Industry and business news 10/12/18

Oct. 12, 2018

Illinois Tollway awards more than $26 million in contracts for construction and professional engineering services

Sept. 27, 2018—The Illinois Tollway Board of Directors today approved two construction contracts and three professional engineering service contracts totaling $26.3 million at its September meeting. Nearly $517 million in construction contracts have been approved by the Tollway Board in 2018, as part of the seventh year of the Tollway’s 15-year, $14 billion capital program, Move Illinois: The Illinois Tollway Driving the Future. In addition, Tollway Board approval of the September contracts also includes a Partnering for Growth agreement, which brings the total to 149 partnerships that have been supported by Tollway contracts. The Partnering for Growth Program encourages contractors and professional services firms to assist disadvantaged, minority- and women-owned business enterprise firms and small and veteran-owned businesses in remaining self-sufficient, competitive and profitable by serving as mentors providing meaningful instruction to the small and diverse firms.

Copeland to lead National Asphalt Pavement Association

Sept. 27, 2018—Audrey Copeland, Ph.D., P.E., has been named the next president & CEO of the National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA). She will assume the new role at the NAPA 2019 Annual Meeting in January. Copeland succeeds Mike Acott, who has served as NAPA’s president since 1992. Copeland joined NAPA in 2012 as vice president for engineering, research and technology. In that role, she has grown NAPA’s engineering team and forged strong relationships with the State Asphalt Pavement Associations, Asphalt Pavement Alliance, National Center for Asphalt Technology at Auburn University, the Asphalt Institute, Federal Highway Administration, and other industry professionals and partners. She also served as technical lead for more than $2 million in industry-funded research projects, and secured a cooperative agreement with the Federal Highway Administration that has invested more than $2 million in government funding to advance asphalt technologies.

Utah DOT’s Carlos Braceras elected AASHTO president, Missouri DOT’s Patrick McKenna VP

Sept. 24, 2018—Recently, the board of directors of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) elected Carlos Braceras, P.E., executive director of the Utah Department of Transportation, to serve as its new president and Missouri DOT Director Patrick McKenna as its vice president. Prior to the election, Braceras served as AASHTO’s vice president and secretary-treasurer. As president he will focus on three emphasis areas: workforce development, funding and policy reform, all while “communicating transportation’s vital role” in American life. In terms of workforce development, Braceras said the current robust economy and low unemployment rate are making it difficult for state agencies to compete with the private sector for engineers, technicians, and information technology professionals.

AASHTO directors choose Jim Tymon for executive director

Sept. 24, 2018—Following an intensive, multi-month search, James J. Tymon was selected to become the sixth executive director of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) during the association’s annual board of directors meeting. Tymon, who is AASHTO’s chief operating officer and director of policy and management, joined the association in 2013. He will assume his new role when the current executive director, Frederick “Bud” Wright, retires Dec. 31. As AASHTO’s chief operating officer and director of policy and management, Tymon is responsible for the management of the association’s internal operations, budget and administration. He also works closely with the AASHTO Board of Directors in the development of policy positions.

Illinois wins national transportation award

Sept. 24, 2018—The Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) recently announced the I-55-Lake Shore Drive interchange has earned the Grand Prize in the 2018 America’s Transportation Awards, the top honor for state departments of transportation. The award, which includes a $10,000 cash prize for a local nonprofit organization, was presented to IDOT at the American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials annual meeting in Atlanta. The I-55-Lake Shore Drive interchange took the top prize for its use of a temporary bridge to accommodate inbound I-55 traffic to southbound Lake Shore Drive, saving the public countless hours of delays by avoiding extended closures and detours during the reconstruction.