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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: Brigham McCown, Chairman and Founder, Alliance for Innovation and Infrastructure (Aii)

Thursday, August 10th, 2017
Brigham McCown on The Infra Blog

In the past you had to be physically here to damage something, but in today’s connected world there are people who want to do us harm, and that harm in the 21st century doesn’t necessarily come via an army or a ship or a tank, it comes through electronic warfare, through cyber warfare. Europe has been experiencing that with ongoing conflicts in Ukraine and elsewhere called asymmetric or hybrid warfare, and it’s something that we ought to be talking about in the same sentence that we mention “Smart Grid” or any other type of smart technology.

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Guest on The Infra Blog: Adam Krantz, CEO, National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA)

Thursday, June 29th, 2017
Adam Krantz on The Infra Blog

“We just held a rally here in DC with all of the organizations within the water sector to get that point to legislators, to bring it to senators and members of the House…They heard that message, it resonated, it resounded, but until it really does start to come from the people, and it becomes a citizen-based question and a ratepayer-based issue, we’re not going to see that traction develop…The question becomes: how many Sandys, Katrinas, Flints, Toledos does it take for the federal government to ultimately realize this isn’t a local issue and it’s not a one-off issue? Preserving these water and wastewater systems is a vital, national need.”

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Guest on The Infra Blog: Congresswoman Dina Titus (D-NV 1st District)

Wednesday, June 21st, 2017
Congresswoman Dina Titus on The Infra Blog

“These public-private partnerships that they tout really don’t work. We tried that in downtown Las Vegas to do the new Project Neon, and just couldn’t generate enough revenue from the private sector, so we know that is not the “silver bullet.” I’m opposed to privatizing government services, because then the priority shifts from service to profit, and that never works. If you talk about something like air traffic control, that’s especially egregious because we have the safest system there is; we’re going to now undermine that.”

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Guest on The Infra Blog: Michael McArdle, Chief Development Officer, VHB

Thursday, June 1st, 2017
Mike McArdle, VHB Corporation, on The Infra Blog

“I commend the Administration for talking about a trillion dollars, but right now they’re only talking about putting $200 billion of public money up and the rest coming from other sources in the private sector. And while there’ve been some successes of that in this country as well as overseas, I don’t think we can afford to wait for a financing program to fully mature before we make significant infrastructure investments. It has to be done now; the federal government has to recognize that they need to spend this money. They can’t continue to hold the dollars hostage going forward.”

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Guest on The Infra Blog: Anthony B. Bouchard, PE, North America Unit President, CDM Smith

Monday, May 22nd, 2017

“We’re seeing, over the course of my career, the last 30-plus years, a significant improvement in the public’s understanding of the state of our infrastructure. Does it accelerate that understanding when we have some significant, real and perceived, failures of systems? I think it does. It’s unfortunate that that has to occur to help educate, but when that does happen we’re offered a unique opportunity to expand on the work that’s done…My opinion is continued education and communication on the importance and value of infrastructure is critically important, and we can do that by engaging more people in the infrastructure discussion.”

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Guest on The Infra Blog: Edward R. Hamberger, President and CEO, American Association of Railroads (AAR)

Thursday, May 11th, 2017
Edward Hamberger on The Infra Blog

“There is an incredible need to educate. One of the big frustrations in our freight rail industry is that people do not appreciate the importance of freight and don’t realize that we are—along with the trucking industry and along with the barge and towing industry—critical to the nation’s economy. People just seem to think about freight railroads when they’re sitting, watching it go by, and being frustrated that the gate is down at a grade crossing. It is, from a public policy standpoint, critical that Congress and the Administration will recognize the importance of freight.”

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Guest on The Infra Blog: Patrick J. Foye, Executive Director, The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey

Wednesday, May 3rd, 2017
Patrick J. Foye on The Infra Blog

“Interesting fact: two thirds of the people that used to travel between Washington and New York used to travel by the shuttle, by air, and a third by rail; and now the numbers are reversed: it’s two thirds by Amtrak or other regional rail and a third by air, and I think that speaks to the resurgence in rail. And I think also increasing numbers of travelers are interested in being responsible commuters, whether it’s a trip across the Hudson or a trip to Washington, and I think that influences their choice of commute and travel as well.”

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Guest on The Infra Blog: Eileen O’Neill, Executive Director, Water Environment Federation (WEF)

Thursday, April 20th, 2017
Eileen O

“In some communities, there is an affordability challenge. What we see, particularly on the clean-water side, is that in the 1970s when our systems were being built up, there was a federal investment; there were construction grants, there was enormous growth, but there has been a decline in that investment at the federal level. I believe the figure used to be at 63% federal invested; that’s gone down to 9% these days. So it’s the local communities that are actually paying the cost of these systems, and they need to understand the value and the importance of the systems to the quality of life, and to the economic vitality of their communities.”

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Guest on The Infra Blog: Erica Brennes, Video Marketing Manager, moovel US, and Co-Creator of Transit Trends

Tuesday, March 21st, 2017
Erica Brennes on The Infra Blog

“I think we keep the show so that it could be interesting for my mom to watch, but also can still be interesting for someone who is in the industry to watch, because we know—and I know, as a former traffic anchor—people love to talk about transportation. They love to talk about traffic. If you check out some of the comments, it’s a place for people go to talk about these various topics and for us to engage in either our users or our clients or industry experts or…students. So it’s a platform for people to engage in this conversation and learn about what’s trending in transportation.”

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Guest on The Infra Blog: Norma Jean Mattei, 2017 President, American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)

Thursday, March 16th, 2017
Norma Jean Mattei on The Infra Blog

“I think one of the problems is we have gotten into the habit of just waiting until things break, and when you have many sectors at a “D,” it just takes one major event to shut something down and have something fail. And then we throw a lot of money at it. But that’s not a wise way of handling things, because when you’re dealing with a disaster, you’re throwing four times the money at what is now broken, instead of maintaining something in a condition that’s at least average condition.”

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