Eric Wood is our featured associate this month. [...]
By: Charles Cochran, PE, PTOE
Last week I had the pleasure of attending the 61st Annual Transportation Conference at the Renaissance Hotel in Montgomery, AL. This was my second year attending the two-day conference, which usually has around 900 guests. The attendees represented a wide-range of transportation-related professions, including contractors, consultants, federal and state personnel, material vendors, researchers, and university faculty. While the crowd size can be a bit intimidating at first for us introverted engineers, the conference provides a great opportunity to catch up with old colleagues, form new partnerships, and discuss ongoing projects.
Between networking and huddling for quick project meetings, I was able to attend twelve presentations. The presentations were 30 minutes each and featured speakers from across the nation, from New York City to Reno, Nevada. They covered a variety of topics, including “Use of an Autonomous Impact Attenuator in Colorado” and “Engineering and Construction Challenges of the Burj Khalifa – the World’s Tallest Structure.” The presentation that most interested me was on the Atlanta BeltLine – one of the largest urban redevelopment projects currently underway in the United States. The project will connect 45 neighborhoods around a 22-mile loop around downtown Atlanta. Upon project completion in 2030, the Beltline will include 33 miles of multi-use trails, 2,000 acres of parks, and 5,600 affordable housing units.
During the luncheon on the first day, we had the opportunity to hear Governor Kay Ivey give an inspiring speech, and before we adjourned on the second day, ALDOT Transportation Director, John Cooper spoke on the challenges faced during the early planning stages of the Mobile Bay Bridge project.
As in years past, the Annual Transportation Conference provided a great forum for transportation professionals to network and exchange innovative ideas.