Hard Facts Podcast


Hard Facts is a podcast that examines the best way to pay for the nation’s transportation infrastructure. We explore money-saving tools available to planners and builders and the case for using them through interviews with members of Congress, the Administration, and industry.

Subscribe and listen to new episodes every Wednesday on Apple Podcasts.

Hard Facts Episode 12: It’s Infrastructure Week in Washington D.C., the seventh such event intended to call attention to the importance of roads, bridges, runways, ports, transit systems, and rail lines in the United States.

website created for the week says more than 500 organizations, companies, and cities are hosting over 100 events nationwide. One of those events was a news conference with the U.S. Capitol in the background, held under cloudy skies on Tuesday.

Hard Facts covered the proceedings and reports on comments made in favor of a financing solution to benefit America’s transportation infrastructure. Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.) and Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) are featured along with several industry leaders.

Hard Facts Episode 11: Minnesota Congressman Pete Stauber discusses the White House meeting on transportation funding and his introduction of the PAID Act, to require a Life Cycle Cost Analysis on any transportation project with at least $30 million in federal funding support.

Hard Facts Episode 10: The debate over how to fund infrastructure took an interesting turn this week. Is there a chance Washington can agree on a way to pay for projects? We briefly explore that idea, and then talk with Robert Thomas, president of the National Concrete Masonry Association, about his industry’s push for a commodity check-off program.

Hard Facts Episode 9: Reinforcing steel is a critical component of most concrete infrastructure projects. That’s why members of the Concrete Reinforcing Steel Institute are monitoring Congress as it debates the transportation funding question.
Danielle Kleinhans, the organization’s President and CEO, gives us a history lesson and explains why she is cautiously optimistic that Capitol Hill will find a solution.

Hard Facts Episode 8: As the weather warms in Washington, so does the rhetoric over how best to fund transportation infrastructure. The only agreement seems to be there is no agreement on how to raise the money to fund the work.

Hard Facts went along as members of the Portland Cement Association and the North American Concrete Alliance visited House and Senate members, seeking their support for a solution.

Tom Beck, PCA Board of Directors Chairman; Ron Henley, PCA Board of Directors Vice Chairman; Lori Tiefenthaler, Senior Director of Marketing at Lehigh Hanson; and West Virginia Senator Shelley Moore Capito are the guests this week.

Hard Facts Episode 7: Almost everyone with a vote in Congress agrees that funding transportation infrastructure is important. But the forecast for getting a funding package done this year depends on who answers the question.

Jerry Voigt is the President and CEO of the American Concrete Pavement Association. He tells us inaction, for him and his members, is not an option.

Hard Facts Episode 6: Every industry group impacted by the infrastructure debate is looking to have its voice heard on Capitol Hill. Dozens of associations, even those not working for transportation interests, are pushing Congress and the Administration for a solution to the funding crisis.
But will anything get done this year? Rachel Derby, Vice President of Government Affairs for the Portland Cement Association, discusses the legislative process and addresses the potential for action in the current Congress.

Hard Facts Episode 5: Delaware Senator Tom Carper explains the challenge Congress faces in finding an answer to the transportation infrastructure question, and tells us why states are often better at finding money for roads and bridges.

Hard Facts Episode 4: While Congress continues to debate the details of a transportation infrastructure bill, hardworking people in the concrete industry are keeping an eye on their deliberations and their progress. This week, Richard Mueller and Ty Gable take turns sharing their messages for Capitol Hill policymakers. 

Hard Facts Episode 3: MIT Concrete Sustainability Hub Executive Director Jeremy Gregory talks about the Life Cycle Cost Analysis approach to planning transportation projects, which he says can return money-saving benefits to every road and bridge project.

Hard Facts Episode 2: Wyoming Senator John Barrasso talks infrastructure and his family’s ties to the cement and concrete business

Hard Facts Episode 1: Saving Tax Dollars Begins with Life Cycle Cost Analysis featuring PCA President & CEO Michael Ireland