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and professionals agree there is an urgent need for lawmakers to invest in the much needed restoration of America’s outdated roads, rails, airports, seaports and bridges.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.

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Is America’s Infrastructure Neglected?

“60 Minutes” investigates America’s Infrastructure Problems

This week, “60 Minutes” aired a report on why our roads, bridges, airports and rail are outdated and need to be fixed. The piece, titled “Falling apart: America’s neglected infrastructure“, features an interview with Ray LaHood, former US Secretary of Transportation from 2009 until 2013, who is urgently working to convince lawmakers to invest in the much needed restoration of America’s outdated roads, rails, bridges, airports and seaports.

According to the report, of the 70,000 bridges in the United States, 1 in 9 of these bridges is considered “structurally deficient”. With tens of millions of people using these roads and bridges every day, this certainly caught our attention.

The piece, which aired on November 23rd, showed the rust and the cracked concrete developing on bridges across the country, especially in Pennsylvania, where the problem is most critical according to the American Society of Civil Engineers.

LaHood says that even though the roads and bridges urgently need to be fixed, there is no funding to do so because Federal Highway Trust Fund is financed by the federal gas tax which hasn’t been raised in 20 years.

What are your thoughts? Do you think our lawmakers will be able to work together to solve this serious problem?  What is the solution?

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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!

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