The Interstate Highway System — the 46,717-mile ribbon of concrete and asphalt that links and moves America — will be 50 years old in 2006. And the national association founded 102 years ago to make the system a reality has announced plans to mark the occasion with a series of education programs and events that will spotlight how the highway network impacts American life.
The American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) says it will cap these activities with a gala dinner event at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington, D.C., on June 29, 2006, the 50th anniversary of President Dwight Eisenhower signing federal legislation that created the Interstate Highway System construction program and the user-supported Highway Trust Fund to finance it.
"As the Interstate System approaches 50, it's facing a 'mid-life crisis' that few outside our industry and the public agencies that manage it seem to understand," says ARTBA Chairman Rich Wagman, who is chairman and CEO of York, PA-based G.A. & F.C. Wagman Inc. "Over the past four decades, the Interstates have handled traffic volumes and vehicle weights that have dramatically exceeded the usage projections of those who developed and designed the plan in the 1940s and 50s. That beating — combined with the system's capacity shortcomings — has taken a great toll.
"There will be serious consequences for the nation if the capital investment and resource challenges that face the Interstate aren't fully understood and met."
Wagman said ARTBA will be working with its government and association partners over the next 20 months to develop and stage a series of programs and events focusing on the critical role the Interstate Highway System plays in America's economy, security and quality of life. These will include national issue and policy forums, public awareness and education projects, media outreach, and research activities.
Stone aligns with GE Commercial Finance, adds warehouse
Stone Construction Equipment Inc. and its subsidiary, Stone Financing Inc., have formed a new alliance with GE Commercial Finance, Vendor Financial Services, to provide end user financing to its dealers. The new program will offer various financial options, including: operating leases or fair market value leases; purchase options; and loans.
In related news, Stone has added a warehouse in Portland, OR. The new warehouse will help expedite Stone's distribution of products to dealers in the Northwest.
Company donates tarps to hurricane victims
Pulltarps Mfg. donated heavy vinyl tarps to the American Red Cross disaster relief effort for the hurricane victims in Florida and the Southeast region.
"Our hearts go out to the people that have been battered by the hurricanes this season," says Lynn Chenowth, president. "We had devastating wildfires throughout San Diego County last October, and the outpouring of assistance from the American Red Cross and others is not forgotten. We're fortunate to be in a position to give something back at this time. We hope this donation will help during this difficult time."