Although Fall brought some welcome relief from the Summer’s heat, it did not slow North Texas members from a steady pace of work and a little bit of fun. November is one of those months that folks can look forward to throughout the whole year. For many of our members, November signals the beginning of the long awaited hunt for the big one—deer season. But more than that, it is also the beginning of the holiday season of hope and thanksgiving. Hope for the “big one” yes, and hope for that big football win too; but more than that, hope for the future and possibly better times ahead. Yes, we have much to hope for, and much to be thankful for. And of course, December is that special time of year when hope is combined with peace and joy and good will toward everyone. So, may this holiday season bring hope and joy to you and yours and may the Spirit of the season be yours throughout the New Year.
This is the beginning of the holiday season and there is no better way to give thanks than to say thanks to those who provide the leadership for our organization day in and day out and to those who work tirelessly to make this industry strong and profitable for all who call themselves a transportation professional. In the North Texas Area, I would like to specifically recognize and thank each of the Area Chairs for their dedicated service to the industry and to AGC. Many thanks go to Dallas Area Chair John Young, Fort Worth Area Chair Eric Johnson, Wichita Falls Area Chair Jerry Lee, Amarillo/Childress Area Chair Eric Walterscheid, and Lubbock Area Chair Josh Goyne.
The DFW area monthly luncheon was held on November 8 at the Austin Ranch. Eric Johnson introduced Doug Wiersig, PhD., Director of Transportation and Public Works for the City of Fort Worth. Doug provided a very informative presentation regarding transportation projects in the City and outlined his priorities for funding the City’s infrastructure over the next several years. The City has quite a bit of work scheduled and Doug looks forward NORTH TEXAS AREA Covering Amarillo, Childress, Lubbock, Wichita Falls, Fort Worth and Dallas. By Paul Causey FIELD REPORTS to working with our members to provide the best products and services available.
North Texas members also sharpened up their sites for the hunting season with the DFW Sporting Clay Classic on November 16. The event was held at the Elm Fork Shooting Range and over 80 people participated. A good time was had by all, and no one was accidentally shot.
Dallas area members met with District Engineer Bill Hale on November 15. Bill discussed the status of the Horse Shoe Project and provided an update on the 28-mile I-35 East project that runs from LBJ 635 to Denton. The $3.4-4.4 Billion project is slated to get underway in the near future and promises to relieve much of the congestion along that route.
The AGC/TxDOT Safety Task Force hit the ground running in November with another Regional Safety Seminar held in San Antonio on November 9. The seminar was held at Military City at the Texas A&M Educational facility. Co-Chairs Jeanie Backor and TxDOT's Michele Regis presided over the seminar. San Antonio District Engineer Mario Medina welcomed participants to the seminar, which covered such topics as excavation safety, hazards in the work zone, distracted driving, underground pipeline damage prevention, and work zone safety. The seminar was free for members and public entities and nearly 200 people attended the event. The Task Force followed up this seminar with a regular committee meeting on November 18 in Austin at the AGC Headquarters on Barton Springs.
Members in the Metroplex also met with Mike Bostic, Fort Worth Director of Construction, on November 16. Various district projects were discussed including parts of the Chisholm Trail project and I-35 West. Area Chair Eric Johnson hosted the meeting with nearly 45 people in attendance.
December was a busy month for North Texas members. The DFW Area monthly luncheon was held on December 6 with Fort Worth Area Chair Eric Johnson as the host. John Obr, TxDOT’s new Director of Construction was the guest of honor at the luncheon held at the Austin Ranch in Grapevine. John provided an informative talk related to important issues facing the state during the next legislative session. He also discussed potential methods of funding future highway construction across the state. His discussion was very timely and informative.
Lubbock District Engineer Doug Eichorst held his quarterly meeting on December 7. Josh Goyne, Area Chair hosted the meeting. Doug provided an update on his letting schedule including information related to the Ports to Plains projects. A check for over $2,000 was presented to The Children’s Miracle Network of Lubbock from the proceeds from the joint AGC/ TxDOT Lubbock Charity Tournament.
North Texas members also met with District Engineer Larry Tegtmeyer on December 12. Area Chair Jerry Lee was the host. Larry discussed letting schedules and potential projects for the district.
Congratulations go to Marty Smith, chosen to be the next District Engineer for the Childress District. Marty had been in the district for many years as the Director of Transportation, Planning, and Development. Members met with both Marty Smith and Amarillo District D.E. Howard Holland in a joint meeting on December 15. During the meeting Cal Farley’s was presented with a check for over $5000 from the proceeds of the area’s annual charity tournament.
As we begin to look ahead into 2012, we can be certain that our work will be cut out for us. Funding provided by the authorization of the remaining Prop 12 bonds will only get us through this biennium. Where will funding come from beyond 2014? Our work starts now to insure funding in the years to come.
Discussions have already started about what we need to do beyond the next biennium, and we need everyone to participate in local meetings and 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. It is crucial that everyone participates and critical that we do it together.
Time and time again, we prove that by working together, we can affect change. We can turn our economy around. We can make our work environments safer places to work, and yes, we can make a difference. But we need your help. Your participation is crucial to helping resolve the issues of the industry and only you can make that commitment.