Virtual elements underpin 2020 Concrete Pipe Week

Sources: American Concrete Pipe Association, Irving, Texas; CP staff

Accepting the limitations of customary Concrete Pipe Week in-person activities—plant tours, employee appreciation events, plus engagement with federal, state or local officials—the American Concrete Pipe Association has scheduled online presentations for the August 16-22 observance. The group will convey the value proposition of rigid, robust drainage infrastructure through these Monday-Friday presentations and webinars, live or on-demand:

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Road Builders’ Highway Dashboard: Investment transparency in overdrive

Sources: American Road and Transportation Builders Association, Washington, D.C.; CP staff

The “ARTBA Highway Dashboard: A 50-State Guide to the Benefits of Federal Investment” is a first of its kind, interactive tool providing the public and elected officials a clear look at how and where each state invests transportation project-designated tax dollars.

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Lawmakers start review of INVEST highway funding plan

Sources: Office of Representative Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.); CP staff

U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman Pete DeFazio has scheduled a June 17 markup of “Investing in a New Vision for the Environment and Surface Transportation in America” (INVEST) Act, which authorizes $319 billion in highway outlays and $500 billion overall for fiscal years 2021-2025. A successor to the federal highway funding program expiring September 30, it enables completion of critical projects through long-term, sustainable funding, and contains strong Buy America provisions and labor protections.

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FHWA sunsets rule restricting proprietary product procurement

Sources: Federal Highway Administration; CP staff

Effective October 28, Federal Highway Administration is lifting U.S. Department of Transportation regulations greatly limiting state contracting agencies from using federal dollars to acquire patented or proprietary materials, products or services for road and bridge work. 

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McInnis doubles Northeast terminals’ throughput, scouts new sites

Sources: McInnis Cement, Montreal; CP staff

A $500 million private capital refinancing positions McInnis Cement to continue ramping up terminal and rail distribution infrastructure throughout the Northeast. Outlays for 2019-20 adhere a market development plan attending the producer’s 2017 dedication of a 2 million-plus ton/year greenfield plant on the eastern reaches of Quebec. 

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Report measures federal agencies’ stepped up role in water infrastructure

Source: Bluefield Research, Boston

Federal government participation in rehabilitating U.S. water utility infrastructure is taking on even greater importance than in the past as municipalities are challenged to keep pace with the aging of 70,000-plus water & wastewater treatment systems and 3 million miles of underground pipe networks. With overall public spending on water utilities declining year-over-year in five of the last 10 years, core federal programs are proving to be more critical in addressing investment needs in urban and rural treatment systems and networks, according to water market-wise Bluefield Research. 

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Investor positions StormTrap for increased shipments, broader reach

Sources: Warren Equity Partners, Houston; CP staff

A lower middle market private equity fund with infrastructure and maintenance business investments has taken a controlling interest in StormTrap LLC, a Romeoville, Ill., precast producer and licensor of stormwater harvesting, storage and treatment technology. Warren Equity acquired the stake from the Hawken family, which founded StormTrap in 2002. The Hawkens invested alongside the fund and will remain on the board of directors.

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Road Builders project modest transportation market gains in new year

Source: American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA), Washington, D.C. 

ARTBA Chief Economist Dr. Alison Premo Black projects a 4.2 percent year-over-year increase for the 2019 transportation infrastructure market, reflecting higher federal, state and local government investment across all modes. Total U.S. transportation construction and related-market activity is projected to eclipse $278 billion in 2019, up from this year’s trending tally of nearly $267 billion.

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Road Builders chief frames user fee case in wake of California gas tax vote

Sources: American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA), Washington, D.C.; CP staff

Negative election day response to a proposed roll back of a 2017 California Senate measure increasing state gasoline taxes by 12 cents/gallon elicited a strong defense of user fee-based funding models from ARTBA Acting President & CEO William Toohey, Jr.: “By soundly rejecting Proposition 6 and re-electing 95 percent of the state legislators who voted in 2017 to increase the state gas tax to fund needed transportation improvements, California voters showed the public continues to support a user funded approach to infrastructure investment. That’s a message the Trump administration and new Congress should heed as they consider a bipartisan infrastructure package and permanent revenue solution for Highway Trust Fund programs next year.”

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