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Archive for the ‘Guests on The Infra Blog’ Category

Guest on The Infra Blog: Frank Vacca, Chief Program Manager, California High-Speed Rail Authority

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014
Frank Vacca, Chief Program Manager, CHSRA

As of Oct. 2012, Frank Vacca has been the Chief Program Manager for the California High-Speed Rail Authority. In his role, Vacca leads technical and engineering teams as they focus on delivering the high-speed rail project.

“I believe California will be the first high-speed-rail system in North America…We’ve overcome all the legal challenges before us…We have the first billion-dollar contract, and the designs are mature enough to start construction…So there’s nothing, no obstacles, in front of us right now.”

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Guest on The Infra Blog: Erik Steavens, Rail Division Director, Texas Department of Transportation

Tuesday, October 14th, 2014
Erik Steavens on The Infra Blog

Erik Steavens is a twenty-year transportation professional with a diverse background in multimodal transportation. For the past two years, he has managed his own firm, TIP Consultants, to assist public and private sector clients in navigating through the complex transportation funding and implementation environment. Previously, Steavens was the division director of intermodal programs for the Georgia Department of Transportation, where he managed the state’s rail, transit, aviation and port interests.

“Certainly we have been blessed with corridors in Texas that have the potential for the ridership and revenue growth that could sustain a high-speed rail operation…There are very few places in the country that could make those claims. So we are optimistic. We are hopeful that we can help facilitate a project that could be a true game changer for Texas.”

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Guest on The Infra Blog: Lynn Richards, President & CEO, Congress for the New Urbanism

Tuesday, September 30th, 2014
Lynn Richards, Center for the New Urbanism

Lynn Richards is President and CEO of the Congress for the New Urbanism. Previously, Richards had a long and distinguished career at the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), holding multiple leadership roles over 13 years including Acting Director and Policy Director in the Office of Sustainable Communities. She worked with dozens of state and local governments to implement placemaking approaches by developing policies, urban design strategies, and environmental solutions for vibrant, prosperous neighborhoods. Additionally, she produced groundbreaking research on water and land use strategies.

“The U.S. is anticipated to grow by another 100 million by 2050. So there will be a need for new transit infrastructure. There will be a need for new streets and roads. There will be a need for new schools…We can use our infrastructure investment as a way of revitalizing cities and to bringing people back into the cities and to create…thriving economies.”

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Guest on The Infra Blog: Dan Sullivan, Mayor of Anchorage

Monday, September 22nd, 2014
Dan Sullivan, Mayor of Anchorage

Mayor Sullivan was elected to the Anchorage Assembly in 1999 where he served three terms, including serving as Chairman during the 2006-2007 term. He was elected Mayor in 2009 and re-elected to his second and final term in 2012.

“Here we are, a country with pretty extreme debt, at these days $17 trillion and counting, so there’s going to be more and more pressure not to spend money rather than pressure to spend more money…I think our dependency on federal dollars coming in is going to decline, and so we just have to start taking care of our own needs.”

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Guest on The Infra Blog: Rudy Malfabon, Director, Nevada Department of Transportation

Tuesday, September 16th, 2014
Rudy Malfabon, Director, Nevada DOT

Rudy Malfabon has worked for the Nevada Department of Transportation for more than 25 years. As director, he is responsible for the daily operations of the department that has an annual operating budget of over $800 million and close to 1,750 employees.

“I think that transportation infrastructure is an investment in the economy and it grows the economy. It pays back dividends. Not just the jobs that are created during construction, but the jobs that are sustained by businesses that are improved in access by that transportation.”

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Guest on The Infra Blog: Bud Wright, Executive Director, American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO)

Thursday, September 11th, 2014
Bud Wright, Executive Director, AASHTO

Frederick G. “Bud” Wright is Executive Director of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), a non-profit, non-partisan association which advocates transportation-related policies and provides technical services to support states in their efforts to efficiently and safely move people and goods. He has almost four decades of experience in both the private sector and as a top executive at the Federal Highway Administration.

“I think the most important thing for us right now is to preserve the investment that we have already made…You build a home and you don’t just walk away from it for the next hundred years. You’re going to have to make investments to not only maintain it, but to upgrade it.”

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Guest on The Infra Blog: Jenny Hoffner, Senior Director and Co-Lead, Clean Water Supply Program, American Rivers

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014
Jenny Hoffner, American Rivers

Jenny Hoffner is Senior Director and Co-Lead of American Rivers’ Clean Water Supply program leading a national program to advance climate resilient, predictable, reliable clean water supply policies for communities and their rivers.

“Water is life. We take it for granted in our country but it’s absolutely essential that we pay attention to this most precious and finite of resources…And we have increased demands across the board on our finite water supplies.”

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Guest on The Infra Blog: Frank Moretti, Director of Policy and Research, TRIP

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014
Frank Moretti, Director of Policy and Research, TRIP

Frank Moretti is the director of policy and research for TRIP – a Washington, DC-based nonprofit organization that prepares reports on a variety of transportation issues, including traffic congestion, traffic safety, road and bridge conditions, transportation planning and air quality.

“The nation is increasingly reliant on its rural economy…and as that dynamic is changing we wanted to take a look at the nation’s transportation system and see if we have in place a rural transportation system that can support not only the rural economy, but the nation’s economy moving forward.”

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Guest on The Infra Blog: Paul Yarossi, Executive Vice President, HNTB

Wednesday, May 21st, 2014
Paul Yarossi, Executive Vice President, HNTB

Paul Yarossi is Executive Vice President of HNTB and President of HNTB Holdings, Ltd. As president of HNTB Holdings Ltd, Paul Yarossi serves on the company’s board of directors and is responsible for overseeing and directing the firm’s governance, capitalization strategy, compliance and audit functions, as well as its external and government relations. He also participates in a number of high-level roles on behalf of the industry, which gives him a broad perspective on current issues and trends. He previously served as chairman of the American Road and Transportation Builders Association, the U.S. transportation construction industry’s representative in Washington, D.C. ARTBA is bringing recommendations forward regarding the next federal highway funding bill. Yarossi has presented testimony to the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee on Highways and Transit, and the U.S. House Oversight Committee.

“…We continue to look at infrastructure rehabilitation and expansion as a cost rather than an investment…I think we need to change how we talk about infrastructure and start telling people less about what they won’t have and more about what they’ll get in return for their money.”

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