An in-depth group discussion during the 6th Annual Dr. J. Don Brock TransOvation™ Workshop.

By Allison Klein, vice president of member services, ARTBA

Nearly 40 attendees from leading transportation design and construction firms, and one public agency, discussed the challenges and opportunities for goods movement in the U.S. at the 6th Annual Dr. J. Don Brock TransOvation™ Workshop. ARTBA member Astec Industries hosted the Dec. 7-9 event at their Chattanooga, Tennessee, headquarters.

Ted Zoli, senior vice president with HNTB and John Hillman, president & CEO at HCB, gave thought-provoking presentations and asked attendees to think outside the box as they addressed this year’s challenge: “How Can We Move Freight More Productively to Give America the Competitive Edge?” Bruce Upbin, vice president of strategic communications at Hyperloop One, and Andrew Bui, project manager at AECOM Ventures, discussed how the Hyperloop transportation system has the potential to have a huge impact on freight and port traffic in particular. And Tom Jensen, a senior government relations executive at UPS, explored the impact that congestion and other infrastructure challenges have on the bottom line. The audience was engaged about how new technologies and collaboration with super-users, such as UPS, can improve goods movement.

Bill Toohey, ARTBA executive vice president and COO, outlined the report of a recent ARTBA task force that has developed specific recommendations for long-term, sustainable transportation funding. Expect to hear more about this as President-elect Donald Trump and the next Congress go to work in January.

Attendees also heard about the game-changing innovations taking place at Astec Industries, and developments in the Federal Highway Administration’s Office of Freight Management and Operations.  The agency is encouraging ARTBA members to provide input on the National Highway Freight Network.

TransOvation™ plays off the off the meanings of three words—“transportation,” “innovation” and “ovation.”  It is named after the legendary founder of Astec Industries. Watch Washington Newsline and other ARTBA communications for more details about TransOvation 2017.