Association News

Panel Evaluates Pavement-Vehicle Interaction

An FHWA technical review panel (TRP)* is studying various Pavement-Vehicle Interaction (PVI)** models —including two from MIT—to assess the role the models can play in determining vehicle operating costs and evaluating excess fuel consumption based on roadway conditions.

One of the goals is to determine the compatibility of PVI models with traditional economic models that agencies use for highway and roadway investment.  The panel also plans to study and resolve  gaps between the PVI and economic models, and all of this is aimed at ultimately influencing factors that can improve pavement sustainability.

An initial web meeting last week began with a discussion of both the study and meeting objectives, literature review, and other details, including comments about the various PVI models currently available. In opening remarks, the panel acknowledged a comment that none of the current PVI models has been perfected to date.

“No model is perfect,” says Leif Wathne, ACPA Executive Vice President, “But that doesn’t mean it’s not useful.  These models are context sensitive and there are uncertainties, but there are ways to handle uncertainty. We need to use the models as best we can to inform decision making.”

Leif, along with ACPA Chairman Jim Mack (CEMEX) represent the concrete pavement industry on the panel.  Jim says awareness about PVI has increased significantly and adds this has become an increasingly important sustainability factor to the roadbuilding community.

“The roadbuilding community has gained a greater understanding and appreciation for the value of PVI modeling than when the industry and MIT first presented it in 2012,” he says.  Today PVI is widely seen as an important use-phase sustainability benefit, and in fact is one of the major factors in use-phase sustainability consideration.  Use-phase benefits are often significantly more impactful than other environmental factors such recycling and reuse, particularly for heavily trafficked corridors.   

“None of this would have likely happened had the cement and concrete industry not invested in itself to research, advocate and support PVI and other sustainability research and technology,” Jim says,

The work of the TRP is particularly important because of the current situation with limited funding, which impacts everything from research to staffing among agencies.

“We’re currently in a period of constrained resources,” Jim says, “And yet, industry is being asked to address issues that we’ve never had to deal with in the past.” He points to the ACPA’s VISION2040 initiative, which is looking closely at disruptors such as driverless vehicles, in-road magnetic induction, smart highways/roadways and other technologies that will increasingly affect how infrastructure investment decisions are made by agencies.

“PVI goes far beyond traditional cost factors and pavement type selection decisions used historically,” Jim says, adding, “This initiative is really about improving the quality of information needed to make the best and most informed decisions possible.  This is not just about fine-tuning the approach to cost and pavement-type selection, and in fact, decisions among highway and roadbuilding agencies will increasingly be made long before pavement type is considered.”

“As we look ahead, industry will continue efforts to learn more about PVI and its role in highway construction and continue supporting our agencies with solutions that offer exceptional performance, longevity and value, and of course, sustainability benefits,” Jim says.

* The TRP is being led and facilitated by the FHWA’s Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center, Engineering & Software Consultants, Inc, The Transtec Group, Inc.  The TRP is comprised of three state highway agency officials, two members of academia, representatives of Argonne National Laboratory and the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and representatives from the concrete and asphalt pavement industries. 

** PVI is a concept that looks at the interaction between a vehicle’s tires and the roadway surface on which it is driving, according to MIT, which adds, it is also known as rolling resistance.

Increase Your Visibility at the ACPA Annual Meeting

There’s still time to sponsor ACPA’s 56th Annual Meeting!  Based on recent ACPA meetings, along with our membership growth, we anticipate strong attendance at the meeting, which makes this a prime opportunity to sponsor if you haven’t already done so. 

Sponsorship provides a great opportunity for your company to be seen by members and guests, and our special sponsorship programs even offer opportunities for recognition before, during and after the meeting.  Another benefit available to sponsors is the inclusion of one or more annual meeting registrations as part of the sponsorship packages.  ACPA offers three “core” registration levels, as well as additional “member experience” sponsorship opportunities at the Annual Meeting. 

Our sponsorship program also provides opportunities for recognition at the popular ACPA reception at the TRB Annual Meeting and at our 2020 Mid-Year meeting.  For more information or to become an ACPA sponsor, please click here.

As you consider sponsorship, please check out our one-stop Annual Meeting event- and hotel-registration site. Follow this link to see more information and to register for the event:   To reserve a room at the Marriott at a discounted rate of $189/night, follow this reservation link or visit the event website.  ACPA members are eligible to receive a 20% discount off any registration ticket type, including those for your spouse and guests for whom you are paying. To receive the discount, please enter the following promotional code at the top of the ticket selection screen before you proceed to checkout: member20.

The meeting will be held Tuesday, Dec. 3, through Thursday, Dec. 5., at the New Orleans Marriott.  Look for additional details in ACPA TODAY and by email in the weeks ahead.  See you in New Orleans!

ACPA and West Virginia DOT Continue Competition Discussions

A recent stakeholder meeting with the West Virginia DOT emphasized the agency’s continued interest in competition in the highway paving market.  The meeting with newly appointed Transportation Secretary Byrd White, and other key DOT officials, focused on ways to extend the purchasing power of the paving dollar in the state, says Ray Seipp, President of the Mid-Atlantic Chapter, ACPA. 

The meeting, which was the latest in ongoing discussions between the chapter and the DOT, presented an opportunity to discuss costs and quality, as well as to share perspectives on alt design/alt bid projects and warranty contracts. The meeting also presented the concrete pavement officials with an opportunity to discuss ways to make both asphalt and concrete pavement projects more competitive and more equitable for both pavement materials. 

Research has shown that increased inter-industry competition has not only resulted in better value for agencies and taxpayers, but also results in higher quality and  increased innovation.

* In addition to WV Transportation Secretary Byrd White, the DOT was represented by Aaron Gillispie, State Highway Engineer, and Ron Stanevich, Director of the DOT Materials Control, Soils & Testing Division. Representing ACPA were Chuck Niederriter, Golden Triangle Construction Co., Inc. (ACPA Past Chairman-2018); Brad Allison & Mike Durst from Hi-Way Paving, Inc.; Rich McDonough, The Lane Construction Co.; Mike Coughlin, McCarthy Improvement Co.; Ray Seipp, Mid-Atlantic Chapter; and Leif Wathne, ACPA.

ACPA Opens Event, Hotel Registration for Annual Meeting

ACPA today announced the official opening of the event and hotel registration for the Association’s 56th Annual Meeting. Our one-stop registration/information website is

To reserve a room at the Marriott at a discounted rate of $189/night, follow this reservation link or visit the event website.  ACPA members are eligible to receive a 20% discount off any registration ticket type, including those for your spouse and guests for whom you are paying. To receive the discount, please enter the following promotional code at the top of the ticket selection screen before you proceed to checkout: member20.  Our one-stop registration/information website is  

Some of the highlights for our program include:

  • Guest presentations at our Task Force meetings — The RCC, Airports and Jointing task forces will each include guest presentations by concrete pavement experts from industry, academia and the public sector.
  • Guest presentations at our CPU general session — Our general session will include important and timely presentation from the perspectives of the FHWA and state DOTs.
  • New format for Concrete Pavement University breakouts— The eight breakout discussions will include four general interest tracks and four contractor/construction tracks.
  • New developments at the Strategic Advisory Committee meeting — The meeting will focus on results from the change-management workshop held during the Mid-Year Meeting. 
  • Fun-filled social and networking events— Our Mardi Gras theme reception, which will include some surprises throughout the two-hour event, our luncheon and annual meeting of the members, and our closing dinner & awards banquet, as well as some optional activities noted below.
  • Exciting optional activities— On December 3, the first day of the meeting, we’re planning three optional activities:  a golf outing, an airboat swamp tour, and a “sprits and cocktails” walking tour.  On Wednesday, we’ll be hosting a special culture & cuisine tour for spouses and guests.

The meeting will be held Tuesday, Dec. 3, through Thursday, Dec. 5., at the New Orleans Marriott.  There’s much more to our 56th Annual Meeting, and in the weeks ahead, we will be reporting on additional details about what promises to be an exciting, information-loaded, and fun-filled meeting. 

As a reminder, record attendance at our Mid-Year Meeting and our increasingly high number of new members means we will very likely have record attendance.  So, don’t delay; register today! 

Open House Spotlights PEM and Related Testing

An open house event yesterday focused on performance engineered mixtures (PEM), as well as PEM testing methods.  Cosponsored by the Federal Highway Administration, Illinois DOT and Illinois Chapter-ACPA, the event began with presentations describing the PEM approach.  Peter Taylor of the CP Tech Center provided an overview of the PEM approach,  James Krstulovich of the Illinois DOT,  provided an agency perspective on PEM, and Mike Ayers, Illinois Chapter, provided an industry perspective.

The event, which began in Moline, IL, was followed by PEM test demonstrations at Hahn Ready Mix, Sand & Gravel in nearby Davenport, IA.  About 40 professionals representing the FHWA, Illinois DOT, industry and the CP Tech Center attended the open house event. 

PEM was developed in part, due to the traditional testing and acceptance methods, which are based on factors such as strength, slump and air.  Although these are measures of quality, they have little correlation to future performance, says the CP Tech Center, which notes the goal of the PEM transportation pooled fund is “to bring new testing technologies to state agencies and assist in new test methods that will help deliver durable, long-lasting concrete.”

“We need to make a spec that works better than what we have at the moment,”  Taylor said as in his opening remarks.  “As we move away from prescriptive specs, method specs– and move toward giving the contractor and the producer ownership of their mix designs, we have to keep moving away from the prescription, giving the freedom and innovation over to the people making (the concrete),” Krstulovich said.  Ayers said, “What we don’t consider in pavement design is durability issues, and that’s what’s coming back to haunt us.  Performance engineered mixtures is going to go a long way in alleviating that problem.”

Following the insightful presentations, the DOT also provided a brief overview of the I-74 reconstruction project, a joint project among the Illinois and Iowa DOTs to improve the I-74 corridor from Moline to Davenport.  The project includes the replacement of the I-74 bridges over the Mississippi River as well as interchange ramp reconfigurations and local roadway improvements, according to the I-74 River Bridge website.

The open house continued in the afternoon with demonstrations and interactive discussions about our testing methods that support PEM.  They are: the Super Air Meter, which measures air-void characteristics of concrete; surface resistivity testing, a rapid measurement technique to determine the permeability of concrete; the box test, a measure of workability; and the V-Kelly test, also a measurement of workability.

Photo:  (L-R) Mike Ayers and Peter Taylor discuss surface resistivity testing during the PEM workshop.  (Photo by Bill Davenport for ACPA)

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