APWA Celebrates National Public Works Week 2019

“Infrastructure starts with public works… Growth and innovation starts with public works… Mobility starts with public works… Security starts with public works… Healthy communities start with public works… The bottom line is that citizens’ quality of life starts with public works.”- American Public Works Association (APWA)

National Public Works Week

“It Starts Here” is the theme for the 2019 National Public Works Week.

To continue our legacy of innovation, WVCO has forged partnerships with leading industry associations and organizations throughout the years. These valuable partnerships like the one we have with American Public Works Association (APWA) help us to better serve our customers by giving us access to the latest technologies, methodologies, and resources.

Our longstanding partnership with APWA is especially meaningful as it serves public works professionals in all branches of industry. The association has a worldwide membership in numbers over 28,500 and is open to any individual, agency, and/or corporation that bring with them an interest in public works.

One of APWA’s primary goals is to educate the public about the value and necessities of public works projects throughout North America. Every year, the organization celebrates public works professionals and the valuable contributions they make to their communities by planning, building, managing and in improving the overall quality of life in cities, towns, and municipalities all over North America during National Public Works Week, May 19-25, 2019.

“We value our communities and the role public works professionals play in keeping them safe and functioning smoothly,” reports the American Public Works Association, sponsor of National Public Works Week. “Our objective is designed to increase public awareness of their contributions as well as to enlighten the public about the duties, practices, and goals of public works professionals.” Public works professionals include those who manage water, sewer, public transportation, and refuse removal systems as well as those responsible for maintaining public buildings and grounds. They are, in short, the people who maintain and improve the systems and services vital to a community’s health, safety and comfort.

A solid infrastructure in a community starts with the foresight and planning of public works professionals, so the APWA chose “It Starts Here” as the theme for the 2019 National Public Works Week. This theme represents the many facets of modern civilization that grow out of the efforts put forth by the public works professionals across North America.

“From providing clean water to disposing of solid waste, to building roads and bridges or planning for and implementing mass transit, to removing snow on roadways or devising emergency management strategies to meet natural or manmade disasters public works services determine a society’s quality of life” states the organization on its website.

If you’re looking for a way to get involved in National Public Works Week, the APWA has published several handy tools on the subject, including a How-To Guide for anyone looking for a good place to start. For more information on National Public Works Week or APWA, please visit npww.apwa.net.

 

Industry News: U.S. Government Announces $900 Million in Infrastructure Grant Funds

U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao Announces Availability of $900 Million in Infrastructure Grant Funds

Highways and Bridges

Rail

Photo Source: American-Rails

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) has formally announced a Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) to apply for $900 million in discretionary grant funding through the Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) Transportation Discretionary Grants program.

“These BUILD Transportation grants will provide needed infrastructure investment to better connect rural and urban communities around our nation,” said U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao.

Fiscal Year 2019 BUILD Transportation grants are for investments in surface transportation infrastructure and will be awarded on a competitive basis to projects that will have a significant local or regional impact. BUILD funding can support roads, bridges, transit, rail, ports or intermodal transportation.

To reflect the Administration’s ongoing effort to rebalance past under-investment in rural America, DOT intends to award up to 50% of BUILD Transportation grant funding to projects located in rural areas that align well with the selection criteria. The FY 2019 BUILD program’s selection criteria gives special consideration to projects that emphasize improved access to reliable, safe, and affordable transportation for communities in rural areas. This includes projects that improve infrastructure condition, address public health and safety, promote regional connectivity, facilitate economic growth or competitiveness, deploy broadband as part of an eligible transportation project, or promote energy independence.

Selection criteria encompass safety, economic competitiveness, quality of life, state of good repair, innovation and partnerships with a broad range of stakeholders.

The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2019 made available $900 million for National Infrastructure Investments, otherwise known as BUILD grants. For this round of BUILD grants, the maximum grant award is $25 million, and no more than $90 million can be awarded to a single State.

To provide technical assistance to a broad array of stakeholders, DOT is hosting a series of webinars during the FY 2019 BUILD grant application process. Details and registration information regarding these webinars will be made available at https://www.transportation.gov/BUILDgrants/outreach.

The deadline to submit an application for the FY 2019 BUILD Transportation Discretionary Grants program is July 15, 2019.

New Video Gives Virtual Tour of Willamette Valley Company’s New Facility

Ever been curious about what happens inside The Willamette Valley Company? A new video is offering viewers a rare look into the day-to-day operations of the Willamette Valley Company facility in Eugene, Oregon. Take an aerial journey into our new 110,000 sg ft. building with over 60,000 sg ft. of manufacturing space on Owen Loop Road and get a birds-eye view of our technicians, scientists, and engineers hard at work creating high-performance custom solutions in the largest custom robotic integrator on the West Coast- WVCO’s PRE-TEC division.

PRE-TEC has been creating innovative, automated solutions for manufacturing companies throughout North America for over thirty years. The experienced automation team of mechanical and electrical engineers believes that the one-on-one communication with each client, on every project, when designing and building systems has been the key to their success. The company strives to collaborate with each customer to develop a consistently reliable and cost-effective solution which address the customer’s manufacturing challenges, can be successfully implemented, and rapidly deployed. PRE-TEC is proud to introduce their new operation to manufacturers in the Western States and across North America.

For more videos and information on WVCO’s divisions, visit our YouTube Channel or click here to go to our main web page.

A Look at Infrastructure’s 2017 and 2018

US Infrastructure

Photo Source: Inhabitat.com

As 2017 comes to a close it’s the ideal time to reflect on the year and look towards the future. Specifically, the present and future of the United States’ infrastructure.

In the views of many, 2017 could have been a better year for infrastructure.The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)’s 2017 report card gave infrastructure a national grade of D+.This grade is based on a total average of individually graded categories, such as aviation, schools, drinking water, and energy to name a few. The one category where infrastructure is succeeding is Rail, the highest rated category at a B rating. Find the grading breakdown of the report card here.

ReportCard

Image Source: ASCE

So how can infrastructure improve in 2018? The ASCE offers several solutions to raise the grade. One such improvement is for leadership to be emboldened. As ASCE President Dr. Norma Jean Mattei puts it “we need our elected leaders – those who pledged to rebuild our infrastructure while on the campaign trail – to follow through on those promises with investment and innovative solutions that will ensure our infrastructure is built for the future.”

Another such solution offered would be to increase sustained infrastructure investment, specifically from 2.5% to 3.5% of U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by 2025. Their third recommendation would be to ensure that infrastructure is more resilient and sustainable in order to prepare it for the future.

Will these solutions be implemented? It may be too early to say. The current administration has promised to announce their infrastructure plan and will reveal spending for the next few years. If the promise of $1 trillion worth of infrastructure investment is true, then it is very possible we may see the report card grade improve drastically in the coming years. One thing is certain: 2018 and the new infrastructure plan will bring drastic policy changes that will be felt throughout all facets of infrastructure.

Sources:

https://www.infrastructurereportcard.org/

https://www.asce.org/templates/press-release-detail.aspx?id=24013

http://thehill.com/policy/transportation/363813-trump-to-release-infrastructure-plan-next-month-report

 

Railway Supply Community to Law Makers: Don’t Impose Regulations

Rail Supply IndustryThe Willamette Valley Company has joined a growing group of industry leaders within the railway supply community and prominent rail industry trade associations to speak out against the Surface Transportation Board‘s proposal on reregulatory efforts, including so called “reciprocal switching” and commodity reregulation.

Congressional leaders John Thune, Chairman, Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation and Bill Nelson, Ranking Member; and Bill Shuster, Chairman, House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, and Peter DeFazio, Ranking Member, have received a letter signed by dozens of suppliers and contractors pointing out the STB’s “recent trend of imposing regulations first, and discovering the consequences later.”

“As the collective voice of businesses that serve railroads and provide the equipment and technologies to enhance the efficiency and safety of their operations, we know…over-involvement of the federal government in the day-to-day business decisions of railroads once pushed this sector and the larger railroad ecosystem of customers and suppliers to the brink of collapse,” the letter states. “Without the wisdom to partially deregulate the industry in 1980, America would have lost a privately owned and maintained economic engine that provides quality jobs to support families and communities, affordable and environmentally friendly options for businesses to move goods and critical infrastructure to support passenger railroads.”

Here are more excerpts from that letter:

“We are deeply concerned that this regulatory effort could greatly cut into capital spending by the railroads. Past analysis by the Association of American Railroads found that a similar proposal could affect an estimated 7.5 million carloads of traffic, placing nearly $8 billion in revenues at risk. Reduced revenues mean reduced money for investment in the rail network and reduced demand for businesses like ours. Continued investments are critical for maintaining a safe and efficient rail network and allow us to provide strong employment opportunities in our communities.

The railroad supply community plays an integral role in maintaining the world’s safest, most efficient and highly competitive freight railroad system. We also provide high-paying and high-skilled manufacturing jobs in our communities.

We support a transparent and efficient STB and believe that the agency maintains an important role in maintaining a proven regulatory structure. But we do not support the STB’s recent trend of imposing regulations first, and discovering the consequences later.”

Click here to read more.

 

 

FastPatch Launches New Consumer Friendly Website

FastPatchNew FastPatch Website Filled with Helpful Resources and Info:  www.FastPatchSystems.com

Though our roots are in the wood and railroad products industry, our groundbreaking line of concrete repair solutions is in high demand. It all began more than a decade ago when we were approached by key transportation professionals who needed fast-curing and ultra-tough materials for repairing roadways and bridges.

Our solution was the development of FastPatch.

FastPatch is a significant leap forward in technology from antiquated “powder” type repair materials that are non-flexible, require water, and are labor intensive to install. The product proved to outperform and outlast traditional products, plus it was easier to install with our custom dispensing machine and easy-to-use kits.

It didn’t take long for FastPatch to be adopted by several States D.O.T.s such as California, Texas, Georgia and Washington among others. Today FastPatch is used to repair airports, roads, driveways, highways, bridges, railroads, parking lots, ramps and loading docks, warehouse floors, and other various applications all over the world (e.g., Australia, China, South America, Canada, Mexico, UK).

Product use has become so widespread, we launched a new website dedicated to this product. The website is filled with resources for everyone from Public Works & Engineering/Construction industry professionals to home improvement “DIYers”. It is also filled with helpful data sheets, FAQs, and case studies.

We hope you will visit our new website and contact us with any questions and feedback: FastPatch@wilvaco.com or 800-333-9826. You can check out our videos all in one place at vimeo.com/fastpatch.

FastPatch Pavement and Structure Preservation from FastPatch Systems on Vimeo.

photo credit: tenpouzann01 via photopin (license)

US DOT Unveils Beyond Traffic: Trends and Choices

 U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx

U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx examines the aging infrasture in our country. Photo via instagram.com/usdot.

In 30 years, how will you travel? That is the question the U.S. Dept. of Transportation wants us to ask ourselves. U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx was joined recently by Google Chairman Eric Schmidt to unveil US DOT’s 30 Year Framework for the Future, Beyond Traffic: Trends and Choices.

Beyond Traffic looks at the latest data and anticipates the trends and choices facing our transportation system over the next three decades. If we do not make significant changes, the US DOT predicts our country will face a grim future which will include extreme gridlock, higher costs, and more devastation to our already aging infrastructure.

Secretary Foxx’s draft framework for the future of transportation encourages us to ask ourselves the tough questions, look at the trends, and – hopefully – inspire some innovative thinkers to come up with solutions. “For too long, our national dialogue about transportation has been focused on recreating the past. Instead, we need to focus on the trends that are shaping our future,” he says.

How will we build a transportation system to accommodate a growing population and changing travel patterns?

How will we move things? By 2045, freight volume will increase 45 percent.

How will we build a transportation system that doesn’t just let a growing population travel – but lets them travel SAFER than ever?

How do we make our infrastructure more resilient for a time when weather events like Hurricane Sandy will occur with increasing frequency?

How can we invest the trillions of dollars our transportation needs in the smartest way possible?

These are the questions the US DOT wants us to tackle. So how can advances in robotics, research, and automation help us overcome the dramatic challenges the American transportation network is facing and change the future transportation?

Be a part of this important conversation and share your ideas at www.dot.gov/beyondtraffic.

More about Beyond Traffic: Trends and Choices
Beyond Traffic: Trends and Choices is structured in three parts. The first part discusses the major trends shaping our changing transportation system. The second part discusses the implications of these trends for each mode of transportation: highways, transit, pedestrian and bicycle, aviation, intercity and freight rail, maritime and pipeline. The third part presents a description of a possible future scenario based on the trends analyzed in the previous section.

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.

NACE International Helps to Lead the Way to More Corrosion Control Solutions and Resources

Photo Source: NACE International on Facebook

Transportation and infrastructure companies faces a number of serious challenges; corrosion being among the biggest.  Corrosion can cause dangerous and expensive damage to everything from vehicles, home appliances, and water and wastewater systems to pipelines, bridges, and public buildings.

Our mission is to better serve our industry by finding solutions to challenges like corrosion, and the valuable partnerships we have with organizations such as NACE International, allows us to do so.

NACE International is the leader in the corrosion engineering and science community. The organization has served the high-performance coatings industry by developing corrosion prevention and control standards for many decades.  The group was originally founded by corrosion engineers in the pipeline industry back in 1943.  Back then, it was known as  “The National Association of Corrosion Engineers”.  Today, they are recognized as the largest organization in the world committed to the study of corrosion.

The organization strives to enrich their members by providing helpful training resources and access to the latest information on products, services, tips, and techniques in their publications like Materials Performance (MP), CoatingsPro Magazine, CorrDefense, NACE Corrosion Press, InspectThis! and StayCurrent.

To learn more about NACE International and their commitment to corrosion control solutions, please visit them www.nace.org

Articles cited in this post: Corrosion – A Natural but Controllable Process By Gretchen A. Jacobson – Materials Performance Managing Editor