ARTBA Foundation awards 2013 Lanford Family Highway Worker Memorial Scholarships
The scholarship, established in 1999, is awarded annually to provide financial assistance for the higher education of children of highway workers killed or permanently disabled on the job.
The following students earned the 2013 scholarship:
Vybav Hiraesave (Dover, Delaware), sophomore majoring in chemical engineering at the University of Delaware: Hiraesave’s father, Vasuki Hiraesave, died in an accident while working as an employee of the Delaware Department of Transportation in March 2006.
Lyndsay Morgan (Daytona Beach, Florida), up-and-coming freshman to major in athletic training at Florida Gulf Coast University: Morgan’s father, Steven Morgan, died in a November 2011 accident while working on Interstate 75 in Florida.
Haley Ward (Tell City, Indiana), up-and-coming freshman to major in biology at the University of Southern Indiana: Ward’s father, Ronald Ward, died on the job in 2005 while working maintenance for the Indiana Department of Transportation.
Dallas Jones (Bluffton, Indiana), computer science major at the Indiana Institute of Technology: Jones’ father, Dale Jones, died in a December 2009 accident while working as an employee of the Indiana Department of Transportation.
Grant Horn (Whitesburg, Kentucky), up-and-coming freshman to major in automotive diesel technology at the Lincoln College of Technology: Horn’s father, Greg Horn, died in 1997 during a drilling accident while working on a state highway construction project.
Alexis Keefe (Wyalusing, Pennsylvania), up-and-coming freshman to major in business at Bentley University: Keefe’s father, Bret Keefe, died in a car accident in 2001 while working for the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation.
Oklahoma DOT helps tornado recovery efforts
Oklahoma Department of Transportation (ODOT) crews have traveled from all over the state to help with recovery efforts in Moore.
ODOT has posted several updates, including photos, to Twitter over the past couple of days about the agency’s crews and equipment cleaning debris in the town.
Check out the Storify link below for a list of cleanup updates from @OKDOT.
Foxx confirmation hearing concludes smoothly
Yesterday’s confirmation hearing for President Obama’s nominee for Secretary of Transportation, Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx, concluded smoothly, with Foxx making few promises to the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee and with no hostile questions raised, the New York Times reported.
Though the committee asked Foxx a number of questions, the nominee made a point of keeping his number of promises low. The Charlotte mayor limited his promises his three intended focuses, which include keeping safety as a top priority, improving the efficiency and performance of the nation’s existing transportation system and working to build a transportation system to meet future needs.
Foxx has made transportation a priority in Charlotte. During his term as mayor, the city has expanded the LYNX light rail system and the Charlotte-Douglas International Airport, began work on the Charlotte Regional Intermodal Facility and the Charlotte Streetcar Project, completed the I- 485 beltway and repaired the Yadkin Bridge.
However, Foxx has little experience with national transportation issues. If confirmed, he will face a number of difficult funding issues for roads, air traffic control and the freight rail system.
There has been no word yet on an expected date for the committee’s decision.
The archived webcast of the hearing is available at the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee’s website. A transcript of Senator John D. Rockefeller IV’s opening statement is available here. To read the transcript of Foxx testimony, click here.
Gas tax quiz
What do you pay in federal fuel tax for every gallon of gas you buy? What percentage of the price of a gallon of gas comes from fuel taxes?
As the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy points out, Americans are woefully short of understanding the factors that make up the price they pay per gallon for gasoline at the pump. And, the Institute also points out, most Americans think the federal fuel tax goes up every year. (Spoiler alert: it has been 18.4 cents for almost twenty years).
Fact is, gas taxes do not deserve the blame they are getting for our high gas prices. Ten years ago about one third of what you paid for a gallon of gas came from fuel taxes (federal, state and local). Today it is about half that.
Question: How do you convince the public that the 18.4 cents per gallon fuel tax (which goes into a fund that only pays for transportation infrastructure) should be raised, and maybe indexed? And how do you convince the public that without a raise there will not be enough money for our roads and bridges when Washington politicians who face reelection are aware that most of their voters are way out of the loop when it comes to gas taxes? Politicians are there to stay there, not to educate the public. Right?
Moore roads open with restrictions
Residential access is limited to light vehicle and pedestrian traffic. The city’s Twitter feed notes that no large trucks will be allowed in neighborhoods. Residents and media members entering neighborhoods must show identification or other credentials for access.
Though many roads are opening, the Oklahoma Department of Transportation requested on Twitter that drivers should try to stay off Interstate-35. “If you must travel, please find alternate route,” the agency wrote via the City of Moore’s Twitter handle. On it’s own Twitter account, ODOT suggested I-44, US-81 and US-69 as alternate routes.
Bomag hires Tom Kiselica as road building specialist
Bomag Americas has hired Tom Kiselica as the road building specialist for the northeastern United States.
Kiselica’s responsibilities will include providing equipment training, demonstrations and machine set-up services to customers for Cedarapids asphalt pavers and material transfer equipment, CMI reclaimer/stabilizers and BOMAG’s existing line of milling equipment.
Kiselica has more than 30 years of experience in the service and sale of asphalt paving and road building equipment. He previously worked with Gateway Equipment, Way Equipment and Cedarapids.
Kiselica will work from a satellite office from within his territory.
Seattle tests bikes as disaster relief (VIDEO)
Seattle, Washington, next month will test bikes as a means of disaster relief, Road.cc reported.
The city will hold Disaster Relief Trials (DRT) to gauge the cities preparedness for natural disasters such as earthquakes. Bicycles are a major part of the city’s DRT.
Bicycles have been used for disaster relief in other cities. After Hurricane Sandy, for example, Giant Bicycle and Transportation Alternatives donated bikes to New York medical staff, who were then able to maneuver through areas that vehicles could not.
This is not the first year Seattle has used bikes in its DRT. Last year, the city’s DRT featured cargo bikes and bikes towing trailers, both of which would be used to transport essential supplies in case of road closures.
Check out the video below to see the bikes carrying supplies at Seattle’s 2012 DRT.
Michigan lawmakers sign budget agreement, focus on transportation
Michigan Governor Rick Snyder and Republican lawmakers signed an agreement Tuesday to set targets for the state’s budget, Crain’s Detroit Business reported.
The budget is expected to be completed by Wednesday of next week.
House Speaker Jase Bolger (R-MI) said the agreement puts $350 million of the state budget toward transportation. Bolger referred to the funding as “a down payment,” stating that the money will help the state match federal funding and repair roads.
Bolger said a long-term solution for transportation is not likely to be happen before the budget is finalized.
San Francisco-Oakland: Troubled bridge over water
Closing in on an end-of-summer opening, the $6.4 billion eastern span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge is getting set for its big day more with a whimper than a bang.
Good point from Dan Walters in San Jose Mercury News. Do the trials and tribulations (that seems like a reasonable one size fits all description for this span) of the bridge tell us something about the future of California’s planned bullet trains and tunnels?
California Governor Jerry Brown may now be backing off his “it will be open by Labor Day” stance after his cavalier dismissal of concerns lead to some pointed questions about responsibility and safety.
The Federal Highway Administration has now launched a probe into why seemingly undesirable bolts were used on portions of the bridge.
And The San Francisco Chronicle reports that John Fisher, 82, an emeritus professor of civil engineering at Lehigh University and member of Caltrans’ peer-review panel for the project, said the state’s decision to use galvanized, high-strength steel rods was “not well-thought through” because such metal can crack when exposed to the elements, and Caltrans needs to examine hundreds of at-risk rods on the new eastern span of the Bay Bridge and replace any that are hard enough to be vulnerable to cracking.
Design problems, work problems, budget problems–it’s been a long rocky road for this bridge. In any construction project–but, it seems, especially the really big ones–snowballing is a problem: small problems, inadequately handled, roll into bigger ones and so on.
It’s surely at times like this that the QC guys and the inspectors say, “Hey, we told you we were the good guys.”
U.S. diesel prices increase for second consecutive week
On-highway diesel fuel prices have continued to increase in most regions of the United States this week, our sister site, Aggregates Manager, reported.
This is the second consecutive week of nearly nationwide increases.
The New England region, the only region with declining prices, experienced a decrease of $0.004 per gallon.
The largest increase occurred in the West Coast less California region, which jumped $0.049 per gallon since last week.
Despite the increases, diesel fuel prices are still down from last year. Though the U.S. experienced a $0.024 per gallon increase this week, nationwide diesel fuel prices are down $0.066 per gallon year-over-year.
For more information, including a chart displaying weekly and yearly changes per region, check out the full diesel fuel report at AggMan.com.
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