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T&DI President's Message – February 2016

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

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Kelvin C.P. Wang, Ph.D., P.E., M.ASCE

The Trump administration has indicated that there is a potential to mobilize a trillion dollars into upgrading the nation's aging roads, bridges and transportation hubs. Elaine Chao, the new U.S. DOT Secretary, echoed President Trump's calls to repair the nation's crumbling infrastructure in her confirmation hearing, telling senators one of her top priorities will be to establish an infrastructure "task force." President Trump and his team have shown a strong preference for drawing funding from the private sector to pay for infrastructure priorities. Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act is in full swing since 2016. The FAST Act authorizes $305 billion over fiscal years 2016 through 2020 for highway, highway and motor vehicle safety, public transportation, motor carrier safety, hazardous materials safety, rail, and research, technology, and statistics programs. The nation is entering a critical junction for transportation and development professionals in terms of infrastructure needs and funding.

With over 17,000 members, ASCE's Transportation and Development Institute (T&DI) is one of the largest professional organizations in the infrastructure area. Our members in governments, private sector, and academia have been making tremendous inroads to build, maintain, and revive our infrastructure systems. T&DI is also a strong force in transportation operation and new technologies. At the 2017 annual meeting of the Transportation Research Board (TRB), T&DI launched the Connected & Autonomous Vehicles (CAV) Impacts Committee under the leadership of Dr. Yinhai Wang, Member, T&DI Board of Governors. Experts at the frontier of CAV research, design, development, and deployment, including representatives from state DOTs, academia, private, and nonprofit sectors, participated in the kickoff event. We are excited about the excellent opportunities for contribution by this committee in the critical area of assessing the impacts of CAV.

Lastly, please stay tuned for details on T&DI's upcoming conferences and events. These include the International Conference on Highway Pavements and Airfield Technology in 2017; International Conference on Automated People Movers and Automated Transit Systems (APM-ATS) in 2018; and the flagship conference, ASCE International Conference on Transportation & Development (ICTD) in 2018.

Kelvin C.P. Wang, Ph.D., P.E., M.ASCE

President, T&DI of ASCE