He became AGC of Texas President during a ceremony at the Hyatt Regency in Austin, Texas. AGC of Texas represents approximately 250 general highway construction contractors and 450 associate companies, which provide equipment, materials, and various services for the highway construction industry. The industry employs thousands of workers and is responsible for more than $12 billion of state highway construction and maintenance each year.
Miller’s goal as head of the highway contractor’s association is to lead continued growth of the industry and maintain positive relationships with elected officials and partners at the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT).
“It takes a strong partnering effort from all involved to recognize the needs on the highways and to get the work built on time and on budget,” Miller said. “Another initiative will be to increase workforce development efforts. This will be important because in order to build this record highway program, our industry will need more workers. ... And we must increase safety awareness for workers in the industry and traveling public passing through our work zones. We want everyone to make it home safely."
Miller graduated from Waco’s Midway High School in 1987 and from Baylor University in 1992. Both he and his father, John Miller, got their start in the highway construction business working with Young at Young Construction Company.
After 31 years, Miller's father left to start Big Creek Construction in 1997 with 30 employees. The company today has more than 600 employees in a work area consisting of 25,000 square miles in Central Texas. Miller, who has been building highways since graduating from college, is now President of the company his father founded.
“I learned this is a tough business very quickly. Our industry is extremely competitive. I learned that our employees are our biggest asset. We only go as far as they take us,” Miller said. “Valuing your employees is the key to longevity in our business.”
The Texas highway transportation system is vital for moving people and commerce. Last year, motorists drove an average of nearly 797 million miles a day on Texas streets, roads, and highways, according to TxDOT. Nearly 585 million miles a day were driven last year on the 200,000 miles of highways maintained by TxDOT.
“AGC of Texas is a source of information for the Texas Legislature. It gives them the needed information to help them make informed decisions when it comes to passing laws and regulations affecting the roads and bridges for the traveling public,” Miller said. “Also, AGC of Texas helps to keep open communication lines between TxDOT and contractors in order to maintain a strong partnering position between the two.”
Texas voters overwhelmingly approved ballot issues in 2014 and 2015 to significantly increase highway funding, necessary to improve aging roads and to address traffic congestion. The state’s population grows by approximately 1,000 people each day.
TxDOT’s Waco highway district is scheduled to receive approximately $1.1 billion over the next 10 years for highway construction and maintenance contracts in the eight-county area (Bell, Bosque, Coryell, Falls, Hamilton, Hill, Limestone, and McLennan). The proposed funding allows TxDOT officials to plan future highway projects and does not include routine maintenance contracts. The preliminary funding forecast for the Waco district could change.
TxDOT awarded or funded approximately $346 million for new highway construction, highway widening construction, and road maintenance contracts in the Waco district last year. That number includes work for pedestrian and bike ways.
The Waco highway district covers more than 7,500 square miles and includes nearly 8,200 lane miles. More than 750,000 vehicles are registered within the district. Last year, 90 percent of all Waco district highway projects were completed on schedule and 85 percent were finished under budget, according to TxDOT.
Miller said that Texas’ highway system is the largest in the country, but not big enough to handle the state’s population growth and traffic congestion. Texas has nearly 700,000 lane miles across the state, which is nearly double the next closest state, California, at 393,000 lane miles.
“The current system needs to be maintained, improved, and expanded in order to handle the population growth in Texas. The focus has to be on minimizing congestion, enhancing safety, and increasing the connectivity of the state,” Miller said. “As a result, the highway industry will be very busy building Texas over the next several years. Good roads are the key to success around the state because without good roads, everything slows down.”