Alabama Construction News

OCT-DEC 2017

Alabama Construction News is the states only bimonthly magazine dedicated to the commercial construction industry.

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Page 56 of 67

55 OCT-DEC 2017 AL CONSTRUCTION NEWS ABC OF ALABAMA is the voice for the construction industry when it comes to advocacy, initiatives and legislative priorities that affect you and your business. Here's the latest update on what the association is doing for you. V O L U M E 1 I S S U E 6 JOUR NAL ABC of Alabama Hosts Legislative Summit ON OCTOBER 24, ABC OF ALABAMA'S EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE REINSTATED THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY'S LEGISLATIVE SUMMIT, WHICH WAS HOSTED YEARLY IN THE PAST. This was a certainly a good call based on the participation and attendance. More than 12 organizations attended, and some highlighted speakers included State of Alabama Assistant Finance Director Katherine Lynn, whose office oversees all real property management in the state, Senator Cam Ward, Director of the Division of Construction Management for the State of Alabama's Department of Finance Frank Barnes, and Congressman Bradley Byrne. As anticipated based on the importance to our industry, prison construction, I-10 and the Mobile Bridge, and the gas tax were three big highlights of the day. The proposed I-10 Mobile River Bridge and Bayway project, which aims to increase the capacity of I-10 by constructing a new bridge to meet existing and predicted future traffic volumes, includes construction of an eight-lane facility, with a four-lane eastbound bridge and four-lane westbound bridge. The Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) expects federal approval to be complete by the end of the year, allowing the project to move forward. At that point, the state has to decide how it will pay for it. ALDOT, which would like to have a toll road to make money back for cost of construction, hopes to have as many local companies involved on the project as possible. Ward provided a prison construction update, sharing with attendees that the state will issue three RFPs within a few months and contract with a private company to build three mega prisons and they will lease the prisons back to the state. Plans are for it to be three to four years before the first super prison comes online. With this, 15 current prisons will close, which provides a cost savings and will help finance the three new prisons. After these reports, ABC of Alabama presented its construction impact study, which highlighted the construction industry's $12 billion impact on the state. "In 2012, under the leadership of Geoff Golden, our association changed the perception of construction forever with our economic impact study," said ABC of Alabama's 2017 Chairman of the Board David Pugh. "This year we decided to update that study, and as expected, our industry continues to be a key producer for Alabama. This study is the one tool in our toolbox that undisputedly shows how much what we do every day matters." Drew Harrell and Jim Page gave a report for the Alliance for Alabama Infrastructure (AAI). AAI's goal is to raise awareness around infrastructure issues, and they are hoping to establish transportation investment as a priority issue for the state legislature and Governor Kay Ivey. The AAI held a gas tax discussion with the group, noting that Alabama' .18 tax is the second lowest in the country. Page also noted that Alabama roads score a D and that more than 600 bridges throughout the state are insufficient. Executive Director of the Alabama Construction Recruitment Institute Jason Phelps reported on the latest information from Go Build Alabama. He shared that they are working to inspire young people, enhance the industry and to do so have put together a comprehensive marketing campaign. Prior to ACRI's work, career tech enrollment declined by 6 percent. Since ACRI began its work to enhance the image of the industry, career tech enrollments are up. State of Alabama Assistant Finance Director Katherine Lynn spoke to attendees on the craft training grant legislation. The board of this

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