March 2, 2017

Indiana governor to appear at this year’s Purdue Road School

Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb
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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb will be the featured guest at the 103rd annual Purdue University Road School Transportation Conference and Expo next week.

The event begins Monday (March 6) with afternoon ethics sessions and continues until Thursday morning (March 9) with meetings and sessions at Purdue Memorial Union and Stewart Center.

Holcomb will participate in a keynote discussion focusing on a sustainable, long-term plan for Indiana’s roads and bridges. He will speak during a sold-out luncheon between 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Wednesday (March 8) in the North and South ballrooms of Purdue Memorial Union.

Opening-session speakers this year are state Rep. Tim Brown, co-chair of the Funding Indiana’s Roads for a Stronger, Safer Tomorrow Task Force; Indiana Department of Transportation Commissioner Joe McGuinness; and Frankfort Mayor Chris McBarnes.

They will speak beginning at 9 a.m. Tuesday (March 7) at Stewart Center’s Loeb Playhouse.

Darcy Bullock, a Purdue civil engineering professor and director of the university’s Joint Transportation Research Program, said several sessions this year will be devoted to the Louisville-Southern Indiana Ohio River Bridges Project.

Bullock road school Graduate student Leila Sadeghi discusses her poster on the “Effectiveness of Warranted Asphalt Pavements in Indiana” during the 2016 Purdue Road School. (Photo/Lyles School of Civil Engineering) Download image

“The East End Ohio River Bridge opened a few months ago,” he said. “There are several sessions, including discussion of the cable-stayed construction, use of rosphalt and on communications.”

The $2.3 billion bridges project will support 15,000 new jobs over the next 30 years and generate an additional $87 billion for the regional economy.

“Other sessions include presenters from Purdue’s Indiana Local Technical Assistance Program talking about work with INDOT to help agencies develop asset management plans,” said John Haddock, director of the Indiana Local Technical Assistance Program.

Bullock said the Road School’s track of aviation-oriented discussions continues to expand this year. A standing-room-only crowd for an unmanned aircraft system session last year prompted increased offerings.

More than 150 sessions involving 250 speakers and moderators are scheduled this year, covering subjects ranging from public safety and traffic operations to aviation and bridges.

Bullock said he expects to exceed the registration total of 2,600 at last year’s conference.

More than 50 exhibitors will be set up in the North and South ballrooms of the Purdue Memorial Union on the first full day of the event.

Purdue Road School is co-sponsored by the JTRP and the Indiana Local Technical Assistance Program in partnership with the INDOT.

Purdue Road School traces its origin to 1913, when W.K. Hatt, head of Purdue's School of Civil Engineering, initiated a conference to help county surveyors and city engineers develop and maintain Indiana's roads and streets. At the 1914 conference, a resolution was passed calling for a yearly school for county road superintendents. In 1915 the conference officially became known as Purdue Road School. 

Writer: Brian L. Huchel, 765-494-2084,  

Sources: Darcy Bullock, 765-494-2226,

John Haddock, 765-496-39936,

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