Association News

Ayers Named Illinois Chapter Exec

Michael E. Ayers, Ph.D., has been named the Executive Director of the Illinois Chapter-ACPA, effective June 3. A veteran concrete pavement engineer, Ayers brings to the Chapter vast and in-depth experience in concrete pavement and cement-based paving solutions.

That experience includes serving as the Principal of Global Pavement Solutions, Inc., where he has focused on concrete pavement design, construction, rehab and forensic analysis of concrete and cementitious pavement and paving solutions.

He previously served ACPA National in Fvarious roles, providing technical service and support with highway pavement technology, as well as education & training. Prior to that, Mike served in senior technical management roles with ARA (then, ERES Consultants), Oklahoma State University where he as an Associate Professor of Civil Engineering; the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and an infrastructure engineering firm.

“We are excited to have an engineer of Mike’s caliber take on the challenge of leading the Illinois Chapter,” says Jerry Voigt, ACPA President & CEO. Jerry notes the timing of Mike’s appointment coincidentally occurred the same day Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker signed into law a 19-cent gas tax increase, which is designated exclusively for highway and other infrastructure development and repair.*

“We expect great things with Mike at the helm and with ACPA lending administrative support as he and Chapter Promotion Director Jimie Wheeler execute a bold and decisive strategy. This will begin with a large-scale effort to engage with the Illinois DOT, the Illinois State Toll Highway authority and other agencies throughout Illinois. This is an important and large first step in the goal to increase the use of concrete and cementitious materials in the state’s highways, roads, airports and other facilities.”

Ayers also expressed his enthusiasm about his new role and the opportunities to revitalize and expand the use of concrete pavements and cement-intensive construction, repair, and rehabilitation technologies throughout the state.

“Among my top goals are to ensure we are taking a ‘boots on the ground’ approach with informing and educating the Illinois DOT, toll highway authority, airport owners’ representatives and consultants,” Mike says, adding, “Our focus is solely on concrete pavements and cement-based solutions, and as we carry those messages into the marketplace, we also will be working to enhance and expand membership.”

Ayers holds a PhD in Civil Engineering (Transportation/Materials); an MS in Civil Engineering (Materials Specialization); and a in BS Civil Engineering (Construction Management), all from the University of Illinois in Champaign, Ill. A resident of Fithian, Ill., Ayers is the father of two sons, Craig and Cody. Mike’s contact information is: Illinois Chapter-ACPA, Inc., P.O. Box 11, Fithian, IL 61844. (217.621.3488 |

* The new law, which goes into effect July 1, 2019, also includes a provision that would allow cities and townships in Cook County the option of increasing local gas taxes up to 3 cents for the same purpose. 



Make Plans to Attend ACPA’s Annual Meeting

Our Mid-Year Meeting is still a few days away, but it’s not too early to make plans to attend ACPA’s 56th Annual Meeting (AM56).   With a record number of attendees for the Mid-Year Meeting, we anticipate the response will be the same for the Annual Meeting in December.

The meeting will be held December 3 through 5 at the New Orleans Marriott, located in the heart of the ‘Big Easy.’ At this writing, the event site is set up as a ‘save the dates’ reminder only, although it also allows visitors to get an advance look at the full website, not to mention a glimpse of the vibrant area where the meeting will be held.

ACPA is continuing to develop the one-stop event website with details about the meeting, including an agenda, event registration links, and hotel registration details. For now, please visit: for a preview.   

Since 2016, ACPA annual meetings have been held in urban areas, situated near or in dining and entertainment options for all to enjoy after a day of business, tech transfer, and peer discussions. The setting for AM56 is no exception and the site of our Annual Meeting means we have a great setting for our business discussions, as well as plenty of options for guests to relax, dine out, explore and enjoy all that jazz!  

Don’t Miss ACPA’s Airport Workshop

ACPA is reminding those interested in our annual Airport Pavement Design & Construction Workshop to save the dates for this popular event.   

The 2019 workshop will be held at the Embassy Suites by Hilton in Fort Lauderdale (FL) from Oct. 22 through 24. At this writing, the workshop agenda is set  and we are awaiting confirmation on an all-star line-up of presenters and topics.  Our goal is to send out more details within a few days.  

In addition to relevant airport pavement design and construction topics, the workshop typically features open discussions about FAA’s P-501 spec and the UFGS 32 13 14.13 spec used for US Army Corps of Engineers and other Tri-Services projects.

Whether you are a first-time attendee or are returning for the latest information on airport pavement construction best practices, you won’t want to miss this popular event.  Look for updates soon in ACPA TODAY, as well as by email and social media.

Final Reminder for the ACPA Mid-Year Meeting

It’s almost time for ACPA’s Mid-Year Meeting!  This is our final reminder to members and guests to finalize hotel and event registrations today.

We have exceeded our 2018 meeting registration numbers, so please be sure to complete your online registration no later than this Friday (May 31). If you miss the online registration deadline, however, you can still register onsite.

ACPA’s Mid-Year Meeting will be held June 11 through 13* at the Hyatt Place in Charleston, SC.  For those who still need hotel registrations, there are rooms available at the Hyatt Place, but standard rates apply. For complete details, visit our Mid-Year Meeting event website

* Our invitation-only Board Meeting and Emerging Leaders Group will meet on Thursday, June 13.


AASHTO Spring Meeting Hints at Changing Roles

ACPA participated in the AASHTO Spring Meeting last week, and Leif Wathne and Scott Mueller tag-teamed to participate in the four-day meeting.

One of the key focal points of the meeting was AASHTO’s highway reauthorization priorities, with funding and program stability topping the list. 

As part of the May 20th through 23th meeting in Park City, UT, the state transportation officials also held the Council on Highways and Streets. One of the major discussions focused on the changing roles of chief engineers and other officials who must increasingly address issues that go beyond historical highway-centric issues. Examples include multimodal transportation, drones, transit issues, and the changing functions of highways (which increasingly incorporate rapidly-evolving technology and communications features).

During the AASHTO Innovation Initiative session, Tom Harman, Director of the FHWA’s Center for Innovation, presented on the culture of innovation.  As part of his presentation (developed in part with input from Dan Rozycki with the Transtec Group), Harman asked Leif Wathne to share both details and insights regarding ACPA’s VISION2040 initiative.  A one-page overview about the VISION2040 effort was shared with the meeting attendees.   
Follow this link to see ACPA’s government affairs repository.

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