UCA calls for volunteers to form government and public affairs committee

William Gleason

October 4, 2022

The world needs tunnels, now more than ever and the UCA, a Division of SME, is working hard to communicate that message to lawmakers and other stakeholders. Recently, the UCA Executive Committee established a Government and Public Affairs Committee (GPAC) to better spread the world about the benefits of tunnels and underground construction.

Tunnels can contribute to the success of many of the sustainable development goals set forth by the United Nationals in ways that many politicians or members of the general public might not be aware of, such as providing clean energy and water.

UCA’s new GPAC will gather the results of existing efforts in areas such as the Tunnel Demand Forecast, Tunnel Watch List, History of Tunneling Book and associated photos, UCA/ITA Working Groups, ASCE Legislative Fly-in and individual contacts to educate and inform legislators and elected officials about the benefits of taking infrastructure underground, according to Bob Goodfellow who is leading the effort for the UCA.

“Elected officials will be contacted at all levels of government, from city, region, state and federal,” Goodfellow said. “Representatives will be targets for our activities. We have identified groups of UCA members that have an interest in being part of this effort, focusing on both geographic and market sector diversity.

“In general, our goals are to educate the elected officials that consistent funding and the approval of underground infrastructure leads to societal and environmental benefits to their constituents.”

The UCA plans to continue to gather a group of volunteers to support the industry in these efforts to promote tunneling projects to elected officials. This group will then decide on the specific goals and activities of this group.

“Stakeholder Awareness is one of our Association’s three key strategic goals,” said UCA Chair Mike Rispin. “We have decided, with the formation of the GPAC, to be more structured and systematic toward this goal, with the intent of getting more tools and information into the hands of those decision makers contemplating infrastructural investment, and ensuring that they understand the true long-term benefits of underground construction in meeting their needs.”

“Under Bob Goodfellow’s experienced leadership, we will unite and expand the effort going forward,” Rispin said. “Our nation’s decision makers at the federal, state and local levels will benefit from the resources that we intend to bring to bear.”

If anybody has an interest in participating in this industry effort, they should contact Goodfellow (rgoodfellow@aldeaservices.com), Rispin (mike.rispin@strataworldwide.com) or Erika Moonin (erika@mooninassociates.com).



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