The Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act or “FAST Act” is Signed Into Law

FASTAct2America has always been a nation on the move. But an aging and crumbling transportation system is not only slowing Americans down, it’s reducing productivity, undermining our ability to move products across the country and around the world, and increasing congestion and air pollution. It’s time to get America moving again! – U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Last month, the first law providing long-term funding certainty for surface transportation in over a decade was signed into law. The implementation of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act, or “FAST Act” States means that local governments should be able to move forward with critical transportation projects, like new highways and transit lines, more easily. “After hundreds of Congressional meetings, two bus tours, visits to 43 states, and so much uncertainty – and 36 short term extensions – it has been a long and bumpy ride to a long-term transportation bill,” says U.S. Transportation Secretary, Anthony Foxx. “It’s not perfect, and there is still more left to do, but it reflects a bipartisan compromise I always knew was possible.”

The deteriorating condition of America’s roads, bridges and rail lines have been an area for concern for some time.  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.

The FAST Act is considered by many to be a good start, as it increases funding by 11 percent over five years. “This is far short of the amount needed to reduce congestion on our roads and meet the increasing demands on our transportation systems,” states the U.S. Department of Transportation. “In comparison, the Administration’s proposal, the GROW AMERICA Act, increases funding by 45 percent”.

The law also makes changes and reforms to many Federal transportation programs, including streamlining the approval processes for new transportation projects, providing new safety tools, and establishing new programs to advance critical freight projects.

For a more detailed summary of some FAST Act provisions, visit www.transportation.gov/fastact.

 

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.

photo credit: 2008 06 09 – 3057 – Baltimore – I-895 at Moravia Rd via photopin (license)

2015 Western Bridge Preservation Partnership Meeting

Bridge Preservation
A few months ago, “60 Minutes” aired an insightful report about America’s aging infrastructure. According to the peice, titled “Falling apart: America’s neglected infrastructure“, 1 in 9 of the 700,000 bridges in the United States is considered “structurally deficient”.

Transportation activists and professionals agree there is an urgent need for lawmakers to invest in the much needed restoration of America’s outdated roads, rails, airports, seaports and bridges. One of the biggest challenges facing transportation engineering and maintenance personnel today is maintaining the integrity of these massive structures used by millions of people every day.

“Our highway infrastructure took decades and generations of Americans to build and is simply too valuable to be left to languish,” says Larry Galehouse, National Center for Pavement Preservation (NCPP) in this post. “As with any valuable asset, we must work hard to preserve it by judicious and timely proactive maintenance.”

Our POLYQuik Performance Products team is looking forward to meeting with bridge practitioners from state and local agencies, contractors, consultants, suppliers, academia, and federal government officials at the 2015 Western Bridge Preservation Partnership Meeting May 18-20, 2015 in Portland, Oregon. The event is a regional forum dedicated to bridge preservation practices throughout the Western Region.

Bridge Preservation is defined as “actions or strategies that prevent, delay or reduce deterioration of bridges or bridge elements, restore the function of existing bridges, keep bridges in good condition and extend their life.” Source: AASHTO Board of Directors, Policy Resolution PR-3-11, October 17, 2011.

The experienced chemists and engineers in our POLYQuik division continue to research and create high performance concrete repair products that are successfully utilized in bridge maintenance. The conference is an opportunity for us to share our concrete repair solutions with bridge maintenance managers, superintendents, designers, crews, planners, programmers, inspectors along with local, state, federal, and other agency bridge owners involved in bridge maintenance activities.

photo credit: “Old Town” Tbilisi and the Mktvari River via photopin (license)

POLYQuik Solutions to Be Presented at 2015 CCSA Pavement Preservation Workshop

Willamette Valley Company Vice President, John Murray will join POLYQuik Technical Sales Manager Rob Loomis and a handful of distributors to present our line of high-performance concrete repair products like FastPatch MD, FastPatch DPR and fillers & sealants like our EJC products at the California Chip Seal Association Pavement Preservation Workshop February 4-5, 2015.

The theme of this year’s CCSA Pavement Preservation Work Shop is aptly titled, “A Little Goes a Long Way”. Workshop attendees will include a range of transportation and infrastructure professionals who can expect to learn about the following concrete repair solutions at the Willamette Valley Company exhibit-

Expansion Joint (EJC) product line

The EJC product line is a unique hybrid polyurea that provides users with the ability to repair concrete expansion joints and passes the testing needed for airport runways, highways, parking decks, bridge decks, roofing and sidewalks that no other product of its kind can achieve. Even under extreme weather conditions and traffic, they retain the high performance characteristics needed for years to come. What you can expect from Expansion Joint Products: Rapid cure, 100% solids, Zero VOC, Self leveling, Highly elastic, remains flexible in freezing temps, Durable under stress.

FastPatch Products

It doesn’t matter if your concrete repair problem is up high, down low, in cold or warm temperatures, big or small, you’ll find the perfect solution in one of our FastPatch Products. This line of concrete repair products provides users with the ability to repair concrete spalls or voids in everything from roadways and parking lots, to warehouse buildings and sidewalks.

FastPatch MD’s meter dispensing is perfect for repairing large areas of damaged concrete while FastPatch DPR is ideal for distressed pavement repair in parking lots, warehouses, sidewalks and roadways. With each of these products you’ll experience excellent adhesion to concrete and an incredible cure rate that allows the repaired area to be open for use in as little as one hour!

To see it in action, watch this FASTPATCH MD/GC demonstration that features a large spall repair, longitudinal crack repair, and transverse joint sealing and filling:

POLYQuik products are tested and developed to the most stringent standards. Systems are thoroughly evaluated for performance with the latest in application equipment, physical properties testing, weather exposure, adhesion testing, chemical resistance testing and much more. The resulting concrete repair products are fast curing, tough materials.

Our laboratories and research centers are located in Oregon, Georgia, Louisiana and Chile. Our team of scientists and engineers consists of more than 45 members with more than 75 years combined experience in product development and application.

 

Fall Conference Round Up: UDOT Annual Conference & 2014 EWTA Info Fair

EWTA Info Fair

WVCO Team at the 2013 EWTA Info Fair. Photo source: EWTA Info Fair on Facebook

After a very busy summer of traveling to various expos and presentations around the country, our reps are not about to slow down!  Next week, our POLYQuick division is headed to UDOT Annual Conference to introduce transportation professionals from all over the state of Utah our innovative concrete repair solutions and services.

This event, held October 28-30, 2014, offers top-notch training opportunities for attendees including specific tracks for maintenance and construction, design, and other disciplines.

This event features an interactive exposition floor (where we will feature POLYQuick products and services), along with keynote speakers like UDOT Executive Director, Carlos M. Braceras; Lt. Governor Spencer J. Cox; leadership expert Stephen M. R. Covey and several other distinguished industry leaders. Attendees will also be able to take care of great training and networking opportunities available in a wide range of breakout sessions.

Our Wood Products team will be traveling to San Antonio, TX for the EWTA Info Fair November 8-10, 2014.  This annual event, sponsored by the Engineered Wood Technology Association (EWTA), is a product and services exposition featuring equipment manufacturers, product suppliers and service providers.

Willamette Valley Company is proud to be a part of this important event which brings together members of the engineered wood industry – Plywood, OSB, Glulam, SCL or I-Joist- in a relaxed setting and intimate venue.  The event is a perfect opportunity to share new information, best practices, introduce our new wood products solutions during productive business meetings and socializing.

WVCO’s Vice President of Northwest Sales,  Tony Vuksich, had this to say about the event “Info Fair is the best exhibition that we do—it allows us to interface with the management of many of our very important clients, and support EWTA in a mutually beneficial setting.”

About APA – The Engineered Wood Association APA
The Engineered Wood Association has a long history of providing quality service and programs to its nearly 160 member mills in the engineered wood products industry. A key to APA’s success is the teamwork between EWTA’s supplier members and APA’s member manufacturers.  The Engineered Wood Technology Association (EWTA) is a nonprofit trade association of and for product, equipment and service providers to the North American engineered wood products industry. EWTA is a related organization of APA – The Engineered Wood Association, the leading North American association of structural engineered wood product manufacturers.

Maintaining a State of Good Repair at the 2014 Pacific Northwest Bridge Maintenance Conference

One of the biggest challenges transportation engineering and maintenance personnel face today is around the clock bridge maintenance. Think about it, our safety depends on their service and expertise as they work to maintain the integrity of these massive structures used by millions of people every day.

Our POLYQuik Performance Products team is looking forward to meeting with these individuals and many others who provide such a critical service to the infrastructure of our country and abroad at the Pacific Northwest Bridge Maintenance Conference in Portland, Oregon October 14-16, 2014!

This conference will feature a number of innovative seminars led by industry experts including representatives from the Oregon and Washington State Departments of Transportation. The keynote speaker this year is Sandi Doughton, the award-winning science writer for The Seattle Times and the author of Full Rip 9.0: The Next Big Earthquake in the Pacific Northwest. Here she is speaking at TEDxBellingham:

A number of important issues and topics will be covered relating to bridge maintenance information, innovations, ideas, and best practices. Other goals of the 2014 conference are to:

• Provide a means for bridge maintenance personnel to obtain training and a better understanding of bridge maintenance / repair techniques
• Foster the development of leadership skills
• Promote technology transfer within the bridge maintenance community
• Provide a forum for networking
• Promote “Fix it First” Strategies

Why POLYQuik?
Our POLYQuik division produces high-performance concrete repair products that are utilized in bridge maintenance. The conference is an opportunity for us to share our concrete repair solutions with bridge maintenance managers, superintendents, designers, crews, planners, programmers, inspectors along with local, state, federal, and other agency bridge owners involved in bridge maintenance activities.

Our experienced chemists and engineers are continually searching for better ways to apply our products and enhance your production. Stop by our exhibit booth #16 to learn more about our latest concrete repair products and discuss the very latest technology and techniques!

photo credit: Éole via photopin cc

Next Stop: TxDOT Maintenance and Traffic Operations Conference

WVCO will Exhibit at the TxDOT Maintenance and Traffic Operations Conference at the Waco Convention Center in Waco, TX September 17-19, 2013

Fresh off our trip to the 2013 APWA Congress & Expo in Chicago, Willamette Valley Company is on the road again to demonstrate our POLYQuik concrete repair products to transportation and infrastructure professionals at the TxDOT Maintenance and Traffic Operations Conference September 17-19, 2013.

The event is presented by POLYQuik products distributor Contractors Paving Supply, a company that has served and supported the concrete paving industry in the greater Houston area for over seven years.

Photo Source: Contractors Paving Supply

Photo Source: Contractors Paving Supply

POLYQuik can best be described as high-performance concrete repair products, color-stable coatings, fillers and sealants, floor coatings, primers, and spray coatings. FastPatch is TXDOT approved and is currently used on highways and airports in Texas. CPSI has also recently taken on POLYQuik distribution for Louisiana.

This years conference will be held at the beautiful Waco Convention Center in Waco, TX and we are happy to report that WVCO will have both outdoor and indoor booth spaces. We hope you will stop by one (or both) of our exhibits to say hello!

It is always a pleasure to travel to conferences all over the world connecting with new people in our industry while showcasing our diverse range of problem-solving concrete repair products.

This fall, we will also be presenting POLYQuik products at the Railway Interchange 2013 September 29-October 2, 2013 in Indianapolis, IN (WVCO Railroad and POLYQuik products) and the 2013 Road & Street Maintenance Supervisors’ Conference
October 14-16, 2013 in Yakima, Washington. Check back for more details.