E-news for the Construction Division July/August 2009

2009 PEC Hightower Fellowship Winner Announced

The 2009 recipient of the George B. Hightower, P.E. Memorial Fellowship is Thaddaeus Bode. Bode is studying to receive his master's in engineering construction at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He received his Bachelor of Science from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, graduating with a 3.4 GPA. In 2009, Bode was also accepted to the Construction Research Congress and the International Conference on Construction and Management/Project Management and gained LEED AP status.

To find out more about the NSPE/PEC George B. Hightower, P.E., Memorial Fellowship, visit the PEC Web page

Texas Concrete Industry Moves Toward Sustainability

Although the concrete industry has largely favored the use of wet process cement, more and more industry leaders are getting behind the more environmentally friendly dry-process cement. The Texas House of Representatives has echoed the trend and passed legislation that severely limits the use of wet-process cement as an effort to encourage the rest of the industry into more sustainable practices. 

Wet-process cement is formed and mixed with water at a plant and then transferred to the job site. Although this generally produces smoothers, stronger cement, critics have claimed that mixing the cement at a plant produces heavy air pollution. Dry-process cement is transported to the job site and then water is added to the cement sprayer as the cement is applied, alleviating some of the pollutants created.

The American Concrete Institute believes the concrete industry has reacted positively to the changes and have begun implementing improvements that will lead to sustainable development. ACI is increasing their efforts to provide in industry and its members with the most up to date information on how to use concrete in an environmentally friendly manner, while not faltering in durability or innovation. 

 For the complete article, read the July 2009 issue of PE magazine.
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More Than $201 Million Allotted To Repair Damaged Roads and Bridges

The federal government is making more than $201 million available to states across the nation to cover costs incurred to repair roads and bridges damaged by a variety of natural emergencies and catastrophic events, U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood announced July 6, 2009. 

“Restoring transportation routes is vital for communities recovering from disaster,” Secretary LaHood said. “It is the first step to getting peoples’ daily lives back on track.”

Under the Federal Highway Administration's emergency relief program, a total of $201,490,146 will go to 15 states, American Samoa, the Virgin Islands, and federal lands agencies to pay for damages caused by storms, flooding, hurricanes, and other disasters and events.  

Kentucky and Washington will receive $27 million and $24 million respectively for winter storms in January 2009. Louisiana will receive $16 million to pay for Hurricane Gustav damage.  

The funds will reimburse states to fix or replace highways, bridges and other roadway structures such as traffic signals and signs, guardrails and lighting.  Also eligible are costs associated with detours, debris removal and other immediate measures necessary to restore traffic flow in impacted areas.

The 2009 Continuing Appropriations Act and the 2006 Department of Defense Appropriations Act both provide additional funding for the FHWA program which Congress annually authorizes at $100 million.  The program reimburses states for the repair or reconstruction of federal-aid highways that were damaged in disasters and catastrophic failures.
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Congress Urged to Invest in Infrastructure

Construction employment declined in all but 19 communities nationwide this June as compared to June 2008, according to a new analysis released today by the Associated General Contractors of America. The report shows that few places in America have been spared the widespread downturn in construction employment over the past year.

"Construction workers remain, unfortunately, on the leading edge of job losses during this recession," says Ken Simonson, chief economist for the contractors association. "While other sectors of the economy have been hit hard,construction employment has been devastated."

"This recession won't be over for most communities until we find a way to get construction workers across the country back on the job," said Stephen E. Sandherr, the association's chief executive officer. "That's why we need to act now to ensure the stimulus' sequel isn't idle cranes and empty work boots."

Sandherr urged Congress to pass a transportation bill that the association estimates would create or save over 616,000 jobs over six years. He added that Washington also needed to act on long-delayed legislation to finance vital water, aviation, and maritime infrastructure projects. [ return to top ]

Southeast DOTs See Increase in Number of Bids

Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina have experienced a significant increase in the number of bids being placed on Department of Transportation projects, according to the Southeast Construction Web site. Contractors have been abandoning their specializations to chase down projects in other sectors. Also, contractors who previously did not bid on DOT projects have begun to do so. 

In Georgia, certain projects are receiving over 35 bids when in the past they may have only had interest from six or seven bidders. One result of an increased number of bidders is that bid estimates are coming in significantly below state DOT estimates. Bids in Georgia are averaging 13% less than state engineers predicted.

Florida received $1.35 billion in transportation stimulus funding and has begun it's bidding process. The Florida Department of Transportation obtained three projects for a bargain price of $46.5 million. These projects had been collectively estimated to be worth over $90.3 million. In the 2008-09 fiscal year, bid prices came in 21% below state estimates. 

To read the full article, go to the Southeast Construction Web site. [ return to top ]

2009-10 PEC Executive Board

David Hunley, P.E.

Immediate Past Chairman
James D. Goedert, Ph.D., P.E.

Chairman Elect
Paul J Bakken, P.E., FNSPE

Thomas L. Paxson, P.E., FNSPE

Northeast Region
Donn R. Zang, P.E., FNSPE

North Central Region
Paul E. Harmon, P.E.

Southeast Region
James B. Harper, P.E.

Southwest Region

Central Region
Glen R Schwalbach, P.E., FNSPE

Western & Pacific Region
David Ray Shields, Ph.D., P.E.

PEC Staff Liaison:
Erin Reyes

PEC Homepage 

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PEC would like to thank all of our 2009 PEC Sustaining Firms for supporting our programs and services.  Visit the PEC Web site for a full listing of PEC Sustaining Firms and/or to download a registration form.

Richard W Rauseo PE Consulting Engineers

George Harms Construction Co

Glynn Geotechnical Engineering

BEC Engineering Inc

Zetlin & DeChiara LLP

Owen Ames Kimball Company

Paric Corporation

Bates Engineers Contractors

Paul J Gallo Contracting Inc

Judy Construction Company

James D Moore Jr PE

Frederick Derr & Company Inc

Stephen A Estrin & Co Inc

EVCO Construction Co Inc

Snyder Electric Co Inc

Harper Industries, Inc

Suberroc Systems SUBSYST

Vratsinas Construction Company

Abriola Co

Metromont Prestress Co

Tamrio Inc

Riverso Assoc Inc

Code Consultants Inc

S Seltzer Construction Corp

Lundy Construction Co Inc

CRD & Associates Inc

J Fletcher Creamer & Son Inc

Statewide Aquastore New England Tank Inc


Capital Project Management Inc

Fred Weber Inc

Project Development Services Inc

Frank Gurney Inc

John N Puder Inc

Brown Construction Services

Calvi Electric Company

Drury South Inc

ABC Paving Co Inc

Veitia Padron Inc

Facchina Construction

Mayberry Electric Inc

The Rubicon Group

LidCo Electrical Contractors Inc

Construction Management Services

Lecon Inc

Construction Industry Advancement Program of NJ (CIAP)


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