SunSentinel Mention

October 8, 2021
Peter Moore, P.E., F.ASCE, FACEC
President, Chen Moore and Associates

Last week: This past week I attended the annual American Society of Civil Engineers Broward Branch Officer Induction and Awards ceremony. While the title is a mouthful, it was a solid reminder of all those hard working civil engineers that go to work every day with the knowledge that 99% of people will never know nor appreciate the work they do. The Project of the Year was the Redundant Force Main project for the city of Fort Lauderdale. This project took two contractors and two engineers 18 months from start to finish to build 7.5 miles of critical infrastructure.

Looking ahead: I’m frankly disgusted with Congress and their inability to pass a fundamental piece of legislation like the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. Business will grind to a halt and no one wins if infrastructure fails. Great societies have great infrastructure – it’s not a desire, it’s a fact. I can’t see why infrastructure is tied to a larger social agenda. I can’t see why those who are budget hawks would vote against it. Infrastructure, once put in place, pays for itself several times over. Our children and grandchildren deserve better. Let’s hope Congress listens and acts.

 

Karen RachlesSunSentinel Mention
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SunSentinel Mention

September 17, 2021
Peter Moore, P.E., F.ASCE, FACEC
President, Chen Moore and Associates

Last week: This past week was the 18-month anniversary of us shutting down mandatory attendance at our offices because of COVID. Since then, we had our share of illnesses (not all COVID), we’ve had employees lose family members and we’ve had some clients put a freeze on all their projects. But we’ve also adapted – having onboarded over 40 employees virtually, with six employees working outside Florida. I’m not sure what the future will hold, but I’m very proud of the flexibility and resiliency of all our employees.

Looking ahead: I run a business. I’m proud that in my 22 years with the firm, we’ve grown from three employees to 105 employees. I’m vaccinated and everyone in my family that is eligible is vaccinated. What I can’t wrap my brain around is how the federal government thinks putting my business in some sort of supervisory role to implement vaccinations is a good idea. If the president wants to have people get vaccinated, then make it a mandate. If the governor wants to fine people for mandates, then so be it. Leave business out of it!

Karen RachlesSunSentinel Mention
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SunSentinel Mention

September 10, 2021
Peter Moore, P.E., F.ASCE, FACEC
President, Chen Moore and Associates

Last week: This past week, the city of Fort Lauderdale experienced the first tidal event that qualifies under the definition of king tides. King tides provide a glimpse of future everyday water levels, and they are a way to communicate local sea-level rise impacts over long time periods. Low-lying shoreline development is at increased risk of flooding because of rising seas, and public investments in infrastructure, housing and habitat restoration projects are often expected to last for decades, so we get a glimpse of what is to come in the future. Stay safe and avoid driving when roads are totally underwater.

Looking ahead: Broward County is taking a major step forward next week with the selection of a consultant to develop the Countywide Risk Assessment and Resilience Plan. The purpose of this plan is to develop an actionable resilient infrastructure improvement plan consisting of a visualization platform to aid regional planning and provide a foundation for collective mitigation of future flooding. While that sounds like a mouthful, it really is a critical step to not only create a countywide plan to address sea-level rise and resiliency, but also to be sure it is in a format accessible to all county residents.

Karen RachlesSunSentinel Mention
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SunSentinel Mention

August 27, 2021
Peter Moore, P.E., F.ASCE, FACEC
President, Chen Moore and Associates

Last week: Last week, the Orlando Utilities Commission (OUC) asked water users to cut back on consumption because of COVID. OUC uses ozone for disinfection in their water treatment process, which requires the use of liquid oxygen. Liquid oxygen is also used in treatments for high oxygen flows for critical COVID patients. With the current spike in COVID patients in hospitals requiring the aforementioned high flows, the supply of liquid oxygen is limited. This won’t impact South Florida water supplies, but it highlights how fragile both the supply chain and water treatment processes are. Bottom line is this: Save potable water!

Looking ahead: With the passage of President Biden’s $3.5 trillion plan in the House, the time for reconciliation in the Senate is coming. The idea of tying a social program to an infrastructure plan to me is abhorrent. Infrastructure is an investment in the bones of our country. A social program is an investment in the heart of our country. Everyone is entitled to their opinions about whether or not the country needs an orthopedic doctor or a cardiologist, but I think we can all agree they don’t need to see patients together.

 

Karen RachlesSunSentinel Mention
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SunSentinel Mention

August 13, 2021
Peter Moore, P.E., F.ASCE, ENV SP, LEED AP
President, Chen Moore and Associates

Last week: This past week, I was listening to a piece on NPR that was hosted by two writers from the Miami Herald. They were still talking about the tragedy in Surfside. I normally would have switched it off, since as a leader in most engineering societies in Florida, I know that there has been no definitive opinion authored yet, but I kept hearing the authors refer to “our engineers say” and “our engineers think.” If I can be of any public service, please note that no engineer worth their license would be speaking before analysis is done. Don’t believe the hype.

Looking ahead: As someone that owns a business that consults for infrastructure, I want to let everyone know that I’m incredibly concerned about the next week as the House considers the Senate bill related to more than $1 trillion in infrastructure. As a business owner, I know I’ll be hit with a lot of taxes. As an infrastructure designer, I know we’ll make some money. To me, it’s likely to be a wash, but for my fellow non-engineering business owners, I want to remind everyone that the multiplier for other businesses is 3-8 times the investment. Reliability is the key.

Karen RachlesSunSentinel Mention
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July 2, 2021
Peter Moore, P.E., F.ASCE, ENV SP, LEED AP
President, Chen Moore and Associates

Last week: As (I believe) the only licensed engineer in the South Florida 100, I must say that the tragedy in Surfside very much hit home. Everything we do is for public safety, health and well-being, and to see such a tragedy unfold is our worst nightmare. Unfortunately, I’ve seen several professionals weighing in with their opinions. That’s not how engineers do things. We base our work on facts, and conjecture ought to be the opposite of our nature. I know those that felt loss want closure, but forensic engineers will get to the bottom of this. Until then, just pray.

Looking ahead: One of the most significant revenue increases in many years for the state of Florida was the online sales tax. An estimated $1 billion in revenue would come from the new enforcement of sales taxes technically already owed. Right now, few Floridians pay in-state sales tax on purchases made from out-of-state sellers, in part, because they are required to send a separate check to the Department of Financial Services after they make their purchase. It’s about time that we leveled the playing field for our brick-and-mortar retailers. Let’s see how it helps in the coming weeks.

Karen RachlesSunSentinel Mention
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SunSentinel Mention

June 11, 2021
Peter Moore, P.E., F.ASCE, ENV SP, LEED AP
President, Chen Moore and Associates

Last week: This past week, Gov. DeSantis finally appointed new members to the Florida Board of Professional Engineers. Many of the empty spots had sat vacant for years and the business of the board was only being conducted by those whose terms were long expired. I know that the gubernatorial appointments office was backed up, but for a profession that was deemed by the governor’s office as essential, it seemed like the appointments were long overdue.

Karen RachlesSunSentinel Mention
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SunSentinel Mention

May 28, 2021
Peter Moore, P.E., F.ASCE, ENV SP, LEED AP
President, Chen Moore and Associates

Last week: My daughter attends a local religious private school, and her last day of school was this past week. I personally appreciate the great care the relatively small school took in providing safeguards for all the children, particularly since most of the are younger than the age of 12. What happens now remains to be seen. With the public schools ending June 9, parents will once again have a group of children who cannot yet be vaccinated with no place to go safely. My company still affords flexibility in work location, but most working parents aren’t that lucky.

Looking ahead: I’m getting ready to head to two out-of-town conferences in the next two weeks. They aren’t the first times that I’ve had out-of-town meetings since COVID began, but it is definitely the start of a wave. Many organizations used PPP loans and temporary expense reductions to survive the pandemic, and this means that pulling off a successful (profitable) in-person event is the road to recovery and normalcy for their employees and boards. But the “flip the switch” that has happened since the CDC changed the masking guidelines just feels reckless.

Karen RachlesSunSentinel Mention
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SunSentinel Mention

May 21, 2021
Peter Moore, P.E., F.ASCE, ENV SP, LEED AP
President, Chen Moore and Associates

Last week: Last week, I had the pleasure to volunteer with Habitat for Humanity with dozens of other CEOs. It was a well-run event, but to see so many leaders giving back to the community was a great sight. For me, this site was adjacent to my high school, Blanche Ely High, so it was great to see the spark of positivity in the neighborhood. Last, but certainly not least, was the ability to tour the unfinished home with the future homeowner. He shined with pride, and that’s why we give back.

Looking ahead: To me, the coming weeks are going to be filled with anxiety as more and more places open up, yet my daughter is too young to get vaccinated. Even when she’s eligible, I’m going to be very concerned about the gene-swapping technology used in the Pfizer vaccine and its impact on the developing body. I know that the clinical trials will be exhaustive, but as a parent, it feels too fast. I want things to be back to normal, but I also want her to be safe. I sense I’ll have anxiety for some time.

Karen RachlesSunSentinel Mention
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SunSentinel Mention

May 14, 2021
Peter Moore, P.E., F.ASCE, ENV SP, LEED AP
President, Chen Moore and Associates

Last week: Lost amongst the pipeline hacks and gas lines, a significant crack was found on the I-40 bridge between Memphis and West Memphis. The good news is that the crack was found before there was a catastrophic failure. The bad news is that now the 71-year-old I-55 bridge is the only crossing in a 160 mile stretch of the Mississippi River and barge traffic under the bridge is essentially shut, which will greatly impact the movement of goods. Yet another reason why infrastructure benefits more than just the construction industry.

Looking ahead: More work in the resiliency space will begin this week. The governor’s signing of SB 1954 and SB 2514 will – among other things – invest hundreds of millions of state dollars in flooding infrastructure projects. In addition to the funds, which are definitely needed, though, the plans that accompany the funds are really the exciting part. Instead of these being one-time infusions, this will create a financially sustainable plan for future generations of Floridians.

Karen RachlesSunSentinel Mention
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