Orange County Branch Newsletter
Celebrating in new, exciting and innovative ways!
“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old,
but on building the new” - Socrates
The last month has been filled with new, exciting and innovative ways of celebrating our industry, members, history and potential as civil engineers! Here are some highlights that I hope will inspire you as much as they have me.
ASCE Plot Points Podcast
It's officially official!! The ASCE Plot Points Podcast is out! Check out the trailer episode below, as well as Episodes 1, 2 & 3! Several of our ASCE OC Members have been and will be featured, so be sure to subscribe!
ASCE Younger Member Leadership Symposium
The ASCE Younger Member Leadership Symposium (YMLS) is a two-day leadership workshop hosted by the ASCE Committee on Younger Members (CYM). This conference focuses on early-career professional skills development to help ASCE Younger Members succeed and lead in the workplace. . . AND it just trippled in size!
CHOOSE YOUR WEEKEND!
- July 26-28, 2019
- August 9-11, 2019
-August 23-25, 2019
On November 27th, Giving Tuesday, members from accross the globe helped the ASCE Foundation raise thousands of dollars to support the next generation of civil engineering leaders. All gifts were matched by generous ASCE Foundation donors. Click here to donate and/or learn more.
ASCE 2018 Midterm Elections Update
ASCE's Managing Director of Government Relations & Infrastructure Initiatives, Brian Pallasch, gave an update on how the 2018 Midterm Election results will impact infrastructure. Click here for Brian's full report and here for California updates.
ASCE OC Panel: The Future is Female - Championing Women Engineers
On Novemer 14th, ASCE OC hosted an interactive panel discussion with four prominent and well-respected engineering leaders who shared their experiences, lessons learned, and vision for the future with over 45 attendees. The event was moderated by Aileen M. Santos-Redman, sponsored by Gannett Fleming, and the panelists included Jeanet Owens, Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority; Derya Thompson, Gannett Fleming; Karen Sepulveda, Burbank-Glendale-Pasadena Airport Authority; and Kristina Swallow, ASCE 2018 President. Click here for an event recap by UCI Applied Innovation.
ASCE OC History & Heritage / Student Scholarship Night
The History & Heritage / Student Scholarship Night is an annual event for the local civil engineering community that brings together college students, young professionals, and accomplished industry professionals from private firms and public agencies across Orange County. Our honored guest and keynote speaker for the evening was ASCE 18' President, Kristina Swallow.
This year, the History & Heritage/Student Scholarship Night was held on Thursday, November 15, 2018, at the Harborside Grand Ballroom in Newport Beach in a room filled with a diverse group of 225 engineers that represented different stages of our civil engineering profession. We socialized, networked, recognized the efforts of Civil Engineers who have made great contributions to the built environment, and celebrated the commitment and potential of the new generation of Civil Engineers who will continue to envision, design, and build our world.
Please help me thank our ASCE OC Social, University Outreach, History and Heritage, and Awards committees for hosting such an awesome event! Huge special shout-out to Jazzy and Chuck for their great leadership and hard work! We would also like to share our sincere appreciation to our event and annual sponsors who continue to provide outstanding support to the profession.
Event photos are linked below.
ASCE OC Member Appreciation Harbor Cruise
ASCE Orange County welcomed over 50 Board Members, Committee Chairs, Institute Chairs and General Members to attend a Newport Harbor Holiday Lights Cruise on December 4th in appreciation and celebration of a successful year!
ASCE OC Volunteering Opportunities
We are especially interested in filling the positions below, but if you are at all interested in giving back to the profession, please let us know via email at [email protected].
- Government Relations Co-Chair
- Social Media Chair
ASCE OC Luncheon
September Luncheon - LA Metro Regional Connector
On September 20th, Ivan Hee, PE (Skanska Civil USA) and Carlos Herranz, PMP (Mott MacDonald) presented the technical aspects of constructing the new Los Angeles Metro Regional Connector Station.
The Metro Regional Connector Project is a Design Build Project by Skanska and Traylor Brothers that extends from the Metro Gold Line Little Tokyo/Arts District Station to the 7th Street/Metro Center Station in downtown Los Angeles. The completion of the project will allow passengers to transfer to Blue, Expo, Red and Purple Lines, bypassing Union Station. The project consists of a 1.9-mile alignment mile underground light-rail system and three new underground stations.
Shoring and Suspension of Existing Utilities near Downtown High Rises.
For the Downtown Los Angeles project, maintenance of traffic involved significant coordination. Cut/Cover construction was utilized to allow vehicular traffic during peak hours with construction during off times. A major obstacle at 2nd and Broadway was an existing Storm Drain which was over 10’ in diameter. A replacement utility was coordinated and suspended above the construction area.
Construction in downtown Los Angeles is challenging due to the path the machine must navigate in a built-up area. For the Light Rail Tunnels between the stations, the Tunnel Boring Machine utilized the Sequential Excavation Method to build the tunnel. Through several steps the bore material was extracted with the lining of the tunnel constructed in several steps to create the final Rail Tunnel.
Tunnel Bores built through Sequential Excavation Method.
ASCE Society News
2018 Election Results & ASCE's Policy Priorities
United States Congress
The Democrats have taken control of the House of Representatives and Republicans have maintained their control on the Senate. As of the afternoon of Friday, November 9, the Democrats have 226 seats in the House to the Republican’s 198, with the results pending in 11 races. That puts the Democrats past the magic number of 218 to gain control.
Meanwhile in the Senate, Republicans have 51 seats to the Democrats 46 (including 2 seats for Independents who caucus with Democrats). Three seats have not been decided.
Congress returns next week, and the process of leadership elections will commence. House Democrats will not hold leadership elections until after Thanksgiving, but House Republicans and Senate elections will take place next week.
Infrastructure continues to be raised as an area of bipartisan agreement that the divided Congress could address early in 2019. In her speech on Tuesday night, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi noted that infrastructure was an area that Democrats would look to work on with President Trump. Likewise, President Trump and Vice President Pence have both remarked in the last week a willingness to work with Democrats on a large infrastructure package.
State Ballot Measures
From Maine to California, 31 states had infrastructure investment on the ballot in 2018. These measures ranged from ensuring that adequate investments are being made in transportation and water infrastructure to our schools and coastal restoration. Here’s brief look at what the election night returns said:
• California voters rejected a repeal of the 12-cent gas tax increase (Proposition 6) with 55.4% of the vote. This means that the $5.2 billion including 6,500 road and bridge safety, transportation and public transit improvement projects can continue. Beginning in April, ASCE’s Government Relations & Infrastructure Initiatives Team worked closely with members in Region 9 to advocate in favor of Proposition 69, which created a lockbox to protect the new revenue stream and ensure it is applied to transportation projects only. This measure passed overwhelmingly and likely gave voters a reason to ensure the gas tax increase was allowed to stand. ASCE additionally worked with the California Report Card Committee to expedite several transportation chapters from the Report Card for California’s Infrastructure and released them in time to affect early votes. Members also participated in trainings to learn how to speak with their neighbors about Proposition 6 and to urge them to reject the repeal of the increased gas tax.
• Connecticut became the next state to dedicate their fuel tax revenue to transportation projects by passing a lockbox measure. Much like the California Report Card, the Connecticut Section also sped up their production process to ensure the release of critical transportation information as voters prepared to head to the polls.
• Maine voters once again approved a transportation bond measure, which approved funding not only for the state’s roadways and bridges, but also airports, ports, rail and transit. Transportation bond measures have been fairly commonplace in Maine in recent years as voter approval is required for the issuance of bonds.
• Hillsborough County, Florida approved a sales tax increase to fund long-sought transportation improvement projects, as well as school repairs. The Florida Report Card gave school facilities a “D+” grade, and Hillsborough county is taking the first step towards improving a public-school infrastructure.
• The City of Houston, Texas passed Proposition A, which will continue funding for Rebuild Houston, a drainage improvement program. The continuation of Rebuild Houston marries neatly with the Harris County proposition approved in August to fund flood mitigation projects in the Harris County Flood District. These measures put Houston on the path towards building more resilient infrastructure to prevent similar after effects as those experienced during Hurricane Harvey in 2018.
• Rhode Island overwhelmingly approved $250 million for public school building improvements, as well as $47.3 million for clean water and coastal resilience projects.
While there were a significant number of infrastructure victories there were a couple of measure who did not fare as well:
• Missouri disappointingly rejected a 10-cent fuel tax increase, which would have allocated an estimated $400 million for Missouri’s transportation infrastructure improvements. Missouri’s gas tax will remain the 49th lowest in the country at 17 cents per gallon. ASCE began laying the foundation for the potential increase in October 2017 through attendance at the National Council of State Legislature’s Transportation Summit and later testifying before the 21st Century Missouri Transportation System Task Force. The bill enacting the ballot measure was approved by the State Legislature at the end of session in April.
• Colorado will also not see new money for transportation initiatives after Proposition 110 was defeated, which would have increased the state’s sales tax by .62% and created an estimated $800 million for local road & transit projects. Proposition 110 met with opposition in the form of Proposition 109, a ballot measure that would urge the state legislature to maintain the status quo and fund road, bridge, and transit improvements from the existing gas tax and similar fees. Ultimately, neither measure prevailed.
The races in Florida and Georgia remain in limbo, with Republican nominee Ron DeSantis leading Democrat Andrew Gillum by 38,000 votes, which is within the 0.5 percent margin that requires an automatic machine recount once the count is certified. In Georgia, Republican Brian Kemp has declared victory, but his opponent, Stacey Abrams, has not yet conceded and promises to stay in the race until all the votes, including provisional votes, are counted. Under Georgia law, an election winner must get more than 50 percent of the vote in order to win; if that threshold is not met, the election goes to a run-off. Additionally, a separate law requires a recount if votes are within a 1 percent margin. Abrams needs roughly 25,000 more votes to trigger either or those scenarios. Nationwide, Democrats emerged from Election Day with new claims on a range of governors' mansions, winning in Illinois, Kansas, Maine, Michigan, New Mexico, Nevada and Wisconsin.
Among the winners: Kansas Democrat Laura Kelly, Illinois Democrat J.B. Pritzker, and Nevada Democrat Steve Sisolak. In New Mexico, Democrats picked up a win with Michelle Lujan Grisham, in Michigan, Democrat Gretchen Whitmer, and in Maine, Janet Mills defeated Republican Shawn Moody. In Wisconsin, Democrat Tony Evers edged out Republican incumbent Scott Walker.
Going into Election Day, Republicans held 33 governorships to 16 for Democrats and one independent.
After the results on Tuesday the tally is now 23 Democrats, 24 Republicans and two undecided.
Democrats scored significant wins Tuesday in 2018 legislative elections, but Republicans continue to have a notable advantage in legislative and state control, as they have since 2010.
Democrats won five legislative chambers from Republicans, as well as moving the Connecticut Senate from tied to their column. That’s a shift of only six chambers, well below the average chamber switch of 12 in election cycles all the way back to 1900.
Democrats also won functional control of the New York Senate. It has long been a numerically Democratic chamber, but a Republican-led coalition held power. Now, the Senate is numerically and effectively Democratic. The reverse occurred in the Alaska House where a small group of renegade Republicans had allied with Democrats to lead the chamber. Tuesday’s results mark the end of the Democratic-led coalition.
The surprise is that only one legislature in the nation is divided: Minnesota, where the House is Democrat and the Senate is Republican. The last time there was only one divided state legislature was in 1914.
Chambers that flipped from Republican to Democratic:
• Colorado Senate
• Maine Senate
• Minnesota House
• Both chambers in New Hampshire.
Because of the change in leadership there will be all new committee chairs in the House. Below is a chart with the current conventional wisdom who will lead key committees.
Transportation & Infrastructure
Peter DeFazio (D-OR)
Jeff Denham (R-CA)
Science, Space and Technology
Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-TX)
Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA)*
Ways and Means
Richard Neal (D-MA)
Kevin Brady (R-TX
Nita Lowey (D-NY)
Robert Aderholt (R-AL)
Natural Resources Committee
Raul Grijavla (D-AZ)
Rob Bishop (R-UT)
Energy and Commerce Committee
Frank Pallone (D-NJ)
Greg Walden (R-OR)
John Yarmuth (D-KY)
Steve Womack (R-AR)
ASCE OC Geo-Institute
Design Challenges of a Mid-Rise Hotel on an Active Fault
The Orange County Geo-Institute Chapter hosted an August dinner meeting in Costa Mesa featuring a presentation by Dr. Marty Hudson and Ms. Rosalind Munro of Wood Group. The presentation focused on the geotechnical and geological challenges associated with the design and construction of a mid-rise hotel project built on an active fault in Hollywood. The presentation covered fault investigation, probabilistic fault rupture displacement hazard analysis, an innovative fault moat, and challenges with shoring and tension piles. The meeting was attended by over 90 local practicing engineers, academics, and students. Thank you to our sponsors: Hayward Baker, Western Ground Improvement, NorCal Geophysical, GeoVision, Tencate Mirafi, and Rite Geosytems.
ASCE OC YMF
2018-19 Mentorship Program Kicks Off Fast!
The 2018-19 ASCE OC Branch Mentorship Program has gotten off to a fast start! Literally!
This year’s program got the year going with its first activity on September 18 and 19 by conducting “speed” interviews between 16 mentors and 18 protégés at Iteris, Inc., in Santa Ana, CA. These are 5-minute, highly focused, get-to-know-you discussions between prospective mentors and protégés so that they can identify their top 3 preferences. With their inputs, the Mentorship Committee will be trying to best match mentors to protégés. The final matches will be announced at the Mentorship Program Kickoff Event on October 30th.
The Mentorship Program pairs young engineering professionals with experienced engineering managers and technologists in a program that will allow them to both benefit. The protégés benefit from the long-term perspective and career advice of the mentors, while mentors gain the satisfaction of helping develop the next generation of civil engineers.
The mentoring program is designed to begin and end within a 12-month period. The mentors and protégés develop their own communication format and frequency that works best for them. Past mentors and protégés have centered their talks around a variety of one-to-one activities, such as meal-times, coffee-breaks, hikes, golf outings, etc. In addition, the Mentorship Program organizes several group events, including the Kickoff, a Mid-Year Check-in, the Year-end Banquet, and other social events.
This year marks the 5th year of this highly popular program. It originated with the OC Branch and has received recognition from ASCE National.
Photo of September 18th Mentors and Protégés.
Photo of September 19th Mentors and Protégés.
Co-chair Marlo Maynigo providing background information.
Co-chair Paul Gabot (L) going over the Speed Interview process.
September 18 speed interviews between Mentors and Protégés.
September 19 speed interviews between Mentors and Protégés.
ASCE OC K-12 Outreach Committee
Fountain Valley High School Career Fair
On Wednesday, October 24th ASCE OC-YMF was invited to attend the Fountain Valley High School career fair. Over 3,500 students had the opportunity to network with professionals from various industries, as well as university recruiters. At the event, members from OC YMF had the opportunity to present, educate and inspire students about the profession of civil engineering. They explained the process of obtaining a civil engineering degree, as well as the importance of involvement with ASCE at the college and post college level. Most importantly, they encouraged them to pursue higher education regardless of profession.
Our members presented civil engineering projects, engineering tools and software to students. Many students were thrilled and excited to learn about the civil engineering profession and the responsibilities that come with it. Various ASCE goodies such as pens, highlighters, rulers and pan flips (just to name a few) were provided to students.
We want to thank Guillermo “Memo” Medina (Land Development), Jared Lindo (Transportation) and Victor Aguirre (Land Development) for attending the event and for inspiring a generation of future engineers.
If you or any one you know is interested in becoming involved with K-12 events please contact our K-12 Chairs at [email protected].
ASCE OC YMF
Celebration of FY 2017-2018
On September 19th, 2018, OC YMF celebrated the end of the 2017-2018 fiscal year (FY) by acknowledging achievements and accomplishments of the group as well as individual members. The new board members and executive chairs for the 2018-2019 FY were also introduced.
The meeting began with the usual informal networking for the attendees to mingle. Immediately afterwards, we had an icebreaker which asked of our attendees to introduce themselves and share what their favorite emoji was. Apparently, we all happen to be fans of the laughing and kissing emojis. Then old and new action items were discussed.
As a tradition for every last FY meeting, we continued the meeting by presenting awards to outstanding board members who went above and beyond their responsibilities this past FY.
Ashlyn Alexander was presented the President-Elect’s Award by the current OC YMF President, Ryan Hankes, for her exceptional contributions to community service and networking social events.
Risa Abelgas was presented the President’s Award by current OC YMF Past-President, Chirath “Chuck” Karunathilake, for spearheading the success of the 2017-2018 ASCE YMF OC Mentorship Program.
Adeleine Tran was selected for the October to November bi-monthly Board Member Spotlight for her contributions to multiple committees on both YMF and Branch levels. You can read Adeleine’s spotlight on ASCE OC YMF’s website found here.
Ashlyn (1) and Risa (2) were recognized with the President-Elect and President’s Awards. (Photos by Andy Nguyen)
Adeleine was recognized with the Board Member Spotlight for Oct-Nov 2018.
More good news was shared as well as a welcome surprise. ASCE OC YMF was recognized with the 2018 Younger Member Group Award for Large Groups, which honors ASCE OC YMF’s outstanding professional, technical, social, outreach, and community service activities on behalf of the Orange County branch.
Some of our very own YMF members were also recognized by ASCE OC, LA, and National Branches for their outstanding commitment to the industry, community, and ASCE. Thank you Risa Abelgas, Nestor Godinez, Gysella “Jazzy” Quinabo, and Elizabeth Ruedas for your services and congratulations on your recognitions. What an amazing year we’ve had!
Lastly, we welcomed the new 2018-2019 FY Executive Board:
- Past-President - Chuck Karunathilake
- President - Ryan Hankes
- President-Elect - Jazzy Quinabo
- Secretary - Crystal Mena
- Treasurer - Josue Candelario
Congratulations and welcome, we look forward to another fun and successful year!
If you or anyone you know may be interested in joining OC YMF, please consider attending our monthly general and board meetings. All are welcome! Click here to learn more and join today!
(1) A token of appreciation for FY17-18 President Chuck by FY18-19 President Ryan; (2) Last FY17-18 board meeting. (Photos by Andy Nguyen)
ASCE OC Branch
California Coastal Clean-Up
On September 15th, 2018, the ASCE OC Branch and YMF joined together to participate in the 34th California Coastal Cleanup Day in Huntington Beach, California! The Coastal Cleanup Day dates back to 1985 with efforts to clean up our beaches since the 1970s! During our community service event, we met at the tents, grabbed our tracking cards and got straight to cleaning!
We provided materials for our group and even had members and friends bring their own materials such as buckets, reusable gloves and water bottles to reduce the waste being brought to the beach and being environmentally friendly. We cleaned up from tower 10 to tower 14 from 8:00 am to 12:00 pm. It was interesting to see all the trash that we were able to pick up from bottle caps, straws, wrappers to even chicken bones! It was also a great opportunity to socialize with everyone in the group as this was some people’s first ASCE event!
After a morning’s worth of great work, we headed to Duke’s after for lunch with a great view of Huntington Beach! We love that we are a part of an organization like ASCE, whose purpose is to uplift, support each other and communities and even contribute to keeping our beaches sustainable and safe for everyone and animals. We truly had a blast during this event and would love to do this again in the future. We look forward to the next community outreach events to come!
TCA: Celebrating 20 Years of Keeping People Moving in Southern California
IRVINE, Calif. - November 29, 2018 – Today marked the Transportation Corridor Agencies’ (TCA) 20th anniversary of the 133 and 241 Toll Roads. A 24-mile segment of the 241 Toll Road saw more than 11 million vehicles in its first year in 1998, jumping to over 60 million vehicles in 2018.
Orange County’s 51-miles of toll roads – State Routes 73, 133, 241 and 261 – represent 20 percent of Orange County’s freeway system and makes up the largest network of toll roads in California. With more than 320,000 daily trips on The Toll Roads, that’s 320,000 less trips on the already congested 5, 55, and 405 freeways; thereby improving mobility for everyone – even those who do not use them.
The idea for the Toll Roads emerged in the 1970s when Orange County officials identified that several new roads were needed to serve Orange County’s growing population. By the early 1980s, SR-73, 133, 241 and 261 became more than ideas and were included in Orange County’s transportation plans. And in 1986, TCA – a joint powers authority including the Foothill/Eastern Transportation Corridor Agency and San Joaquin Hills Transportation Corridor Agency – was formed to address Southern California’s booming population, worsening traffic conditions and diminishing government funds.
The Toll Roads represent a highly sustainable and stable way to finance much-needed mobility options in Southern California. In fact, collectively, the annual toll revenue has grown from $41 million in 1998 to nearly $330 million in 2018. Private toll revenue bonds and development impact fee revenue were used to finance and construct Orange County’s Toll Roads. The majority of the tolls collected pay back the debt issued to fund construction.
Fast forward to the late 1990s when construction of the Eastern Transportation Corridor (133 Toll Road and a segment of the 241 Toll Road) debuted a year earlier than scheduled, much to the delight of long-suffering commuters. The growing network of toll roads allowed drivers to bypass delays on Orange County’s congested 5, 55 and 405 Freeways. Today, 20 years later, The Toll Roads continue to provide a predictable and convenient choice for drivers to get to where they need to go.
Here are five fun facts celebrating TCA’s innovation over the last 20 years:
- TCA was one of the first agencies in the state to use the design-build method for constructing the 241 Toll Road, which also included 66 bridges. The approach combined design and construction simultaneously to reduce the construction duration and cost.
- The legislation that gave TCA permission to collect tolls mandated that tolls be collected electronically (not just through cash at toll booths), which led to the creation of the FasTrak® system. FasTrak is a transponder that is used to exchange information with a roadside computer, automatically deducting tolls from the user’s prepaid account as the vehicle passes through the toll points without slowing.
- The Toll Roads were constructed with wildlife in mind. Natural travel patterns of deer and other wildlife were tracked and monitored to determine the paths they most frequently used. The Toll Roads then built wildlife undercrossings at the locations where the animals travel the most, allowing them to move safely and quickly from point A to point B. One of the busiest wildlife undercrossing in Southern California is under the 241 Toll Road.
- TCA was the first toll road operator in the nation to offer a free mobile app for toll account management in 2012. To date, the app has been downloaded more than 1.3 million times to help customers manage their account or pay a toll from their smart phone or tablet.
- On average, 1,000 new FasTrak accounts and Express Accounts are opened every day. As of Oct. 31, 2018, the number of open accounts totaled more than 1.37 million.
The 73, 133, 241 and 261 Toll Roads continue to be the easiest and most predictable way to get to and through Orange County. Happy anniversary – and thank you for providing drivers a choice for over 20 years. Click here to view construction photos of the 241 Toll Road. And visit thetollroadsblog.com to read more fun facts about The Toll Roads.
ASCE Orange County Branch
New Members November 2018
Welcome to the American Society of Civil Engineers! We are happy you joined us in ASCE's Orange County Branch. Remember...there are 101 ways to benefit from your membership with ASCE. Become involved, educate yourself on a engineering topic outside of your expertise, build relationships with others in the industry - to name a few.
Please contact a Board Member if you have questions, or a committee chairperson to become involved.
MS Belle Alcasid
MR Andrew Burror
MR Ben Byerlee
MR Orsy Calderon
MR Luigui Carmen Aguilar
MISS Zilei Dong
MISS Sunghee In
MR Xing Lan
MR Dave Lanzarin
MR Ivan Morales
MR Eduardo Pacheco Osorio
MR Christopher Robertson
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MR Samuel Saldivar
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MISS Thao Tran
MR Daniel Perez
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MR Samuel Macdonald
ASCE Orange County Branch - Publications Committee Information
Editor In Chief:
Robert Martinez, E.I.T.
Editor - Newsletter/Assembly:
Adeleine J. Tran, E.I.T.
Editor - YMF/Communications:
Editor - Article Review:
Joseph Huynh, E.I.T.
Charlotte Wu, P.E.
Elizabeth Ruedas, P.E., QISP, ENV SP
Do you have an interesting topic you would like to share? We are always looking for new and relevant content to distribute to our members relating to Civil Engineering in Orange County (no ads!). If you have an idea please feel free to submit it to the Publications Committee! You will receive a confirmation email; however, no futher acknowledgement will be sent. There is no guarantee of publication.
Company Business Cards / Professional Directory: $300 for 177px X 300px ad placed in the newsletter and on our website for the year. www.asceoc.org/professional-directory
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Annual Sponsorship Opportunities: See our website for information on how to become an annual sponsor for even more benefits. www.asceoc.org/sponsorship
For more advertising and biling information please contact Robert Martinez at [email protected]
LA Section: www.ascelasection.org
Orange County Branch: www.asceoc.org