So far, Old Man Winter has been fairly tame for the North Texas Area and has only flirted with us by dropping only small amounts of the white stuff across the further reaches of North and West Texas. That’s not to say that he won’t change his mind and repeat his performance of several years ago; a time when North Texas was virtually shut down for nearly a week. So, with that said, we work while we may, which is something that North Texas members do quite well.
North Texas members kicked off 2012 with the DFW Area Monthly luncheon and true to form, Old Man Winter dropped about three inches of snow that prevented AGC President Roger Albert from attending. Area Chair Eric Johnson hosted the meeting with Past President Art Daniel and Dallas District Director of Construction Tracey Friggle providing words of enlightenment for the group.
The Statewide Joint TxDOT/AGC Safety Task Force met January 27 in Austin and continued planning for their next regional safety seminar scheduled to be held in El Paso. The group is also working on educational curriculum to be added to the State’s Defensive Driving and Driver Education courses related to work zone safety. Once, completed, the information is estimated to reach over 1 million people each year. The Safety Task Force also represented AGC by helping sponsor the Damage Prevention Summit, held in San Marcos February 6-7, 2012. AGC had a panel of members participating in an educational session on the new Railroad Commission rules for excavating near pipelines.
Fort Worth Area Chair Eric Johnson hosted the always well-attended DFW February luncheon at the Austin Ranch in Grapevine on February 14, 2012 with over 110 people in attendance. Bob Lanham, Chair of the Highway Funding Task Force, discussed the Chapter’s funding campaign slated to help the industry shape its future National and State Transportation funding programs. North Texas members also met with Maribel Chavez, District Engineer for the Fort Worth District and Bill Hale, District Engineer of the Dallas District. Fort Worth Area Highway Vice Chair Jason McLear hosted the Fort Worth District quarterly meeting February 2, 2012 and Dallas Area Highway Vice Mike Bostic (TxDOT Ft. Worth) and Associate Vice Chair Bob Reeves present $13,979.46 to Cook Children's Hospital 26 The Official Magazine of The Associated General Contractors of Texas Chair Rick Shaffer hosted the Dallas quarterly meeting February 28, 2012. Funding and letting schedules continue to be of prime interest to members, as well as utilization of consultants for inspections, safety, alternative project delivery methods and projects, partnering, and the new organizational structure of TxDOT.
North Texas Area members traveled south to San Antonio for the Texas Transportation Forum on February 15-17, 2012. The event was well attended by industry professionals and elected officials, both state and local, from across the state. The event provided the industry with an opportunity to open the dialogue of critical needs beyond the current biennium, and the change in location was refreshing.
The State of Texas and its citizens were blessed during the 2011 legislative session when the remaining Proposition 12 bonds were authorized. Those funds will keep many of our friends and neighbors employed over the next couple of years, and citizens will see a host of projects completed that will help decrease congestion and eliminate many safety concerns and issues. However, this funding only will take us through 2013. We must start working now to insure funding in the years to come.
Discussions have already started about what we need to do beyond the next biennium, and as we progress through 2012, we will be seeking assistance from every one of our members around the state. We need everyone to participate in local meetings, and especially in PAC events. We need your input and your contributions, both physically and fiscally, to provide the necessary resources to get our message to the elected officials and to the public at large. It is crucial that everyone participates and critical that we do it together.