in regulatory employment policy priorities that likely will result will undoubtedly create uncertainty for employers, which are already dealing with a pandemic and an


unstable economy. Set forth in this article are the major labor and employment policy changes to anticipate for 2021.

Congress: A More Modest Agenda Leading up to the election, there was much speculation regarding whether the Democrats would abandon the legislative filibuster if they took control of the Senate. Such a move would allow senators to pass legislation with a simple majority vote (51 votes), rather than the 60-vote threshold currently required. Eliminating

the filibuster would be a monumental and historic change to the way bills are drafted and passed in Congress. In this scenario, a Senate without the filibuster would enable Democrats to expand the number of seats on the Supreme Court of the United States and to pass legislation dealing with the COVID-19 crisis, voting rights, gun control, climate action, LGBTQ rights and more. The elections and political aftermath, however, have created a situation in which the filibuster more than likely will survive. At best, the Democrats would have 50 senators in 2021. A tiebreaking vote by Vice President Kamala Harris would, therefore, appear to give the Democrats the votes to scrap the filibuster, but Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) has stated that he will not vote to eliminate the filibuster, and others in the Senate Democratic Caucus have expressed similar concerns. Thus, with the filibuster likely remaining intact, Republicans can better thwart the Democrats’ legislative efforts, even if the Democrats win both Senate races in Georgia. Similarly, if Republicans prevail in one or both of the Georgia races, Senate Democrats can filibuster Republican bills. (The White House and House of Representatives also would obviously work as a check on the Senate.)

Potential Employment-Related Legislation This is not to say that the chances of employment-related legislation being enacted are nil. If the political winds blow in just the right way, there is a possibility that one or some of these bills, among others, could be enacted into law. COVID-19/Economic Relief. As cases of COVID-19 continue to surge and state governments consider reinstituting more lockdown restrictions, there will be continued pressure on Congress to pass an economic stimulus package. Republicans and Democrats agree on the need for funding to combat the virus (e.g., money for vaccines, testing, etc.), assist schools and childcare providers, and provide for a certain amount of expanded unemployment insurance. Like everything else in Congress, however, the devil is in the details regarding particular issues. More polarizing are the Republicans’ demand for liability protec-

tions from COVID-19-related lawsuits, and the Democrats’ demand for language requiring the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to develop a COVID-19-specific emergency temporary standard. It is unclear whether either side will compromise. If negotiations break down on a bipartisan economic stimulus, Democrats in the House likely will proceed on their own and move on the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act, which passed the House of Representatives twice in 2020. Among other provisions, the HEROES Act would: • Extend Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (for those workers who do not traditionally qualify for unemployment insurance (UI), such as independent contractors); Pandemic Extended Unemployment Compensation (providing an additional 13 weeks of benefits); and the Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) program, which provides displaced workers with $600 per week on top of their weekly UI benefits; • Require OSHA to issue an emergency temporary standard for certain at-risk industries; and • Extend the FFCRA emergency family and sick leave provisions for the remainder of 2021 and apply them to all employers, regardless of size. Paid Leave. The political debate surrounding federal paid family/sick leave legislation has evolved dramatically over the last several years. While Democrats have long supported such legislation, Republicans have only recently come on board with the concept (though they still have concerns about cost, scope, the need for preemption, etc.). Three recent developments have pushed the debate forward: (1) the increasing patchwork of state and local paid leave law requirements; (2) the new paid family leave benefit for federal government employees beginning in 2021; and (3) the paid family and sick leave provisions of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) that provided a glimpse of a national requirement. Legislation in 2021 will remain a challenge, but the parties are inching – perhaps incrementally – closer. Immigration. The last time Democrats controlled the Senate they passed bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform.

Biden has vowed to take another crack at this and promises he will “commit significant political capital to finally deliver legislative immigration reform.” Democrats also might focus on targeted relief measures for Dreamers and/or temporary protected status (TPS) recipients. On July 10, 2019, the House of Representatives passed the Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act of 2019 (H.R. 1044) by an overwhelming vote of 365–65. The bill would eliminate the 7 percent per-country cap for employment-based immigrant visas. Proponents of the bill have so far been unsuccessful in passing the bill in the Senate via unanimous consent. Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act. The Protecting the Right to Organize Act passed the House of Representatives in early 2020. It will be the top labor policy priority for congressional Democrats. The bill would dramatically change federal labor laws governing union organizing and make it both easier for labor unions to engage in organizing activity and harder for employers to lawfully resist. The Pro Act would affect joint employer status, gerrymandered units, e-mail access, “ambush” election rules, “persuader” regulations, prohibit right-to-work laws, and provide for “stealth” card check, among many other extreme changes.

U.S. Department of Labor: Who Will Be in Charge? There is a saying in Washington, D.C. that “personnel is policy.” Whomever Biden nominates to run the labor and employment-related agencies will have an enormous influence on federal labor and employment policy. Taking over functions at the DOL has begun. Biden announced his “agency review teams” to evaluate agency operations in anticipation of the shift in executive power in January 2021. This group likely will influence the selection of Biden’s DOL nominees and may even be candidates themselves. Expect the DOL of the Biden administration to be aggressive from the start, in terms of both regulatory actions and enforcement proceedings. Clawing back some initiatives of the DOL of the Trump administration will be a priority. But beyond that, expect this DOL to go on the offensive with an agenda even more progressive than that of the Obama administration’s DOL. WWW.FTBA.COM


Occupational Safety and Health Administration The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has thrust OSHA into the spotlight, and workplace safety likely will be the priority of the Biden DOL. Foremost, this likely means quickly putting forward a nominee to be Assistant Secretary of Labor for Occupational Safety and Health. And expect OSHA to develop a COVID-19-specific emergency temporary standard right away. Enforcement is likely to tick up, too, especially regarding COVID-19-related complaints. Finally, while it was not abandoned entirely by OSHA, a Biden OSHA will return to a much more aggressive “regulation by shaming” campaign through using conclusory press releases.

Wage and Hour Division Besides an aggressive enforcement strategy, the Wage and Hour Division (WHD) of the DOL will undoubtedly pursue a robust regulatory agenda that could be described as “repeal and replace.” The agenda likely will include these initiatives: • Joint Employer. The Trump DOL’s jointemployer regulation under the Fair Labor Standards Act has been enjoined by a federal court. Whatever the legal status of the regulation, a Biden DOL is expected to “repeal and replace” the rule with a broader and more amorphous joint-employer standard. • Independent Contractor. Similarly, if the Trump administration finalizes an

While it was not abandoned entirely by OSHA, a Biden OSHA will return to a much more aggressive “regulation by shaming” campaign through using conclusory press releases. independent contractor regulation, it quickly will be targeted for reversal. Senate Democrats may try to repeal it by using the Congressional Review Act (though they are unlikely to have the votes and doing so would severely limit Democrats’ ability to promulgate their own version of an independent contractor regulation). If Congress does not act, the incoming administration will rescind the regulation via rulemaking. The Biden DOL then may issue its own version of an independent contractor standard, but the controversy surrounding AB 5 in California (regarding a worker’s independent contractor status) may give them pause. • Overtime. A federal court ruling in late 2016 blocked the enactment of the Obama administration’s overtime rule. Although the Trump DOL finalized its own overtime rule in September 2019 that increased the salary basis threshold, the level probably will not satisfy a Biden DOL, which most likely will want it to be at $47,000 or higher and may also look to change the duties test.

Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs In 2019, OFCCP hauled in a recordbreaking $40 million plus in legal settlements with federal contractors. That figure does not tell the whole story of the OFCCP in the Trump administration, but indicates an aggressive enforcement philosophy that carried over from the Obama administration (despite welcome efforts toward compliance assistance and transparency). Expect a Biden OFCCP to push this enforcement posture particularly with alleged compensation discrimination (though whomever is running OFCCP in 2021 must work around a 2020 high-profile ruling against OFCCP that calls into question the agency’s statistical analyses). 18


National Labor Relations Board Republicans will maintain a majority at the NLRB at least into the summer of 2021, though Democratic member Lauren McFerran will assuredly be named chair in early 2021. She could look to slow down issuing case decisions, and especially rulemakings, until reinforcements arrive. If Republicans retain a majority in the Senate, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will have a say in who gets confirmed to the Board and when. Once Democrats gain a majority on the Board, not surprisingly, they may seek to roll back Board policies and return to policies that favor unions. If Congress fails to enact the PRO Act, a Board with Democrats in the majority may attempt to enact the legislation administratively, where possible. Other action items for a Democratcontrolled NLRB include: • Joint Employer. In February 2020, the Board issued a final rule that reestablished the direct and immediate control standard that existed for decades before the 2015 Browning-Ferris Industries (BFI) case. A new Board will undo this rule and issue its own rule that cements BFI via regulation. • Election Procedures. A new Board may look to restore all elements of the “ambush” election rules that went into effect in 2015 but were amended in 2019. • Employee Choice Regulations. A new Board will reverse 2020 final rule changes to the Board’s standards on blocking charges, voluntary recognition, and Section 9(a) bargaining relationships in the construction industry. This article was adapted from The Beltway Buzz, which is a is a weekly update from Ogletree Deakins summarizing labor and employment news from inside the Beltway and clarifying how what’s happening in Washington, D.C., could affect your business. Editor’s note: In light of the current political landscape, issues outlined in this article may have changed since the magazine went to press.

About the Author Jim Plunkett is a Senior Government Relations Counsel in the Washington, D.C., office of Ogletree Deakins. He is a graduate of Boston College Law School and James Madison University.


Immediate Post-Tension Self-Perform Work with Readily Available Equipment Quick Installation Extractable & Reusable

Contact us today for onsite training or a customized quote for your next project! 800-773-2368 | engineering@foundationtechnologies.com




t is fair to say that 2020 was one of the most challenging years in both our professional and personal lives. With all the uncertainty that the year served, we wanted to provide insights that the market has provided thus far. Our data is based on surveys with industry professionals, including FTBA members, who provided information that allowed us to identify relevant trends. Our hope is that you will find this information useful when planning for 2021.

Economic Outlook John Faraguna, President of Hays Americas, predicts a long, slow recovery. The GDP of the United States, Canada and Latin American countries is expected to decline by approximately 5.6 percent, 6.5 percent and 8.4 percent, respectively, in 2020, rebounding in third and fourth quarter after a disastrous second quarter where the U.S. economy shrunk by an annualized 31.7 percent. 20

Using the Great Recession as a guide, it may take up to five years for jobs to recover to pre-COVID-19 levels, particularly among small businesses. Companies with access to cash, either through debt or equity, will be better positioned to withstand what may come and to invest in people, new business models, technology and processes that will be required to thrive in the future. It is worth noting that many of our clients are using this time of disruption as an opportunity to enhance their workforce for the future, by recruiting people who would have been unavailable pre-COVID-19.

Key Report Findings 1. Employees on the move. Despite the tendency to think that people are looking to hunker down, more than 50 percent of professionals say they are serious about leaving their current role. A large part of these individuals go as far as to say that they are planning to make a career move in the next three months.


2. Skill shortage is still a thing. A significant number of employers nationwide (74 percent) are dealing with a skill shortage in their industry, particularly in the tech/ digital sector. The civil construction industry in Florida is certainly fighting its own challenges in this regard. How many of you have tried to find a highly skilled estimator or superintendent lately? It is even more difficult to find someone with specific bridge/structure experience. 3. To pay or not to pay. The pandemic has forced even the most financially healthy companies to tighten their belts, yet nearly half of our survey respondents said that seeking a higher salary is the main reason they would leave their current employer. Companies will need to become more creative about how they recruit and retain employees.

Current State of the Market It is easy to believe that everything is doom and gloom at the moment. However, as many

can be said about employees who procrastinate in interviews and/or offer stages of a job search process. A company that has invested time in your interview process will not wait around forever until you have explored what opportunities may or may not come your way. Analyze your staffing situation, and once you have made a decision to hire new talent, act with urgency.

as 70 percent of employers said they are feeling optimistic about the future employment outlook. While 36 percent of employers describe their current organizational phase as business as usual, 24 percent are currently in recovery mode.

Talent Acquisition Trends The majority of employers intend to keep full-time headcount steady, and over onefourth of them are planning to expand their teams in the next 12 months. A positive trend for construction is that the industry sits above the national average in terms of team expansion plans. The national average for expansion is 35 percent, while the construction industry sits at 38 percent.

Compensation and Benefits Despite the desire to hold on to cash, 31 percent of employers are going into 2021 with the intention to increase base salaries by 3-5 percent for current employees. We are again seeing a higher-than-average trend with 38 percent of employers planning on increasing existing salaries in the construction arena. When competing for top talent, 56 percent of employers are willing to increase base salaries outside of their budgeted range. This is a drop compared to last year’s willingness among 74 percent of employers.

Aside from salaries, what other factors do employees consider important? • 58 percent said that the benefits package is a key aspect when considering employment. This includes things such as three or more weeks’ vacation time, health insurance, and 401 contribution/matching. • 40 percent consider the ability to work remotely as a decisive factor. • 33 percent look at the potential for career development.

Summary Despite the notion that everything has changed in 2020 and continues to do so because of COVID-19, the findings of our survey are clear: employees are still looking for new opportunities, and employers are still looking to hire top talent. Roads, bridges and marine structures still need to be built or improved, and sites still need to be developed. The following observations can make the difference between gaining or losing talent.

A Sense of Urgency In a world where time is money, it is tempting to postpone hiring decisions until you have more time to review resumes. Of course, that perfect gap in your calendar will never come, and by the time it does, the top candidate will be long gone. The same

Money Is Important, but it Isn’t Everything Employers often turn down top talent because of a relatively minor difference in salary requests vs. offers. It is understandable that each company has a budget to consider, but ask yourself how much more it will cost you to not have the right type of skill set managing your projects? What is the longterm cost of a short-term savings? This is equally important for employees. What price do you put on enjoying going to work every day? Could other benefits outweigh a desire to make a certain base salary?

No Such Thing as Perfect It is understandable that any company looking to make an investment has a desire to find that perfect someone to fill a particular role. Much like any relationship, there is no such thing as perfect. Each and every person brings something different to the table, and thinking outside of the box often can prove to be the perfect long-term match. The same can be said about a position that may not look like an immediate fit but can end up offering the most rewarding career path.

About the Author Michaela Brchlova, LL.M., is Business Manager for HAYS Recruiting Experts. She is based in Central Florida and specializes in recruiting for the civil construction industry. She can be reached at (407) 630-7819.

To download the full 2021 U.S. Salary Guide, please go to: www.hays.com/resources/ reports/2021-salary-guide WWW.FTBA.COM


Honored to Celebrate 100 Years of Building Florida’s Transportation Infrastructure Since 1920, Hubbard Construction Company has proudly served Florida as one of the state’s leading heavy civil construction contractors. We’ve formed some incredible partnerships along the way, including our friends and fellow FTBA members. From the men and women of Hubbard: THANK YOU for helping us celebrate a century of excellence in the construction industry.

Here’s to leading the way of the next 100 years together.


www.hubbard.com 1936 Lee Road • Winter Park, FL 32789 Phone: (407) 645-5500

Find us on social media:


A Shock to the System:



fter years of record recovery and subsequent growth, the United States’ economy hit a recession. This time, a bubbling, global financial issue wasn’t the cause, but a global pandemic and resulting mass shutdowns that led to spiking unemployment and economic strain. Uncertainty surrounds businesses in every industry, and is likely to continue even past a full-blown restart. There is light peeking through the darkness, however. In an interview with Florida Transportation Builder, Anirban Basu, Chairman & CEO of Sage Policy Group, Inc., who spoke at the FTBA 2020 Annual Convention, offered his expertise and predictions for the coming months and years. As expected, the COVID-19 pandemic will hold significant weight on future economic development, but one key aspect offers a chance for a swift recovery: a supply shock caused this recession.

“[The COVID-19 pandemic] is a supply shock, not a demand shock like the 20082009 financial crisis,” Basu said. As the term suggests, a supply shock event unexpectedly increases or decreases goods or services. The pandemic’s shutdowns created mass supply shortages across a multitude of goods and services, from toilet paper to wood. Thankfully, a supply shock’s impacts can normalize quickly. “The bounce back from a supply shock leads to faster recovery than a demand shock,” Basu said. “In many countries, governmental response was rapid, such as stimulus money poured into local economies.” Three aspects of the pandemic – a supply shock, offering a faster road to recovery, and benefits from government response – separate this crisis from other crises, Basu said. But he does warn of possible threatening factors. “The job loss from the pandemic could cause a demand shock,” Basu said. “With rising cases in Europe and parts of the U.S.,

we could have a bleak winter coming. Our projected V-shaped recovery will become a U-shaped recovery.” The pandemic’s unpredictability muddles an otherwise hopeful path, but Basu looks to the initial job growth after countries eased their lockdowns. “2021 could lead to another recovery that’s more profound than the previous recovery,” Basu said. Basu is a regular keynote speaker at the FTBA Annual Convention. His economic insights and warm personality complement each other even when he predicts the worst outcomes. And while much of his analysis considers the global pandemic, he points to other contributors influencing the state of the domestic economy, notably low interest rates. “The number one factor for low interest rates is due to the low inflation in the past four decades,” Basu said. “Globalization has WWW.FTBA.COM


caused lowering inflation. The spread of global trade and investments has given the U.S. access to lower-cost workers in emerging markets. This has filtered inflation in the economy and the jobs associated with it.” However, Basu says there are indicators of rising inflation to come, which would raise interest rates. “More jobs are reshoring here, which causes inflation,” Basu said. “Central banks have increased money supply; governments have increased deficit spending. With an economic recovery, there may be more inflation, leading to increased interest rates.” Basu’s analyses also look at how the construction industry has both progressed and regressed during the past year. He notes growing homebuilding construction, shown by an increase in building permit data and single-family building permits, as well as underlying demographics, supporting home ownership. The pandemic also has induced homebuying as more people work from home. This greatly benefits administrative work now operating at the home level, which could lead to increased


“Great things came out of the Great Depression and the world wars. Never waste a crisis. This could force us to govern better, lead assertively, and address infrastructure funding gaps.” Anirban Basu, Chairman & CEO Sage Policy Group, Inc. business and entrepreneurship opportunities. Commercial construction paints a different picture. Office spaces, retail locations and stores have regularly gone vacant. Established powerhouses such as JCPenney, J. Crew, Neiman Marcus, Hertz and more have either gone bankrupt or face Chapter 11. Meanwhile, commerce titans such as Amazon, Walmart, Target and more have grown. The direct impact on transportation construction? An influx of trucking activity leading to construction opportunities. “Truckers are using the roads more due to ecommerce,” Basu said. “While the economy has shrunk, trucking has done well due to deliveries.” This traffic could offset lagging consumer transportation as more people work from home, mean-


ing a stable if not improved need for road, bridge, highway and freeway maintenance and expansion. For Florida, the pandemic has inflicted deep damage to one industry in particular: tourism. With attractions such as coastal beaches, theme parts and warmer weather year-round, Florida brings millions of tourists every year. But the pandemic still hurts the tourism industry here, and three of the state’s key metro areas – the Tampa, St. Petersburg and Clearwater area; the Miami, Ft. Lauderdale and West Palm Beach area; and the Orlando, Kissimmee and Sanford area – are still reeling from the lower tourism numbers and dollars. “[COVID-19] has delayed recovery in Florida; Orlando is the most affected,” Basu said. “Leisure, hospitality and retail trade have been hit hard, as well as international

travel going into Miami. Near-term outlook is not good due to surging infection rates, and there will be less travelers from other states, especially if northern states shut down.” For transportation specifically in Florida, the Highway Trust Fund insolvency carries a burden. Basu says factors such as vehicles going electric or being more fuel efficient, consumers using roads but not paying gasoline taxes, and taxes not increasing since 1993 will influence future transportation projects in Florida. “Infrastructure needs are only going up with increased trucking and transportation across the country,” Basu said. “The largest deficit on the federal level is related to road transportation. State and local governments picked up the slack, particularly in Florida, but now those funds are slim due to the pandemic. Construction companies may be less likely to take advantage of lower interest rates to build infrastructure.” Not everything is grim, though. Increased productivity from employees working at home boosts company performance and growth at all levels. A focus on work-fromhome and hybrid office/work-from-home

models also saves on office spending. With less need for office space, companies save money. This also provides new companies the opportunity to expand their operations and funnel money toward improved technology and tools. What lies ahead for the U.S. economy as a whole? As usual with the pandemic, much uncertainty, Basu said. But there is both struggle and hope on the horizon. “Globally, you’ll see a bounce-back in global cooperation,” Basu said. “Global cooperation worsened due to lack of an overall coordination. There will be a resurgence in efforts to restore global organizations and establish unity.” This crisis has left lingering damage to finances. State governments can recover, but the federal government is stuck in debt. It’ll be tough to find revenue for infrastructure. Continued unemployment paints a perilous picture for 2021,” he added. Infrastructure, Basu says, can help unify the country toward recovery. “A federal infrastructure package could pass in 2021, which could be used as a way to restore the economy to its former glory.”

The better your infrastructure, the better your outlook. We should know. We’ve been helping build Florida’s roads, bridges and highways since 1957. We know what it takes to be a leader in Florida. Not just the best equipment, service and team. But also a deep and abiding commitment to our community. After all, we don’t just work here. We live here too.

“These new projects could unleash productivity and creativity, avoid traffic, and connect regions,” he said. “Great things came out of the Great Depression and the world wars. Never waste a crisis. This could force us to govern better, lead assertively, and address infrastructure funding gaps.”

About the Author Cody Smith is a Managing Editor for The Wyman Company, which partners with FTBA on its communications and sponsorship efforts.


What it takes. thompsontractor.com




As Premiums Rise, Captive Insurance Solutions Become the Answer for Best-in-Class Contractors BY JONATHAN PERRILLO, MBA, CRIS WILLIS TOWERS WATSON


he construction insurance marketplace has been feeling the pain on insurance renewals. We are currently in one of the hardest markets in history, which is having a direct impact on contract bidding and project margins. Low interest rates across the globe continue to negatively impact investment income for insurers, and capacity reduction, technical underwriting and coverage can result in a continued hard market. We expect the umbrella and D&O markets will continue to be unpredictable, and at times chaotic, into the first quarter of 2021. Insurance executives expect that those markets will become more orderly, but still press for rate increases throughout 2021.


The good news is that tough market conditions will end. Insurance remains governed by supply and demand (mostly supply), and insurance is a competitive, global market with fluid capital. There is some new capacity coming online, new ventures being announced, and an increase in capital raisings by insurers at an above-average pace. During this hard market, more organizations have been exploring various alternative insurance strategies. One of these strategies is called a “captive.” A “captive insurer” is generally defined as an insurance company that is wholly owned and controlled by its insureds; its primary purpose is to insure the risks of its owners, and its insureds benefit from the captive insurer’s underwriting profits.


A captive is an increasingly important tool and can play a significant role in supporting an organization’s business strategy – enhancing financial and operational performance and helping an organization achieve its corporate goals in an ever-changing global marketplace. An insurance company, typically owned by non-insurance parent(s), insures the risks or interests of its owner(s). There are single parent and group captives.

Key Benefits of a Captive Operational Advantages: Enhance risk identification, management and control. Enable the filling gaps in commercial market cover and the flexibility to adapt to risk profile changes. Provide access to interna-

2021 Construction Insurance Rate predictions

tional wholesale and reinsurance market capacity and ability to develop improved claims data collection. Financial Advantages: Potentially reduce external premium spend and retain underwriting profit. Lower overall cost of risk and improved reliability of budgeting by increasing certainty of operating results and consistency in local deductibles. Generate new revenue streams from third-party business. Strategic Advantages: Develop longerterm strategy for managing insurance market cycles. If a captive is new to your organization, a group captive may be your first choice. Slightly different than a traditional captive approach, a group captive is a captive insurance company that insures only the risks of its multiple owners. The captive risk is shared in various ways, but a member’s profit is largely correlated to his or her individual claims experience. This difference ensures the tax deductibility of premiums paid and often results in lower operating costs by also sharing administrative expenses and aggregating the buying power of the group.

insurance language endorsements and contractual requirements. The advantages of a group captive are: return of underwriting profits, investment income on premiums, group purchasing power, tax arbitrage, industry focus on loss control, and selection of counsel/increased claims control. A homogeneous group captive may be preferable. Moving from a traditional insurance program to a captive is also a commitment. There are certain considerations to be made, such as: a three-year commitment, higher cost vs. single parent, sharing in other losses,

A corporation’s decision on the amount of risk to assume is independent and a priority over determining how to finance the risk, whether retained on the books of the parent or within a wholly owned captive insurance company. A captive insurance feasibility study is a type of risk assessment used to determine what uninsured risks exist for a business. The study also ascertains whether forming a captive insurance company is the best course of action for risk mitigation. A captive feasibility study provides answers to key questions about why and how to form a captive. These questions include

Group captives have processes to return underwriting profit and investment income to their owners in the form of dividends. Homogeneous groups are those whose members represent the same industry, such as general contracting, trucking, roofing, oil and gas, trade contracting, etc. Heterogeneous groups are those whose members are from diverse industries. Group captives also offer their owners greater control over their insurance cost, claims management and risk control services than the standard insurance market. The captive has a designated underwriter that will underwrite the risks of the owner/ insureds using a commercial fronting company, i.e. Zurich, Hartford, AIG. This allows the contractor to be in compliance with all

lack of coverage flexibility, substantial collateralization (LOCs), limited voting power and control, lack of control over dividend, potential transparency issues, attendance at annual meetings typically required, and an extended exit strategy. Before a company considers a captive, there are various risk and loss control measures that have to make sense. If the company has severe and frequent claims or poor loss control, captive should not be considered. The prospective company needs to have a great loss history and safety culture. The path to a captive insurance vehicle starts with a feasibility study to access the business case, including the financial, strategic and operational benefits and limitations of alternative risk financing methodologies.

whether a captive will deliver value, how it should be structured, what business it should write, where it should be located, and how it should be operated. Not all insurance brokers have captive experience, and specialized brokers should be sought out to conduct a captive feasibility analysis.

General Liability: +7.5% to +20% Auto: +5% to +15% Workers Compensation: Flat to +5% Umbrella (lead): +50% to +100% Excess: +50% to 150% (or more) Environmental: Flat to +15% Builders Risk: 5% to 15% Professional Liability: Flat to +10%

About the Author Jonathan Perrillo, MBA, CRIS is a Senior Associate with Willis Towers Watson, working in the Miami office’s Corporate Risk & Broking (CRB) segment. Jon specializes in construction and development risk and provides strategic account oversight and strategies to meet client objectives. He can be reached at (954) 401-1066. WWW.FTBA.COM


LYNCH OIL (800) 874-4161

• Equipment/Fleet fill or Tank fill including Diesel

“Fueling Your Success”

Exhaust Fluid (DEF) by Bar Code for easy tracking and no cross contamination. • We record daily, every gallon delivered into each piece of your equipment, which will help you determine the performance of your equipment. • Secured Deliveries: Geo-Fenced (GPS Pump Activated) • WEB Portal to evaluate billing, specific equipment fuel costs, and divisional fleet efficiency by date range. • Master Certified Distributor of Quality SHELL Lubricants, Bulk Oil and Grease. • Over 100 Knowledgeable People ... & 70+ Commercial Trucks to...Keep Your Jobs Running, 24/7.

Since 1969

Brightline tracks leading to the new Terminal C at Orlando International Airport.

On the Fast Track Passenger-rail project linking South Florida to Orlando airport is humming along BY NICK FORTUNA


Editor's note: This article provides a snapshot of project process in the fall of 2020. Additional progress has been made since.

hen COVID-19 gained a solid foothold in Florida, many construction projects were accelerated, including the 170-mile Brightline construction project to extend high-speed rail from West Palm Beach to Orlando International Airport. Throughout the spring and summer, some of Florida’s leading construction companies, including many FTBA members, were busy working on the massive project, scheduled for completion in late 2022. The project will build upon Brightline’s existing rail service between Miami and West Palm Beach, with a stop in Fort Lauderdale. Once completed, the extension will help alleviate congestion on Interstate 95 and the Florida Turnpike by eliminating approximately 3 million car trips per year,

according to Brightline. Passengers will be able to travel from Orlando to West Palm Beach in two hours and 15 minutes, with Miami another hour away. “The whole concept is to connect cities that are too close to easily fly between and too far to drive to, either because of traffic conditions or distance,” said Mike Cegelis, Brightline’s Executive Vice President of Rail Infrastructure. “All of our contractors are doing a phenomenal job, so the project is on schedule, and we’re moving at a very fast pace.” The project, which broke ground in the summer of 2019, will cost $2.7 billion, and accordingly, some of the numbers associated with it are huge. It’s creating 10,000 construction jobs and will result in about 2,000 additional jobs once completed. The 170 miles of new rail line require 491,000 rail

ties, 2.35 million tons of granite and limestone transported by 20,000 railcars, 225 million pounds of steel, 2 million spikes and bolts, and 6 million cubic yards of railembankment fill. The major construction projects include 55 bridges, four tunnels and three trenches. Cegelis said general contractors and subcontractors have effectively addressed the risks of COVID-19 transmission by requiring social distancing and personal protective equipment on jobsites and by sanitizing equipment. But even with those precautions in place, the pandemic hasn’t hindered progress. In fact, fewer commuters clogging up roadways, combined with larger supplies of workers and materials due to a dip in overall construction activity, has increased the project’s momentum. WWW.FTBA.COM


New Airport Terminal Will Have a Central Florida Feel When Brightline’s passenger-rail expansion is complete, trains will bring passengers to and from Orlando International Airport’s new Terminal C, also known as the South Terminal. That $3.1 billion project, totaling 2.2 million square feet, includes a parking garage and the terminal itself, which will add 19 boarding piers, creating 27 aircraft positions. HNTB is the architect of record for the terminal. The South Terminal will include palm trees, skylights and water features to give arriving passengers the distinctive feel of being in Central Florida. On one side is the Portal, a large structure with LED video screens showing photographs of Central Florida themes. The baggage claim area will feature a glass wall that creates the optical illusion of water. On the other side of the terminal is the Palm Court, featuring palm trees, plants and three large video screens, all covered by a glass atrium. This area also showcases “Windows on Orlando,” an LED video screen measuring 110 feet in length and 27 feet in height along one wall and depicting images of Central Florida landscapes. Several gates will be able to alternately handle international and domestic passenger arrivals on the same boarding pier, the first such gates in the United States, according to Juan Carlos Arteaga, Vice President at HNTB. “Whether they arrive [at the airport] by air or rail, the South Terminal is designed with the human element in mind, incorporating flexibility to adapt to the inevitable changes in aviation,” said Phil Brown, Chief Executive of the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority. “The design accomplishes our vision to take the Orlando experience to the next level and deliver travelers an enjoyable airport experience.” 30


A bridge along zone 3-4 on I-95.

Brightline has divided the project into four zones, and at the end of July, the company said workers had logged more than a million man hours, making it 33 percent done. Here is a progress report on each zone:

Zone 1 Zone 1 is the site of the vehicle maintenance facility (VMF), just south of the Orlando airport. Site work, completed this past spring, included clearing 62 acres of dense forestland and removing 90,000 cubic yards of muck. Construction of the 109,000-square-foot facility began in June. An 11-acre detention pond is complete, along with 425,000 cubic yards of excavation and embankment. Hubbard Construction Co. was the general contractor handling the VMF site, and Wharton-Smith Inc. is the general contractor for the building’s construction. In the first quarter of 2021, workers will have completed 2,535 linear feet of track embankment, including two bridge culverts, connecting the VMF to Zone 2. The VMF will include areas for maintenance of the trainsets, a washing station, and an 80,000-gallon biodiesel fuel farm. Six miles of maintenance and storage track and a 30-ton overhead crane will allow for 10 trains to be serviced daily, and approximately 160 train engineers, conductors, technicians and inspectors will be based out of the VMF. Construction on the buildout of the Brightline station, located in the airport’s new Intermodal Terminal Facility, is scheduled to begin in the fourth quarter of 2021.

Zone 2 Zone 2 includes a four-mile corridor through airport property from the Bright-

line station north to State Road 528. The first track was installed in February, and track work and operations at bridges and tug roads is underway. Major earthmoving and fill operations are complete, and 28,160 linear feet of rail has been delivered to this corridor. The Middlesex Co. is the general contractor.

Zone 3 Zone 3 is the 35-mile corridor running east-west along SR 528 between the airport and the city of Cocoa. About 95 percent of the corridor has been cleared, 35 percent of the rail embankment is complete, 2.5 million cubic yards of earthwork have been excavated, and 27 percent of the 861,000 square feet of mechanically stabilized earth walls have been installed. Work is underway on 19 of the 21 bridges in this zone, including those passing over SR 417, the St. Johns River and I-95, in addition to two box-jack (underpass) locations. Since there are few highway/railroad grade crossings in this corridor, trains will reach speeds of 125 mph, making this the fastest part of the journey, according to Brightline. Granite Construction Co. is the general contractor. Richard Brown, Granite’s Project Manager, said his firm is employing about 250 workers on this project, which is scheduled for completion in the fourth quarter of 2022. Granite will be building an arch tunnel measuring 600 feet in length, 32 1/2 feet in height and 47 feet in width that will allow trains to pass under SR 528. Granite is precasting the arch segments on the jobsite, Brown said, and the tunnel will require more than 120 concrete panels to complete. “Taking the longer-distance commuter off the road should reduce traffic congestion and improve travel time for the

A casting yard for an arch used in Brightline construction.

Zone 3-4 St. Johns River Bridge along the Brightline path.

shorter-distance commuter,” Brown said. “An additional benefit of taking 3 million cars off the road each year will be a positive impact on the safety of the traveling public. The success of this project, both in construction and in ridership, should spur expansion to other parts of the state.” The two box-jack locations will be the first of their kind in Florida, according to David Sadler, Senior Project Engineer for Eisman & Russo Inc., which was hired by Granite to provide quality control. One box jack is at the east end of the project adjacent to U.S. Route 1, and the other is at the west end adjacent to Goldenrod Road. “The railroad underpasses being constructed are being fabricated adjacent to the final placement location and will be pushed into place under their respective roadways,” Sadler said. “This approach has enabled Granite to build these structures without long-term disruptions to motorists. Conventional construction techniques would have caused motorists to be impacted by temporary traffic patterns and

reduced lanes for many, many months. With the structures being built and then pushed into place, the impact to motorists will be a few weeks.”

Zone 4 Zone 4 is the 129-mile north-south corridor from Cocoa to West Palm Beach that will allow trains to reach speeds of 110 mph. Clearing is approximately 60 percent complete, and rail trains have delivered 975,700 linear feet of rail to this corridor. Work began in March to upgrade the 155 highway/railroad grade crossings, and work is underway on the 29 bridges in this zone, including those over the Sebastian River and Crane Creek. Work on the crossings includes the installation of new track panels, the rehabilitation of existing panels, the addition of curb-and-gutter sidewalks where appropriate, repaving, new striping and signage, and the relocation and upgrading of crossing-warning equipment and traffic-signal modifications.

Brightline Project by the Numbers $2.7 billion cost 10,000 construction jobs 170 miles of new rail line 2 million spikes and bolts 2.35 million tons of granite and limestone transported by 20,000 railcars 491,000 rail ties 225 million pounds of steel 6 million cubic yards of rail-embankment fill 4 tunnels 55 bridges

The arch flyunder mockup.

Other major activity in Zone 4 includes the relocation of fiber tenants to a new, consolidated common duct bank, grading and construction of skeletonized track sections for the new second track, building and installing new crossovers and turnouts, ballasting of new track, installation of the wayside signal system, replacing of select rail and ties on the existing track, and shifting of the existing rail to enable larger radii and faster train speeds. HSR Constructors, a joint venture of Herzog, Stacy and Witbeck Inc. and RailWorks Corp., is handling the rail alignment in this corridor, and Scott Bridge Co. is working on the reconstruction of the Loxahatchee Bascule Bridge. The Brightline rail expansion is providing a great deal of work for Florida’s transportation builders, and there may be more to come, according to Cegelis. “We want to go to Tampa,” he said. “That’s in the early-study phase, and there are a lot of steps that have to be taken in order to get there, but we’re certainly in active planning for that extension, and we’re always looking for good contractors to work on our projects.”

About the Author Nick Fortuna is a freelance writer who has worked for Bloomberg News, Dow Jones Newswires, and the Ocala Star-Banner. He has written about many different industries and the individuals who work in those industries. A native of New Jersey, Fortuna currently lives in Ocala. WWW.FTBA.COM


P •I•V•O •T A Pivotal Time in Construction Join us in Orlando on Feb. 23-24 for the 2021 FTBA Construction Conference We are pleased to be able to provide an in-person Construction Conference this year as well as a live virtual streaming option for those unable to attend. We have been working closely with FDOT to provide the best speakers and presentations possible to help elevate your experience, and we are sure you’ll be pleased with this year’s content. The exhibit hall will return with 85 booths and ample room for social distancing while networking. We have gone to great lengths to provide a full Construction Conference experience for our attendees this year, but due to COVID-19, the number of in-person attendees unfortunately is limited to 1,200 to ensure adequate social distancing and safety measures. If in-person tickets sell out, we hope you will consider attending virtually. To view the tentative schedule, please go to FTBA.com.

Safety Precautions:

Hotel Room Block:

FTBA is working with the Hyatt Regency Orlando to provide the safest environment possible. The Hyatt Regency Orlando’s ballrooms are quite expansive, which will allow for ample room between seating and exhibit areas. Breakout rooms will be set up in classroom style, allowing for six feet between each attendee. The hotel and Orange County both have a mandatory mask mandate in place. Therefore, it is recommended that you bring a mask with you. We will have masks, hand sanitizer, and a wellness station available to attendees if needed.

Hotel accommodations are not included in your registration fee. FTBA room rates start as low as $289 per night. Please go to FTBA.com for a link to reserve a room at the Hyatt Regency Orlando. The room block tends to fill up quickly, so reserve your room ASAP.

Regular registration fees (until Feb. 12) In-Person Attendance: FTBA Members/FDOT Employees: $100 In-Person Attendance: Non-Members: $250 Virtual Attendance: FTBA Members/FDOT Employees*: $185 Virtual Attendance: Non-Members*: $335 *Once you have registered for virtual attendance you will be unable to change to in-person attendance. You MUST provide a unique e-mail address when registering for virtual attendance in order to log in for virtual sessions. If you miss the online registration window you may still register onsite.

Thank You to Our Construction Conference Title Sponsor, Nielson, Hoover & Company




Keys to Being Prepared for and Adapting to Change Lessons from Shawn Rhodes, author and keynote speaker at FTBA’s upcoming Construction Conference



Tell us about your thoughts on leadership – particularly for our audience of business owners who manage construction projects during a pandemic. What are some good leadership lessons for them? I will paraphrase Michael Gerber who wrote “The E-myth.” If you’re interested in leading better, you’re interested in getting more productivity out of your people. The thing to do is to imagine your business is the prototype for 5,000 others just like it. What would you have to begin doing today to make that reality work? You’re going to need to build proper systems and processes. For example, you could open a McDonald’s today having never flipped a burger in your life, because there is a manual for everything. If we are going to do that across our businesses, we need to think about that – what do we need to do for our folks today to begin systemizing the most important tasks they accomplish on a daily basis? By having something in writing, something outside of the heads of our people, what does that do? First, it allows us to define what success looks like for any given role in our company. Second, it allows us to improve that role’s performance – if we can’t have something systemized, then we can’t improve the system. We want a basic system from people who know best practices for their position, which allows us to improve performance. Finally, having systems and procedures in writing allows us not to experience a mass exodus of traveling knowledge when one of our people retires or leaves the company.

What are some of your thoughts about pivoting in business? How can FTBA members be better prepared for the next crisis? The first thing to understand is that we are not going to be able to stop change. COVID-19 was a massive change for companies around the world. It hit us so hard, and we didn’t have plans in place to deal with whatever was outside the norm. A lot of our employees are still working from home, and we didn’t have a plan for that. Rather than having to invent the wheel every time something like this happens, which takes a lot of time and energy, higher-performing businesses have documented plans in place that

they can pull off the shelf and put into place if something like this happens again. We need to capture what we learned this year that will allow us to be a couple of percentage points better if something like this happens again. We need to make sure our operations person or chief engineer has input and access to these plans so they will know what to do.

to swim if they’re drowning. Instead, the strategy was more about providing a life preserver and learning how to say to employees, “How can we help you get your feet back under you? How can we help you be flexible with work hours so you can be home for your family?” Once everyone is back to where they think they have a handle on things, then you can talk about performance.

In your TEDX talk, you speak a lot about trust. How can FTBA members pass along trust to their teams who often risk their lives building roads, bridges, working with heavy machinery, working on busy highways, etc.?

What are some of your thoughts about change within an organization?

Trust isn’t something given until it’s earned, and that really applies to situations where work can be dangerous. Earning trust means putting your needs before others while on the job. Make sure your people have everything they need to be safe. If people don’t have what they need to be safe, own that and fix it. Don’t push blame onto others. Also, make sure you are holding yourself to the same standard you expect of your team. As a leader, if your employees see you working with different standards, their trust immediately begins to break.

You’re big on rallying cries, taking action, and standing up for things. Aside from social issues facing the country today, what types of “movements” have you experienced during COVID-19 from a business perspective?

A majority of the work we do revolves around getting ahead of the rate of change itself. We don’t try to stop change. We discovered that if we get a handle on all the fires we put out every day as business leaders, we are free to proactively respond and innovate when change enters the picture. If we are always trying to scramble around when a change occurs, we are more like a bull in china shop. We need to learn how to get a handle on solving problems permanently in our organizations so we have the capacity to innovate and respond. Of course, the biggest challenge is learning how to get everything off our plates. Again, it comes back to systems and trusting our people so when something enters the picture that is unexpected, we can be all hands on deck because we know the machine is running well behind us.

I’ve seen businesses taking an honest look at the value they have to provide in time of crisis. Executives have had to learn how to change what they do. In 2019, everyone was talking about growth and improvement. In 2020, everyone was in a state of crisis and had additional stress and pressure – learning to work from home, dealing with kids at home, etc. Plans went from increasing revenue 10 percent to finding ways to keep the electricity running. The businesses I worked with that are doing well knew they had to change the value they were communicating into one that fit into a time of crisis. Companies had to realize that you can’t try to teach people how WWW.FTBA.COM


Florida’s Premier Asphalt Milling and Highway Maintenance Company Turtle Southeast and Cheyenne Associates is now merged into one company with the ability to provide an array of services including but not limited to Milling, Clean-Up, Mowing, Guardrail Installation and Repair, Highway Signage and Asphalt Repairs. With our four locations throughout central Florida we can service your project properly and efficiently. Our experienced motivated work force and leadership team look forward to building a long lasting relationship with you and your team. Please call or email us to discuss your important project.

LARGO – BROOKSVILLE – TAMPA – ORLANDO Ryan Lee 727-741-3728 r.lee@tip-fl.com

Jeff Hansen 708-254-5333 j.hansen@tip-fl.com

Brooksville: 352-544-2723

Greg Cecil 352-585-2381 g.cecil@tip-fl.com

/ TIP-FL.COM / Largo: 727-518-0962

Leo A. Vecellio, Jr. Chairman, President and CEO Vecellio Group, Inc.

Vecellio Honored with National Highway Progress Award



TBA member Leo A. Vecellio, Jr., Chairman, President and CEO of West Palm Beach-based Vecellio Group, Inc., and past chairman of the American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA), is the 2020 recipient of the prestigious George S. Bartlett Award. The award was presented Oct. 20 during ARTBA’s national convention, held virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Established in 1931, the Bartlett Award is co-sponsored by ARTBA, the American Association of State Highway & Transportation Officials (AASHTO) and the Transportation Research Board (TRB). The award annually recognizes an individual who “has made an outstanding contribution to highway progress.” Previous recipients include members of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, former U.S. Department of Transportation secretaries, state transportation department secretaries, and top transportation design and construction executives. Vecellio was recognized for his 40 years of business success, extraordinary volunteer leadership contributions to national and state construction groups, and ongoing commitment to supporting education and research through the Vecellio Construction Engineering & Management Program at Virginia Tech. “It is a great honor to have been selected for this award,” Vecellio said. “As a construction family, we are very proud of the transportation infrastructure we have built over the last 82 years.

Vecellio was recognized for his 40 years of business success, extraordinary volunteer leadership contributions to national and state construction groups, and ongoing commitment to supporting education and research through the Vecellio Construction Engineering & Management Program at Virginia Tech. “We are also happy that our investments in quality civil engineering education, especially in construction management and engineering, will aid future engineers in making the best decisions to help humanity for generations to come.” Vecellio noted that over the decades, recipients of the Bartlett Award have included many legends in the highway construction industry. “It’s truly humbling to be included in such an august group,” he said. Today, the fourth-generation owned and run company is one of America’s largest and most respected contractors, with extensive heavy and highway construction, mining and petroleum operations in the southeastern U.S., mid-Atlantic and beyond.

Vecellio served as ARTBA Foundation chairman from 2009-2016. In 2018, the Vecellio family was inducted into the ARTBA Foundation’s Transportation Development Hall of Fame. Vecellio grew up in the family business and joined it full time in the 1970s. He extended the reach of the company beyond its West Virginia roots into the southeastern United States and beyond through a series of acquisitions, start-ups and expansions. He also diversified into aggregates production and energy services. Today, under the Vecellio Group corporate umbrella are: Vecellio & Grogan, Ranger Construction Industries, Sharpe Bros., White Rock Quarries, Vecenergy and Hal Jones Contractor. George S. Bartlett, the award’s namesake, was regarded as the greatest single influence on the use of concrete roads in the United States. During his career, Bartlett was lauded by contemporaries in the concrete and highway industry for his energetic and innovative promotion of concrete roads. In 1909, he established experimental stretches of concrete pavement, working with the Wayne County Road Commission in Michigan – the birthplace of modern road construction – and the University Portland Cement Company. ARTBA brings together all facets of the transportation construction industry to responsibly advocate for infrastructure investment and policy that meet the nation’s need for safe and efficient travel. ARTBA also offers value-added programs and services providing its members with a competitive edge. WWW.FTBA.COM




HP Storm

Never compromise on your values around safety, behavior & culture. Alasdair Cathcart, President Bechtel Group

Call 811 or visit sunshine811.com two full business days before digging to request a locate ticket. Verify utility responses before you dig by checking the Positive Response System. Use the Sunshine 811 app or sunshine811.com. Compare the responses (codes) to the marks at your job site to ensure they match. Note: Non-field staff who receive positive response summaries take responsibility for ensuring their excavators have the necessary information to verify positive response. Pass it on. Save a life.

Get the Sunshine 811 app at the App Store or Google Play.




Slow Down, Listen and Chill FDOT’s Dan Hurdato, P.E. provides best practices for communicating effectively and resolving conflict BY NICK FORTUNA


an Hurtado, P.E., understands that there are more effective ways to resolve issues than via a backand-forth email exchange, and he’s quite sure that busy FTBA members feel the same way. That’s why Hurtado, Director of the FDOT’s Office of Construction, is a firm believer in the “two-email rule,” a guideline aimed at quickly eliminating confusion and resolving disputes. “If I’m discussing an issue with someone and it’s not settled after two emails, then I pick up the phone,” Hurtado said. “You learn a lot just by listening to the other person’s voice. Verbal communication is much more effective than email. Email is really good for sharing documents and conveying information, but it stinks at conveying any kind of subtlety.” Back in February, before anyone knew just how challenging 2020 would be,

Hurtado delivered a presentation on effective communication at the annual FTBA Construction Conference in Orlando. Almost a year into the pandemic, his message is all the more relevant, as contractors continue to deal with frayed nerves from COVID-19 and a teetering economy. Hurtado, a licensed professional engineer, said construction professionals typically get rigorous training in subjects such as mathematics and physics but get very little training in effective communication and dealing with emotions in the highstakes construction environment. Those neglected areas then become weaknesses for many construction professionals, preventing them from resolving disputes quickly, he said. “The dollar amounts associated with construction contracts are very large, and even a small issue can have very large financial

ramifications,” Hurtado said. “Money is something that’s very personal to people. When someone has to pay for something that they didn’t anticipate, or there is a cost that they weren’t aware of, it can produce a strong, visceral, emotional response in people, and those emotions sometimes make it difficult to resolve the issue.” To learn the true definition of the consummate professional, look to the classical musicians aboard the Titanic who bravely kept playing as the ship went down, Hurtado said. Their actions were credited with keeping passengers calm and preventing a panic, which saved lives during one of the worst maritime disasters in world history, he said. “They led by example,” Hurtado said. “They calmed themselves, they tuned their instruments, they sat in their deck chairs, and they played Mozart. Their calming WWW.FTBA.COM


“It’s impossible to be emotional and rational at the same time. When I’m in a difficult situation and I find myself getting frustrated or angry, I remind myself that when I get that way, my ability to solve problems just vanishes, and I think that’s true for people in general.” Dan Hurdato, P.E. Director, Office of Construction, FDOT themselves enabled them to calm the people around them. They went down with the ship, but they saved a lot of lives by leading by example.” Fortunately, leading by example is rarely so harrowing. Here are some pointers from Hurtado’s presentation: Be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to become angry. Most parents have told children that since they have two ears and only one mouth, they should listen more than they speak, but that remains a tough lesson for adults to remember. It’s human nature to want to speak first, and loudest, if necessary, but that behavior comes at a cost, Hurtado said. Instead of leading with your position straight away, listen to what the other side


has to say first, and repeat it back to them so they know they’ve been heard and understood, Hurtado said. “My experience, especially when negotiating in a difficult situation, is that it’s hard for people to hear others until they feel that they themselves have been heard,” Hurtado said. “If you can force yourself to stop and hear the other person’s side first, then you often can see their shoulders drop and their body language change. They’re much more interested in hearing what I have to say at that point. But if my goal is to get my point across and shout the other person down, then it’s going to turn into a fight.” Model the behavior you want others to follow. A person can act professionally


nine days in a row, but if he acts unprofessionally on Day 10, that’s the one everyone will remember. It takes only one example of bad behavior to change the way others see us, but when we lead by example, we set the tone for other stakeholders inside and outside of our own organizations. “People generally follow where you lead them, so if you want your crew to be positive and solution-oriented, then you have to be that way yourself,” Hurtado said. “It’s impossible to be emotional and rational at the same time. When I’m in a difficult situation and I find myself getting frustrated or angry, I remind myself that when I get that way, my ability to solve problems just vanishes, and I think that’s true for people in general.

of their physical limits. Working safely means staying alert and clear-headed and giving your body what it needs to perform, he said. Think long term. Hurtado said the FDOT has up to 500 active construction contracts at any given time, and there are only so many contractors available to do the work. So, when a dispute arises, don’t let it fester and poison the atmosphere on future jobs. “If you’re in a dispute with somebody, you’re going to see them again and again, so it doesn’t pay to make it your goal to beat the other person,” Hurtado said. “Try to look for the mutual win – the situation where both sides leave feeling that the outcome was fair and reasonable – because that preserves the relationship.” Remember that we’re in this together. Ultimately, every player on the construction team has the same desired outcome, Hurtado said. Everyone wants to deliver a project on time, within budget and with a level of quality that inspires pride.

“My family uses these roads too,” Hurtado said. “When we keep our common goals in mind, listen to one another and remain professional, issues can be resolved quickly and efficiently. The work gets done, and everyone benefits.”


“The madder you get, the lower your IQ gets. So, if you want to reach a solution, you’ve got to be able to take a step back and calm yourself down, and that’s difficult.” Consider the physiological factors. We all have a finite reservoir of self-control, and being hungry, tired, overheated or dehydrated taps into that reservoir, Hurtado said. We become irritable and less effective communicators when we’re physically uncomfortable, so it’s important to be cognizant of those factors and their ability to contribute to disputes. That’s one reason Hurtado said he structures his day to tackle the biggest problems early in the morning, when he’s “fresh and alert.” Safety is another reason it’s important to be aware of your physical state, Hurtado said. Construction is physically and mentally taxing. Operations often occur at night and involve heavy equipment and machinery. Pushing yourself and going the extra mile are sometimes called for to get the job done, but people should be aware

3191 Coral Way, Suite 510 Miami, FL 33145 Ph: 786 773 5847

Overcoming challenges. Developing solutions. Transforming our society.




QUALITY AGGREGATES • DOT-certified aggregates, limerock base & MSE materials

Americut has proudly served the Eastern United States from its Northern most point to its Southern most point for 30 years with service to many of the region’s largest Bridge, Highway, Airport and Military projects. Our resume includes Bridge Grinding and Grooving exceeding several miles in length, Highway Pavement projects, Airport Runway Profiling and Grinding as well as smaller county and city projects.

• 400-15.2 Smoothness Evaluation and Concrete Surface Planing • 400-22.3 Bridge Deck Grooving • 400-22.4 Bridge Deck Grooving and Planing • Pavement Profilograph Testing, Corrective Action Plans • Concrete / Asphalt Bump Grinding • Diamond Sawing and Drilling Services • Florida Department of Transportation Specification Service Provider


Kevin@americut.com | Abbey@americut.com 42


• High-volume processing plants & loadout facilities • Fast & efficient truck-turnaround times • Rail shipments throughout Florida

White Rock Quarries Phone: (305) 822-5322 Fax: (305) 824-1433

www.WRQuarries.com 18300 NW 122nd Ave., Hialeah, FL 33018 Just north of US-27 (N. Okeechobee Rd.), west of Florida’s Turnpike – Homestead Extension.

We look forward to serving you!


Fuel Your Company with



uilding roads and highways can be dangerous. Fortunately, through traffic safety initiatives and a combination of awareness, behavior and infrastructure strategies, government authorities around the world are working hard to reverse this deadly trend. Marketing and communications plans have historically been key to providing a consistent, strategic platform to develop safety plans, strategies and public information campaigns. But what about showcasing your excellence in general? What about recognizing innovative road projects that place the transportation construction industry at the forefront of social and economic development? What about promoting your innovative use of technologies or taking pride to the degree in which your project meets the needs of the public and the industry? Opportunity is wide open to leverage awareness and respect for how road and bridge construction serves Florida. Think of the possibilities when partnering with the talent and commitment of communications experts. By showcasing new technologies and creative solutions, you are also serving as an accelerator of progress and new ideas. Publicity at the local and statewide levels, and even receiving maximum worldwide publicity, is

key. Do not be afraid to self-promote. A successful program, concept, product or even a specific project should be shared. Quest Senior Communications Manager Nick Lulli said, “With such monumental projects such as Wekiva Parkway, I-4 Ultimate, First Coast Expressway and more, it’s a major chore to actually build these legacy projects, let alone try to market them and engage the public on them.” Having an online presence is not an option but essential. The construction industry is changing rapidly, and the days are over of thinking that low-bid contractors do not need marketing. Marketing raises awareness and generates new business for any company. Content marketing is used to educate, build authority and drive traffic to your website. Creating visual pieces of content, like infographics, provide digestible information in a visually appealing manner. With infographics, it is simple to establish your expertise in the field. There are times when a low bid is not the only deciding factor in procuring a project. Consider design-build, best-value selection, emergency projects or the public-private partnership consortium. These days you need to build a strong reputation, and it is critical to have the ability to assemble a strong proposal. WWW.FTBA.COM


Building brand awareness with an online presence and strategic social media serves several purposes, such as:

• Sharing high-quality photos and videos of project work. • Running targeted advertising. • Positioning your company as an employer of choice.

Hello, digital marketing! It is time to step out from behind the curtain and start building a better brand. Anyone who has been paying attention to the construction market over the past century can see the change. Contractors are venturing farther and wider than ever before. The construction industry has become global and increased in sophistication. Building brand awareness with an online presence and strategic social media is a perfect way to stay in front of potential customers while also expanding awareness throughout the industry. These platforms provide your firm with an avenue to share high-quality photos and videos, as well as run ads that are extremely targeted. Companies that position themselves as employers of choice elevate the opportunity of recruiting top-level employees by simply doing a project spotlight in a specific city to attract local talent. Use of video is versatile, and with engaging, quality content allows you to show your firm in action. Video is an effective tool for digital marketing; it should be used across various platforms including placement on your website, as social media, in email outreach, or on your YouTube channel. Consider even advancing your image by using links to video within your proposals. C. Pat McGriff, P.E., DBIA, Pursuit Manager with Lane Construction, said, “During these unprecedented times that our industry finds itself in, the importance of communication has never been more important to keep employees, owners and stakeholders up to speed with the quickly evolving construction industry landscape.” So, are you on the radar? Are you discoverable on the internet? In 2021, if you try to ride solely on the legacy as a longtime, local family business, you risk becoming obsolete. At the very least, focus on your basic marketing tools: a website, social media presence and marketing brochures. If you really want to take it up a notch, use gaming apps, videos, imagery and assessment tools to showcase via a virtual highway construction project the skills needed to be a heavy and highway construction professional. Developing a new marketing strategy might take a little work and commitment of resources, but it is an absolute must. Figure out your niche. Put some effort into your website, add social media to the mix, and develop some engaging videos. Create a budget and monitor your marketing campaign to gauge the return on investment. It works!

About the Author Sharlene Francois Lairscey is President/Owner/CEO of Quest Corporation of America, a woman-owned communications firm with over 20 years of experience providing public involvement, outreach services, and marketing and communications products to complex and controversial projects of every size. She can be reached at (866) 662-6273. 44


What a

Combat Patrol Can Teach You About KIRINA/STOCK.ADOBE.COM



n conversations I have with business leaders across industries, I hear similar challenges – returning to work after COVID-19, managing millennials, preparing for succession of senior leaders, and some simply tell me: “Shawn, we wish we could just get folks on the same page!” When I share stories of how the highestperforming teams on the planet execute their important objectives, the same stories I’ll be sharing at FTBA’s Annual Conference in February 2021, leaders want to know where they can learn those skills. Unfortunately, the best classroom is also the most dangerous one. Many of these high-performing teams learned their process in the last place anyone wants to be: Combat. Fortunately, you don’t have to survive a combat tour to learn the same planning

skills they use. Many combat veterans are sharing what they learned on the battlefield with businesses to help them plan and execute their important missions. One of them is Michael Penney, a Marine Corps veteran. When I asked him how infantrymen planned their most important missions and how business leaders could use the same process, he had five steps to share.

1. Outline the Battlefield. While you may not have to deal with taking out enemy bunkers, business leaders should be aware of what they’re asking their people to do before they commit them to a long-term plan. For your next project, outline the problem or opportunity your plan will solve. When your people understand the big pic-

ture, they’ll be much more willing to get on board.

2. State the Mission. Miscommunication costs a lot of time and profitability among even the most effective teams – and many safety issues that FTBA’s members work to actively avoid. To make sure your mission is clearly communicated, Penney advises forming your objectives into action statements that your team can get behind. “Complete the project three weeks ahead of schedule,” is much more impactful than “get it done early.”

3. Formulate the Plan. Sending people into the field without tasking specific members of the team with accountable actions is a big mistake. WWW.FTBA.COM


FDOT d e Approv ANGCO STRIPING installs FDOT approved Color Safe® MMA and offer the following: • • • • • •

3 Year Manufacturing Warranty against fading and debonding Does NOT crack or harm asphalt. Extremely Competitive. 10 to 15 minutes cure time. One of the most durable markings available. Virtually maintenance free and can be reapplied without removal. • Can be applied to existing performed thermoplastic. • FDOT/WBE, DBE 1075 N Ronald Reagan Blvd, Suite D Longwood, Fl. 32750

Office: (407) 578-8308 Cell: (407) 466-6606


2441 E. Fort King St. • Suite 202 • Ocala, FL 34471

(352) 369-8600

bedrockresources.com 46


www.angcostriping.com steve@angcostriping.com


1.800.554.4761 www.mecojax.com

Electrical Contracting, Systems Integration, Energy & Sustainability, Business Continuity, Building Intelligence.

While employees may not be assaulting entrenched positions, Penney believes it is critical for each member of your team to understand exactly what role they’ll play before they step into action, whether they’re operating heavy equipment or supervising those who do.

4. Determine Necessary Resources. In a military unit, most people are not on the front line – they’re supporting those who are. Similarly, your construction company likely has people working behind the scenes to ensure projects are completed, employees are paid, and contractual obligations are satisfied. Before your teams head out to their job sites, ensure everyone knows what resources will be needed along the way and who is responsible for providing them. That way, your organization creates alignment before the going inevitably gets

Miscommunication costs a lot of time and profitability among even the most effective teams – and many safety issues that FTBA’s members work to actively avoid. tough with surprise weather or another pandemic.

5. Establish Communication Lines. No plan survives contact with the enemy. No matter how tight your plan is, something will inevitably change along the way and your folks will need to know how to pivot.

If they’re searching for the right person in your organization for an answer – or, worse yet, not searching at all – your performance and profitability will slip in that critical window of time. Make sure your people know what to do in case their plans change and who they should go to for additional guidance. You don’t have to be a battle-hardened warrior to plan like one.

About the Author Shawn Rhodes leveraged his former life as a war correspondent to become an international expert in how to pivot when change enters our plans. Shawn is author of several books, including his forthcoming book, “Bulletproof Selling: Surviving and Thriving on the Battlefield of Sales.” He will be the keynote speaker at FTBA’s Annual Construction Conference in February 2021.

CONTACT US: contact@beardtechnologysolutions.com





Embry-Riddle College of Engineering Earns Funding for Research to Maximize Bridge, Highway Safety BY MICHAELA JARVIS, SENIOR NEWS WRITER EMBRY-RIDDLE AERONAUTICAL UNIVERSITY


he Department of Civil Engineering at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s Daytona Beach campus scored big with three research grants from the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) totaling $500,000. In addition to helping state transportation authorities maximize highway safety while minimizing taxpayer cost, the research will give students in Embry-Riddle’s Civil Engineering Department opportunities to participate in real-world work. Associate Professor of Civil Engineering Jeff Brown said at least three graduate students will work on each of the three projects. His hope is for some of the student researchers to base their master’s theses on the projects. “That’s going to give them an opportunity to really look at these projects very closely and gain a level of understanding that goes beyond the typical classroom experience,” Brown said. Because the students will be required to write about and present their research, both to the FDOT and to the broader structural engineering community, “there’s just a tremendous amount of growth that occurs for students,” he said. Researchers will examine alternatives to common construction methods and materials, with the goal of scientifically determining which are better in terms of safety, performance and affordability. The beauty of the research represented by the three projects, according to Brown, is that it can quickly translate into new processes and protocols for FDOT. “It’s exciting to be a part of helping the Department of Transportation understand what they need to do to make their bridges last longer and to promote public safety,” Brown said.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic and related physical distancing guidelines were in place, Associate Professor of Civil Engineering Jeff Brown and Assistant Professor Dan Su discussed the testing of a reinforced concrete beam using distributed optical fiber sensors. Photos courtesy of Jeff Brown.

“It’s exciting to be a part of helping the Department of Transportation understand what they need to do to make their bridges last longer, and to promote public safety.” Jeff Brown, associate professor, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Because FDOT is considered innovative in its adoption of state-of-the-art technologies, other transportation authorities likely will follow FDOT’s lead. “If we can justify the benefits of a certain technology, there can be a real impact,” said Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering Dan Su. “Not only at FDOT, but on the whole industry.” WWW.FTBA.COM


Why Have Over 2,000 Companies Chosen Florida Surety Bonds as their Contract Bond Specialists? • Bonds Only Expertise

• Creative Solutions

• Maximum Single & Aggregate Limits • Outstanding Service • Competitive Bond Rates • Access to over 60 Sureties (including exclusives) We are surety bond agents who listen to your needs and find a surety solution. We are committed to being fully available and engaged members of your team as both surety agents and trusted advisors who provide timely advice, educational opportunities, and resources. Florida Surety Bonds works with some of the largest contractors, as well as emerging and growing companies. With 17 employees focusing only on surety bonds, including a commercial bond department, we have the bench strength and resources to handle any of your bond needs regardless of your size.

2441 E. Fort King St. • Suite 201 • Ocala, FL 34471

(352) 512-0180 dixielime.com



Ranger Construction Receives Inaugural Good Corporate Citizen Award Florida Transportation Builder is proud to announce the winner of its first Good Corporate Citizen award. With so much turmoil in 2021, we felt it would be more than worthwhile to recognize a company that exemplified good business practices during the pandemic. This new award was promoted in previous issues of the magazine, and after a lengthy submission process, Ranger Construction was selected as our inaugural winner. Congratulations to the Ranger team for their efforts to give back in 2020. We are honored to feature them in the magazine and look forward to presenting their award at the 2021 Construction Conference.

Helping School Safety


With public health and economic issues from COVID-19 a concern for everyone this

year, Ranger Construction took its ongoing support for local communities and kicked it up a notch to be an even better corporate citizen. As one of Florida’s leading asphalt contractors and road construction companies, Ranger is known for its strong support of both the transportation construction industry and the local communities it serves. True to its reputation, Ranger once again answered the call after the pandemic’s impacts began to spread. Not only did Ranger promptly implement enhanced personal protective equipment and workplace safety protocols at all of its Florida offices and field operations, but the company’s coronavirus response also included generous assistance to a K-8 public school located in its operational area.



Imagine Schools at South Vero, a charter school in Indian River County with an enrollment of about 900 students, reached out to Ranger over the summer to help them keep school children properly separated and moving about the campus in a safe and orderly fashion. Ranger supported the school’s efforts with 198 new traffic cones. “We have some traffic cones set up within our offices to manage foot traffic and block out certain areas, and this gave rise to the school’s request,” said Bob Schafer, Ranger’s president. He explained that one of Imagine’s administrators, Tina Skubal, is married to Ranger Chief Estimator Steve Skubal. The couple had been discussing the school’s plans for the fall semester and a primary concern was providing for the safety of their students, which includes children of Ranger employees.

Monitor Existing Structures Project Types

• Blasting • Pile Driving • Heavy Highway • Marine Construction


• Pre-Construction Surveys • Post-Construction Surveys • Monitoring Plans • Vibration/Instrumentation Monitoring • Underwater Noise Measurement • Damage Claim Support • Expert Testimony

dba SSI, INC in NC and NJ


Florida: 727.200.6519 Maryland: 301.663.6630 New Jersey: 609.241.8714




PLANTS North Venice: Punta Gorda: Port Manatee: Largo: Fort Myers: Odessa: Tampa:


OFFICES 941.486.3420 239.543.4544 941.845.1138 727.499.2168 239.489.3320 727.375.5780 813.574.8331

North Venice: Fort Myers: Tampa:

941.486.3600 239.936.9444 813.769.1990



Spurred by the company’s success using cones in the office, Tina Skubal and the school’s principal, Chris Rock, asked if Ranger could provide some old traffic cones to help the school keep its children properly separated and moving about in a safe fashion. Ranger did better than that. “We didn’t want to send old, asphaltstained cones, so we ordered an entire pallet of brand-new ones,” Schafer said. “We had Ranger Construction stenciled on each cone and had the whole lot delivered to the school campus by late July.” “Chris and Tina are thrilled,” said Steve Skubal. “It’s going to be a difficult fall semester, and this is greatly appreciated. The cones will help school administrators direct foot traffic to keep the children safely distanced.” Schafer added: “We’re glad to be able to help. Giving back to the community is very important, especially during this situation. We’re all in this together.” Providing the school with a pallet of traffic cones is the latest in a long line of community support initiatives taken by the company. Ranger regularly sponsors fundraising events and programs for schools, sports teams, children’s clubs and other charities, and directly assists needy and underserved families during the Christmas holidays, among other charitable outreaches. Ranger Construction Industries, Inc., has approximately 700 employees throughout its multiple Central and South Florida locations. Headquartered in West Palm Beach, the company has been in business since the 1940s, and since 1979 has been part of the Vecellio Group.

The Many Benefits of Joining an


FTBA Committee



lorida Transportation Builders Association is proud to represent nearly 475 member companies in the state of Florida. Those members span the spectrum from contractors to engineers, equipment dealers to material suppliers, lawyers to insurance agents. Despite their differences, something that each and every one of those members has in common is their desire to get involved in molding the future of the transportation industry and building lasting relationships. The question we often are asked when a person joins FTBA is, “How can I get involved?” One of the best ways to initially get involved in FTBA is to become active in one of our several committees. Every member is encouraged to find a committee that fits

his or her interest and expertise and get involved. Note that I did not say attend; I said get involved. These committees are chaired and attended by other members who share the same interests and expertise. Being active will assist you in building lasting relationships with peers, in addition to having your voice heard regarding important industry topics. We often say at FTBA, “Those who show up and speak up make the decisions.” So, take some time to get acquainted with FTBA’s various committees, get involved, and help us be one collective voice for the Florida transportation construction industry. FTBA committee meetings are open to all members, and members can contact the Committee Chair or the FTBA president to submit agenda items.

Our newest committee is the Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO)/Compliance Committee. This committee is being chaired by Scott Pittman with Ajax Paving Industries of Florida, LLC and is intended to help our members do their best to meet or exceed all national and state requirements. This committee also provides feedback to FDOT regarding state decisions and works to suggest mutually satisfying solutions. The LESS Committee is currently chaired by James Westbrooks with Traffic Management Solutions, Inc., and it meets several times a year in conjunction with FDOT representatives to address concerns, specifications and project plans as they pertain to Lighting, Electrical, Signing and Signalization (LESS). WWW.FTBA.COM


Visit the Committee Pages on www.ftba.com

FTBA’s MOT Committee is tasked with working with FDOT regarding any Maintenance of Traffic (MOT) concerns, providing industry feedback, and addressing MOT specific specifications. This committee is chaired by John Baldwin with Bob’s Barricades, Inc. and meets several times throughout the year. The Specifications Committee meets regularly with FDOT to address all changes, additions or deletions to the FDOT specifications. FTBA’s input is solicited and listened to by FDOT before any specification is finalized. This committee has provided a long-


standing partnership with FDOT and lends an active voice to our members. Felipe Jaramillo with Ajax Paving Industries of Florida, LLC chairs this committee, and they meet to address FDOT specifications as needed. Our Structures Committee is chaired by Keith Waugh from Leware Construction Company of Florida, Inc. and they meet several times during the year with FDOT to address structure-related topics. This includes, but it not limited to, structure design, materials and testing. Last, but certainly not least, is the FTBA Safety Committee. This committee is one of our most active committees and is an area in which each and every FTBA member can find a niche. Safety is of the upmost importance in our industry. The Safety Committee meets with FDOT regarding industry-specific safety measures, but also provides important OSHA-related updates as they pertain to general safety practices. Their mission is to provide relevant safety training and resource materials to our


FTBA members that can be used to educate workers, protect the public and promote safety. This committee meets monthly and is co-chaired by Mark Ligon with Vecellio Group, Inc. and Phillip Russell with Ogletree, Deakins. You can visit each committee’s page on the FTBA website at www.ftba.com for additional information, committee chair contact information, meeting minutes and agendas. If you would like to receive committee meeting notices via email, make sure you’ve selected the committee(s) under your member profile’s email preferences in our database.

About the Author Stacy Heidel has been with FTBA since 2014, and is the first line of contact for all new members. She is available to answer any questions you might have, and can assist you with maximizing your member benefits. She can be reached at sheidel@ftba.com or (850) 942-1404.

National Presence | Local Attention

Counsel to the Construction Industry


One Southeast Third Avenue, Suite 3100, Miami, FL 33131 New York, NY | River Edge, NJ | Washington, D.C. | Chicago, IL | Los Angeles, CA | Oakland, CA | Austin, TX | Dallas, TX | Houston, TX


Orion Marine Group is your single source for turnkey marine construction solutions. ◊ Alaska ◊ Atlantic Seaboard ◊ Canada ◊ Caribbean Basin ◊ Gulf Coast ◊ West Coast ◊

www.orionmarinegroup.com WWW.FTBA.COM


To assure you complete your projects on time


Tough, Reliable Road Building Equipment

This has been a difficult year for many businesses, and FTBA is incredibly grateful for the continued support of its members. We hope you will remain engaged and get involved with the efforts outlined below in 2021, which you can do by working directly with FTBA or through our communications and sales partner, The Wyman Company.

Sponsorships FTBA sponsors participate year after year and allow us to put on great events and fund our legislative efforts. In 2021, we will offer year-round sponsorships in addition to event sponsorships, giving companies an opportunity for consistent branding.


Great Southern Equipment has the state-of-the-art road building machines you need

We hope you recognize the improved quality in your membership magazine and the additional offerings we provided through our new membership database and The Builders Broadcast newsletter. For more information on sponsorships, advertising on our website, in The Builders Broadcast or in Florida Transportation Builder magazine, please contact Katie White, kwhite@thewymancompany.com, 352-388-7031, or connect via LinkedIn.

Our certified technicians service your equipment 24/7.

Parts are delivered within 24 hours.

Article Contributions Family owned and operated since 1960, Great Southern Equipment is your partner in road building. We are dedicated to your success.

Call us today! 813-248-4971




Many FTBA members have written or been featured in Florida Transportation Builder this year. We want to hear your stories, learn more about your companies and teams, and deliver relevant content that helps grow your businesses. If you have ideas or would like to contribute an article, please contact our editor, Jill Andreu, jandreu@ thewymancompany.com, 352-262-4376, or connect via LinkedIn.

Member News

ECA Jacksonville Celebrates Five Years of Growth in the Southeast

A New Steel Form and Manufacturing Firm Emerges

Equipment Corporation of America (ECA), a leading distributor of specialty foundation equipment, has seen continuous expansion at its Green Cove Springs branch since opening the location five years ago. This location serves Florida, Georgia, Alabama and the Caribbean. “We have experienced solid growth in the Southeast market served by the Jacksonville branch of ECA over the last five years,” said Branch Manager John Hayes. ECA Jacksonville was formed when the company acquired the assets and core team at Pile Equipment in 2015. The goal was to expand upon the legacy Pile Equipment had built in the pile driving equipment market by bringing ECA’s full complement of foundation drilling and pile driving equipment to the Southeast. “Our key market presence prior to the acquisition was pile driving equipment including vibratory and diesel hammers,” Hayes said. “After five years, much of our growth rests on the introduction of BAUER rotary drilling rigs, the resurrection of the Pile Master Air Hammer, and the distribution of complimentary foundation equipment including BAUER MAT/Obermann, Dawson, Digga, ALLU, Olin and WORD.” ECA Jacksonville has supplied the I-4 Ultimate Improvement Project in Central Florida and many others in the building, infrastructure, wastewater, marine, tunnel, power, utility and telecommunications sectors. The branch also has supplied the region’s leading specialty subcontractors including Keller North America, Malcolm Drilling, Schnabel Foundation Company, Morris Shea, Earth Tech, and RW Harris, in addition to respected general contractors such as Archer Western, American Bridge, and SGL Constructors (Skanska/Granite/Lane Joint Venture). “Our objective for opening the Jacksonville branch was to give Southeast contractors access to the world’s most advanced foundation equipment,” said Vice President – Sales and Marketing, Jeff Harmston. “As we mark the five-year anniversary, it appears they approve of the solid foundation we’ve built.”

After 29 years in the steel form and manufacturing industry, Richard (Rick) Lail of Lookout Mountain, Tennessee, has created a new firm, Lail Bridge Forms. The move is intended to serve existing customers more efficiently, with elevated technology, and to garner new business with a larger manufacturing facility. Lail brings his talented staff of veteran engineers to the organization’s new offices this week. Lail’s reputation in the steel form industry is one of integrity. “Lail’s forms have been a part of PCL bridge construction for over 25 years,” said Scott Updegrave, Civil Senior Construction Manager at PCL Construction Management Inc. “We have found his team’s engineering and quality of forming systems to be the best in the industry. From footing, columns, diaphragms, barrier to segmental forms, PCL could have never achieved the level of excellence without his partnership.” The organization offers a wide array of products including beam form panels, segmental casting machines, friction collars, bracket jacks, round column forms, barrier rail forms, and all manner of miscellaneous steel fabrication including pile templates, rebar jigs, stanchion columns, etc. Since 1991, Lail has provided steel forms across the United States, the Caribbean and Canada. Lail is a member of ARTBA, FTBA, and American Segmental Bridge Industry (ASBI).

Do you have news to share with FTBA members? Please email Stacy Heidel at FTBA sheidel@FTBA.com or Jill Andreu at The Wyman Company jandreu@thewymancompany.com




Interstate Highways Industrial Parking & Storage State Highways Railroad Yards

• • • •

CALL US TODAY! Asphalt Offices

Airports County Roads & City Streets Residential Subdivisions Commercial Parking Lots

North Region Jacksonville, FL 904-288-6300 Central Region Orlando, FL 407-343-7445

Preferred Materials is part of CRH Americas Materials, the largest asphalt producer in the United States. Preferred Materials has been a proud member of FTBA for nearly 60 years.

South West Region Tampa, FL 813-612-5740


Foundation Equipment Sales


Parts & Service

More than machines.

SOLUTIONS. Pittsburgh 412 264 4480

NY/NJ 732 528 5477

Philadelphia 610 626 2200

Toronto 800 760 0925

Washington, D.C. 301 599 1300

Greensboro 336 854 1220

Jacksonville 904 284 1779

Milwaukee 262 345 5715

Boston 508 821 4450

1 800 PILE USA ecanet.com


P.O. BOX 490779 • LEESBURG, FL 34747-0779 PHONE: (352) 787-1422 • FAX (352) 787-0080 www.durastress.com 58


Authorized Dealer:

ECA-FTBA-Directory-Ad-3.333x4.583.indd 1

2/18/20 11:33 AM

Welcome, New Members


TBA is proud to serve its contractor, associate and affiliate members by providing one collective voice before the Florida Legislature. FTBA works with various agencies, including the Department of Transportation and Federal Highway Administration, as well as the executive branch, to keep them informed of the needs and concerns of the transportation construction industry. We are thankful for our members and the value they bring to the association and industry. We welcomed the following new members between September and December.

Contractor Members


FTBA: Built on the Success of its Growing Membership

Associate Members

Roberts Site Development Inc.

Basalt Engineering Dobbs Positioning Solutions Environmental Composites, Inc. FORTA Corporation Heave LLC

Affiliate Members Action Labor & Staffing Connection Atlas Insurance DECO International Security Corporation Iron Sheepdog L.E.O.Temps RVG & Company

Focused Practice. Significant Impact.

Attorneys providing full-service legal representation exclusively in Construction & Real Estate Law since 1997.

Offices Orlando • Vero Beach Ft. Lauderdale • Melbourne


15 W. Church Street, Suite 301 • Orlando 407-740-6600 • kirwinnorris.com



Insight: Getting to Know Turnpike Construction Engineer

Albert Salas, P.E.


Where were you born and raised? My brother and sister are Delaware natives, but I am lucky enough to be a Florida native! Shortly after my birth in Miami, my family relocated to Delaware and then Southern California. Returning to Florida in fourth grade, I spent the remainder of my life in the Sunshine State. I grew up fishing in the many freshwater canals in South Florida, and my grandfather living in the Florida Keys gave me an appreciation of Florida ecology. I attended college at the University of Central Florida and then settled down to raise a family in Deerfield Beach.


Can you tell us a little about why you chose construction as a career? In high school, I was asked by an uncle, “What do you want to do for a living?” I said, “I do not know, but I want to work outside.” It did seem difficult to find a profession to satisfy that desire. In college, structural design became a strong area of focus. However, having a well-rounded education experience was important, and my college internships were with construction contractors. Working with contractors was viewed as a way to bridge the gap between concrete design and concrete construction techniques, which would strengthen my engineering approach.



My career in structural design began in 2002, but I kept reflecting on my desire to work outside. In 2004, I made the choice and began a career with a construction contractor responsible for building the concrete structures of high-rise buildings. The opportunity to remain involved in structures but also able to work outside was too good to pass. My excitement for the chosen career shift was reinforced because I enjoyed being an active participant in the building process and working with diverse teams to accomplish goals. Since 2004, I have spent my entire career in construction management at the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) as either a contractor or as an owner representative.


What facets of the profession do you find most rewarding? I enjoy finding solutions to problems and watching project teams find creative ways to accomplish project goals. A construction project requires coordination, planning, execution of the plan,

and then adaptation to changing conditions. I find it rewarding to be a part of a successful team, and my chosen profession provides lots of opportunity to lead and be a part of great teams. I am appreciative that the construction profession has provided me different career trajectories to pursue, and I am thoroughly enjoying the challenges posed in my current role at Florida’s Turnpike Enterprise. Construction encompasses a lot of specialties and areas of opportunity. I have been involved in numerous construction projects large and small, and it is rewarding to be a part of our great community of builders.


You’ve worked for the Florida Department of Transportation for 10 years. Tell us a little about the evolution of the Turnpike during that time. I have worked for two years in FDOT District 6, and seven years in FDOT District 4. I just finished up my first year at the Turnpike. But in my brief time here, the Turnpike has continued to adopt a robust work program and is using advanced technology more and more to deliver solutions for challenges facing the transportation industry. For example, SunTrax is a facility to test toll technology and to see how connected and autonomous vehicles (CAVs) interact in different environments. The research being done at SunTrax will help provide mobility solutions and contribute to national interoperability for toll road users. We are able to perform testing in a dynamic and versatile environment. The second phase of SunTrax is currently under construction, making SunTrax one of only a few facilities in the world designed from the ground up for CAV testing.


What is the best leadership advice you have received in your career? When I was starting my career in District 4, Francis Lewis (Director of Operations, District 7) said to me: “Focus on pulling people rather than pushing people.” At that time in my career, I was accustomed to pushing people and projects to completion. I thought it was necessary. I resisted the advice, and it took me a long time to understand what it meant. I since have learned that people who are engaged and are actively participating in a process or team yield greater results. In the same vein at which the advice was given, Francis pulled me along on the concept and afforded me the time to engage with this new way of thinking. My best leadership advice was more important than the words spoken. I was given the opportunity to be shown how the advice should be implemented.


There is a lot of road construction happening in the Orlando area in general, particularly with the Turnpike lane additions and adding express lanes. How is that project going, and how do you think the final result will impact traffic in that highcongestion area? The Turnpike has rebranded its express lanes as thru lanes to manage traffic flow in an effort to relieve congestion and help with trip planning. Drivers will see no toll differential between thru lanes and other lanes. The thru lanes project is one of many in which we’ve made significant investment. During the past five years, our total investment in the Orlando/Central Florida corridor totals nearly $2 billion with

A construction project requires coordination, planning, execution of the plan, and then adaptation to changing conditions. I find it rewarding to be a part of a successful team, and my chosen profession provides lots of opportunity to lead and be a part of great teams. widenings, interchanges, and other improvement projects. It’s a significant undertaking, and the Turnpike is committed to developing and improving transportation solutions to move people and goods safely throughout the state. I have seen improvements in the delivery of our construction projects, and I maintain focus on finding ways to build our projects, while taking into consideration the needs of the traveling public.


What steps does your team take on a regular basis to ensure Florida’s Turnpike system is prepared for Florida’s anticipated population boom? My perspective focuses on the delivery of the construction program, and the construction team is challenged to recognize and implement ideas that improve efficiency throughout the construction process. Working closely with our materials, maintenance, and traffic operations departments, we are able to make project-specific adjustments that will provide benefits in the long-term maintenance and longevity of our completed projects. This is particularly important for future projects we may deliver such as the Multi-use Corridors of Regional Economic Significance (M-CORES) program. The legislative statute for M-CORES was intentionally created as a multiple-phase program in order to support good policy planning for Florida’s future. Three independent task force groups were formed and charged with looking at accommodating future growth in Florida in a comprehensive and proactive way. I think construction efficiency will play a large role in how we help to meet future population growth whether it’s through MCORES or other projects.


Finally, tell us a little about you. What do you do for fun when you’re not working? My wife and I are both engaged in challenging careers and are focused on raising a young family and remaining very involved with our two kids, ages 11 and 8, with sports, homework, quality time, and family vacations. We enjoy the time spent together. Our focus has been to provide our family with experiences, and we spend a lot of time camping, fishing, hiking, biking, boating, or going to the beach. Having fun at work and home is centered on being outside. I have endured some long backpacking trips, and my kids will be joining me on a short trip in Ocala National Forest this January. I maintain a healthy fitness regime and currently really enjoy a 4-mile run. The run helps me to focus and solve problems. My most recent run was spent thinking of how to answer these questions. WWW.FTBA.COM


Thank You, Advertisers Advanced Drainage Systems, Inc..........................................38 www.ads-pipe.com AIT Bridges-Exhibitor-Member....................................................6 www.aitbridges.com Ajax Paving Industries of Florida, LLC..............................52 www.ajaxpaving.com Americut Diamond Grinding and Grooving.................. 42 www.americut.com Anderson Columbia Co., Inc.......................................................40 www.andersoncolumbia.com Angco Striping........................................................................................46 www.angcostriping.com Beard Technology Solutions......................................................47 www.beardtechnologysolutions.com Bedrock Resources...........................................................................46 www.bedrockresources.com Central Florida Transport, LLC.................................................48 www.cfltransport.net CIT Equipment Finance..................................................................24 www.CIT.com Consolidated Pipe & Supply Company, Inc.............................................Outside Back Cover www.consolidatedpipe.com Dixie Lime & Stone Company..................................................50 www.dixielime.com

Dobbs Equipment LLC....................................................................13 www.dobbsequipment.com Dobbs Positioning Solutions ����������� Inside Back Cover www.dobbspositioningsolutions.com Dura-Stress, Inc.....................................................................................58 www.durastress.com Equipment Corporation of America (ECA).................... 58 www.ecanet.com Florida Precision Tool.......................................................................10 www.floridaprecisiontool.com Florida Surety Bonds Inc...............................................................50 www.floridasuretybonds.com Foundation Technologies, Inc...................................................19 www.foundationtechnologies.com GS Equipment, Inc...............................................................................56 www.gsequipment.net Highway Systems Incorporated (Arcosa, Inc.)........... 62 www.highwaysystemsinc.com Hubbard Construction Company........................................... 22 www.hubbard.com Illini Drilled Foundations, Inc.......................................................59 www.illinidrilling.com Kelly Tractor Company............................ Inside Front Cover www.kellytractor.com



For Sales or Rentals Call DAWN 904-349-4115 • SARAH 904-616-6921


Kirwin Norris, P.A..................................................................................59 www.kirwinnorris.com Leware Construction Company of Florida, Inc.......... 50 www.lewarecc.com Linder Industrial Machinery Company............................... 32 www.linder.com Lynch Oil Co., Inc..................................................................................28 www.lynchoil.com Mack Concrete Industries............................................................54 www.mackconcrete.com Martin Marietta Materials, Inc....................................................18 www.martinmarietta.com Meever...........................................................................................................62 www.meever.us Miller Electric Company.................................................................46 Leavespacehere.com Newman Tractor, LLC......................................................................14 www.newmantractor.com Nielson Hoover & Company...........................................................4 www.nielsonbonds.com Orion Marine Construction, Inc................................................55 www.orionmarinegroup.com Peckar & Abramson, P.C...............................................................55 www.pecklaw.com Pevida Highway Designers, LLC............................................54 www.pevidahighwaydesigners.com Port Consolidated, Inc......................................................................48 www.pevidahighwaydesigners.com Preferred Materials, Inc...................................................................58 www.preferredmaterials.com Preform, LLC............................................................................................42 www.preform.us Quest Corporation of America, Inc. (QCA).................... 44 www.qcausa.com Ring Power Corporation....................................................................3 www.ringpower.com Sacyr Construction USA................................................................41 www.sacyr.com Seismic Surveys, Inc..........................................................................52 www.seismicsurveys.net Sunshine State One Call of Florida Inc., DBA Sunshine 811.........................................................................38 www.sunshine811.com Thompson Tractor Company, Inc........................................... 25 www.thompsontractor.com Trinity Highway Products, LLC.....................................................8 www.trin.net Turtle Southeast LLC........................................................................36 www.turtlese.com White Rock Quarries.........................................................................42 www.wrquarries.com




352-748-4258 w w3w. 5 2a -r 7c o4s8a- .4c2o5m8 Jwww.highwaysystemsinc.com ason.Bell@Arcosa.com

YOUR source in Central and South Florida for the full line of Topcon precision machine automation solutions and lasers.

Locations Positioning Solutions Store 2716 Falkenburg Rd. Riverview, FL 33578 (888) 8 TOPCON Fort Myers 3005 Hanson St. Fort Myers, FL 33916 (239) 334-3627

Lutz 4618 Scarborough Dr. Lutz, FL 33559 (813) 995-0841

Orlando 4333 N. John Young Pkwy. Orlando, FL 32804 (407) 299-1212

Pompano Beach Parts 1751 Copans Rd., Unit 8 Pompano Beach, FL 33064 (954) 977-9541

Miami 4343 NW 77th Ave. Miami, FL 33166 (305) 592-5740

West Palm Beach 3933 Martin Luther King, Jr. Blvd. West Palm Beach, FL 33404 (561) 848-6618

Riverview Parts (Tampa) 2710 Falkenburg Rd. Riverview, FL 33578 (813) 621-4902

Call Us: (888) 8 TOPCON Learn more at topconpositioning.com and dobbspositioningsolutions.com

Sarasota Parts 6265 E Sawgrass Rd. Sarasota, FL 34240 (941) 960-2004

PipePile Pile Pipe

We offer various types of fabrication for all piling We offer various types of fabrication for all piling accessories, as well as splicing, wheelabrating, accessories, well as splicing, wheelabrating, beveling,as grooving, and threading for any specific beveling, grooving, and threading for any application. specific application. 5/8 offers an inventory from OD through CPSCPS offers an inventory from 6 5/8"6OD” through 48” OD structural carbon steel pipe. 48" OD structural carbon steel pipe. OurOur welders are are certified, and and our procedures welders certified, our procedure performed to AWS areare performed to AWS D1.1D1.1 and and AWSAWS D1.5D1.5 specifications. Mill Test Reports are on hand specifications. Mill Test Reports are on hand if if required, supplemental testing provided required, supplemental testing provided uponupon request, on-site testing is available request, andand on-site testing is available fromfrom Consolidated’s team of specialists. Consolidated’s team of specialists. OurOur Bessemer, Alabama yardyard consists of 25,000 Bessemer, Alabama consists of 25,000 tons of predominantly ASTM A252 ASTM tons of predominantly ASTM A252 and and ASTM A500 grades of pipe. A500 grades of pipe.

SheetPile Pile Sheet

We are a supplier of both hot rolled and cold We are a supplier of both hot rolled and cold formed sheet pile available for purchase or formed sheet pile available purchase rental. Inventories includefor ASTM A572, or A588, and rental. Inventories include ASTM A572, A588, A690 to grades 50 and 60. and A690 to grades 50 and 60. Cast steel end protection can attached Cast steel end protection can bebe attached toto our sheet pile with a minimum of weld. This our sheet pile with a minimum of weld. This prevents tearing and leakage and provides for prevents tearing and leakage and provides for maximum salvage. Reinforcing pile ends makes maximum salvage. Reinforcing for optimum penetration intopile anyends soil, makes which forisoptimum penetration into any soil, whichare especially beneficial when obstructions is especially beneficial when obstructions anticipated. are anticipated.







We currently stock 10- and 14-inch sizes We currently stock 10- and 14-inch sizes of ASTM 572 Grade 50 H-pile. Point of ASTM 572 Grade 50 H-pile. Point attachments, mechanical splicers, and allall ofof attachments, mechanical splicers, and ourour Consolidated Pipe and Supply specialty Consolidated and Supply specialty coatings are available for usePipe on all H-pile. coatings areare available forfor useuse onon allall H-pile. coatings available H-pile.

Consolidated Pipe H-pile features APF Consolidated H-pile features Hard-Bite point with Pipe integrally cast cutting APF Consolidated Pipe H-pile features APF Hard-Bite point with integrally teeth that typically allows for maximum cast cutting Hard-Bite point with integrally cast cutting penetration by breaking through debris and teeth that typically allows for maximum teeth that typically allows for maximum boulders. These teeth cut into ledge rock debris and penetration by breaking through penetration by breaking through debris and for full bearing and are optimal forinto finding boulders. These teeth cut ledge rock boulders. These teeth cut into ledge rock secure toe-hold on rock.

for for fullfull bearing andand areare optimal forfor finding bearing optimal finding secure toe-hold rock. secure toe-hold on on rock.

P.O. B OX 247 2 4 7 2 ,2, BIRMING HA M , A L 3 5 2 0 1 35201 P.O. BOX BIRMINGHAM, AL PHO N E : 2 0 5 -3 2 3 -7 2 6 1 | 1-8 0 0 -4 6 7 -7 2 6 1 | FA X: 2 0 5 -2 5 1 -7 8 3 8 P.O. BOX 2 4 7 |2,1-800-467-7261 BIR MINGHAM, AL |35201 PHONE: 205-323-7261 FAX: 205-251-7838 CO N S O L IDAT ED P IP E .COM P H O N E: 2 0 5 -3 2 3 -7 2 6 1 | 1-800-467-7261 | FA X: 205-251-7838 CONSOLIDATEDPIPE.COM


Turn static files into dynamic content formats.

Create a flipbook
Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.