Dr. Kam Movassaghi, Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development (DOTD), delivered the keynote address at the opening session of the 2004 Louisiana Transportation Engineering Conference held February 15-18 at the Radisson Hotel and Conference Center in Baton Rouge.
More than 1,600 people from 25 states attended the conference, which had as its theme “Transportation – Louisiana’s Road to Economic Development. The event is held on a biennial basis to foster a better relationship and understanding among DOTD, Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), and the transportation industry.
The conference is the only such statewide gathering of transportation infrastructure professionals aimed at their continued education and improved professionalism, he added.
Other opening speakers included Governor Blanco’s Chief of Staff, Andy Kopplin, State Sen. Jody Amedee, State Rep. William Daniel, motivational speaker, Dr. Dale Henry, Tony Sussmann, FHWA division administrator, John Horsely, executive director of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO), and Peter Wilson, Sr. V.P. Barrier Construction Company.
One other featured speaker at the conference was Mike Tidwell, author of the book, Bayou Farewell: The Rich Life and Tragic Decline of Louisiana’s Glorious Coast. Tidwell, whose book was selected by the Baton Rouge Advocate as the best nonfiction book of the year, spoke on the diminishing wetlands of Louisiana.
The conference included forty-one technical sessions, over 123 technical presentations and eight “How to Clinics” covering a host of topic areas.
Included were such topics as I-49, I-69, new road and bridge design concepts, construction/maintenance innovations, Louisiana’s TIMED program, construction work zone design, pavement evaluations, hurricane planning, environmental issues, Louisiana’s role in the global economy and many more.
DOTD construction project awards were also presented at the conference. The award, location, and winners included:
* Asphalt Paving Award (Interstate): I-49 between La. 10 – La. 106, presented to DOTD’s Lafayette District Office and D & J Construction.
* Asphalt Paving Award Non-Interstate: Sabine Parish at the intersection of La. 120/La. 6, presented to DOTD’s Alexandria District Office and Madden Contracting Company.
* Structural Bridge Award in an Urban Area: I-10/I-610 West Interchange, presented to DOTD’s New Orleans District Office and Boh Bros. Construction Co.
* Structural Bridge Award in a Rural Area: Lake Bistineau Spillway Bridge, presented to DOTD’s Shreveport District Office and Angelo Iafrate Construction.
* Concrete Paving Award in a Rural Area: U.S. 171 from the Mansfield Airport to Grand Cane, presented to DOTD’s Shreveport District Office and Best-Yet Builders.
* Concrete Paving Award in an Urban Area: I-10 Off Ramp/College Drive intersection in Baton Rouge, presented to DOTD’s Baton Rouge District Office and Hard Rock Construction Co.
A trade show featuring 60 exhibitors was also conducted.