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Archive for the ‘Guests on The Infra Blog’ Category

Conversations with infrastructure experts and stakeholders from around the U.S.

Guest on The Infra Blog: Bill Peduto, Mayor of Pittsburgh

Wednesday, May 4th, 2016
Bill Peduto

William Peduto was elected to the office of Mayor of the City of Pittsburgh in the General Election on November 5, 2013. He has worked for 19 years on Pittsburgh City Council, as a staffer and Member of Council representing District 8, and resides in the Point Breeze neighborhood of the city.

“So there’s always been a partnership between the ability to create and innovate and the ability to build—that’s in our DNA. We went through a thirty-year recession/depression, and now we have re-emerged where we were before, which is with a new 21st-century model. When we look at our infrastructure, we have the opportunity to be innovative once again.”

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Guest on The Infra Blog: Henry Petroski, Historian & Author of The Road Taken: The History and Future of America’s Infrastructure

Wednesday, April 20th, 2016
Henry Petroski Professor of Civil Engineering in Pratt School of Engineering

Henry Petroski is an Aleksandar C. Vesic Professor of Civil Engineering at Duke University, as well as an author and historian. His most recent book is titled The Road Taken: The History and Future of America’s Infrastructure.

Roads that aren’t paved correctly should not be paid for. They should be redone. If we have something, work done in our house and it’s not done right, we expect the contractor to redo it. We don’t just write another check. I believe unfortunately that too many times the government that represents the people and spends the people’s tax money does do just that.

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Guest on The Infra Blog: Keith Roe, Incoming President, American Society of Mechanical Engineers

Tuesday, March 29th, 2016
Keith Roe, ASME

K. Keith Roe, PE, has been selected as the president-nominee of The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) for the 2016-2017 term of office. Roe, a fellow of ASME, has been an active member of the Society for more than 40 years.

I think one of the biggest challenges in this area is getting people to understand what the issues are…It’s an important thing and it really is so important to our economy. We need to do a better job, all of us, at getting the message across. People need to understand that those roads, those bridges, the highways, the electrical infrastructure, the oil and gas infrastructure, our ports and harbors, these are all vital to our world commerce.

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Guest on The Infra Blog: Dennis Slater, President and Secretary, Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM)

Thursday, March 10th, 2016
Dennis Slater, President and Secretary, AEM

Dennis Slater is President and Secretary of the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM). He oversees operation of all Association programs, which focus on core service areas of market information and equipment statistics, public policy representation, product safety and technical support, and trade shows.

“…Equipment manufacturers build the machines that make America. They build the machines that harvest crops and feed America and feed the world. Originally this was something that we just explained to our members, and we decided it’s not good enough. You have to also ask your members, you have to explain to their employees so they get involved in this and understand that their jobs depend on policies that support their jobs…This year, especially, we’ve gone out there now to the candidates that are running to say “what’s your manufacturing platform? What are your solutions for infrastructure?”’

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Guest on The Infra Blog: Michael Melaniphy, President & CEO, American Public Transportation Association (APTA)

Wednesday, February 24th, 2016
Michael Melaniphy on The Infra Blog

Michael P. Melaniphy is president and chief executive officer of the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) and president of the American Public Transportation Foundation. Melaniphy’s entire career has been in public transportation, with more than 30 years of both public and private sector leadership experience.

“As a kid growing up you had a binary choice: you were either a bus kid or you were a car kid. You were one of the two. And you look at today’s environment and it’s a multi-modal environment. We have evolved as a society to understand that now it’s about mobility choices…So as we look at what are the best utilizations of our scarce resources in a community, people are looking at the full assortment of choices, and as we look at the unbelievable growth that’s going to come in the population set of this nation we’ve found that paving our way to a solution is not the best choice.”

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Guest on The Infra Blog: Richard Harnish, Executive Director, Midwest High Speed Rail Association

Monday, February 1st, 2016
Richard Harnish on The Infra Blog

Richard Harnish is the Executive Director of the Midwest High Speed Rail Association (MHSRA), a member-supported non-profit organization advocating for fast, frequent and dependable trains linking the entire Midwest.

Here in Illinois we’ve been seeing a lot more interest in doing true high speed rail and we think we’re close to an important next step there. And I was out in Sacramento two months ago and touched the first car shell for that line. That’s something that most people don’t know: those trains really are under construction, and the stations are under construction. So we’re very close to a major tipping point.

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Guest on The Infra Blog: Jeff Morales, CEO, California High-Speed Rail Authority

Tuesday, January 26th, 2016
Jeff Morales, CEO, California High-Speed Rail Authority

Jeff Morales is the Chief Executive Officer of the California High-Speed Rail Authority and has a distinguished record of experience managing large and complex transportation issues and projects. As the former Director of the California Department of Transportation, Morales managed a $10 billion program and more than 23,000 employees working to build, maintain and operate the largest state transportation system in the U.S.

“California, with the leadership of Governor Brown and the legislature—we’ve taken the position that we’re going to advance this program with or without additional federal support, and we’ve committed to doing that and are doing that, and we’ve got major construction underway in the Central Valley on the first segment.”

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Guest on The Infra Blog: Rod Diridon, Sr., Emeritus Executive Director, Mineta Transportation Institute

Tuesday, December 29th, 2015
Rod Diridon on The Infra Blog

Rod Diridon, Sr., served as executive director of the Mineta Transportation Institute from 1995, four years after the Institute’s creation, until 2014 when he moved to Emeritus status. Mr. Diridon has chaired more than 100 international, national, state and local programs, most related to transit and the environment.

“The minimum gas prices around the world are more than double, sometimes triple, the United States…Now the public in America wants a gas tax increase: the polls show it. The polls show that if the gas tax increase will be used for transportation and infrastructure improvements, then the public supports it sometimes as high as 80%…But the U.S. can’t do it because Congress doesn’t have the courage.”

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Our Future with the FAST Act: Ed Rendell, Former PA Governor & Building America’s Future (BAF) Co-Founder

Monday, December 14th, 2015
Our Future with the FAST Act: Ed Rendell

“I do believe with a new Congress and a new administration, whatever the configuration of that is…I think we have a chance to get a blue-ribbon, six-month commission to propose ways to make significant investments in the American infrastructure. And I think that would lead to doing something like all of the G20 countries have done, and that’s a long-term infrastructure revitalization program…I think with Presidential and Congressional leadership looking at one of the most significant long-range problems facing this country, I think we have a chance to start anew. If we had such a commission I would love to be part of it or chair it, and I would do it as a labor of love.”

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Our Future with the FAST Act: James Corless, Director, Transportation for America

Wednesday, December 9th, 2015
Our Future with the FAST Act

“…I think unfortunately we’ve come to a point in the U.S. and in Congress that infrastructure writ large is still somewhat a bipartisan issue—and I think this sort of cemented that for at least the next 5 years—but the type of infrastructure is not. So we’d like to see a more performance driven system where you invest in the projects that give you the biggest bang for the buck, and unfortunately I think we’re still going to be stuck in these kinds of 20th century silos for the next 5 years.”

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