ND Transportation Forum
The need for safe and reliable transportation networks continue to be important to the economy and commerce of North Dakota. Individuals or companies interested in engaging in conversations on transportation infrastructure development should attend.Sponsorship opportunities are available.
This day-long event dives deeper into how transportation and associated policies play a role in all industries. National and regional experts will provide updates on trends and data impacting their organization, industry, and our state. Presentations will range beyond roads, highways, and byways to other modes of transport - including air and rail.
Agenda - Subject to Change
8:00 AM: Registration
9:00 AM: Welcome Address
Arik Spencer, President and CEO, Greater North Dakota Chamber
Cory Fong, Director of Communications & Public Affairs, MDU Resources Group, Inc
9:10 AM: The State of Transportation
Bill Panos, Director, ND Department of Transportation
The North Dakota Department of Transportation is one of the largest state agencies with a biennial budget of over $1.4 billion. Panos will provide a look at the current state of North Dakota's transportation system and the ND Department of Transportation's vision for the future.
9:40 AM: ND Transportation Needs Gap
Denver Tolliver, Director, Upper Great Plains Transportation Institute
North Dakota needs $24.6 billion over the next 20 years to maintain current roads and bridges, but there is only $10 billion in revenue projected. Tolliver will provide a high-level overview of the UGPTI's Transportation Needs Assessment, specific to state and local roads. He will also include an update on the current Needs Study that is underway.
10:00 AM: Local Infrastructure - A Key to North Dakota's Economy
Terry Traynor, Executive Director, ND Association of Counties
Blake Crosby, Executive Director, ND League of Cities
Local economies and their citizens rely on sound infrastructure networks and services. Counties and cities receive $122.5 and $69.6 billion, respectively, from state transportation user revenue - is this enough for local economies to thrive? Traynor and Crosby will discuss the pivotal role of local transportation infrastructure impacting North Dakota's economy.
10:30 AM: Break
10:45 AM: Industry Opportunities and Impacts
Brady Pelton, Government Affairs Manager, ND Petroleum Council
Dan Wogsland, Executive Director, ND Grain Growers Association
Sara Otte Coleman, Tourism Director, ND Department of Commerce
Chad Wolf, General Manager, McNeilus Steel
Key industries impacting North Dakota's GDP are energy, agriculture, manufacturing, and tourism. The success of these industries relies on safe and efficient transportation networks. Hear about the impact our current transportation systems make on North Dakota's industries as well as about potential improvements that can be made to eliminate roadblocks.
11:45 AM: Lunch
1:00 PM: Funding and the Federal Highway Bill - Tentative
Ed Mortimer, Vice President of Transportation Infrastructure, U.S. Chamber of Commerce
Mortimer will present on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's supporting efforts of the re-authorization of the Federal Highway Bill. This bill will replace the sunsetting Fixing America's Surface Transportation (FAST) Act of 2015. Mortimer will further outline the Let's Rebuild America (LRA) initiative is the U.S. Chamber's response to America's infrastructure challenge - keep up with business community demands or U.S. economic productivity and global competitiveness will suffer.
2:00 PM: Freight Movement Impact
Amy McBeth, Director of Public Affairs, BNSF Railway
Kyle Wanner, Director, ND Aeronautics Commission
Dan Zink, Vice President of Economic Development and Community Affairs, Red River Valley and Western Railroad
Transportation is important to maintaining North Dakota's economy and state of life. Annually $106 billion in goods are shipped to from North Dakota. Panelists will discuss their role in the movement of services and goods as well as the regulatory burdens they face.
3:00 PM: Break
3:15 PM: The Economic Impact of Transportation Construction - Tentative
Kenneth D Simonson, Chief Economist, The Associated General Contractors of America
North Dakota's transportation construction budget is 81% federally funded, compared to the national average of 42.5%. This results in a problem because only 17% of North Dakota's 107,000 miles of roadways are eligible for federal funds, and the Federal Highway Trust Fund is going broke. Simonson will discuss the contribution of construction to the economy and employment in the state and nation. His presentation will dissect current information on materials cost, labor trends, and overall outlook. Attendees will understand the impact of additional investments on construction and the overall economy.
4:00 PM: Policymaker Panel
Senate Majority Leader Rich Wardner
Representative Corey Mock
Representative Don Vigesaa
Moderated by Matt Gardner, Director of Government Affairs, Greater North Dakota Chamber
ND Legislators have tough decisions as they face the upcoming 2021 Legislative Session. Conversations on concerns related to the viability of North Dakota's transportation networks have resulted in bills, like Operation Prairie Dog; however, there is still more work to be done. Bad roads cost North Dakota motorists an estimated $250 million annually or $449 per driver. Panelists will review challenges and potential solutions to address future needs.