Association News

CP Tech Center Names Tritsch as Associate Director

TritschSteve Tritsch, P.E. has been appointed Associate Director of the National Concrete Pavement Technology Center (CP Tech Center).   The appointment was effective March 1.

He assumes the role vacated by Peter Taylor, Ph.D., P.E., who became the center’s Director in April 2015. 

An Iowa native and graduate of Iowa State University with a degree in civil engineering, Tritsch has a wealth of experience in the concrete pavement industry, having served in both the public and private sectors. He has served with both the Iowa and Arizona Departments of Transportation, the American Concrete Pavement Association (ACPA), and the Missouri/Kansas Chapter of ACPA. More recently, he served as chief engineer for American Highway Technology, Commercial Metals Company, and, most recently, JC Supply and Manufacturing.

Tritsch is a professional engineer, registered in Iowa, Arizona, Kansas, and Missouri. He serves on the ACPA Strategic Advisory Committee, and is active with the Transportation Research Board (Committees on Rigid Pavement Design and Durability of Concrete), the Concrete Reinforcing Steel Institute.

Wang-CPTechIn related news, the CP Tech Center has named Xuhao Wang as a research engineer.   He is a recent doctoral recipient at Iowa State University under Dr. Taylor.  He is assisting with major research projects such as performance-engineered mixtures, and also is overseeing students and lab work.

Research, Technology are Key Ingredients at Pennsylvania Conference

The ACPA Pennsylvania Chapter, along with other sponsors, held the 18th annual Penn Concrete Conference this week, drawing more than 200 attendees for the two day event.

ACPA’s Jerry Voigt presented a look at 20 years of industry innovation since ACPA authored the visioning document “Creating a New Generation of Pavements.”  

Count on Concrete - (L-R) Cindy Mueller, John Becker, and Rich Jucha, ACPA Pennsylvania Chapter, stop for a photo ahead of the annual concrete conference. The shirts they're wearing feature the Count on Concrete logo, which was introduced last June.

Count on Concrete – (L-R) Cindy Mueller, John Becker, and Rich Jucha, ACPA Pennsylvania Chapter, stop for a photo ahead of the annual concrete conference. The shirts they’re wearing feature the Count on Concrete logo, which was introduced last June.

Sharing the dais were PennDOT Secretary Leslie S. Richards, who provided an overview of transportation issues in the Commonwealth.   Also, Deputy Secretary for Highway Administration Scott Christie, P.E., addressed PennDOT initiatives and the agency’s Transportation Quality Initiative.

The conference also featured other subject matter experts from PennDOT, the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, FHWA, and from industry and academia.  The University of Pittsburgh’s Julie Vandenbossche, Ph.D., P.E., spoke about results of concrete overlay field testing, and from Penn State, Farshad Rajabipour, Ph.D., P.E., spoke about early-age bridge deck cracking.

Chapter staff rolled out the “Count on Concrete” logo, reported to have received numerous compliments from members.   Members who contributed to the chapter’s PAC this year were also promised a Count on Concrete logo’d shirt. 

This year’s conference also featured poster sessions to showcase the research efforts of master’s and PhD candidates at the University of Pittsburgh and Penn State University.  Each student was provided the opportunity to introduce themselves and speak briefly about their research efforts to all conference attendees.

In addition, attendees had the opportunity to see the FHWA Mobile Concrete Lab, and to learn more about new and innovative testing methods.

Becker also said a fundraiser was held to raise money for the Highway Workers’ Memorial Scholarship Fund, which helps families of agency and industry employees who have died in the line of duty.   This is the second year the Pennsylvania Chapter has raised money for this cause, using an incentive tied to exhibitor visits along with proceeds from the sale of special license plates, with proceeds of $415 to be contributed to this fund.

Becker reported attendees were optimistic about the paving outlook in the Commonwealth, adding that the conference was not only well-attended, but also received positive feedback from attendees.  

Update on FAA Reauthorization

Following the recent House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee approval of a six-year, $69 billion Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reauthorization bill, the following information captures highlights of the legislation. 

Of particular interest to the construction industry is the Airport Improvement Program (AIP) within the bill.  AIP provides grants to local owners for the development of public-use airports, including the construction and rehabilitation of runways, taxiways, etc.  AIP funds can be used on most airfield capital improvements or repairs.

ACPA, working with PCA and NAPA, continues to advocate for the authorization of $4 million in annual funding for pavement research ($2 million for concrete and $2 million for asphalt). The concrete and asphalt industries received funding for airport pavement research for the first time in 2000 when ACPA led an initiative to secure funding in the Wendell H. Ford Aviation Investment and Reform Act for the 21st Century.

The Senate is awaiting House action before it will consider of FAA reauthorization. However, members have already expressed their concern over one of the most controversial aspects of the legislation, the removal of the operation and management of US air traffic control from the legislation.  If this and other details are not worked out before the current authorization expires on March 31, an extension will be likely. 

ACPA Participates in Maryland Quality Initiative Event

MDQI-logo16ACPA Executive Vice President Leif Wathne, P.E., along with Bob Long, Executive Director, ACPA, Mid-Atlantic Chapter, participated in the 23rd annual Maryland Quality Initiative Conference in Baltimore.

Wathne presented on “New Technology in Concrete Pavements,” which was well received, and definitively piqued some interest. 

“The main emphasis of the presentation was to point out the opportunities for Maryland State Highway Administration (MD SHA) in further enhancing stewardship of their precious highway construction dollars,” Wathne said, adding, “MD SHA and the taxpayers both benefit from the presence of two healthy paving industries competing vigorously for the agency’s highway investments.  Spirited competition between industries not only lowers prices to the agency but it also spurs innovation and enhances quality!”

The two-day conference included more than two dozen concurrent sessions covering technical and personal/professional development topics.

Event to Commemorate First Concrete Pavement

ACPA and IGGA are among several groups working to coordinate a 125th anniversary celebration of the first concrete pavement in the United States.  The event will be held in Bellefontaine, Ohio, on Monday, April 25.  The event will be held the day prior to the Spring meetings of the TTCC/National Concrete Consortium, which are scheduled for April 26-28, Columbus, Ohio.   

A view of Court Street, Bellefontaine, Ohio. (Credit: Credit:   Ohio Chapter-ACPA, 2006.)

A view of Court Street, Bellefontaine, Ohio. (Credit: Credit: Ohio Chapter-ACPA, 2006.)

In 1891, the first concrete pavement, an 8-ft -wide section was placed on Main Street in front of the Logan County Courthouse.  A segment placed in 1893 on Court Street remains in service today. 

About the Celebration
A tentative program follows:

  • Part 1 – Long-Life Concrete Pavements
    – An historical perspective and best practices (Location: Hyatt Regency-Columbus Hotel), 1:00 to 3:00 p.m.
    – Invited presentations on historical highlights of concrete pavement technology developments in the United States and Canada.
    – Best practices for design and construction of long-life concrete pavements
  • Part 2 – Site Visit (Beginning at 3:00 p.m.)
    – Overview of the Bellefontaine project (following end of Part 1)
    – Depart hotel at 3:45 pm for one hour drive to Bellefontaine
    – Site visit – project and town (5:00 to 6:00 pm)
    – Depart Bellefontaine at 6:00 pm.  

Attendance is free of charge.  Additional details are still being worked out, and the tentative program above is subject to change.

Interested parties may contact Shiraz Tayabji, ARA, stayabji@gmail.com, for registration.

Task Force Seeks to Preserve Concrete Pavement Artifacts
In related news, a task force on preservation of artifacts from historic concrete pavements is being formed.   The task force is planning five major activities:

  • Develop a Definition and Scope of Historically Significant Concrete Pavements
  • Develop a Database of Existing Historical Concrete Pavements
  • Identification of Permanent Repository for Information and Physical Artifacts
  • Collection of Historical Artifacts
  • Develop-Web-based Display Tools:

For additional information, please contact Kurt Smith, APTech, ksmith@appliedpavement.com; Larry Scofield, IGGA, lscofield@pavement.com; or Shiraz Tayabji, ARA, stayabji@gmail.com.

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