The Alabama Road Builders Association was organized in 1932 to function on behalf of the welfare of the highway construction industry and its participants in Alabama. The activities of the Association from 1932 to 1947 were limited to one meeting per year, which was held in Montgomery. At this annual meeting, officers for the new-year were elected and general discussion took place regarding the activities of the construction industry in Alabama and the Southeast.
In 1947, the Association was reorganized and incorporated, and started a full time operation that still exists today. One of the first accomplishments of the Alabama Road Builders Association was to become affiliated with the American Road Builders Association in Washington, DC. Upon its reorganization, ARBA employed an engineer, E.N. Rodgers, who was at the time retiring as State Highway Director under the administration of Governor Chauncey Sparks.
Rodgers worked for the Alabama Road Builders Association until 1962, when he was again selected to become Highway Director under incoming Governor George C. Wallace. Leonard L. Shertzer of Montgomery was named his successor and served ARBA until his retirement in 1976. During Shertzer’s term as Managing Secretary, the Association office, which had continuously been located on the second floor of the historic Bell Building in Montgomery, moved to the structure that houses the Association today. An office, located at 630 Adams Avenue, was constructed in 1966, and still serves as headquarters for ARBA.
This location was chosen because of the proximity to Alabama’s Capitol Building and the Highway Department, which has since relocated. When the Highway Department moved its headquarters to Coliseum Boulevard, the Alabama Legislature moved in, providing even more reason for the quality location of ARBA just one block from these important locations.
Following Mr. Shertzer, James A. Gray became Executive Director of the Association, and continued to cement it as a force in Alabama’s political arenas. By involving ARBA in legislative, political and educational activities for the benefit of its members, the Association was consistently viewed as a major decision and policy maker in the Alabama Legislature and within the Administrations that followed.
Following Gray, George W. (Billy) Norrell was named Executive Director of ARBA in February of 1998. Norrell has a family history with ARBA as both his grandfather, G.W. Norrell (1958) and father, H. Grady Norrell (1968) have served as past presidents of the Association.
Today, the Alabama Road Builders Association remains one of the most respected advocacy groups of its kind in Alabama and the Southeast. By representing the entire highway contracting industry and all of its segments, ARBA has a constituency ranging from asphalt, bridge and earth moving contractors to engineering firms, aggregate, financial service and equipment suppliers. This unique organization strives to provide the best and most comprehensive representation to its membership through its relationships with the Department of Transportation, the Alabama Legislature, the US Congress, and the Governor’s Office. ARBA acts as the liaison between the contracting industry, the Alabama Legislature and the Department of Transportation, and has consistently held the complete confidence of the leaders in those powerful positions year after year.
The Alabama Road Builders Association is a nonprofit organization of individuals and business firms actively engaged in the construction of transportation systems or in furnishing materials, equipment or services for such construction. The Association is governed by its officers and board of directors, consisting of a President, Immediate Past President, Vice President, Treasurer and Secretary, and directors from all over the state. Committees are also established to address certain needs of the Association and its membership.
The Alabama Road Builders Association, founded in 1947 and based in Montgomery, is the only Alabama association that exclusively represents the collective interests of all sectors of Alabama’s transportation construction Industry. Alabama’s transportation construction industry generates more than $1 billion in economic activity annually and provides employment for more than 36,598 Alabamians.