Transportation Forecast

Northern California Transportation Regional Investment Forecast By Larry J. Smith, P.E., F.ASCE SSCI, Chair

The ASCE Sacramento Section Construction Institute hosted the Northern California Transportation Regional Investment Forecast in Sacramento on May 27, 2009. The event held at the Hyatt, Sacramento featured a distinguished keynote speaker and a panel of experts discussing the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) for highways and transportation. Over 210 design and construction professionals and students were in attendance.

Mr. Will Kempton, Director of the California Department of Transportation was the keynote speaker. Mr. Kempton briefly reported the state of the California budget warning the audience that his forecast for the Department of Transportation was reserved pending future action by the legislature and the Governor. Mr. Kempton provided an informative overview of the current legislation and apportionment of ARRA funding to the California Transportation Commission and region agencies.

The Distinguished Panel of speakers included:

  • Bilma Rhinehart, Executive Director, California Transportation Commission
  • John Rodrigues, Chief North Region Construction, State of California Department of Transportation (Caltrans)
  • Olin Wood, Manager Capital Programs, Sacramento Area Council of Governments (SACOG)
  • Michael J. Penrose, Director, Sacramento County Department of Transportation (SacDOT)
  • James Brown, Principal Program Expert, Sacramento Area Council of Governments (SACOG) 

Mr. Eddie Kho, F.ASCE, President, Morton & Pitalo, Inc. moderated the panel discussion. Mr. Kho explained that California’s share of federal economic stimulus funds for highways and transportation was $2.57B. Eddie encouraged each panel member to provide a detailed summary of projects and timelines for design and construction. Following the panel discussion the audience was encouraged to engage speakers for specific information with a brief question and answer exchange.

The Construction Institute and 18 firms sponsored 12 Civil Engineer Students from Universities within the Sacramento Section to attend and network with the audience and speakers. Students were seated with sponsor companies to exchange information and gain valuable insight into the profession and opportunities for internships and full time employment after graduation.

The evening ended when SSCI sponsor Company Magnus Pacific hosted and conducted the drawing of names for many outstanding door prizes. All proceeds from this event support the ASCE and SSCI scholarships and Student Days Conference.