The Challenges of Funding our Growing Transportation Needs

Highways and Bridges

Grow America

Transportation is critical to economic growth, however, economic growth is critical to fund the ever changing needs of our transportation system. One cannot exist without the other. The imminent threat of Highway Trust Fund insolvency combined with this paradox is the root of intense debate and discussion in Washington, DC and among key players in the transportation industry.

According to US Department of Transportation, sixty five percent of America’s major roads are rated “less than good” condition, while one in four bridges require significant repair or cannot handle today’s traffic and 45 percent of Americans do not have access to transit.

One of the proposed solutions to this challenge is The GROW AMERICA Act, a six-year bill that would increase investment for our nation’s highways, bridges, transit, and rail systems by 45%. The proposal is funded by supplementing current revenues from the Highway Trust Fund in combination with a 14 percent transition tax on an estimated $2 trillion of untaxed foreign earnings that U.S. Companies have accumulated overseas.

Critical investments are needed to help communities keep pace with our expanding economy, our growing population, and the traveling needs of the public. This animated video explains the key features of the GROW AMERICA Act and why we need to move forward on a long-term surface transportation bill.

How would you address the funding challenges in our transportation infrastructure?

For more information on this proposed bill and other transportation topics, please visit www.transportation.gov.

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WVCO Featured Innovator of the Month: MIT Professor Julie Shah

Julie Shaw

Image Courtesy of MIT Industrial Liaison Program

“Imagine if robots could be truly collaborative partners, able to anticipate and adapt to the needs of their human teammates. Such robots could greatly extend productivity. That possibility is really exciting to me.” -Julie Shah

Willamette Valley Company was built on the principle of innovation. Throughout the years, our team of forward thinking innovators has produced a range of game changing solutions within  our divisions like PRE-TEC, Willamette Valley Company Railroad Division, POLYQuik Performance Products, and WVCO Wood Products.

This month, our featured innovator is Julie Shah, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics and head of the Interactive Robotics Group at MIT.

The Interactive Robotics Group is a robotics research lab committed to developing robots that work in tandem with humans to accomplish what neither can do alone. She is best known for her team’s innovative methods of enabling human-robot collaboration, i.e. Creating robots who can function as colleagues for humans in fields such as disaster response, manufacturing, surgery and space exploration.

“Human interaction isn’t part of the traditional curriculum for training roboticists,” she says in this MIT Technology Review profile. “Our field is always pushing to make our systems more autonomous, and have richer capabilities and intelligence, but in that push we tend to look past the fact that these systems are, and always will be, working in human contexts”.

Here she is describing her work in the robotics field in her own words

Ms. Shah has received international recognition for her work in the robotics field, including an NSF CAREER award in 2014 and in the MIT Technology Review 10 Breakthrough Technologies of 2013. She has also been named by MIT Technology Review as one of the world’s top innovators under the age of 35.

Her dedication to creating a more collaborative relationship between humans and robots to achieve greater good makes her our pick for our “Innovator of the Month”.

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This MIT engineering professor is turning robots into ideal colleagues for humans.

interactive.mit.edu

Machines Like Us: Robots and Drones at Work

International Airfield & Highway Pavements Conference

International Airfield & Highway Pavements Specialty Conference 2015

Photo courtesy of International Airfield & Highway Pavements Specialty Conference 2015

WCVO’s POLYQuik team is headed to the Miami for the International Airfield & Highway Pavements Conference, June 7-10, 2015. This year’s conference theme is “Innovative and Cost-Effective Pavements for a Sustainable Future” and is centered on the latest technologies and best practices in the areas of innovative, durable, cost-effective and more sustainable pavements.

The conference is presented by The Transportation & Development Institute (T&DI), a specialty membership organization focused on transportation and development professionals and the transportation and development industry. It is one of the American Society of Civil Engineer‘s eight specialty Institutes.

Our team is looking forward to the special opportunity to meet directly with engineers, planners, industry representatives, citizen groups, developers, and public officials from around the world to demonstrate how our concrete repair products can help to alleviate many of the challenges for airfield and highway pavement sustainability, rehabilitation and performance.

 

“The conference includes examples of both current practice and the latest results of research, development and implementation of cutting edge pavement technology and practice”, says Conference Co-Chairs Dr. John Harvey and Dr. Katie Chou wrote in a joint statement. “It brings together professionals involved in design, construction, management and research to share and discuss new ideas to meet our common challenges”.

If you are headed to the conference, we invite you to stop by our booth to learn about what POLYQuik can offer. POLYQuik Fastpatch concrete repair products are fast curing, tough materials. Each product is designed with ready-to-use package to meet your application needs. For more information, please visit www.polyquik.com.

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