REGION 9 REPORTS – JULY 2019 NEWSLETTER
By John C. Hogan, P.E., M.ASCE
and Tony Akel, P.E., M.ASCE
Co-Chairs, ASCE Region 9 California Infrastructure Report Card Task Committee
ASCE Region 9 unveiled the 2019 Edition of the California Infrastructure Report Card to the public on the morning of May 7, 2019 at our State Capitol in Sacramento. Region 9 Director Kwame Agyare, P.E, and 2020 President Guna Gunalan, P.E., presided over the release event.
The 2019 California Infrastructure Report Card (“CAIRC”) evaluates 17 categories of our State’s infrastructure and assigns a letter grade to each. The overall average of the 17 categories was ‘C-‘. (This compares to an overall of average of ‘C’ in the previous CAIRC, which was released in 2012.) Of the 17 categories, eleven are in mediocre condition and six are in poor condition. The Report Card acknowledges that recent investments have been made across all 17 categories, however California is playing catch up after years of underinvestment and must identify investment needs for resilient infrastructure in preparation for future natural and manmade disasters. The Report Card outlines key areas where California’s infrastructure is doing well and where it could improve.
Region 9 Director Kwame Agyare giving the Welcome address
|ASCE President-Elect K.N. Gunalan with Opening Remarks
|Report Card Co-Chair John Hogan introducing the Report Card
Tony Akel, Co-Chair, explaining the Report Card Grades
|Revealing the Grades
|Assembly Member Mark Levine providing remarks on the Grades
Here is the list of grades:
Although the Report Card identifies many areas that need improvement, there are a few bright spots. Aviation, Ports, and Wastewater were the three highest grades in the report, all with grades of “C+.” In general, airport runways are good condition and in 2017, California published a 10-year Capital Improvement Plan, which identified $2.77 billion in funding needs for 1,735 aviation projects. In 2017, California’s ports handled 40 percent of all containerized cargo entering the U.S. and 30 percent of the nation’s exports. Wastewater systems in California are equipped to meet population needs for the next 10 to 20 years and the state has adopted advanced technologies to treat and discharge wastewater.
In addition to the evaluation and analysis of the 17 infrastructure categories, the Report Card also offers solutions to raise the grades. Solutions include promoting effective and collaborative leadership, developing smart plans to better identify funding needs, increasing state and local funding, and using life cycle cost analysis on infrastructure projects. The Report Card and these recommendations were shared with California state legislators by ASCE member during the Advocacy Day visits that took place in the Capitol on the afternoon of the Report Card release.
ASCE Region 9 created the 2019 CAIRC as a public service to citizens and policymakers to inform them of the infrastructure needs in the state. The school report card letter grades condense complicated data into an easy-to-understand analysis of California’s infrastructure networks.
The 2019 CAIRC, like all ASCE State and Regional Infrastructure Report Cards, was modeled after and employed the same methodology as the national Infrastructure Report Card, which gave America’s infrastructure a grade of “D+” in 2017.
Now that the Report Card has been released, the important next step is to bring this information to the attention to our citizens and policymakers. Our committee leadership invites those involved in the preparation of the Report Card, leaders of ASCE Sections, Branches, Institutes, and YMF’s, and other concerned members to become knowledgeable on this subject and then go out and publicize the Report Card results and recommendations. In the next month or so, Region 9 is planning a webinar for those interested in making presentations on the report card. PowerPoint and handouts will be made available. In the meantime, we are willing and available to coordinate presentations for interested groups. Please contact Tony at email@example.com and/or John at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We were honored to work with an incredible team of over 100 professionals and experts from throughout California who formed the Report Card Committee. This team dedicated over 18 months and countless volunteer hours to produce the product that we unveiled on May 7th. We are extremely grateful for their time, expertise, and dedication to this project. In particular, we want to acknowledge the valuable contributions of our fellow members of the Report Card Executive Committee: Harvey Gobas, P.E., Larry Pierce, P.E., Ken Rosenfield, P.E., Shahn Ahmad, P.E., and Kwame Agyare, P.E., Region 9 Director. We are also extremely grateful to Anna Denecke, ASCE Senior Manager, Infrastructure Initiatives, for her guidance, advice, and expert assistance throughout the 2019 CAIRC endeavor.
A full copy of the 2019 California Infrastructure Report Card is available at InfrastructureReportCard.org/California.
by Kenneth H. Rosenfield, P.E., F.ASCE Chair, ASCE Region 9 Government Relations Committee
On May 7, 2019, ASCE Region 9 members gathered on the State Capitol grounds for an exciting day of Legislative Advocacy training and action! It was a beautiful day in Sacramento as we gathered under a tent in the park area just east of the Capitol buildings. Thank you, to the Sacramento Section volunteers, and to Region 9 Administrator Anne Ettley, for helping with logistics and making this a smooth-running event!
The morning began with the unveiling of the 2019 California Infrastructure Report Card with comments provided by Region 9 Director Kwame Agyare, P.E., and 2020 ASCE President K.N. (Guna) Gunalan, P.E. The Report Card was presented by the California Infrastructure Report Card Co-Chairs Tony Akel, P.E. and John Hogan, P.E. Over 60 ASCE members received presentations from Assemblymember Marc Levine from the northerly San Francisco Bay area and from the President of the California Business Roundtable, Mr. Rob Lapsley. The first part of our morning was focused upon the need to improve California’s mediocre infrastructure that received an overall grade of C-.
After a morning break, Kenneth Rosenfield, P.E., welcomed our members to the legislative advocacy training in preparation for the day’s visits to our legislators. Maria Matthews, Senior Manager of ASCE’s Government Relations Program, provided an in-depth “government relations 101” course to our members. Richard Markuson of the Pacific Advocacy Group reviewed the Region 9 Briefing papers and overall objectives for the day’s visits with legislators. Maria and Richard then provided two role-play scenarios to educate our members on how interactions with elected officials would likely occur. The members then gathered in teams to review the ASCE hand out materials and to coordinate their efforts. It was then our pleasure to be presented with comments from Assemblymember Luz Rivas of the Los Angeles Area. Ms. Rivas encouraged our membership to remain engaged in legislative advocacy and to develop relationships with elected officials. She expressed appreciation for all of the ASCE efforts in government relations! Our members then made scheduled visits with their legislators and also helped to pass out the new 2019 California Infrastructure Report Card to all 117 legislative offices. It was a great and successful day in the State Capitol. Thanks to all for participating!
The ASCE Region 9 Government Relations Committee actively monitors and recommends positions on statewide legislative and regulatory proposals that affect civil engineers and support the standing policies of ASCE. The committee is also responsible for coordinating the annual Region 9 Legislative Fly-In and the follow up local visits, which are intended to encourage an ongoing dialogue between ASCE members and their legislators on issues of importance to ASCE. If you would like to learn more about the activities of the Region 9 Government Relations Committee, please contact me KRosenfield@lagunahillsca.gov.
Legislative Day Attendees on the steps of the State Capitol in Sacramento, California
Changes are coming to the Raise the Bar Initiative
Introducing the Committee on Preparing the Future Civil Engineer
By Jeffrey Cooper, P.E., Region 9 Governor for the San Diego Section
Contributions by Kenneth Rosenfield, P.E., Chair, Government Relations
The Raise the Bar initiative has undergone, and continues to undergo, significant changes in its efforts to support the ASCE Goal No. 3 which states that “ASCE advances the educational and professional standards for civil engineers.” By action of the Board of Direction (BOD) in the fall of 2016, the Raise the Bar Committee (RTBC) was directed to explore and report on alternatives to its longstanding strategy to implement ASCE Policy 465 which focuses upon changes to state licensing laws. This resulted in a refreshed new effort to instead focus on conveying both the importance to all Civil Engineers of the need to meet the outcomes of the Civil Engineering Body of Knowledge (CEBOK), third edition, and to identify new pathways for future Civil Engineers to be recognized for the attainment of those outcomes. It is an exciting time of new direction and energy being invested into this important initiative, recently rebranded as “Engineer Tomorrow” – more to follow on that change.
There is an acknowledgement among many that the knowledge base that Civil Engineers must now know in order to keep up with the world’s complexity and increasing regulatory and standards growth cannot be learned in a four-year baccalaureate degree. While mentored experience and on the job training is a significant contributor to enhancing knowledge, postgraduate education is typically required in order to meet the recommended outcomes in the CEBOK. This advanced level of education can be obtained through a master’s degree program but can likely also, as an alternative approach, be obtained through other learning options. In either case, we, as a profession, must recognize that the future of our profession will require more education.
The BOD has approved the following definition of this issue:
The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), as the acknowledged leader of the civil engineering profession, has a responsibility to establish and advance standards to fulfill its mission to protect the public health, safety, and welfare. This responsibility includes the establishment of a body of knowledge (BOK) to describe the minimum knowledge, skills, and attitudes necessary for the future professional practice of civil engineering. ASCE has determined there is a gap between the CEBOK and the current educational and experiential requirements for professional licensure in civil engineering. Additional education and relevant experience is required for the future civil engineer. Otherwise, civil engineering is at risk of losing relevance and its place as a learned profession.
For the past two and one-half years, the RTBC, in response to the BOD directive, has developed a new problem definition (shown above) and a new brand (each of which has been approved by the BOD). They have also been evaluating how a credentialing system may be utilized to recognize Civil Engineers who meet the outcomes of the CEBOK, considering necessary updates to Policy 465, and have proposed a new committee name and charge to better align with all of these changes. A tremendous amount of dedicated committee member work has been completed and more is on its way to the BOD for review and approval.
The proposed new name of this committee is the “Committee on Preparing the Future Civil Engineer” (CPFCE). The newly formed charge statement for this committee is “The Committee on Preparing the Future Civil Engineer shall advance the Society’s educational qualifications and professional standards for the practice of civil engineering.” Hence, as one can see, the CPFCE is fully aligned with the ASCE Goal No. 3.
As briefly mentioned, the conveyance of the messages above will now be under the brand of “Engineer Tomorrow” with an emphasis on immediate outreach to our student and younger members. A formal Communications Plan will be developed over the next year. ASCE utilized the assistance of a marketing consultant to assist us in rebranding and defining the objectives of the new Engineer Tomorrow initiative. The work by consultant Avyance included the following statements:
American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) is committed to delivering value to its members and to maintaining the esteem of the civil engineering profession. One of the ASCE’s longstanding initiatives is dedicated to highlighting for members the benefits of advanced education. The ASCE Engineer Tomorrow program promotes and advocates for advanced post-undergraduate education for all civil engineers.
The Engineer Tomorrow program is designed to:
- Increase awareness of the need for advanced post-undergraduate education for civil engineers.
- Increase the percentage of civil engineers enrolling in post-undergraduate educational programs.
- Underscore the positive impact of higher educational standards on the profession as a whole.
- Empower individuals to take responsibility for the future of the civil engineering profession.
- Highlight the successes of ASCE members with advanced education.
- Prompt members with advanced degrees to mentor and encourage others to gain additional skills, knowledge, and education.
The Engineer Tomorrow program aims to reinvigorate target audiences, show support and encouragement to members-at-large, and provide the information and resources needed to all those who might seek post-undergraduate education options.
A communications subcommittee of CPFCE is working with ASCE Staff in the preparation of the Communications Plan. Watch for more information coming your way as we work as a profession to engineer tomorrow.
Another task committee of CPFCE has completed a robust evaluation of a potential credentialing program and an Interim Report will soon be presented to the BOD. The Interim Report includes research of the credentialing processes and programs offered in the medical, legal, accounting, and physical therapy professions, and how aspects of these systems may be applied to credentialing within the civil engineering profession. The committee also reviewed the available credentials relevant to civil engineering practice, including those offered by ASCE via Civil Engineering Certification, Inc. (CEC) and by other organizations. This exploratory process focused on the background, needs, prerequisites, and processes for certifications. Data gathered confirmed that no single existing certification is universally recognized as the qualifier of the appropriate knowledge, skills, and attitudes for the practice of civil engineering, including its specialty areas, at the professional level, or meeting the outcomes of the CEBOK. The task committee has concluded that this presents an opportunity for ASCE to develop such a system, informed by the success of the medical model.
Further, this task committee is proposing a framework for a comprehensive credentialing system to validate fulfillment of the CEBOK as a complement to professional engineer status, including depth in a specialty area, via education beyond a bachelor’s degree, documented mentored experience, a thorough application process, and a standardized examination. The proposed qualifications are intended to ensure that civil engineers demonstrate technical competency, professional skills, and high character consistent with ASCE’s Engineer Tomorrow initiative, the outcomes in the CEBOK, and the ASCE Code of Ethics. The proposed system expands ASCE’s certification offerings to additional specialty areas within civil engineering to cover all primary practice areas. As of the time of writing this article, we do not know the decision of the BOD on certification, more information will follow on the future of this concept.
ASCE Region 9 has a representative on the Society’s Committee on Preparing the Future Civil Engineer and if you have more questions, please reach out to Kenneth Rosenfield, P.E., at Krosenfield@lagunaghillsca.gov.
By Mitch Duran, ASCE San Diego Transportation Chairman
Through this past year, the San Diego ASCE–Transportation Group has focused on hosting several special guests from various agencies. Our core objective was to engage local lead agencies to assist in the dissemination of information regarding local project with major regional impacts.
The San Diego Transportation Group has been very active this year under the leadership of the current board members: Mitch Duran, PE, MBA of GHD (Chairman), Kumar Ghosh, Ph.D., P.E. of T.Y. Lin (Vice Chair), Karibia Baillargeon of Kleinfelder (Secretary), and Ebrahim Amiri, Ph.D., P.E. of WSP (Social and Scholarship Chair).
The group has hosted several speakers this year from various agencies and consultants throughout the region. The two examples shown below provide insight on some of the topics discussed:
Chula Vista’s Smart Transportation Future – Jose Luis Gomez, P.E., P.L.S., a Principal Civil Engineer with the City of Chula Vista, spoke on the City of Chula Vista’s Smart Transportation Future. The presentation provided an overview of the City’s plan, its challenges, and insights on the implementation of becoming a smart City. The City of Chula Vista is located at the center of one of the richest cultural, economic and environmentally diverse zones in the United States. It is a leader in conservation and renewable energy, has outstanding public schools, and has been designated one of the safest cities in the country. In addition, the City of Chula Vista places a high priority on its transportation network. It is one of the leaders in the nation with their implementation of smart technologies throughout their local transportation network.
Genesee Viaduct, Mid-Coast Corridor Transit Project – Pooya Haddadi, P.E., S.E., supervising bridge engineer at WSP, and Dan Heiman, P.E., Project Executive at Skanska USA Civil, spoke on the design and construction of the Genesee Viaduct. The presentation discussed design challenges, CMGC interaction during design, and an update on the on-going construction. The Mid‐Coast Corridor Transit Project, located in San Diego, California will extend light-rail service from downtown San Diego to the UC San Diego community, eleven miles to the north. The $2.2B project includes 12 bridge and viaduct LRT structures, five aerial transit station structures and several unique wall structures. Genesee viaduct is one of the three major long viaducts in this transit corridor and is recognized as the first long aerial structure utilizing curved spliced precast U girders supporting light rail transit vehicles in Southern California.
In addition to the luncheon speaker series, the ASCE Transportation Group also gets involved in networking and philanthropic opportunities. We recently hosted our annual joint Summer Social with the local chapter of APWA at a San Diego Padres Game. This year the Transportation Group has awarded three scholarships to local college students in the San Diego region.
To learn more about the ASCE San Diego Transportation Group, please contact Karibia Baillargeon at KBaillargeon@kleinfelder.com.