Friday, July 20, 2012

“Best Practices Conference on Road and Bridge Maintenance” on Thursday, August 16

2012’s “Best Practices Conference on Road and Bridge Maintenance” will be held on Thursday, August 16 in Lansing at the Michigan Municipal League at 208 North Capitol Avenue #1, Lansing, MI), from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  Rep. Roy Schmidt (Grand Rapids) and I are again organizing the event, joined this year by Rep. Doug Geiss (Taylor).

The goal is to enable attendees to leave with concrete ideas they can use in their home road agencies, and to stretch their imaginations for how to do things better, faster and cheaper, as well as to demonstrate the things road agencies are doing to get value for money spent on road projects.

Tentative items on the agenda include:

  • Cold In Place Recycling of asphalt as an example of how to maximize customer/driver and local business satisfaction by getting projects done with the minimum of traffic interference.
  • “Safety Edge” for asphalt projects to make roads safer.
  • Bridge in a Backpack, using carbon fiber tubes filled onsite with concrete to build bridges much more quickly.
  • Transportation Funding Findings to Date and Conclusions Reached
  • Status of Transportation Funding Bills Introduced
  • Winner: Dumbest regulation or engineering specification that increases the cost of road or bridge maintenance or construction
  • Winter maintenance: APWA Excellence in Snow and Ice Control Award
  • Working lunch (sponsored by CRAM, MITA and MML)
  • Best Practices from other states and how these can be/are being transferred to Michigan
  • A review of the MDOT Life-Cycle Cost Analysis process and what that does for efficiency and effectiveness in getting value for money.
  • Pavement Demonstration Program successes and things learned.
  • Panel discussion on Best Practices Ideas at the local Road Commission level for pavement preservation.

This looks to be an even more exciting agenda than we were able to put together last year.

Note, as the tentative agenda says, we will be announcing the winner of “the dumbest regulation or engineering specification that increases the cost of road or bridge maintenance or construction”. Please brainstorm to make a submission, describing (1) the regulation or specification, (2) the source of the regulation or specification, (3) why it is dumb, (4) the suggested cure for the problem and (5) at least a SWAG estimate of what the savings might be if the cure was adopted. I am not sure yet how we will judge the “contest”, but we will figure that out in time and hopefully have a bit of fun with this as well.

The 2011 conference received high marks from the attendees, so I hope you can make it. There is no cost, so as I recall from my days growing up in the U.P., “anything free is worth savin’ up fer”. Spread the word as well.

For lunch planning and handout material purposes, please RSVP by responding to this e-mail message or call my office at 517-373-1792.

Rick Olson, State Representative, 55th Legislative District
989 Anderson House Office Bldg.
517-373-1792, 734-646-5286 cell

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