AHTD Liason Committee Meeting

partnershipArkansas State Highway & Transportation Department

American Council of Engineering Companies – Arkansas


Liaison Committee Meeting Summary

October 31, 2012

A meeting of the AHTD-ACEC/A Liaison Committee was held on Wednesday, October 31, 2012 at the AHTD headquarters in Little Rock, Arkansas.  Those in attendance were:



Frank Vozel, Deputy Director & Chief Engineer

Lorie Tudor, Assistant Chief Engineer – Planning

Michael Fugett, Assistant Chief Engineer – Design


James Barr, Florence & Hutcheson (Chair)

Jim Beavers, CEI

Mike Burns, Crafton Tull



Sandra Otto (guest)




James Barr opened the meeting with introductions.  Mike Burns has been added to the committee.  Glynn Fulmer has rotated off the committee.  Sandra Otto of FHWA attended the meeting as guest.


Approval of Minutes


James Barr asked if there were any corrections needed to the January 11, 2012 Meeting Minutes.  Minutes were approved as presented.



Old Business


  • Status of electronic invoicing


Michael Fugett reported:


AHTD Computer Services is reviewing development of in-house software vs. outsourcing the software development.  The decision may be made in early 2013.


PDF invoicing, in lieu of mailed paper invoicing is permitted.  Mike Burns (Crafton Tull) has tested and used this system with AHTD.  A separate email address is available for consultants to submit PDF invoices if requested (by ACEC or the applicable consultants).



  • Status of RCB Standard Drawings to LRFD


Michael Fugett  reported:


The AHTD design software for the design of new reinforced concrete box culverts (RCBC) by LFRD is available on the FTP site.  AHTD will offer training on the use of this software in the future.  ACEC and AHTD will coordinate on this date.


AHTD is saving and archiving their individual designs as references.


Due to the time and labor required, AHTD cannot commit to a set of standards as previously issued for the working stress design concrete box culverts.



  • Status of ACEC boiler plate contract revision and certification letters.


James Barr noted ACEC is still working on comments to share with AHTD (The basis will be redlines received from Garver).



  • Update on Design/Build possibilities and pending expiration of current D/B legislation March 2013.


Frank Vozel reported:


AHTD will request reauthorization at the 2013 General Session.  The current legislation permits two projects of $50 million or greater.  AHTD may request revisions to the number of projects and also permitting project of less cost.


Design build is a tool for specific projects that AHTD may or may not utilize, but it is a needed tool.  AHTD is not necessarily for or against Design build but needs the option.  If approved, it will be used on ½ cent Program only.


  • Update on Responsiveness of Consultants working for the Department.  Concern has been previously expressed that AHTD jobs have not received the same priority as other jobs performed by Consultants.

Frank Vozel replied that AHTD is pleased to see that our (consultants) responsiveness is improved and “much better”.



  • Update on Every Day Counts.  Accelerated Bridge Design Concepts.

Michael Fugett stated that AHTD evaluates each project as applicable for accelerated bridge design.  AHTD is always looking for an applicant and a specific project to present itself for accelerated bridge construction.


Frank Vozel noted that:


AHTD spends significant time and energy on brainstorming and thinking outside of the box for specific projects and specific bridge locations.


AHTD has met with the larger national bridge construction companies and received their input for accelerated bridge design in general and specifically for the Broadway Bridge project.


The use of incentives and disincentives is a positive method to let the contractors assist with creative and accelerated options.



  • Sharing of Electronic Design Data with Contractors and liability issues associated with providing the data. (Not old business but discussed as part of the Every Day Counts)

Mike Burns discussed the 3D modeling as requested by contractors prior to bidding and as discussed by FHWA at the Every Day Counts 2 Conference.  Mike Burns stated that contractors are requesting the models prior to bidding to use in making their proposals.  They are also used after contract award to construct the project (electronic data replacing blue tops and staking).


Mike Burns further noted:


Liability is not an issue as long as a disclaimer document is signed including the requirement that the plans control or supersede electronic data.  The contractors are fine with signing the disclaimer document releasing liability.


Electronic data may improve bids and thus save AHTD money.



Sandra Otto added that FHWA is looking at the State’s administration of local projects; and looking at bridge acceleration such as precast and slide-in bridges as part of Every Day Counts 2.


Frank Vozel reiterated that the use of incentives and disincentives, including A+B+C method, is a positive method to let the contractors assist with creative and accelerated options.



New Business



  • Appreciation for the commonly used special provisions being made available through the ftp site and the standard drawings in PDF form on the website.
  • Appreciation for the internal notices regarding promotions in the Department being distributed to ACEC/A.
  • Update regarding MAP-21.

Frank Vozel stated:


The Department (and AASHTO) are staying current and abreast of MAP-21.  MAP-21 effects funding.  MAP-21 is not the typical Highway Bill, it is a 2 year authorization and not a 6 year authorization.


MAP-21 is authorization but not appropriation, the appropriation is a six month continuing resolution.


MAP-21 includes Performance Measures and deadlines.  The Rules are listed to be promulgated by April 2014.  The Bill expires shortly thereafter.


Previous Bills with a 6 year authorization were more beneficial to the States.


Sandra Otto replied that guidance is provided on the FHWA website.


Sandra Otto stated that the three Arkansas MPO’s (TMA’s) are very excited over the additional control they will have over projects and funding.


Frank Vozel noted that these same TMA’s will receive $5 million less in funding.


Sandra Otto noted that the TMA’s are very happy with more control even with less money.


Frank Vozel summarized MAP-21 as the overall funding is less.  The Highway Trust Fund is being depleted, and future Federal Funding may be further reduced as much as 35% in the next 1-2 years.  Innovative financing as described in the Bill cannot be more debt.



  • Sharing of Electronic Design Data with Contractors and liability issues associated with providing the data.

Refer to above.



  • Status and/or implementation of MEPDG for pavement design.

Michael Fugett reported:


AHTD will use dual pavement designs starting in 2013.  Additional training in MEPDG by Dr. Hall is planned.  The dual designs will be compared and the Department will then move forward with MEPDG.


Concerning FWD (Falling Weight Deflectometer), AHTD is using FWD for certain projects.   If FWD is required, AHTD will provide those services and will not ask the consultant to provide.



  • How is the decision made to make a general advertisement versus advertisement to On-call consultants versus assignment to an On-call consultant?

Frank Vozel noted that there is not a formal policy or procedure, the selection is project driven.  Further:


AHTD considers the project and many other criteria when determining to use the on-call or a separate advertisement.


AHTD considers the needs and uses their judgment to determine if advertising will result in additional ideas and/or needed resources.


Jim Beavers stated that he appreciated the mix of advertisements to permit opportunities.



  • If the ½ cent sales tax passes on Nov. 6th, will work be assigned to the current On-call consultants?  Update on Program Manager Project concept.

Frank Vozel noted:


AHTD will not provide the design or construction phase services (CE&I) for the ½ cent sales tax program.


AHTD will use a Program Manger, and potentially two Program Mangers.


One PM for the I-30 project ($300 million).  AHTD is reviewing the criteria and may, or may not, allow this PM to be the lead designer.


A second PM for the remaining projects.  No decision on if this PM will also be allowed to design selected projects.


AHTD will move quickly after the tax is approved November 6, 2012.  The legal requirements of utilizing the bond funds and the needs of the State require that AHTD move with speed.


AHTD is staffed for their normal workload (design and maintenance) and sees the benefit of using consultants for this temporary sales tax program.


AHTD could revise their position if workload and economics require



Mike Burns noted that in Oklahoma they are required to use individuals who reside in Oklahoma.

James Barr noted that as a taxpayer he supports the efficient use of the funds and AHTD may determine that the PM should be in-state or a national firm as based on what is the most efficient use of resources.


Lorie Tudor asked if the consultants have experience working with Program Managers.


Jim Beavers noted the recent City of Springdale Bond Program and the Program Manager was a national firm.  Jim Beavers experiences were positive, the PM managed and reviewed while local consultants designed the projects.  There was some political push back at the end of the program and the City of Springdale (Patsy Christie) might be consulted for more information related to their program.



  • Discussion regarding design firms providing construction engineering and inspection services (CE&I) on projects they have designed.

Mike Burns noted that FHWA is opposed to the design firm providing CE&I services.  The Consultants normally provide CE&I for their own designs, both public and private.


Frank Vozel noted that AHTD inspects the projects which they designed and they do not see what they do as a problem.  However, he stated that letting a consultant provide CE&I for a project which they designed could be a problem.


Sandra Otto restated FHWA’s opposition.



  • Bentley is planning a major update to InRoads.  Has a schedule been discussed for implementing the next version of InRoads or other design software?

Mike Burns discussed the upcoming upgrades and changes that will be very expensive and time consuming.  Bentley is combining InRoads and GeoPak and will change the way we design.


Michael Fugett reported:


The planned software combination will change the way we design

horizontal alignments, vertical alignments, prepare plan and profile and prepare cross-sections.  The software changes will change everything, a total change in our business.


The software will require a new operating system and significantly more memory.


Bentley will support InRoads for approximately two more years.


AHTD cannot change in 2013 due to the STIP workload, but the time required for AHTD and their consultants is over the next two years.


Lorie Tudor asks how the consultants are dealing with this change.


Mike Burns noted that we prefer to match AHTD’s schedule and meet AHTD’s requirements.  The costs are significant in software, hardware, and training.



Michael Fugett stated that we (AHTD and the consultants) will be working through this together, communication will be key.



  • Is AHTD familiar with the revisions to 23 CFR Part 172 with comments due November 5, 2012?  Related to procurement of federally funded projects.

Frank Vozel noted that AHTD is aware and providing Comments.


Lorie Tudor noted that Jennifer Williams (Consultant Coordinator) and the audit section have reviewed and no major changes are noted. AHTD is already generally complying with these requirements.



  • ACEC/A State Agency Forum – December 7, 2012

Location – Garver in North Little Rock

AHTD is invited to attend and encouraged to provide a speaker.  typically 35 minutes is allotted for AHTD.



  • Other Information that might be of interest to ACEC/A.

I-555 Access Road shortlist time?  (Mike Burns)


This week (Michael Fugett)


Statewide Bicycle/PED Plan shortlist? (Jim Beavers)


Possibly November 8th,  or up to two weeks past (Lorie Tudor).  AHTD is also coordinating with the Parks Department.


Mike Burns asked about an update to a modification of legislature in Arkansas on the “Move Over” law to include AHTD vehicles as well as emergency vehicles. ACEC would like to include consultants, surveyors, utilities and other vehicles that would be working as well as AHTD vehicles.


Frank Vozel replied that AHTD will be requesting a change in legislation in 2013.


Mike Burns stated that ACEC is working on updating our Charter adding a working group with more individuals being included preparing the agenda prior to submitting to AHTD and asked if AHTD had a preference to amend the existing Charter or complete a new Charter.  ACEC prefers to continue with two meetings per year.


Frank Vozel said AHTD did not have a preference and they were agreeable to two meetings per year.



There being no further business, the meeting was adjourned.

ACEC/A Constitution






(REVISED June 5, 2009)


ARTICLE               TITLE                                                                             PAGE


I.                           NAME                                                                    2


II.                         AFFILIATION                                                          2


III.                        PURPOSES                                                             2


IV.                         OFFICERS AND GOVERNING BODY                           3


V.                          MEMBERSHIP                                                          3


VI.                         MEETINGS                                                              3


VII.                       DURATION                                                             4


VIII.                      AMENDMENTS TO CONSTITUTION                            4


IX.                         BYLAWS AND BYLAW AMENDMENTS                         4







The name of the corporation is:  American Council of Engineering Companies of Arkansas hereinafter referred to as the Council.




The American Council of Engineering Companies of Arkansas shall be a member organization, state in nature, of the American Council of Engineering Companies.




The Council shall be a benevolent non-profit Corporation, organization for the following purposes:


i.        to protect the public welfare;


ii.       to safeguard the ethical standards of the engineering profession and ensure the ethical standards are maintained by consulting engineers in private practice;


iii.      to promote harmony, cooperation, and mutual understanding among consulting engineers;


iv.      to cooperate with public bodies and other organizations in matter of common interest;


v.       to promote the professional and economic welfare of its members;


vi.      to act as a clearinghouse and information center among its members and provide cooperative services for their common purpose and benefit.


vii.     to advise on enactment of legislation on  national and state basis affecting the interests of consulting engineers, and assisting its members on local legislation that may have a relation to the general interests of the Council;


viii.     to support and assist in the advancement of the science and practice of engineering, and;


ix.      to own, lease, rent or acquire real and personal property, and to sell, convey, mortgage, exchange, dispose of property and assets as  necessary for the benefit of the Council.




The Council shall be governed by the Council membership and a Board of Directors comprised of the following officers:  President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer, Immediate Past President, National Director, and not less than two (2) State Directors whose election and duties shall be set forth in the Bylaws to be adopted by the Council membership.




The membership of the Council shall be Firm Memberships and the qualifications, procedures for admission and separation shall be as set forth in the Bylaws.


The present membership of the American Council of Engineering Companies of Arkansas shall constitute the initial membership hereof.




The Council shall meet annually within thirty (30) days of the end of the Fiscal Year as provided by the Bylaws.  The newly elected officers shall be installed at the annual meeting and the budget for the coming year shall be approved by the Council membership.  The membership shall be notified of the date set for the annual meeting at least fifteen (15) days in advance of the meeting.


The Council membership shall meet at least three (3) times during each fiscal year in addition to the Annual meeting.


The Board of Directors of the Council shall meet at least four (4) times during each fiscal year.


Special meetings may be called of the Board of Directors at its own discretion or by written petition submitted to the Board of Directors and signed by 10% of the Council membership.


With the exception of the annual meeting, all meetings shall be restricted to principals.



The duration of the Council shall be perpetual.




Amendments to this Constitution shall be adopted at the annual meeting by seventy-five percent (75%) affirmative vote of the Council membership.  The method and privileges of voting by the Council membership shall be as provided in the Bylaws.




The implementation of this Constitution shall be set forth in the Bylaws as amended, which are attached hereto.


Amendments to the Bylaws shall be adopted at the annual meeting by a sixty-six percent (66%) affirmative vote of the Council membership.  The method and privileges of voting by the Council membership shall be as provided in the Bylaws.

Strategic Plan


Established January 2006



To support the business interests of engineering companies by promoting legislative advocacy and providing business services




Creating a better future through:
Ø Improving the quality of life through the application of science and technology
Ø Protecting the health, safety, and welfare of the public in the built environment
Ø Adhering to a high level of ethical conduct in business practices



To be the lead organization promoting the business interests of companies providing professional knowledge and services for the built environment.



To achieve its mission, ACEC/A has identified four major strategies of the organization:

1. Governmental Affairs

Maintain a strong governmental affairs program consisting of:Ø Promotion of a Legislative Program including Long and Short Term Priorities.
Ø Reactive Strategy and Legislative Activity
Ø Provide an ACEC/A Political Action Committee (PAC)
Ø Promote and encourage strong financial support of ACEC/A State PAC and ACEC National PAC

2. Business Affairs

Provide opportunities for member firms to advance their business practice of consulting engineering and associate members through the following:Ø Programs and Seminars on Business Practices
Ø Interaction on Liaison Committees
Ø Promotion of Qualifications Based Selection
Ø Group insurance, retirement plans and other benefit programs
3. Public Affairs
Promote image and effectiveness of ACEC/A and its member firms through the following:Ø Enhanced Public Relations
Ø Engineering Excellence Awards Program/Publicity
Ø Promoting Professional Engineering Continuing Education and Licensure
4. Organizational Affairs
Provide staff and organization that meets the long-term needs of the Council and its member firms through the following committees:Ø Membership
Ø Public Relations
Ø Engineering Excellence
Ø Finance
Ø Governmental Affairs
Ø Professional Conduct and Ethical Standards
Ø Liaison Committees to State and Federal Agencies as well as Professional Organizations
Ø Education/Programs/Seminars


Specific goals are grouped under the four strategies. Suggested actions for achieving these goals are provided in this plan, which is intended to serve as a framework for the officers and committee chairpersons to conduct the affairs of the Council. The goals and actions should be reviewed by the Board on an annual basis and revised as needed to keep current with the needs of the Council.The goals (and actions to accomplish the goals) are listed below, including the specific ACEC/A committee responsible for carrying out the suggested actions. If no committee assignment is made, the Board will be responsible for that action item.


Strategy: Maintain a strong governmental affairs program.

Goal 1: Strengthen ACEC/A’s position as the principal representative of the business of consulting engineering by improving its recognition and credibility among local, state, and federal officials, legislators and agencies. (Government Affairs Committee)Suggested Actions:

a. Executive Director should maintain an effective governmental affairs program including lobbying and state agency liaisonb. Maintain liaison activity with other trade and professional groups and governmental agencies.

c. Publicize to consulting engineers the benefits of a strong state and national legislative affairs program.

d. Encourage member participation in legislative affairs, and develop effective means of meeting state and federal legislators, including an annual state and federal legislative activity.

e. Encourage members to meet and communicate with their congressional delegates and state legislators.

f. Maintain an ACEC/A State Political Action Committee (PAC) with voluntary assessment based on a percentage (5%) of a firm’s annual ACEC/A dues. Evaluate political candidates and recommend support of ACEC/A State PAC’s goal of $10,000.

g. Encourage support of ACEC National PAC to achieve our state goal

Goal 2. Initiate favorable legislation and respond to adverse legislation in an appropriate manner. (Government Affairs Committee)

Suggested Actions:

a. Encourage member response to ACEC/A and ACEC “Legislative Alerts.”

b. Distribute information on specific legislation and monitor other legislation possibly affecting the profession.

c. Retain an outside legislative consultant to assist with promoting legislative initiatives and tracking legislative activities.


Strategy: Provide opportunities for member firms to advance their business practice of consulting engineering.

Goal 1: Assist in improving the efficiency, effectiveness, productivity and profitability of member firms on a continuing basis. (Programs and Seminars Committee)Suggested Actions:

a. Conduct 1 or more business practice seminars annually.b. Encourage member firm employees’ participation in ACEC and ACEC/A programs as part of their continuing education in the business practices of consulting engineering.

c. Conduct an Emerging Leaders program

Goal 2. Promote Qualifications Based Selection. (Board)

Suggested Actions:

a. Monitor and encourage the use of Arkansas’s qualifications based selection law by state agencies and political subdivisions.

b. Recognize clients that use QBS procedures and work with AGC, APWA, Municipal League, etc. (i.e.; QBS Award) to promote QBS.

c. Encourage member firms to report to the Executive Director any proposal requests that do not conform to QBS procedures for follow-up.

d. Continue to distribute information explaining qualifications-based selection and encourage its implementation among all client types including private, institutional and government.

e. Promote value-based fee compensation program to member firms.

f. Monitor trends in alternative project delivery methods that may impact QBS.

Goal 3. Promote and assist member firms in the advancement of quality management procedures.

Suggested Actions:

a. Encourage member firms to have an ACEC organization and/or technical Peer Review.

b. Encourage member firms to develop in-house quality management programs.

Goal 4. Act as a clearinghouse of business practice information for member firms.

Suggested Actions:

a. Promote the use of ACEC member services; i.e., staff assistance on national issues, publications, and workshops.

b. Promote the use of ACEC/A member services; i.e., staff assistance on state and local issues, publications, and seminars.

c. Use ACEC/A Magazine to share business practice experiences.

d. Maintain an active website to share business best practices.

Goal 5. Establish and maintain liaison committees and promote partnering among consulting engineers, architects and other design professionals.

Suggested Actions:

a. Maintain liaison committee with Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department

b. Maintain liaison committee with Arkansas Natural Resources Commission

c. Maintain liaison committee with Arkansas Department of Health and Human Services

d. Maintain liaison with Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality

e. Maintain liaison committee with American Institute of Architects of Arkansas

f. Maintain liaison committee with Associated General Contractors of Arkansas

g. Maintain liaison committee with Arkansas Society of Professional Land Surveyors (ASPS)

h. Establish liaison committee with University of Arkansas, ASU Jonesboro, Arkansas Tech, UALR (Education Committee)


Strategy: Promote image and effectiveness of ACEC/A and its member firms

Goal 1: Enhance the image and promote public awareness of the value of consulting engineers and ACEC/A. (Public Relations Committee)Suggested Actions:

a. Increase contact with organizations whose members are users of engineering services.b. Conduct ACEC/A exhibits at various annual meetings, such as the Arkansas Municipal League, Arkansas Association of Counties, etc.

c. Publish the ACEC/A Directory and distribute it to appropriate individuals in government, industry, and legislators.

d. Publish the Arkansas Professional Engineer magazine for members and prospects.

Goal 2. Obtain broader media coverage of ACEC/A and related member firms’ activities and accomplishments. (Public Relations Committee)

Suggested Actions:

a. Distribute press releases on ACEC/A meetings and other activities.

b. Maintain a list of media contacts for use by ACEC/A and distribute to member firms

c. Set-up press interview and/or write press releases for trade and regional publications.

Goal 3: Conduct and promote an annual Engineering Excellence Program. (Engineering Excellence Committee)

Goal 4. Promote and safeguard the ethical standards of the engineering profession. (Professional Conduct and Ethical Standards Committee)

Suggested Actions:

a. Develop a forum for periodic discussion of ethics among the member firms.

Goal 5. Promote technical and professional education/licensure. (Professional Conduct and Ethical Standards Committee)

Suggested Actions:

a. Establish liaisons with accredited engineering schools in Arkansas.

b. Promote careers in consulting engineering through scholarships, internships, career days, and other activities.


Strategy: Provide staff and organization that meets the long-term needs of the Council and its member firms.

Goal 1: Annually achieve a net membership increase. (Membership Committee)
Suggested Actions:a. Move ACEC/A meetings around the state so as to allow greater opportunity for member firm attendance and participation in ACEC/A affairs, for purposes of membership retention and recruitment.

b. Establish and maintain a current prospective member firm list. Invite prospective members to attend a meeting when it is nearby for purposes of promoting membership.

c. Through the Membership Committee, assign ACEC/A members to contact, recruit, and visit prospective members, with the help of the Executive Director.

d. Use all available dues incentive programs and membership recruitment programs. Develop additional programs to assist in recruitment.

Goal 2: Provide sufficient staff and office facilities and equipment to carry out the functions of ACEC/A. (Board)

Suggested Actions:

a. Maintain a shared Executive Director and support staff as appropriate with ASPE.

b. Establish annual budget for equipment and facilities to meet the needs of the Council

c. Establish salary, fringe benefits, and provisions for incentive pay to determine annual cost for budget purposes in association with ASPE.

Goal 3: Achieve a balanced annual budget, including any contribution to reserves fund to build and maintain reserves at a goal of 25% of the annual ACEC/A revenue budget. (Finance Committee)

Suggested Actions:

a. Adjust dues, find alternative revenue sources, or reduce expenses as necessary to achieve the stated goal.

b. Use educational programs as an additional revenue source. Price programs to encourage attendance and make a profit.

c. Recruit Associate Members to increase revenues.

Goal 4: Revise Long Range Plan annually.

Suggested Actions:

a. Review Long Range Plan at least annually and recommend changes in strategies, goals and suggested actions.