This year, for the first time, the New York State Association of Town Superintendents of Highways (NYSAOTSOH) held its annual conference jointly with the New York State County Highway Superintendents Association (NYSCHSA). And, in another first, the event, which ran Sept. 17 to 20, was held at the Turning Stone Conference Center in Verona, N.Y.
The theme for this year's conference was “Strength in Unity.”
A joint statement from Bernie Meyer, NYSAOTSOH president, and Skip Vezzetti, NYSCHSA president, said, “Our village, town, county, state and federal roads are intertwined, and we are dependent on each other for the overall economic vitality of New York. Our municipalities are diverse in size, geography, population and finance resources, but our accountability to the traveling public remains constant. New York's transportation infrastructure is aging and can't be ignored. Our responsibility as highway professionals is to maintain this vast system for our constituents.
“We are hopeful that our joint conference provided our over 1,300 members the opportunity to share knowledge and resources that will make our local highway, bridge, and culvert network more reliable, efficient and safe.”
Speakers at this year's event included:
• Joe Boardman, past president of Amtrak who served under the Bush administration as the Federal Railroad Administrator.
• Cornell University presented a program addressing roadside erosion techniques and the use of compost as a restoration, stabilization and storm water control medium.
• John Usher from the NYS Department of Labor offered a safety training program.
• Rick Stone with Maxwell Products offered an introduction to Hot Pour Mastics.
• The NYS Office of Emergency Management offered a presentation on emergency response/shared services coordination/incident command training.
• John Papponetti with LaBella Associates offered a session on developing and executing a bridge and culvert capital improvement program.
• Mike Lashmet with the NYS Department of Transportation produced a session on snow and ice management.
• Vance Carpenter with Jefferson County and Gerald Sentz with Foit-Albert Associates offered a session entitled “Design-Build Not Just for Large Projects Anymore.”
• The NYS Department of Transportation provided a session giving an overview of the BRIDGE-NY program.
• David Orr with Cornell Local Roads spoke on ethical choices.