Two weeks ago, President Obama unveiled a $302 four-year transportation plan, which is expected to inject a much-needed $150 billion in one-time funding into projects aimed at tackling the nation’s deteriorating infrastructure and, consequently, sparking job opportunities. Although only a few observers believe that reform will make it through Congress in mid-term election year, which leaves the fate of President Obama’s transportation initiative in doubt, I would like to emphasize the need for modernizing the nation’s surface transportation infrastructure as a step in the right direction despite surrounding skepticism. Is the proposed plan destined to see the light of day? Now, that’s the tough question...
T&DI Chapter Involvement
This month’s newsletter brings great news from several T&DI chapters. In a recent conference call with the chairs of local chapters, various perspectives, ideas, suggestions, and goings-on were shared. I was truly impressed with the level of involvement demonstrated by several chairs in multiple endeavors undertaken to promote the vision and mission of the Institute and to increase each chapter’s engagement on the local and national levels.
- The chair of T&DI Cleveland Chapter, for instance, shared news about a recent partnership with a local ITE group in a joint webinar. Terry Donovan described the experience as successful and sounded enthusiastic to sponsor similar events including a seminar by the ASCE President-elect Bob Stevens.
- Dave Johnson, co-chair of T&DI Colorado Section, shared news about a joint transportation symposium which is expected to be held in April as a joint effort between ASCE T&DI, ITS, APEA Colorado, ITE, ACEC, and NWTS.
- Similarly, T&DI's Dallas Chapter and the Florida Section West Coast Branch T&DI Chapter have been holding series of successful technical seminars, hosting speakers from their respective DOTs, and bringing a wide range of innovative topics to the table.
- Activities of the Georgia and Wisconsin Chapters have also been coordinated through regular bi-monthly meetings and conference calls held to set up the goals and aspirations of 2014.
- T&DI's LouisianaSection Chapter has developed periodic continuing education seminars and established scholarships to Louisiana undergrads; the chapter is currently working with the Section on a few initiatives.
It’s obvious that a lot of exciting events are in the works! And I’m sure that the agendas of the other T&DI chapters who could not join our conference call are just as busy.
Many efforts have been made to provide our technical committees with the support they need. This month, the Board of Governs had the opportunity to hear from two outstanding technical committees and one chapter - Airfield Pavement Committee Activity by Mr. Tingle (Chair), Infrastructure Systems Committee by Dr. Zhang (Chair), and Florida Section West Coast Branch Chapter by Mr. Cely (Chair) - about the their latest accomplishments. I intend to bring you the latest of other committees and chapters in future newsletters.
Want to get involved?
Moving forward, I would like to keep up this trend of publicizing the significant activities of our local chapters and highlighting the chapters’ goings-on at future ASCE Board of Governors meetings. In the meantime, I wish all chairs of the local chapters good luck on their respective plans.
Find your Chapter or Chapters activities. If you are interested in establishing a chapter in your state or region, please contact Jon Esslinger for help.
Finally, as part of our initiative, I invite you all to continue to inspire and be inspired….