Patti Greenleaf is the CTE Director for Amphitheater Public School. They have a full-time opening for a construction/drafting teacher at Canyon del Oro High School for this coming school year. Perhaps someone you know would be interested in the position. Please contact Patti Greenleaf, CTE Director at Amphitheater Public Schools, 520-696-5218.
A voluntary Interstate 10 Corridor Coalition, created by heads of the Arizona, California, New Mexico and Texas Departments of Transportation, has been created to support and foster innovation development along the interstate that travels through the four states. “The efficient flow of commerce in Arizona drives our state’s economic vitality,” says Arizona DOT Director Halikowski, who initially proposed the effort. “This agreement with our transportation partners in California, New Mexico and Texas will work to build a reliable, friction-free I-10 corridor to support Arizona’s businesses and export industries. We want to see the day when a truck or a non-commercial vehicle can travel the 1,700 miles between Los Angeles ports and Houston ports – safely, efficiently and without delay.” A similar coalition formed by the 15 states through which I-95 travels on the east coast served as the model for the I-10 Corridor Coalition. Officials say I-10 is the primary trucking route from the Port of Long Beach connecting the “trillion-dollar markets” of Southern California and central Texas, emphasizing the four-state region combined would measure as the 10th largest economy in the world. The plan calls for the “transportation expertise of the states collectively” be used to share resources, perform joint testing and provide economies of scale. This also includes applying best practices to “improve safety and efficiency along the corridor, improve freight movement, expand and coordinate the use of technology along the corridor and promote cooperative planning.” Signing the agreement earlier this month in addition to Halikowski were James Bass, executive director of the Texas DOT, Tom Church, cabinet secretary of the New Mexico DOT, and Malcolm Dougherty, California Department of Transportation director.
The US Department of Transportation has received 585 applications for its 2016 Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (Tiger) grant program. The program, which is now in its eighth year, has continued to attract overwhelming demand from communities of all sizes, with 337 applications coming from urban areas and 248 from rural communities. “Communities across the country know that if we want a strong, multimodal transportation system that will meet our needs in the future, we need to make meaningful investments today,” said transportation secretary Anthony Foxx. “As we have seen year after year, there are far more worthy projects than we can fund through Tiger, demonstrating the need for a serious, long-term investment in transportation funding.” Like the first seven rounds, 2016 Tiger discretionary grants will fund capital investments in surface transportation infrastructure and will be awarded on a competitive basis for projects that will have a significant impact on the nation, a metropolitan area or a region. The 2016 Tiger grant program focuses on capital projects that generate economic development and improve access to reliable, safe and affordable transportation for communities, both urban and rural. The Tiger grant program supports innovative projects, including multi-modal and multi-jurisdictional projects. These federal funds enable further money to be leveraged from private sector partners, states, local, and tribal governments, metropolitan planning organizations, ports and transit agencies.
The American Roads & Transportation Builders Association is bringing their National Convention to Tucson this October. We are excited that they have chosen Tucson since it has been 15-years since they last hosted it here. ATB Staff is working with ARTBA Staff on the day’s events that will include safety related updates, P3 updates, contractors’ division, and planning and design division and much more. A guest speaker is being scheduled for one of the days. ATB is working on a day pass or a la carte registration fees for the many that wish to attend. There will also be a visit to the Empire-CAT training grounds and even receptions. All will be held at the Starr Pass Marriott. As plans are more dialed in, details will be revealed. We are hoping to at least get registration rates out to the membership by the end of July for planning purposes.
The Membership Committee that consists of Fred Narcaroti of Ninyo & Moore, and Jenn Escarcega of Muira Contracting and the ATB Executive Director Ramon Gaanderse have been working with various potential members about joining ATB. Last week ATB and Jenn met with Pascua Yaqui Tribe (PYT) to discuss membership and how there are similarities with common goals to finding employees in construction. The PYT are looking for ways to have their members find work in construction, training and much more. With the assistance of events like Southern Arizona Construction Career Days and other involvements ATB has, it could be a perfect strategy for the PYT. This goes for many of the other companies with which we are talking. Finding good employees is a theme locally but also nationally when it comes to construction workers. If you know of any potential members, please forward the company name and contact person to Ramon Gaanderse.
The ATB Board of Directors and Associated General Contractors of Arizona had a joint skype board meeting last week. This is something we are doing a few times a year, including an annual luncheon. The board discussed the various issue facing the industry in their respective areas of the State. As part of collaboration, ATB has joined a statewide group to focus on the legislation facing the Arizona Legislature. This year’s Legislature “only” swept $86.5 million to the department of public safety due to the efforts of this statewide group. In addition, a statewide group of industry experts, economists and others are looking into new revenue options for a statewide initiative for transportation. This group seeks to find and select preferred solutions by December. This is a big first step in finding a solution to the transportation infrastructure revenue problems that we have in Arizona. This would be something AGC and ATB will work very closely on. A scheduled lunch meeting between the two boards is in the coming months.
Thanks to everyone who attended the fifth Annual State of the RTA with cooperation of with WTS of Tucson. We had a wonderful turnout and thanks to Jim DeGrood for being our guest speaker. We always look forward to this dinner and information provided. Thanks to our participants who also submitted questions and topics that you wanted to hear about. Thank you as well who helped raise some money for our scholarships. Thanks to our wonderful sponsors below! To see the presentation, please click here.
A big THANK YOU to the American Roads & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) for inviting ATB for the annual Fly-in and be able to meet with Federal Highways Staff, EPA, and much more. Another HUGE thank you as well to Brian Andrews (ATB President), with The Ashton Company; Bill Mackey, Granite; Ryan Mackey, Sunland Asphalt; Matt Clark and Sean Samsel with Psomas for attending and representing ATB during the fly-in. We were grateful to meet with all Arizona’s 11 Congressional Members. We had three days packed and filled with those as well as meetings with Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) officials. It is important to note that in this year’s meeting with our delegation, the tone was much different because the FAST Act had already past. Secondly, with the Presidential election coming this November, next year’s meetings may be much more important and vastly different when it comes to advocating for highway funds. It is safe to say that our delegation was in favor in funding some sort of user-based fee to keep the trust fund solvent. Yes, the first one people think of is the gas tax. Interesting that some of our delegation has softened their opinion on this discussion specifically compared to last year. Some still fear there is waste in the current highway bill and some were not appreciative of how the FAST Act finalized. However, we all agreed that the FAST Act is not a perfect bill, but it does provide funding for the long-term.
The discussion for the next bill will start next year around this time believe it or not, so the discussions are important to continue throughout. One piece of news we received on the spot is that Congress is becoming more serious about tax reform. The House Ways & Means Committee may be releasing blue print next week that indicates the steps to tackling this subject. We did advocate that transportation funding be considered as part of this process to help streamline funding for the long term.
Other discussions points were about thanking all our delegation for their support of a Tiger Grant for SR 189 as well as making I-11 become a major factor for the future. The others were related to the OSHA Silica rule, EPA “Waters of the United States” and issues related to DBE topics. The Silica Rule – Is being challenged by a number of States for the fact that OSHA may not be using current science in its rule making process. Water Ways – 31 states are suing of the definition EPA is to define “water ways” as it may be expected to go all the way to the Supreme Court.
As ATB members were meeting with 20 other states during the ARTBA meeting, DBE became a hot topic. DBE may be expanding via an FAA bill that would increase the DBE rules in transportation infrastructure projects by adding veterans. We will learn more about this in the coming weeks.
In conclusion, this was the fourth straight trip to DC and we have seen numerous extensions of the highway bill, now a long term bill and in the coming years a new President of the United States, which will change the landscape of this topic even more so for the future. It is always important to meet with our Congress People, they appreciate our efforts to visit them in DC, but to also hear first-hand on Capitol Hill what the real “scoop” is. The number of ATB Members interested in attending each year is growing and the importance seems to be greater as well.
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ATB and some of its members are headed to Washington, D.C. for their annual fly-in to meet with the Arizona Congressional delegation next week. Brian Andrews, ATB President, (The Ashton Company), Ramon Gaanderse, ATB Executive Director, Ryan Mackey (Sunland Asphalt), Bill Mackey (Granite), Matt Clark and Sean Samsel (Psomas) will be representing ATB members. ATB will be meeting with just about all of the Arizona Congress people. Other meetings may be set up with the EPA about some waterways topics. All will also be attending the American Roads & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) meetings associated with the fly-in. Although Congress passed the FAST Act, there is still work to do with the highway trust fund and other issues related to airport funding, and more. Ramon will also be able to meet with other Executive Directors from across the County that he has worked with over the many years to discuss issues facing the associations and how to work together. Follow up on this trip will be in a matter of a few weeks.