Association News

Pavement Design Task Force Weighs Implementation Challenges

The ACPA Pavement Design Task Force continues its mission to review and discuss concrete pavement design theories, equations, design inputs, and performance thresholds, all with the aim of providing support and a working knowledge of pavement design software and tools.

One of the key challenges is implementation of the AASHTO mechanistic-empirical pavement design, as well as local calibration, which has been a focal point for the task force and staff this year. ACPA provides ongoing support of AASHTOWare M-E software in the form of a site license available to staff and Chapter/States to assist agencies, contractors, and consultants with design questions and challenges.   

Other key deliverables and scheduled activities include:

  • Technical/promotional information on common design issues (an ongoing activity).
  • Completion of software patches to update all design software for Windows 8 compatibility.
  • Initial development work on IndustrialPave software to incorporate models for truck loads and specialty vehicle loads, as well as for both RCC and traditional concrete pavements.
  • Also this year, ACPA authored or co-authored white papers on two important and timely topics:
    • “Comparison of Roadway Jointed Plain Concrete Pavement Thickness Design Methods Common in the United States,” by Robert Rodden, Jerry Voigt, and Leif Wathne of ACPA.   The paper was published by the 12th International Symposium on Concrete Roads earlier this year.
    • A paper on the impact of calibration on AASHTO mechanistic pavement design results, by Rodden, along with Jim Mack and Feng Mu of CEMEX.

There are many other projects and initiatives in the works, and these, along with other program updates and plans will be discussed at the next task force meeting, scheduled for 10:30 a.m., Wednesday, December 3, at ACPA’s 52nd annual meeting.   The Pavement Design Task Force is led by Chairman Randy Riley (Illinois Chapter-ACPA), Vice-Chair Jim Mack (CEMEX); and staff liaison Robert Rodden.

Jointing Task Force Update

The ACPA Jointing Task Force continued its efforts to provide comprehensive guidance on jointing concrete pavements for highways, highways, streets & roads, and commercial/industrial facilities.  

A few of its current programs and projects include the following:

  • Reorganization of existing jointing publications in the ACPA pavement wiki – The goal is to launch jointing-related wiki pages by the end of 2014.  Additional updates for this and other categories of the wiki will be ongoing.
  • Pooled Fund Research on Joint Deterioration by CP Tech Center – (Completed 2014 – ACPA contributed $25k to this project).
  • Report on the combined impact of the number of dowel bars and the distance of the edge dowel from the edge of pavement on slab responses –  This is an ongoing activity, although a draft has been developed by ACPA staff using EverFE.  A white paper on this topic also is planned.
  • Recommended revisions to AASHTO M254 and T253 Standards –  This is an ongoing activity.  Changes initially proposed were reviewed by the task force in mid-2014.  It is anticipated that another review will occur, after which point the recommended changes will be presented to National Concrete Consortium.
  • Revision of ACPA Dowel Alignment Guide Specification – The FHWA/ACPA Dowel Bar Alignment Testing Task Force has feedback after application in projects. The scope of revisions has been developed and specification language is being worked out.   This step is expected to be completed in early 2015.
  • Joint layout guidance for diverging diamond interchange projects – This project is ongoing, and is expected to be completed in early 2015.

These topics, as well as other program and project details will be discussed at the next Jointing Task Force meeting, scheduled for 8 a.m., Wednesday, December 3, at ACPA’s 51st annual meeting.  The Jointing Task Force is led by Chairman Scott Eilken, Quality Saw & Seal, Inc.; Vice Chairman Glenn Eder, Dayton Superior; and Staff Liaison Robert Rodden.

ACPA Education & Training Highlights

PrintACPA has completed a robust program of traditional classroom-style training; webinars & Meganars™, and learning management system modules.   

Classroom-style training included:

  • Roadway Concrete Pavement Design Workshop — Completed May 14-15 with 20 participants.
  • Life Cycle Cost Analysis Workshop — Completed June 24 with 30 participants.
  • USACE Accredited Training Pilot Course (in conjunction with ACPA Airport Task Force) – This pilot training course was completed October 14-16. Twenty-participants completed the course.

ACPA’s rounded out the seventh year of its Webinar and Meganar™ program with seven webinars (W) and four Meganars (M), which included the following topics:

  • (W) Electronic discovery and its impact on construction disputes & litigation.
  • (W) Inside the ACPA digital toolbox.
  • (M) Fabricating & installing precast concrete panels. (ACPA/NPCA webinar)
  • (W) Future direction & possible applications for precast concrete panels. (ACPA/NPCA webinar)
  • (W) Understanding the Super Air Meter.
  • (W) Sustainable construction with pervious concrete pavements and permeable interlocking concrete pavers. (ACPA/ICPI)
  • (W) Understanding concrete pavement overlays. (ACPA/CP Tech Center)
  • (M) All about concrete pavement joint design & construction.
  • (M) Internal curing of concrete pavements.
  • (M) Dowel alignment & location, with bonus overview of MIT scan 2 technology.
  • (W) Saw-cutting essentials for contractors.

The Association also completed two more web based “learning management system” courses, which are scheduled to be available online in early 2015.   The courses cover best practices in aggregate stockpile management (at the quarry and at the plant) and best practices in smooth concrete pavement construction.  Sponsored by the Federal Highway Administration, the courses include guided presentations, video interviews with field personnel; as well as photos and other illustrations, example problems, and evidence of learning exams.

ACPA’s education, training, and tech transfer efforts continue next week, with the popular Concrete Pavement University tracks scheduled on December 4 and 5 at the 51st Annual Meeting.

RCC Specification Now Available

One of the first orders of business for the ACPA Roller Compacted Concrete (RCC) Task Force in 2012 was to develop a guide specification for agencies and contractors to ensure the highest levels of quality and workmanship.  

After an extensive development, review, and refinement process, the ACPA Task Force has officially approved the guide specification for unsurfaced RCC pavements.  The guide is now available from ACPA by clicking here to view/download the document in PDF format.

The task force now looks ahead to technology transfer for guide specification, construction best practices, and RCC mix designs.  Also on the docket are the following activities and programs:

  • RCC wiki pages – ACPA will develop wiki pages providing best practice information for roller compacted concrete.
  • Incorporation of a new RCC fatigue model into design software – Completion will depend on the fatigue model acceptance, but as a major step forward, ACPA will present the fatigue model at the RCC session at Transportation Research Board  in January.
  • Certification program for contractor organizations and individuals  – Although no timetable has been set, this will be a key discussion point at the next RCC Task Force meeting.

Additional program updates and plans will be discussed at the next task force meeting, scheduled for 8 a.m., Wednesday, December 3, at ACPA’s 51st annual meeting.   The Jointing Task Force is led by Co-Chairmen John Edwards, Interstate Highway Construction, and Jim Mack, CEMEX, as well as Staff Liaison Jerry Voigt, and Administrative Staff Liaison Bill Davenport.

Airport Task Force Focuses on Specifications

One of the key focal points for the ACPA Airport Task Force this year has been to define, clarify, and reinforce the scope and intent of airport pavement specifications.  

This objective has been an integral part of projects and other initiatives led by Gary Mitchell, P.E., ACPA’s Vice President of Airports & Technology.  A quick summary of year-to-date accomplishments includes:

• U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Accredited Training Program – Twenty-four contractors and consultants attended the training on Oct. 14 through 16 in Rosemont, Ill.  
• Concrete Batch Plant Certification Checklist – A 75% draft has been completed and is currently under review by USACE personnel.
• Accredited Training Program and Batch Plant Certification Program Management – This program will be started after the checklist and training programs are implemented, which is a long term effort for the industry.   The aims are to replace the current California Profilograph specification in FAA P-501 and UFC 32 13 11.   The specification is being misused as a surrogate test for quality construction.

Looking ahead, the task force is also planning the following:
• An accredited construction training program for the Tri-Services, which will be recognized and weighted in the military’s best value proposal process.   This training program will be coordinated with the ACPA Education & Training Task Force.
• An accredited design and construction training program for the FAA that will be recognized and weighted in the airport consultant selection process in Advisory Circular 150/5100-14E.
• A central mix plant certification program managed by ACPA for the Tri-Services and FAA.
• A research initiative with the FAA for roller compacted concrete (RCC) as a potential pavement for use in the airfield paving market for appropriate applications.

Additional program updates and plans will be discussed at the next task force meeting, scheduled for 10:30 a.m., Wednesday, December 3, at ACPA’s 51st annual meeting.  The Airport Task Force is led by Chairman Jim Thomas, The Harper Company; Vice Chairman Vince Perez, CTS Company; and Staff Liaison Gary Mitchell.

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