August 28, 2018


LICA Executive Director Marc Herbst attended last week’s annual meeting of the Council of State Executives for the American Road and Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) in Whitefish, Montana. LICA is a state chapter of ARTBA. Herbst is a past chairman of its Council of State Executives.

The 2018 annual meeting was bittersweet as the executives received Pete Ruane's thirtieth and final “State of ARTBA” report. He will be retiring as ARTBA’s president and chief executive officer this October after leading the national trade association for three decades. Pete is the longest tenured head of the 116-year-old organization. 

ARTBA Chairman Matt Cummings of AECOM, as part of his report, praised Pete’s leadership and thanked him for his contributions. He noted that when Ruane joined ARTBA in 1988, the total annual federal investment in the U.S. highway and transit programs was $16 billion. Today, it is $60 billion. “He leaves behind a powerful legacy both in Washington and the industry. Pete brings an unrivaled industry presence, a dedication and drive that are truly one of a kind.”

Ruane capped off his final report to the state chapter leaders discussing federal legislative activities and related issues, including the BOLD Act, the Trump Administration Proposal and several congressional initiatives. 

The conference also included multiple sessions on industry and regulatory issues, funding developments and updates as well as association member roundtable discussions on administration and governance; communications, advocacy and events; and membership and member services.  

In addition, the state association chapter leaders heard from three impressive speakers. First, Montana Representative Frank Garner spoke of the political challenges he endured in championing a successful bill through the state legislature to increase gas tax for the first time in 24 years for investment in roads and bridges. Next, Mike Tooley, Director of the Montana State Department of Transportation, discussed the administration and operations of his state’s transportation system, one that is populated by less than a million people, but his agency maintains 25,000 center-lane miles with 4,000 pieces of equipment. Montana plows on average four million miles per year! Finally, highway contractor Don Brummel of LHC Construction in Kalispell, Montana, shared entertaining personal stories about his experiences in Montana, compared to other areas where he served as a contractor on major infrastructure projects. At least in New York we don’t have to worry about walking alongside your paver to find a grizzly bear at your side!


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