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Road Fund Stabilization Plan Receives Final Passage

March 25th in FRANKFORT—A bill designed to potentially save the state hundreds of millions of dollars in road funds received final passage in the state House tonight.

House Bill 299, sponsored by House Appropriations and Revenue Chairman Rick Rand, would set a 26-cent “floor,” or minimum, for the state gas tax. The gas tax rate is currently 27.5 cents a gallon, but is expected to fall on April 1 without the new floor due to changes in the average wholesale price of gasoline.

HB 299 received final passage in the House by a vote of 67-29. It passed the Senate earlier in the evening on a 29-9 vote. The 26-cent base rate is now in effect as it was signed into law by the governor on March 25, 2015.

The bill was called the “Road Fund stabilization plan” by Rand, D-Bedford. “As we all know, our fuel tax has been in free fall, and this will help us stabilize that by setting a new floor,” he said.

The legislation will allow for an annual—rather than the current quarterly—fuel tax adjustment and will allow the gas tax to rise or fall up to 10 percent per year.

Among those opposing the bill in the House was Rep. Adam Koenig, R-Erlanger, who described the bill as a temporary fix for funding Kentucky’s roads. He said that he will likely file legislation to require a look at new road funding mechanisms for the state.

“It’s my opinion that we need to fund our roads not based upon how much gas you buy but on how many miles you drive,” said Koenig.

Majority Floor Leader Sen. Damon Thayer, R-Georgetown, was one of nine senators who voted against the bill. “I voted on this gas tax floor twice before and both times I was told you will never have to vote on this again,” Thayer said. “When the price goes up, yes, the tax will go up. But when the price goes down, the tax will go down too. That is how it was sold.”

Jared Carpenter, R-Berea, voted for the bill. “We are coming through one of the worst winters in recent history,” he said. “If we don’t provide the money to make sure we can get our roads fixed and taken care of, that’s when you are really going to hear from your constituents,” he said.

Scotty’s Contracting Wins Award For Paving Corvette Track

QSI1-Scotty'sContracting-NCMMotorsportsParkTrack-SkidPad SMLanham, Md. — The National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA) announced today that Scotty’s Contracting & Stone LLC of Bowling Green, Ky., has won a 2014 Quality in Construction Award for excellence in construction of an asphalt pavement. The company received its award on Wednesday, Jan. 28, at a ceremony during the association’s 60th Annual Meeting in Marco Island, Fla.

“Quality pavements are something every road builder strives to construct. We want to build pavements that deliver on the promise of high performance and drivability for the public,” said William C. Ensor III, NAPA 2014 Chairman. “Projects that earn a Quality in Construction Award have been measured against industry best practices designed to live up to that promise. I’m proud to say that, in earning a 2014 QIC Award, Scotty’s Contracting & Stone LLC has met or exceeded these rigorous quality standards.”

Scotty’s Contracting & Stone won the award for its work on the National Corvette Museum’s motorsports park track and autocross skid pad. The project included construction of a 3.15-mile course plus a 22-acre paddock area. The company looked at every aspect of the asphalt—mix design, liquid asphalt, paving, aggregate source and smoothness—to ensure a smooth, durable pavement with the proper grip and tire wear characteristics. Using innovative techniques, it produced a high-quality pavement.

Click here to view the official press release.

Mago Construction Wins Award For Asphalt Paving

Lanham, Md. — The National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA) announced today that Mago Construction Co. of Bardstown, Ky., has won a 2014 Quality in Construction Award for excellence in construction of an asphalt pavement. The company received its award on Wednesday, Jan. 28, at a ceremony during the association’s 60th Annual Meeting in Marco Island, Fla.

“Quality pavements are something every road builder strives to construct. We want to build pavements that deliver on the promise of high performance and drivability for the public,” said William C. Ensor III, NAPA 2014 Chairman. “Projects that earn a Quality in Construction Award have been measured against industry best practices designed to live up to that promise. I’m proud to say that, in earning a 2014 QIC Award, Mago Construction Co. has met or exceeded these rigorous quality standards.”

Mago Construction Co. won the award for its work on I-64/Louisville Lexington Road in Shelby County. The project included reconstruction of some existing pavement, widening of the original four-lane interstate to six lanes, and bridge reconstruction. Its three phases required multiple lane and traffic changes. Mago Construction Co. worked with other contractors to avoid scheduling conflicts and to produce on time a high-quality asphalt pavement that will serve travelers well.

Scotty’s Contracting Wins Award For Asphalt Paving

QS17-ScottysContracting-ElizabethtownRadcliffeSection2 smallLanham, Md. — The National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA) announced today that Scotty’s Contracting & Stone LLC of Bowling Green, Ky., has won a 2014 Quality in Construction Award for excellence in construction of an asphalt pavement. The company received its award on Wednesday, Jan. 28, at a ceremony during the association’s 60th Annual Meeting in Marco Island, Fla.

“Quality pavements are something every road builder strives to construct. We want to build pavements that deliver on the promise of high performance and drivability for the public,” said William C. Ensor III, NAPA 2014 Chairman. “Projects that earn a Quality in Construction Award have been measured against industry best practices designed to live up to that promise. I’m proud to say that, in earning a 2014 QIC Award, Scotty’s Contracting & Stone LLC has met or exceeded these rigorous quality standards.”

Scotty’s Contracting & Stone won the award for its work on the Elizabethtown-Radcliffe Connector Road in Hardin County. This was one of three sections of the road for which the company was the paving contractor. Because paving took place simultaneously on all sections, Scotty’s Contracting & Stone had to coordinate work crews and schedule carefully to ensure it could complete the project within the short time schedule. It produced a smooth asphalt pavement with exceptional rideability.

Click here to view the official press release.

H.G. Mays Corp. Wins Award For Quality in Asphalt Paving

QS9-HGMaysCorp-LouisvilleLexingtonRoad-I64Grade SMLanham, Md. — The National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA) announced today that H.G. Mays Corp. of Frankfort, Ky., has won a 2014 Quality in Construction Award for excellence in construction of an asphalt pavement. The company received its award on Wednesday, Jan. 28, at a ceremony during the association’s 60th Annual Meeting in Marco Island, Fla.

“Quality pavements are something every road builder strives to construct. We want to build pavements that deliver on the promise of high performance and drivability for the public,” said William C. Ensor III, NAPA 2014 Chairman. “Projects that earn a Quality in Construction Award have been measured against industry best practices designed to live up to that promise. I’m proud to say that, in earning a 2014 QIC Award, H.G. Mays Corp. has met or exceeded these rigorous quality standards.”

H.G. Mays Corp. won the award for its work on I-64/Louisville Lexington Road in Shelby County. The three-phase project included reconstruction and widening of the original four-lane interstate to six lanes. Working with another contractor to complete the project within a tight schedule, H. G. Mays finished the job on time and produced a smooth asphalt pavement with an excellent ride quality.

Click here to view the official press release.

Louisville Paving Wins Award for Quality in Asphalt Paving

Louisville Paving Wins National Award for Quality in Asphalt PavingLouisville Paving Wins National Award for Quality in Asphalt Paving I-64/Louisville Lexington Road in Shelby County

Lanham, Md. — The National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA) announced today that Louisville Paving & Construction Co. of Louisville, Ky., has won a 2014 Quality in Construction Award for excellence in construction of an asphalt pavement. The company received its award on Wednesday, Jan. 28, at a ceremony during the association’s 60th Annual Meeting in Marco Island, Fla.

“Quality pavements are something every road builder strives to construct. We want to build pavements that deliver on the promise of high performance and drivability for the public,” said William C. Ensor III, NAPA 2014 Chairman. “Projects that earn a Quality in Construction Award have been measured against industry best practices designed to live up to that promise. I’m proud to say that, in earning a 2014 QIC Award, Louisville Paving & Construction Co. has met or exceeded these rigorous quality standards.”

Louisville Paving & Construction Co. won the award for its work on I-64/Louisville Lexington Road in Shelby County. The three-phase project included reconstruction and widening of the original four-lane interstate to six lanes and bridge reconstruction. The project required multiple lane and traffic changes. Partnering with other subcontractors, Louisville Paving & Construction Co. met a tight schedule and produced a smooth-riding, quality asphalt pavement.

Click here to view the official press release.

Scotty’s Contracting Wins QIC For Meijer Parking Lot

QP20-Scottys-Meijer QICScotty’s Contracting Wins QIC For Meijer Parking Lot in Bowling Green, KY

Lanham, Md. — The National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA) announced today that Scotty’s Contracting & Stone LLC of Bowling Green, Ky., has won a 2014 Quality in Construction Award for excellence in construction of an asphalt pavement. The company received its award on Wednesday, Jan. 28, at a ceremony during the association’s 60th Annual Meeting in Marco Island, Fla.
“Quality pavements are something every road builder strives to construct. We want to build pavements that deliver on the promise of high performance and drivability for the public,” said William C. Ensor III, NAPA 2014 Chairman. “Projects that earn a Quality in Construction Award have been measured against industry best practices designed to live up to that promise. I’m proud to say that, in earning a 2014 QIC Award, Scotty’s Contracting & Stone LLC has met or exceeded these rigorous quality standards.”
Scotty’s Contracting & Stone won the award for its work on a parking lot for Meijer in Bowling Green. The company had to complete most of the paving work during building construction so that the store could open almost immediately after it was completed. Scotty’s Contracting & Stone exceeded all of the owner’s requirements for the project, and produced a smooth asphalt pavement with minimal cold joints and excellent density.

Click here to view the official press release.

Transportation Chief Sees ‘Window’ for Highway Bill

 Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said Thursday that he sees a “window” for Congress to pass a long-term bill to boost the nation’s infrastructure funding.

Speaking with reporters at the Transportation Department’s headquarters in Washington a day after traveling to Capitol Hill, Foxx said he was optimistic lawmakers would not allow federal transportation funding to run out, as scheduled, in May.

“There is a window of time and a subset of issues that I think there is common ground on,” he said. “I think transportation is one of those issues.”  The Obama administration has proposed legislation that would spend $478 billion on road and transit projects over the next six years. Congress has approved a series of temporary infrastructure funding patches since a 2005 transportation bill expired in 2009, including a nearly $11 billion measure scheduled to expire in May. Foxx predicted Republicans may be more inclined to pass a longer infrastructure measure now that they control both houses of Congress because voters will blame them for future transportation-related problems. “I think there is a need for this new majority to show that they can govern, and one of the ways they can do that is by passing a robust transportation bill,” he said.  The Department of Transportation has said its Highway Trust Fund will run out of money on May 31 without congressional intervention. The Transportation chief pleaded with Congress for long-term transportation bill to prevent an infrastructure funding bankruptcy  during a visit to Capitol Hill on Wednesday.  “Our country is too great to allow our infrastructure to fall apart,” Foxx said during a House Transportation Committee hearing. “At a time when we should be building more, we’re building less,” he continued. “Instead of saying ‘build, build, build,’ Congress has been saying ‘stop.’ ”

The Highway Trust Fund, which is used to pay for most infrastructure projects since the 1950s, is funded by revenue from the 18.4 cents per gallon federal gas tax.  The tax has not been increased since 1993 and has struggled to keep pace with rising construction costs as cars have become more fuel-efficient. The federal government typically spends about $50 billion per year on infrastructure projects, but the gas tax only brings in about $34 billion annually. Lawmakers have turned to other areas of the federal budget in recent years to make up the difference. Transportation advocates has pushed for an increase in the gas tax for the first time in 20 years to close the gap.  Foxx said Thursday that the gas tax is not a long-term answer for transportation funding, even if it is increased now.  “For so long, we’ve thought the answer to our problems was putting more money in the juke box,” he said. “We haven’t even looked at the records that are in there. It’s changed since 1956. In fact, they’re not even records anymore. We’re using MP3s now.” The administration’s infrastructure funding proposal relies on revenue that would be collected from taxing overseas corporate profits through a process that is known as “repatriation.”

Republicans like Sen. Rand Paul (Ky.) have supported the repatriation proposal, although some budget groups in Washington have argued it would prove costly in the long run if companies are discouraged from reporting further foreign income. Foxx said Thursday that he is willing to support whatever funding idea Congress “coalesces around.”  The transportation chief said he was optimistic that Congress would beat the deadline for renewing federal infrastructure funding with something more than a temporary extension of the current funding legislation. “Folks on a bipartisan basis want to do something,” he said. “At this point in the game, that’s all you can ask for. Now it’s about working our way to an answer.” Foxx has sharply criticized lawmakers for passing a series of temporary patches for transportation funding since a 2005 measure expired in 2009, saying that the Band-aid bills were “killing [states’] will to build.” He said Wednesday that he was optimistic that he could convince lawmakers this year to avoid passing another patch despite previous administration failures as winning support for a large infrastructure bill. “I’m not a person to fight the last war,” Foxx said about prior transportation funding fights on Capitol Hill. “Yesterday was yesterday,” he concluded.

 

By Keith Laing – 02/12/15 04:40 PM EST – TheHill

Anthony FoxxHighway billHighway Trust FundGas TaxRepatriationMAP-21 Reauthorization

Lower Gas Prices Mean Less Money For Road Projects

Lower Gas Prices Mean Less Money For Road ProjectsFRANKFORT, Ky. (WKYT) – Gas prices have been plummeting over the past few weeks. Drivers are thrilled.

“Oh, it’s unbelievable!” said Steve Davis as he pumped gas in Frankfort.

It’s not necessarily good news for everyone, though.

“Less money coming in, which means less funds will be available to do work,” said Charles Lovorn, executive director of the Kentucky Association of Highway Contractors.

Kentucky’s gasoline motor fuel tax rate is based on the wholesale price of gas. That money is used for things like road projects. The new rate will drop about $.04 on January 1.

“One penny of the motor fuel tax generates $30 million in a year’s time. 4.3 cents at $30 million a penny, that’s $129 million loss,” said Kentucky Transportation Cabinet spokesman Chuck Wolfe.

Those taxes lag behind by a quarter. The January 1 number was calculated in October. The tax rate for the quarter starting in April will be based on gas prices in January, which will likely go even lower.

“If we lose another $.05 as a result of the January survey, then you’re talking about basically a $.10 loss, that’s $300 million. In all probability, there’ll be projects that are, right now, showing in the state highway plan, but that will have to be put off or maybe canceled altogether,” Wolfe said.

That’ll be a burden on highway contractors who depend on those jobs.

“We’ll just have to weather the storm, which is the most we’ve seen. We’ve never seen this kind of, let’s be realistic, over a dollar a gallon-type price drop,” Lovorn said.

Even if gas prices go back up, the excise tax can’t go up more than 10% per year. It likely won’t keep pace with rising gas prices.

“It will probably take several years for the excise tax to get back to the level it was at the beginning of 2014,” Wolfe said.

According to GasBuddy.com, the average price for a gallon of gas in Kentucky is $2.08. The national average is $2.26.

NAPA Meets With GOP Leader McConnell on Highway Funding

UnknownNAPA, along with members of the Highway Materials Group, met with incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), in his Capitol Hill office on Dec. 3 to discuss surface transportation infrastructure and the need to increase investment in the program before MAP-21 expires in May. The meeting was an opportunity for the highway materials construction industry to collectively urge McConnell to make America’s infrastructure a priority for the Senate’s agenda in the new year.

During the meeting, the senator stressed that he, his staff, and his colleagues on both sides of the aisle were acutely aware of the issue and that solutions were constantly being discussed, although not publicly. No commitment was made regarding when or how a new highway bill could be passed by Congress, but McConnell commented that infrastructure was perhaps the one issue that enjoys broad bipartisan support on Capitol Hill.

Each Highway Materials Group organization was represented by a Kentucky member, including NAPA members Blake Gilley of Mountain Co. and John Hay of Oldcastle Materials Co. Gilley who spoke for NAPA told the senator, “A dime, nickel, and three pennies [the $0.18 federal gas tax] … it’s not much for what we have for infrastructure in this country. It’s time to adjust this for the value we are receiving.”

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