When Disaster Strikes, the Federal Highway Administration Responds

Planning a summer road trip? If you are like most Americans, there is a high chance that you and your family will be using the Interstate System this summer. In fact, AAA Travel projected that 41 million Americans will travel by car just during the Independence Day holiday weekend!

Even though we often overlook the importance of the Dwight D. Eisenhower National System of Interstate and Defense Highways, it’s a critical piece of our country’s infrastructure.

All 47,182+ miles of our Interstate System is managed by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).   The agency is responsible maintaining and ensuring that America’s roads, bridges and highways continue to be among the safest and most technologically sound in the world.  FHWA also works with state and local agencies to improve safety, mobility, and livability by conducting research and providing technical assistance to them.

So what happens to our intricate network of highways and bridges when the roads are damaged due to natural emergencies like hurricanes, earthquakes, flooding and tornadoes?

To understand the pivotal role FHWA has after catastrophic events, watch “FHWA Works: How the Federal Highway Administration Helps When Disaster Strikes”. The video is part of their educational video series and demonstrates how the Federal Highway Administration’s Emergency Relief Program works to quickly and efficiently repair damaged roads and put communities back together after disaster strikes:

More About FHWA
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is an agency within the U.S. Department of Transportation that supports State and local governments in the design, construction, and maintenance of the Nation’s highway system (Federal Aid Highway Program) and various federally and tribal owned lands (Federal Lands Highway Program). Through financial and technical assistance to State and local governments, the Federal Highway Administration is responsible for ensuring that America’s roads and highways continue to be among the safest and most technologically sound in the world. To learn more, visit www.fhwa.dot.gov.

5 Ways American Public Works Association Impacts Your Community

Have you ever thought about the enormous impact public works professionals have on our modern society?

Think about it. These are the individuals and companies responsible for planning, designing, building, operating and maintaining the transportation, water supply, storm drainage, sewage and refuse disposal systems, public buildings, and other structures and facilities essential to our nation’s economy and quality of life.

Organizations like The American Public Works Association enable public works professionals and companies (like us) with access to the latest technologies and resources to better serve our industry. 

What is public works? APWA defines it as “the combination of physical assets, management practices, policies, and personnel necessary for government to provide and sustain structures and services essential to the welfare and acceptable quality of life for its citizens”.

APWA serves our industry in countless capacities; here are just 5 ways they impact communities on a local and national level:

1. APWA enables it’s members (made up of 29,000+ public works professionals) to bring important public works-related topics to public attention in local, state and federal arenas.

2. The organization educates the public on trends and emerging issues through their nationally sponsored educational programs, industry publications, professional development, training activities

3. The APWA Center for Sustainability now serves our industry as a primary resource on sustainability and sustainable practices for public works organizations across the United States and Canada.

4. APWA facilitates a forum for public works professionals to improve the performance of their agencies and companies, to discuss management techniques for everything from emergency management and water resources to transportation to fleet services and winter maintenance.

5. APWA members advocate for increased investment in public works and contribute their expertise to policy debates that significantly impact public works and our communities.

It is partnerships like the one we have with APWA that have allowed WVCO to emerge as a leader in our industry for decades.  For more information on APWA and how they serve their members, please visit the website at: www.apwa.net or “Like” them on Facebook.

Photo Source: American Public Works on Facebook

The Impact of ASTM International Standards

Photo Source: ASTM International on Facebook

We never compromise our product development.-WVCO

All WVCO products like SpikeFast, FastPatch and POLYQuik are tested and developed to the most stringent standards by organizations like ASTM International. Watch this video to learn more about why standards are such a critical element in manufacturing and trade in the global economy:

When society began manufacturing goods with machine equipment in the late 1700s, it sparked the Industrial Revolution, a major turning point in American history. The Industrial Revolution opened the door to new innovations, better materials, and improved efficiency; but is also created a need for better industry standards to ensure quality and safety of manufactured goods. In the beginning, suppliers in many industries resisted the idea to standardize materials and testing procedures.

It wasn’t until a group of scientists and engineers, led by Charles Dudley, formed the American Society for Testing and Materials (renamed ASTM International) in 1898 to address the frequent rail breaks happening in the railroad industry. ASTM eventually expanded their scope beyond the steel industry and responded to the growing need for standards in many areas including metals, paints, plastics, textiles, petroleum, construction, aviation, energy, the environment, consumer products, electronics, medical services and devices, computerized systems, homeland security and much more.

Today, the organization is made up of more than 30,000 of the world’s top technical experts and business professionals representing 150 countries. Industries and consumers all over the world have benefited in some way from ASTM International standards that are used in research and development, product testing and quality systems. In fact, an estimated 12,000 ASTM standards are used around the world to improve product quality, enhance safety, facilitate market access and trade, and build consumer confidence.