Association News

ACPA Participates in White House Roundtable

Vice President Joe Biden (right) urges business leaders to pressure lawmakers to resolve the Highway Trust Fund crisis.

Vice President Joe Biden (right) urges business leaders to pressure lawmakers to resolve the Highway Trust Fund crisis.

ACPA’s Vice Chairman Mike Lipps (Duit Construction) and VP of Highways and Federal Affairs Leif Wathne, P.E., were among 51 business leaders invited to a White House Business Council meeting on transportation & infrastructure on July 9. 

The purpose of the meeting was to brief Vice President Joe Biden and other senior White House and Administration officials on the importance of funding transportation infrastructure.

The meeting and luncheon included comments by Vice President Joe Biden, who urged the participants to pressure federal lawmakers to act on the Highway Trust Fund crisis.

“We need your help,” he said. “We need you to remind your representatives in both parties that when they fail to invest in infrastructure, we’re putting America behind almost every leading country in the world.” 

He said not acting would put 700,000 jobs at risk, while also delaying 112,000 highway and 5,600 transit projects.

Leif Wathne and Mike Lipps speak with one of the meeting participants.

Leif Wathne and Mike Lipps speak with one of the meeting participants.

The meeting also focused on jobs creation and promotion of competitiveness, issues of great importance to ACPA members and staff.   Also participating in the meeting were senior Administration and White House staff, including U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and FHWA Deputy Administrator Greg Nadeau.

One of the benefits of the meeting was the association’s participation in a forum of this caliber and stature, and one in which senior transportation agency officials from both the U.S. DOT and FHWA were present. 

ACPA was one of a select group of organizations that represented the highway & heavy construction industry.   The group also included ACPA members Lane Construction, BASF Corporation, Volvo Group N.A., Vulcan Materials, and Zachry Corporation. 

Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx addresses the group.

Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx addresses the group.

 The diverse roundtable included companies that top the Fortune 500, as well as small to medium sized companies, representing a broad cross section of the American economy.  

All of these organizations–including AAA, American Airlines Group, Caterpillar Inc., CSX Corporation, CVS/Caremark, The Dow Chemical Company, FedEx Freight Corp., General Electric Company, General Motors, Wal Mart, and  Xerox–share a vested interest in the nation’s highways, airports, and other transportation infrastructure systems.   

ACPA’s involvement in the roundtable discussion and luncheon came via an invitation from Ami Copeland, Executive Director of Business Forward.    Copeland and ACPA’s Bill Davenport previously collaborated for several years on political fundraising activities.

Featured App: Airfield Steel Calculator

ACPA’s featured web app is the “Airfield Steel Calculator,” which can help determine the amount of embedded steel required for concrete pavement airport projects. 

Embedded steel helps prevent cracks that may develop in concrete panels from separating and becoming a source oAreaVolumeAppf debris and foreign-object damage (FOD).  By holding structural cracks tight, embedded steel also improves load transfer through aggregate interlock. 

This simple tool allows the user to input the concrete pavement thickness (in English or metric units); coefficient of subgrade/subbase friction; and distance to nearest free edge.  The user then adds the weight of the concrete and allowable tensile strength for the steel.

The result will be the amount of emebedded steel,  expressed as both an area per unit width and a percentage of the cross-sectional area.   Check out this and other useful apps at:

Airports Task Force Update

The  Airports Task Force is moving forward with U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) training, which is about 95% complete.    The first pilot training course will take place at ACPA’s Rosemont, Ill.-headquarters in October.

ACPA also has completed a 75% draft of its Concrete Batch Plant Certification Checklist, which is currently being reviewed by USACE personnel.  These were among the many activities of the task force reported at the recent ACPA Mid-Year Meeting.   The Airports Task Force is chaired by Jim Thomas, The Harper Company.

News Briefs

Association Collaboration … ACPA President & CEO Jerry Voigt will make a brief presentation on a plan for concrete overlay strategic development at the PCA Paving Committee meeting later this month.

The goal is to gain further support for a collaborative initiative.  Central to the approach is linking the associations’ activities with those of the CP Tech Center.  The Paving Committee Meeting  is part of PCA’s Fall Committee Meeting, scheduled for August 24-26 in Chicago. 

PCA Professors’ Workshop Update … Robert Rodden, ACPA’s Senior Director— Pavement Technology, was a key presenter for this annual educational and tech transfer event.  

During the Concrete Paving Track, Rodden presented several topics, including: a Concrete Pavement Design Overview; Subgrade/Base Course; Pervious Concrete; Paving Tools (with Peter Taylor, Ph.D., P.E., CP Tech Center).   More than 30 professors attended the event, with about half participating in the paving track.

The event is aimed at arming university professors with educational resources that can be used for curricula development and instruction of engineering students who will soon be employed in the public sector, academia, and the transportation-construction industry.



ACPA Task Force Broadens Scope

ACPA’s Pavement ME Task Force which previously was focused on analysis and implementation of the AASHTOWare Pavement ME guide and software, has broadened its scope to include a full range of pavement design and analysis software, including ACPA’s StreetPave, TCPavements’ OptiPave, and the University of Pittsburgh’s bonded concrete overlay of asphalt mechanistic-empirical design procedure.  

In reviewing recent work by ACPA staff to compare the different design methods, it was evident that although a relatively small investment has been made by ACPA in StreetPave versus the millions in public monies invested in Pavement ME, the results compare favorably, and the design programs arrive at many of the same results.   

ACPA now offers more than 250 documents on mechanistic-empirical design to members and chapter/state affiliates.   Anyone interested in the documents, accessible through “Dropbox,” should contact Robert Rodden at 847.423.8706 or  The task force is chaired by Randy Riley of Illinois Chapter – ACPA.

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