March 2020 Print

President's Report

In light of the recent developments related to COVID-19 (the novel coronavirus), we as civil engineering professionals are called to continue planning, designing, constructing, and maintaining our community’s infrastructure. To help “flatten the curve,” many of us are now working from home. In addition, ASCE has postponed 2 major upcoming events:

The ASCE 2020 CA Infrastructure Symposium has been postponed until September 25, 2020. This important event will bring together 300 Civil Engineering professionals and policy makers statewide, and will still be held at the Hilton Sacramento Arden West, Sacramento. The Symposium provides student members and aspiring engineers opportunities to meet and be involved with industry leaders, to gain insights into the profession, and to learn about current and future infrastructure projects that drive our economy forward. I hope you will join us in the fall.

The ASCE Sacramento Section Project Awards banquet has also been postponed until fall 2020. The project awards nominations have been extended until April 30, 2020. Please continue to nominate your outstanding projects at http://www.asceregion9awards.org/section-awards/nomination-project/sac. I look forward to recognizing your impressive engineering feats and projects.

Even though the Awards Banquet has been postponed, the Alfred R. Golze scholarships are still planned to be awarded this spring. The Golze Scholarship Committee understands the financial burdens of our students are more prescient now than ever. The tradition of acknowledging the recipients at the Awards Banquet will continue, this year in the fall.

As students continue with their classes online and the dynamics of the work environment change temporality, we hope to continue providing connections and mentoring opportunities. I hope that we continue our mentoring activities as a society. Remote mentoring can provide value added to both parties – students and professionals. Let us work together to weather this storm.

Sincerely,

Megan LeRoy, P.E.

President, ASCE Sacramento Section

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Golze Scholarship Fund


Do you have a deserving, active, and promising student in mind?

Applications are now being accepted for the 2020 Alfred R. Golze Memorial Scholarship. A convenient, new online application form is available for students this year. The Golze scholarships are still planned to be awarded this spring. The Golze Scholarship Committee understands the financial burdens of our students are more prescient now than ever. The tradition of acknowledging the recipients at the Awards Banquet will continue, this year in the fall.

Complete Applications are Due By April 27, 2020

Please visit our Scholarships page for more information, or to donate.

For questions, please email Eric Polson.

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Project Awards Call For Nominations

Deadline Extended!

The 2019 ASCE Sacramento Section Project Awards Nominations are still open! ASCE Sacramento Section Project Awards recognize outstanding Civil Engineering projects in the Sacramento Section geographic area that have completed construction within the last two (2) years.

The deadline to nominate a project is April 30, 2020! The Project Awards Banquet is postponed and is seeking a new date. 

Nominate your project today by going to http://www.asceregion9awards.org/section-awards/nomination-project/sac or emailing nomination form. If you have any questions, please contact Christine Rice, Senior Director, at [email protected].

Project Categories

Airports & Ports
Architectural Engineering
Bikeways & Trails
Bridge
Community Involvement
Construction
Energy
Environmental Engineering
Flood Management
Geotechnical
Historical Renovation
Parks & Recreation
Road & Highway
Small Project (under $5M)
Structural
Sustainable Engineering
Transportation
Urban/Land Development
Wastewater Treatment
Water

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Capital Branch Activities

Monthly Luncheons Postponed

The Capital Branch has postponed our March lunch meeting and April tour of the UC Davis centrifuge facility due to COVID-19 social distancing efforts. We will evaluate whether to hold our May lunch meeting next month. For further information, please contact Ron Loutzenhiser.

Award Announcement

Dr. Bruce L. Kutter, Ph.D., M.ASCE  from the Capital Branch of the Sacramento Section habeen selected by the ASCE Geo-Institute to receive the 2020  H. Bolton Seed Medal for “important and sustained contributions to the physical modeling of geotechnical and soil-structure systems to earthquakes, centrifuge research and continuing leadership in the field.”

JOIN US ON LinkedIn.

The Capital Branch has a group page to make it easier to post announcements about upcoming events of interest to Civil Engineers in the Sacramento area.  To join the group page go to https://www.linkedin.com/in/asce-sac-section-capital-branch-b0148b87.

JOIN US ON FACEBOOK

The Capital Branch has started a group page to make it easier to post announcements about upcoming events of interest to Civil Engineers in the Sacramento area.  To join the group page go to https://www.facebook.com/ASCE-Sac-Section-Capital-Branch-178312272707468/.   

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Feather River Branch Activities

The Feather River branch is exploring options for online events. For more information, please contact Guy Hopes.

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Legislative Update

Legislative Update

By

Richard Markuson
Region 9 Legislative Advocate

 

The Legislature reconvened in its last year of the two-year session on January 6. January was a busy month, with only a few two-year bills moving out of their house of origin by January 31. You can view the bills that died in January here.

The big news was the resurrection and then eventual defeat of Senator Scott Wiener's (D-San Francisco) Senate Bill 50. As CalMatters reporter Matt Levin put it, "Developers, landlords, Facebook, construction unions, the state Chamber of Commerce, Realtors, environmental groups and even the AARP wanted to see the bill pass. So did big city mayors including San Francisco's London Breed and San Jose's Sam Liccardo. Not to mention Sen. Toni Atkins, Democratic leader of the state Senate, who typically has a pretty big say in which bills make it out of her chamber. Nonetheless Senate Bill 50, a measure that would have forced cities to allow more mid-rise apartment buildings around public transit and next to some single-family homes, failed to get enough votes in the California Legislature to survive in 2020 before time ran out." (You can see how your State Senator voted here).

Assembly Member Luz Rivas – the only "engineer legislator," has introduced two resolutions: ACR 153 – the E Week resolution, and ACR 154 that proclaims February 20, 2020, as Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day. You can learn more about E Week and Girl Day here.

New Reports of Interest

California Natural Resources Agency, California Environmental Protection Agency, and Dept. of Food and Agriculture have released a draft water resilience portfolio in response to Gov. Newsom's April 29th Executive Order calling for "a portfolio of actions to ensure the state's long-term water resilience and ecosystem health;" portfolio provides recommended actions to maintain and diversify water supplies, protect and enhance natural ecosystems, build connections, and be prepared for "new threats, including more extreme droughts and floods and hotter temperatures."

Lack of Plumbing "More than 2 million people in the U.S. lack running water and basic indoor plumbing, according to a new report by the human-rights nonprofit DigDeep and the nonprofit US Water Alliance — and race and poverty are key determinants of who has access to clean water and sanitation.... Racial water gaps for Latinx and African-American households are particularly salient at the regional level; the authors added: 'In parts of the South, African Americans are the group most likely to lack complete plumbing. In California and Texas, Latinx people are the most affected.'" Report

U.C. San Diego Scripps Institute of Oceanography released Atmospheric River Storms Create $1 Billion-a-Year Flood Damage. "Researchers at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California San Diego and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers analyzed the economic impact of the winter storms that deliver an increasingly large share of rain and snow to California and the West." The team found that over the past 40 years flooding has caused nearly $51 billion in damages; with more "than 84 percent of these damages were caused by atmospheric rivers (ARs), which are long narrow corridors of water vapor in the atmosphere capable of carrying more than twice the volume of the Amazon River through the sky." Anticipating that global warming trends will increase their intensity, scientists and emergency officials believe information related to ARs may become more significant and are calling for more research to improve forecasting for use in guiding management decisions related to flood releases, development in flood-prone areas, restoring natural floodplains, and developing green infrastructure.

KQED reported on SGMA. Time's Up on Groundwater Plans: One of the Most Important New California Water Laws in 50 Years Explained "Much of California's water supply is a hidden asset: Deep below the surface, rocks, gravel and sand store water like a sponge, in an underground zone called an aquifer. In dry years, this groundwater has been tapped to save farms, keep grass green and provide drinking water to millions of Californians. But over time, people have taken more water out than nature has put back in. Estimates vary, but according to the U.S. Geological Survey, California pumped 41 trillion gallons of water from the ground in about 100 years, through 2013. In some parts of the Central Valley, that means land has been dropping around a foot a year. The landmark Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, or SGMA, requires some of the state's thirstiest areas form local "Groundwater Sustainability Agencies" and submit long-term plans by Jan. 31 for keeping aquifers healthy. Together, those plans will add up to a big reveal, as groundwater managers finally disclose how badly they believe their aquifers are overdrawn, and a collective picture emerges. It's a major shift and arguably the most important new California water law in 50 years."

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory released Getting to Neutral, about how California can reach its ambitious greenhouse gas goals with a multibillion-dollar statewide project to remove carbon dioxide directly from the air and extract energy from plant fibers and sewage. The study, commissioned by the ClimateWorks Foundation, presents a vision of infrastructure designed to collect and process agricultural and forest waste, sewage and landfill gas, as well as the commercial deployment of machines that capture carbon dioxide from the air and bury it in geologic formations under the Central Valley.

The Legislative Analyst's Office (LAO) released "Assessing California's Climate Policies – Electricity Generation," It finds: "(1) state policies likely are a substantial driver of emission reductions, but the overall reductions attributable to state policies versus other factors is unclear; (2) the Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) program is likely a significant driver of emission reductions at relatively moderate costs per ton; (3) rooftop solar policies are generally a more costly emission reduction strategy, but could provide significant benefits in certain instances; (4) relatively little is known about the overall effects of legislation to effectively prohibit coal contracts and the benefits from cap-and-trade; and (5) 'resource shuffling' between different states could potentially offset some of the observed emission reductions."

Public Policy Institute of California released its report, "California's Future," analyzes "state's most pressing long-term policy challenges in several key areas:" climate change; criminal justice; economy; health care; higher education; housing; K-12 education; political landscape; population; safety net; and water.

The LAO has released, "Assessing Vulnerability of State Assets to Climate Change," outlines efforts being made by state departments to assess the potential for severe risks to state facilities posed by climate change, such as sea level rise and more wildfires, finds "several agencies with substantial infrastructure under their control—specifically, the University of California, California State University, judicial branch, and CalFire—have not completed system-wide assessments of their vulnerability to climate change," LAO recommends that the Legislature conduct ongoing oversight of individual state departments for "assessing progress and providing direction."

Speaker's Appointments.
To the California Transportation Commission: Joseph Lyou, Hawthorne, President and CEO of Coalition for Clean Air. Term expires January 1, 2024.

To the California High-Speed Rail Authority: Martha Escutia, Whittier, Vice President of government relation at USC. Pleasure term.

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Transportation Development Institute

Hot Topics in Transportation & Development

By

Tapas Dutta, PE, QSD, ENV SP, F. ASCE
ASCE Region 9 Transportation & Development Committee Chair

 

The ASCE Region 9 Transportation & Development Committee (Committee) has over 40 members and we always welcome interested new members. The Committee continues to collaborate with the California Symposium 2020 Committee for the 2020 California Infrastructure Symposium & Region 9 Awards Dinner event to be held on April 3, 2020 at Hilton Sacramento Arden West, 2200 Harvard St, Sacramento, California 95815 https://caisregion9.org/. As in previous years, the Symposium will have dual tracks comprising Water & Environment, and Transportation & Development. For the Transportation Track, speakers for a variety of topics are being planned. Some of the expected subject areas include:

  • The ASCE 2019 California Infrastructure Report Card;
  • Innovations in Roadway Projects;
  • Housing and its relation to Transportation;
  • Active Transportation; and
  • Transportation Legislations.

On January 10, 2020 Governor Newsom presented his proposed state budget to the Legislature. Some of the highlights of the Plan are outlined here.

As California grapples with a housing crisis, the impacts on transportation access and affordability are increasingly apparent. Californians are driving more as they are forced to commute longer distances due to the lack of proximity between affordable housing options and job centers, further exacerbating California's aging road infrastructure as well as climate impacts from transportation. But there is also opportunity for innovative solutions as the sector experiences rapid change through electrification, automation, ride-sharing, and other mobility options. California, home to many of these innovations, must create a transportation system that is flexible and open to the potential for better travel options that meet the state's growing population needs while supporting sustainable, inclusive growth.

To tackle these challenges, over the next five years, the Governor's Plan invests approximately $5 billion in public transit and rail infrastructure, and $1.1 billion for active transportation projects, to increase access to multi-modal transportation options. Additionally, the Plan includes continued investment in High Speed Rail. This system is intended to be an economic backbone for the Central Valley, promoting new housing and jobs near rail stations, and the project will also provide connectivity between Central Valley cities and, ultimately, the coastal cities.

The High-Speed Rail Authority is continuing to construct the Central Valley segment completing electrified High-Speed Rail from Merced to Bakersfield with Proposition 1A bonds, federal funds, and 25 percent of the continuously appropriated funding from annual Cap and Trade auction proceeds. Additionally, the state has committed $1.1 billion to locally sponsored projects in northern and southern California that will improve local rail service and benefit High Speed Rail when the system is connected to those areas. The funding provides resources to continue meeting commitments to federal and regional partners and advancing Phase 1 environmental clearances.

Over the next five years, $22 billion will be available for new state highway repair and rehabilitation projects in the State Highway Operations and Protection Program (SHOPP). The Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017, Chapter 5, Statutes of 2017 (SB 1), increased available SHOPP funding capacity by $8 billion through 2022-23. As the state invests in ongoing road maintenance, it is seen as critical that the state does so in a way that is resilient in the face of physical climate impacts like floods, fires, extreme heat, and sea level rise. The Climate Budget includes investment in the climate research that will underpin these decisions, as well as in programs such as cool road surface investment in areas of the state experiencing extreme heat impacts from climate change. Over this same five-year period, $3.3 billion will be available for the State Transportation Improvement Program, which provides funding for future multi-modal transportation improvements throughout California. This program supports the implementation of regional Sustainable Community Strategies (75 percent), as well as interregional travel (25 percent). An additional $1 billion for partnerships with local transportation agencies is also included in the Plan.

The Region 9 T&D Committee tracks important Transportation-related legislation in Sacramento. Two bills for the current legislative year are outlined below:

State Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) is the author of Senate Bill 50 that reduces specified local zoning standards in "jobs-rich" and "transit rich areas," when a development proponent meets specified requirements. The bill also requires a neighborhood multifamily project containing up to four dwelling units to be subject to a streamlined, ministerial approval process.

The bill is co-sponsored by the California Association of Realtors, California YIMBY ("Yes in My Backyard"), and the Non-Profit Housing Association of Northern California. It is opposed by most Cities in California who are opposed to replacing local control over project standards by a state-mandated density policy.

SB 50 was previously stopped in the Senate Appropriations Committee by the Committee Chairman. Senate President Pro Tempore Toni Atkins however pulled the bill out of the committee and had it placed on the floor for final Senate action at the behest of Wiener. SB 50 failed on the Senate floor in late January 2020 by a vote of 18-15. Several senators rejected the bill, citing concerns about gentrification, displacement and pushback from local governments. Atkins responded to SB 50's collapse by saying "we need a housing production bill" and vowing to work in subsequent weeks to produce one.

Wiener is also the author of SB 127 – that would have changed state policies for the management of the state highway system, including requiring the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) to incorporate new pedestrian and bicycle facilities into projects in specified areas. SB 127 was vetoed by Governor Newsom last year – heeding in part to opposition from the construction industry, including organized labor. This opposition was predicated on a fiscal analysis issued by the Department of Finance (DOF), noting that Caltrans estimated that the bill would increase the State Highway Operation and Protection Program (SHOPP) project costs by $1.1B annually to incorporate the complete streets elements required by the bill. ASCE was also concerned that SB 127 might replace the local decision-making of transportation planning authorities by legislative mandates.

Supporters of SB 127 were disappointed by the veto, and Senator Wiener has shown tenacity in pursuing major policy initiatives. It remains to be seen whether Senator Weiner might bring the policy of SB 127 back in a new bill in 2020.

Transportation is undergoing dramatic changes fueled by technology, climate change and congestion. Ride-hailing services, Micro-transit, newer options for First Mile/Last Mile personal connectivity, and app-based delivery services (including food) are altering trip patterns on the vehicular side. Active Transportation and Complete Streets are altering design approaches and are increasing multi-modal and context-sensitivity in design. Programs such as Congestion Pricing and occupancy-based toll roads are modifying driving habits also. The shift in quantifying traffic impacts from Level of Service (LOS) to Vehicle Miles Traveled (VMT) is changing how development projects are programmed. The ASCE Region T&D Committee continues to monitor all these developments for comment and consistency with the Society's general Public Policies.

To learn more about the activities of the Region 9 Transportation & Development Committee, please contact me, Tapas Dutta, at [email protected]

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Serve on an ASCE Committee

Committees

Each year, thousands of civil engineering professionals participate in ASCE's activities by volunteering their technical and professional expertise in support of the Society's vision and mission to advance the practice of civil engineering.

Serve on a Committee

Service on an ASCE committee is just one of the many ways in which you can give back to the profession. Selected applicants are subject to approval by the Board of Direction in July. Constituent Committee members are approved by the respective Society Committee by September. Committee assignments are effective at the conclusion of the Society's Annual Business Meeting, typically held in October.

  • Membership on Board and Constituent Committees is limited to ASCE members in good standing, unless an exception is granted.
  • Composition of committees is designed to ensure a diverse membership.
  • Terms begin and end at the conclusion of the Society's Annual Business Meeting.
  • A term is one (1) year and may be renewed up to a maximum of six (6) years.
  • Reimbursement is available to members in good standing, according to the Society's travel policy.
  • The President-elect recommends for Board of Direction approval the nominees for Board and Society Committees.
  • Society Committees are responsible for approving their constituent committee rosters by September.

Now Accepting Applications

Applications will be accepted from January 15 to March 15. If you have any questions, please contact Wendy Dinwiddie at [email protected].

  • Committee for America's Infrastructure
    Charge: The Committee for America's Infrastructure shall coordinate all activities related to the Report Card for America's Infrastructure.
    Apply Now
  • Committee on Accreditation
    Charge: The Committee on Accreditation shall administer all activities involving ASCE's participation in ABET accreditation, specifically including strategic accreditation priorities, policies, and programs.
    Apply Now
  • Committee on Developing Leaders
    Charge: The Committee on Developing Leaders shall empower civil engineers to develop their leadership and interpersonal skills more purposefully, identify knowledge and skills gaps, and navigate existing and new tools/resources that ASCE offers in this area.
    Apply Now
  • Committee on Education
    Charge: The Committee on Education shall focus on matters that affect the undergraduate and graduate education of civil engineers.
    Apply Now
  • Committee on Faculty Development
    Charge: The Committee on Faculty Development shall create and implement programs to foster the development and advancement of faculty as effective educators.
    Apply Now
  • Committee on Licensure
    Charge: The Committee on Licensure shall promote the licensure of civil engineers, collaborate with others involved in professional licensure, and monitor, support, and encourage licensure activities.
    Apply Now
  • Committee on Pre-College Outreach
    Charge: The Committee on Pre-College Outreach shall develop, implement, and support quality programs and resources, based on research, to increase awareness, understanding and interest in civil engineering among students in grades pre-K through 12 with the goal of developing a large diverse population of future engineers and a more knowledgeable public.
    Apply Now
  • Committee on Preparing the Future Civil Engineer
    Charge: The Committee on Preparing the Future Civil Engineer shall advance the Society's educational qualifications and professional standards for the practice of civil engineering.
    Apply Now
  • Committee on Professional Advancement
    Charge: The Committee on Professional Advancement shall build opportunities in global leadership, engagement, and service to advance the civil engineering profession.
    Apply Now
  • Committee on Professional Career Growth
    Charge: The Committee on Professional Career Growth shall update existing and develop new resources to help members identify career paths, set goals for achieving career milestones, progress toward career goals, and track progress toward reaching career milestones.
    Apply Now
  • Committee on Professional Conduct
    Charge: The Committee on Professional Conduct shall investigate charges of misconduct against members of the Society as provided in the governing documents and shall provide support and guidance on Society policies and programs to advance the ethical practice of engineering.
    Apply Now
  • Committee on Student Members
    Charge: The Committee on Student Members shall provide for the development and engagement of students through activities and programs that enhance the formal education process and the transition of Student Members into the profession as ASCE members.
    Apply Now
  • Committee on Sustainability
    Charge: The Committee on Sustainability shall direct, oversee, and coordinate the Society's implementation of ASCE's Sustainability Roadmap. The Committee on Sustainability shall also provide oversight of ASCE's involvement in the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure (ISI).
    Apply Now
  • Committee on Technical Advancement
    Charge: The Committee on Technical Advancement shall collaborate with the Technical Region, the Institutes and the Academies on the technical activities of the Society.
    Apply Now
  • Committee on Younger Members
    Charge: The Committee on Younger Members shall focus on matters of the professional development of civil engineers 35 years of age and younger, and facilitate their engagement with, and participation in, the society. [Applicants must be 35 years old or younger at the time of appointment.]
    Apply Now
  • Department Heads Coordinating Council
    Charge: The Department Heads Coordinating Council shall assist and advise the Committee on Education on the initiation, development, and execution of policies, programs, and procedures designed to enhance civil engineering education and research; foster communication on educational and research matters among all civil engineering department heads, faculty, students, and practitioners; and represent the Society to peer engineering societies' department heads groups both nationally and internationally.
    Apply Now
  • Energy, Environment and Water Policy Committee
    Charge: The Energy, Environment and Water Policy Committee shall develop and maintain ASCE policies related to the areas of energy, environment and water.
    Apply Now
  • Engineering Practice Policy Committee
    Charge: The Engineering Practice Policy Committee shall develop and maintain ASCE policies related to the area of engineering practice.
    Apply Now
  • Governing Documents Committee
    Charge: The Governing Documents Committee shall provide oversight for proposed amendments to the Society's governing documents and provide counsel to the Board of Direction on issues related to the governing documents; and, as directed, review amendments to the governing documents of Organizational Entities.
    Apply Now
  • History and Heritage Committee
    Charge: The History and Heritage Committee shall promote the civil engineering profession's history and heritage.
    Apply Now
  • Infrastructure and Research Policy Committee
    Charge: The Infrastructure and Research Policy Committee shall develop and maintain ASCE policies related to the areas of infrastructure and research.
    Apply Now
  • Leader Training Committee
    Charge: The Leader Training Committee shall be responsible for the coordination and delivery of leader training to Society leaders.
    Apply Now
  • Member Communities Committee
    Charge: The Member Communities Committee shall be responsible for member support, engagement, and communication. The Member Communities Committee shall provide support and oversight to the Society's Geographic Units.
    Apply Now
  • Members of Society Advancing Inclusion Council
    The Members of Society Advancing Inclusion Council shall act as a representative, informed, and responsible decision-maker advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion interests of the civil engineering community; monitor the development and coordination of products and resources within the civil engineering community that promote and advance diversity, equity, and inclusion; and represent the interest of ASCE to the wider STEM and professional engineering communities.
    Apply Now
  • Membership Application Review Committee
    Charge: The Committee processes applications for the ASCE Fellow grade as well as applications for admission or advancement where qualifications do not exactly meet the defined criteria for a particular grade of Society membership. [No travel reimbursements are available for service on this Committee.]
    Apply Now
  • Public Agency Peer Review Committee
    Charge: The Public Agency Peer Review Committee shall provide the leadership for and the organization and management of the peer review for public agencies program. The Public Agency Peer Review Committee shall also establish criteria for selecting and training reviewers and conducting reviews.
    Apply Now
  • Program and Finance Committee
    Charge: The Program and Finance Committee shall oversee the Society's financial resource planning including budget development and investment management.
    Apply Now
  • Public Policy Committee
    Charge: The Public Policy Committee shall coordinate public policy and government relations activities affecting the civil engineering profession and work with allied organizations on matters of mutual interest.
    Apply Now
  • Society Awards Committee
    Charge: The Society Awards Committee shall annually consider and recommend to the Board of Direction nominations for Distinguished Membership in the Society in accordance with the Constitution and Bylaws; recommend to the Executive Committee the recipient of the Norman, Croes, Wellington, and ASCE State of the Art of Civil Engineering prizes; recommend to the Executive Committee nominations for the Outstanding Projects And Leaders (OPAL) Leadership awards; oversee Society Award, Scholarship and Fellowship endowments and the establishment of new Society Awards, Scholarships, and Fellowships; and consider nominations for and award Society Scholarships and Society Fellowships.
    Apply Now
  • State Government Relations and Grassroots Committee
    Charge: The State Government Relations and Grassroots Committee shall assist ASCE's local units and individual members with programs to effectively participate in legislative activities that are of significance to the civil engineering profession.
    Apply Now
  • Transportation Policy Committee
    Charge: The Transportation Policy Committee shall develop and maintain ASCE policies related to the area of transportation.
    Apply Now

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Infrastructure Policy Committee

ASCE Region 9 Infrastructure Policy Committee Update

By

Yazdan T. Emrani, P.E., ENV SP, M. ASCE Chair
Region 9 Infrastructure Policy Committee

The 2019 California Infrastructure Report Card ("CAIRC") released last May, evaluated 17 different categories of our State's infrastructure and assigned a letter grade to each. The overall average report card grade of the 17 categories was a C-! This was in comparison to an overall average of C in the 2012 CAIRC. Of the current 17 categories examined, eleven are in mediocre condition and six are in poor condition. The purpose of producing a Report Card on Infrastructure is to be able to outline key areas where California's infrastructure is doing well, and where it could improve.

Now that the Report Card has been released, the important next step is to bring this information to the attention of our citizens and policymakers. To that end Region 9's Infrastructure Policy Committee or IPC will be a key vehicle in moving this process forward.

The IPC's goals and objectives include, to:

  • 1.Promote the results and recommendations of the 2019 California Infrastructure Report Card to technical (ASCE, APWA, AWWA, etc.) as well as non-technical (Chambers of Commerce, PTOs, business groups, etc.) audiences throughout California;
  • 2.Work with Region 9's Government Relations Committee to champion policies that are supported by Region 9 and to communicate to the same aforementioned groups; and,
  • 3.Develop ideas and potential policy positions for legislative considerations and support by Region 9.

The current makeup of the Committee consists of:

  1. Yazdan Emrani, Chair
  2. Ruwanka Purasinghe, Vice Chair
  3. Jerry Burke
  4. Howard Lum
  5. Guy Hopes

The committee would like to make a call out to interested members of the ASCE California community, including all those involved in the preparation of the Report Card, to contact the committee if you would be interested in getting involved in our future activities in disseminating the results. These efforts would include updating Region 9's informational websites, developing promotional videos for the CAIRC, and possibly speaking in front of various groups to publicize the Report Card results and recommendations. The Committee is also looking for additional members in both Northern and Southern California, and specifically for volunteers from the Sacramento, San Francisco Bay area, San Joaquin and San Diego areas.

If you are interested in helping with any of the aforementioned tasks, please contact me, Yaz Emrani, at [email protected].

A full copy of the 2019 Report Card for California's Infrastructure is available at https://www.infrastructurereportcard.org/state-item/california/

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The Law & Civil Engineering

THE LAW AND CIVIL ENGINEERING

by

Gene Bass

 

There are clauses in contracts, often referred to as “boiler plate,” that one sees regularly and that never seem to present issues. Those clauses, however, can be very dangerous if a situation arises where they can be applied. No clause is so insignificant that it can be ignored. Every part of a contract should be understood so that there can be a realistic assessment of the risk or benefit of keeping it in the contract. Even where the application of a contract clause may later be shown to be unfair, it is more likely that the clause will be strictly applied where the contract is between two business entities. It is very important, therefore, to understand the full ramifications of all parts of your contracts.

Provisions where documents outside the contract are “incorporated by reference” are not uncommon. Much of the time, a contracting party may not have the documents that are “incorporated by reference” and may assume that they are unimportant. They can be very important and should be acquired or made available, especially, if they will be applied to the performance of the work.

The contract should provide for the possibility that the work may be suspended and later resumed. In those cases there will be extra expenses in closing down and resuming the work as well as the possibility of increased costs to complete the work after a suspension. If early termination of the contract is provided, there should be adequate provisions for payment of the costs to wrap up the project as well as loss of the income that would have been realized if the work had continued to the end. Unexpected termination can have a significant negative financial impact that should be compensated.

A difficult issue arises when payment is delayed but the project must go on. Contract provisions that spell out the rights of the engineer under those circumstances can be very helpful and can serve as a basis to cease work without liability if fees are unpaid.

Notice provisions in contracts should be thoroughly understood and followed. It is particularly important that the field personnel be familiar with the notice provisions. There may be delays, differing conditions or changes where the contract requires that notice be given within specific times, to specific persons or in specific formats.. One should not assume that the contract requirements will be satisfied if “they knew about it” or if some owner’s representative was told. Notice provisions are very important in that they allow an owner to take steps to mitigate the impact of the noticed condition. And, adherence to the notice provisions are important because payment can be denied where they are not followed.


This article is intended only to provide general information regarding legal issues. It is not to be relied upon for legal advice. Contact your attorney for advice and guidance on general and specific legal issues.

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California Infrastructure Symposium & Region 9 Awards Banquet

2020 California Infrastructure Symposium and Awards Dinner Preview

By

Adam Killinger, P.E., G.E., M. ASCE
Region 9 Awards Committee Chair

The 2020 California Infrastructure Symposium and Awards Dinner will be held in Sacramento at Hilton Sacramento Arden West on Friday April 3rd, 2020. The 2020 California Infrastructure Symposium this year is a partnership between the ASCE Sacramento Section and ASCE Region 9. The Symposium will be an all-day event attended by engineers, educators, elected officials, professionals and the general public. Every year the attendees and participants of these conjoined events inform, educate, network, and honor influencers and decision makers of our built environment making this a must-attend event. This year's event is in our state capital's backyard, and you can expect legislators will be taking notice and joining in the conversation. So come out, learn something new, network, and celebrate civil engineering.

The Venue:  The Hilton Sacramento Arden West is located at 2200 Harvard Street in Sacramento. The 2020 California Infrastructure Symposium and the 2020 Awards Dinner will conveniently be held at the same location. Make sure you book your room early! http://www.caisregion9.org/

The Lineup:  The Symposium will be comprised of two infrastructure tracks with the following speaker topics:

Transportation and Development Track will Include:

  • Innovative Roadway and Aviation Solutions to Raise the Report Card Grades
    • 2019 ASCE Report Card for California's Transportation Infrastructure
    • Roadway Innovation in Contra Costa County
    • Roadway Innovations in Orange County
    • San Francisco International Airport (SFO) Future Enhancements
  • Transportation, Economics, and Housing: Federal Government Perspectives
    • Federal Government Panel
  • Transportation, Economics, and Housing: California State Capital Perspectives
    • Transportation and Economic Development at the Intersection of Two Key Transportation Corridors
    • Addressing California's Grand Housing Challenge While Reducing VMTs and GHGs
    • Leveraging Transportation to Transform the Central Valley into an Economic Powerhouse
  • Transportation Innovations for Reducing Greenhouse Gases and Vehicle Miles Traveled
    • Urban and Rural Transport Connections to Meet Diverse Mobility Goals
    • Bringing ACE to Midtown and the Sacramento Airport through Active Legislative Engagement
    • SacRT Forward - Bringing Efficiency, Connectivity and Economic Prosperity to the Region

Water Resources and Environment Track will Include:

  • Future of Water Supply Management in California
    • Governor's Water Portfolio
    • Development of Water Supplies, and Impact of Changes to Delta Conveyance
    • Safe Drinking Water Plan 2020
  • Safeguarding Lives and Property in California's Central Valley
    • Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) and Supplemental Funding for Levee Improvements
    • Oroville Dam Post-Repair Comprehensive Needs Assessment – What's Next
    • Update on Dam Safety Regulations in California
  • Solutions to California's Water, Energy, and Environmental Challenges
    • Addressing the Implications of Public Safety Power Shutoffs (PSPS) on Public Water Supply
    • Impact of Cannabis Cultivation on Municipal Water Supply
    • Starting at the Source – Special Considerations for Foothill Water Agencies
  • Sustainable Surface and Groundwater Practices in an Uncertain Future
    • Recent Trends in Integrated Water Planning
    • Sustainable Groundwater Supply
    • Pure Water Monterey – Advanced Water Recycling Project

Speakers for the above topics will include many professionals from public agencies and companies across California. Keynote speakers will include:

  • Barry Broome – CEO, Greater Sacramento Economic Council
  • Felicia Marcus – Former Chair, California State Water Resources Board
  • Jean-Louis Briaud – 2019 President-Elect, American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)

The Infrastructure Symposium will be immediately followed by a networking reception, and then the Awards Dinner Banquet and Ceremony.

The Party: Each year, the many members and individuals who form the foundation of the ASCE Sections, Branches, Institutes, Younger Member and Student chapter groups in Region 9, take the time to recognize the outstanding projects and the selfless efforts of their peers, who contribute to the growth and evolution of the civil engineering profession, and the improvement of the infrastructure we all depend upon. Each group's annual awards program nominates and recognizes praiseworthy individuals and projects within their geographic areas. Each Section's award winners (San Francisco, Sacramento, San Diego and Los Angeles) are then nominated to Region 9 in October each year. Region 9 then selects and recognizes outstanding projects and individuals from across the State of California the following spring during the annual Awards Dinner Ceremony. Join the party and celebrate the individuals and achievements of our civil engineering community!

For more information and to register for the 2019 California Infrastructure Symposium and Awards Dinner Banquet and Ceremony, please bookmark the California Infrastructure Symposium website, the Sacramento Section website, or the Region 9 website. Opportunities to get involved in the planning or to sponsor the Infrastructure Symposium and Awards Dinner are available. We look forward to seeing all of you in Sacramento on April 3rd!

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Continuing Education

GUIDED, INSTRUCTOR-LED ONLINE COURSES 

ASCE announces new asynchronous online instructor-led programs in which you move through a 6 or 12-week learning experience with your peers. The Guided Online Course content includes recorded video lectures, interactive exercises, case studies, live webinars and weekly discussions to help you master the course material. Gain unlimited, 24/7 accessibility to weekly modules. Complete coursework at the time and pace that is most convenient for you, using your own devices. Click here to see full list of courses.

Buy 2 Registrations and get the 3rd Free!

To receive this discount, email contact information for all registrants [email protected] and a registration confirmation email will be sent to each attendee. Or call 1-800-548-2723 to register, and mention the code GOCFREE. To inquire about larger group discounts, write to [email protected]

ON-DEMAND WEBINARS SUBSCRIPTION

You've asked for it and we listened!  Pay 1 low rate, and gain unlimited access to your choice of 10 on-demand webinars from ASCE's complete catalog, during a 365-day subscription period. Order your on-demand webinar subscription today!  For individual use only, not to be used for groups.

 

  • Save up to 63%
  • Earn up to 15 CEUs/PDHs
  • Pay one low fee 
  • 10 on-demand webinars of your choice
  • State-of-the-practice programs taught by leading practitioners
  • A convenient, effective, affordable way to earn CEUs/PDHs for P.E. license renewal

 

LIVE WEBINARS

Webinars are convenient, low-cost, and an efficient training option. Login anywhere and interact with the instructor and other participants. Live webinars cover practical, targeted topics taught by experts in their field. Gain knowledge and earn PDHs. Plus, as a Sacramento Section member, a portion of the webinar fee will go back to support our local chapter. For more details, go to: http://mylearning.asce.org/diweb/catalog/t/2125/c/79 Use Promo Code WEBSACSEC to secure your preferred rate.

Live P.E. and S.E. Exam Reviews 

 

  • Take the guesswork out of your study plan and build confidence for exam day
  • Learn from qualified experts in interactive courses 
  • Receive access to recorded webinars and reference material
  • Take advantage of group rates for 2 or more engineers preparing in the same location

 

ON-DEMAND LEARNING WEBINARS

On-demand learning is a convenient and effective method for engineers to earn PDHs/CEUs and gain practical, real-world knowledge.  ASCE's programs are developed by industry experts and available for a variety of technical areas and in your choice of format to meet the demands facing today's engineers. Plus, as a Sacramento Section member, a portion of the webinar fee will go back to support our local chapter. For more details, go to: http://mylearning.asce.org/diweb/catalog/t/2135/c/79. Use Promo Code WEBSACSEC to secure your preferred rate

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ASCE LinkedIn Group

INTERACT WITH OVER 215,000 CIVIL ENGINEERING PEERS GLOBALLY!

ASCE National's LinkedIn group has become a vital community of professionals like you that share ideas and knowledge. Here you can join your fellow civil engineers to network, interact and exchange ideas. To join, click here. If you are already a member of the group, learn more about networking and the benefits of ASCE membership.

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Officer Contacts

(Those listed in blue are considered Section Board Members with voting authority. Everyone else on this list is invited to our meetings to give an update on their subsidiary organization)

OFFICERS

President Megan LeRoy [email protected] 916-471-8210
President Elect   vacant [email protected] 916-993-4613
Senior Director  Christine Rice [email protected] 530-559-4506
Junior Director Claudia Lewis [email protected]  
Secretary Isela Chavez [email protected]  
Treasurer Jafar Faghih [email protected] 916-679-8864
Past President Mike Konieczki [email protected] 916-840-5211
Executive Director Tony Quintrall [email protected] 916-296-9856
YMF Board Rep Luke Miner [email protected]
[email protected]
916-751-0849
Region 9 Chair Kwame Agyare [email protected]  
Region 9 Governor Elias Karam [email protected] 209-481-6857
Egrs. w/o Borders Levi Johnson [email protected]  
Ladies Auxiliary Marlene Tobia [email protected] 916-492-2181
EOG/Webmaster Escott Anderson [email protected] 916-961-2723
Capital Branch Ron Loutzenhiser [email protected] 916-788-2884
Central Valley Branch Wilson Zhu [email protected] 209-946-0268
Feather River Branch  Guy Hopes [email protected] 530-864-1648
Shasta Branch John Martin [email protected] 530-223-2585 


INSTITUTES

Coasts, Oceans Ports & Rivers Inst. Zia Zafir [email protected] 916-366-1701
Construction Inst.    Brad Quon [email protected] 916-871-2080
Environ. & Water Resources Inst.  Dr. Derya Sumer [email protected] 916-978-5188 
Geo-Institute Kartk Atyam  [email protected] 916-679-2005
Structural Engineering Inst.

Niranjen Kanepathipillai

[email protected]ca.gov 916-227-4463
Transportation & Development Inst.   Vacant     

                                    
STANDING COMMITTEE CHAIRS

College Accreditation Joan Al-Kazily    530-756-9530
Disaster Preparedness John Andrew [email protected] 916-651-9657
Education & Awards Thor Larsen [email protected]  916-973-0356
Government Relations Craig Copelan [email protected] 530-908-4790
History & Heritage Thor Larsen [email protected]  916-973-0356
Membership-Life Mem. Aafreen Latheef [email protected] 209-481-6857
Scholarship Eric Polson [email protected]  916-801-6290
Sustainability Cindy Harkness [email protected] 916-240-7010

                                                     
UNIVERSITIES

California State University, Sacramento Harpreet Gill [email protected]  
University of the Pacific Nelson Tejada [email protected]  
University of California, Davis Darren Mack [email protected]  
California State University, Chico   [email protected]  

 

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