Two construction execs, former acting FHWA head win ARTBA award

A national road builders association awarded its highest honor to three people last month: the president of a construction company that aided in the rescue and demolition efforts at ground zero; the managing director of a contractors’ group who coordinated the industry’s response to the terrorists attacks; and a former acting administrator of the Federal Highway Administration who worked to increase funding for transportation projects.

Peter Tully, president of New York-based Tully Construction Company; Frank McArdle, managing director of the General Contractors Association of New York; and former Federal Aviation Administrator Jane Garvey are the recipients of the American Road & Transportation Builders Association’s “ARTBA Award.” The association announced the winners of the award during its mid-year meeting, held Oct. 26-30 in New York City.

Peter Tully was recognized for his company’s efforts to assist in the rescue and recovery efforts following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center. Within hours, the firm had 15 pieces of equipment helping to clear debris and assisting in the search for survivors. In the first week, more than 300 Tully employees and subcontractors were at ground zero day and night in 12-hour shifts.

The company was later selected one of the four major contractors charged with managing World Trade Center clean-up operations.

Frank McArdle, the second recipient of the ARTBA Award, immediately responded to a call from Mayor Giuliani’s office seeking assistance from local contractors at the World Trade Center site. McArdle helped mobilize the construction industry’s response and spent virtually every waking hour over the following six months at the “ground zero” management trailer. He became the industry’s main troubleshooter, working with city officials, emergency response personnel, contractors and other groups to coordinate recovery efforts.

“Frank McArdle and Peter Tully represent what is best about the U.S. transportation construction industry,” ARTBA President Pete Ruane said. “Ours is an industry of doers, incapable of sitting on the sidelines in times of need.”

Jane Garvey was recognized as the public sector recipient for her distinguished service and leadership on transportation issues. Garvey served as Federal Aviation Administrator from 1997 to 2002 and played a key role in responding to the security and safety challenges facing the nation’s civil aviation system following the September 11 attacks.

Previously, Garvey was acting administrator of the Federal Highway Administration and deputy FHWA administrator from 1993 to 1997. During that time, she chaired the agency’s “Innovative Financing Initiative,” which resulted in more than $4 billion in transportation investment in over 30 states.

“Jane Garvey has been a powerful and effective voice on the need to invest in all modes of transportation to strengthen the American economy, improve safety and maintain our quality of life,” Ruane said. “Her advocacy at the federal, state and local levels for improved transportation facilities has benefited all Americans.”

The ARTBA award is the highest honor ARTBA bestows on an individual. Past recipients include many members of the transportation construction industry as well as a dozen U.S. congressmen, 10 U.S. senators, two U.S. secretaries of transportation and two state governors.