The AASHTO Committee on Materials and Pavements (COMP) presents an opportunity for state highway officials to discuss key issues, and in recent years, the committee has invited industry participation. At the COMP meeting in Baltimore, MD, this week, Leif Wathne presented an update on the concrete pavement industry, starting his presentation with an historical perspective on the Maryland Road Test One-MD, a series of tests performed on concrete pavement sections near La Plata, MD, in 1950.  The tests, which used continuous truck traffic under controlled conditions, helped inform the experimental design for the much better known AASHO Road Test, conducted several years later in Ottawa, IL.

Wathne then transitioned form the past to the present and future, with discussions aimed at leadership, stewardship, and life-cycle thinking. He also presented a bright and healthy outlook for the concrete pavement industry and ACPA, drawing on information about the association’s VISION2040 outlook and plan, as well as ways the Association is planning for the future with our Interns for the Future and Emerging Leaders Group. He also commented on, usage of which continues to grow worldwide, and of course, throughout the four AASHTO regions. He concluded his remarks with discussion about other ACPA resources, including the FHWA-sponsored pavement preservation courses currently in final development.

In other COMP business, the pavement related committees discussed the impact of flooding and inundation on the performance of pavements, critical research to support the growing interest in resilient construction. In the year ahead, the committee also plans revisions on AASHTO’s local calibration guide and pavement friction testing.

Tom Yu of the FHWA provided an update on FHWA’s ongoing pavement policy review, into which ACPA has provided detailed input and comments. Yu reported some of the FHWA’s key pavement-related initiatives, including pavement preservation, cost effectiveness, effective foundation design for concrete pavements, and a design catalog based on AASHTO’s ME Pavement Design program. He also reported on the Concrete Clips series of seven YouTube videos, adding that there are plans to produce ten more videos. ACPA has promoted the series heavily in our news and social media channels.

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