As part of the reimagined AASHTO Committee on Materials & Pavements (COMP), Leif Wathne and Eric Ferrebee participated in Technical Subcommittee 5D, which focuses on pavement design. This was one of 20 subcommittee sessions of the virtual meeting, which runs from July 27th through August 7th.

The majority of the meeting focused on the group’s primary focal points:

  1. To review and update of AASHTO manuals, including revisions to the manual of practice or MOP, and
  2. To propose pavement design- and materials-related research problem statements for NCHRP funding.

Eric volunteered to participate in updating the Task Force 36 Report, “Use and State of the Practice of Fiber Reinforced Concrete.” The last time this was updated was in 2001. This was one of five new business agenda items that also included: MOP top-down cracking model guidance; a guide and future revisions for the local calibration of AASHTOWare’s M-E Pavement Design program; pavement friction guide revisions, and FY 2022 proposed research problem statements.

Jim Mack of CEMEX (and ACPA Past-Chairman) provided a brief and insightful summary of one of the eight proposed research problem statements for FY2022, “Impact of Flooding and Inundation on the Performance of Pavements.”

Leif provided a capstone presentation on ACPA programs and activities.  He shared details about ACPA’s technical support efforts, including education and training efforts (two separate programs with the NHI and CP Tech Center), proactive support of the FHWA-led performance-engineered mixtures initiative, and long-standing support of concrete overlay construction.

He also presented an overview of ACPA’s recent advocacy efforts, which are focused mainly on passage of the highway bill this summer; inclusion of highways in relief/restoration funding; and fixing the Highway Trust Fund.

Leif also covered organizational topics, including realigning ACPA committees; our focus on competition, and managing through the COVID-19 pandemic. During his remarks, he described inter-industry competition as a “stewardship issue, not pitting one product against another, all with the aim of building more pavements for the same budget and managing assets more cost-effectively.”

The meeting also included updates from NCHRP, NAPA, AASHTO, and the FHWA, each covered by representatives of those organizations.