More than 200 industry executives participating in ARTBA’s regional meetings the past two weeks were encouraged to keep pressing their members of Congress to take action early in 2015 on a permanent fix for the federal Highway Trust Fund (HTF)—the source of about 52 percent of highway and bridge capital investments made by state transportation departments annually.
The meetings took place in Tucson (Western: Dec. 1-2), Detroit (Central: Dec. 3-4 ), Birmingham (Southern: Dec. 8-9) and Washington, D.C. (Northeastern: Dec. 10-11). At the events, ARTBA Chairman Nick Ivanoff and senior ARTBA staff discussed the November election results, the looming—and latest—cash crisis with the HTF, the reauthorization of MAP-21, and pending environmental/regulatory matters. ARTBA’s Chief Economist Dr. Alison Premo Black provided a 2015 national transportation construction market forecast, along with more localized data on market conditions and investment trends for the respective regions.
State and local transportation agency officials highlighted current projects underway and potential new market development opportunities in their areas, and ARTBA state chapter executives shared some of their recent success stories with transportation investment legislation or ballot initiatives. Some of the attendees also heard presentations on risk management, alternative delivery and surety bonding issues from leading experts in the legal and insurance industries. Two of the meetings also included tours of Caterpillar’s Tinaja Hills Training Center and Vulcan’s Calera Quarry.