ACPA 2019 Chairman Jim Mack (CEMEX) and ACPA EVP Leif Wathne participated in a pavement design policy and guidance listening session at FHWA headquarters in Washington, DC, last Friday.

“The listening session was the result of many years of our industry advocating for the use of life cycle cost analysis, asset management, competition, and other considerations as important stewardship tools,” Mack says. “In addition to providing this information, we also have been sharing and using the information MIT has been developing to support our positions.”

“The concrete pavement industry believes the FHWA pavement policy, as written, is clear and states concisely what key factors need to be considered; however, we do not believe the policy is being clearly and uniformly interpreted and communicated by FHWA division offices and agencies,” Wathne says.

In addition to addressing the pavement policy, the listening session was an opportunity for the concrete pavement industry to submit comments regarding both the policy’s non-regulatory supplement on Pavement Design Considerations and the supporting Technical Advisory T5040.39 on Alternate Design/Alternate Bid.  “The supplement needs to be sorely updated,” Wathne says, noting, “The technical advisory on alternate design/alternate bidding is very well written and provides sound guidance that is consistent with good stewardship principles.”

ACPA was one of several transportation-construction industry groups invited to participate in the session. One of the other groups involved, NRMCA, also provided comments.  Wathne said the views expressed by Brian Killingsworth of NRMCA were complementary and supportive of ACPA’s views, indicating continued strong alignment between the associations’ priorities in this area.  

The listening session Friday is one of several planned for highway stakeholders to present views. The Friday session focused on industry opinions centered on: what’s working with the current policy and technical guidance; what’s not working; what’s needed to address challenges/concerns; what’s missing or needs to be updated; and what else does the FHWA need to be aware of or add to pavement design issues.

As a follow-up to the listening session, ACPA plans to submit formal written comments detailing the concrete pavement industry’s views on these matters.  

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