Association News

Remembering Bob Priest

On Monday, we had the sad duty of reporting the death of Robert “Bob” Priest, formerly of Sanders Saws and Blades.  

Bob grew up in Richmond, Virginia where he attended Manchester High School then Virginia Tech briefly. He joined The Norton Company in 1963 moving to Philadelphia then to Dallas, TX. In 1968, he joined The Robert G. Evans Kansas City, and in 1983, he purchased Sanders Saws and Blades, and was involved in the demolition and building of highways, dams, and bridges all over the world.

He was an active member of both ACPA and IGGA for many years and remained active even after his retirement. He served on the ACPA Board of Directors and was an ardent supporter of the Association’s government affairs program. In that role, he led the ACPA PAC fundraising effort so passionately and effectively that he earned the nickname, “PAC Man.”

Bob also served as IGGA’s President and Treasurer for many years, his earnest efforts in shaping the grinding industry helped it grow into the robust industry it is now. In addition to his role as a leader with the national associations, Bob was also a strong supporter of ACPA Chapters and served as a volunteer leader with several of the state and regional chapters. Bob was instrumental in the founding of the Northeast Chapter – ACPA, which was the forerunner to the current chapters in New York, Pennsylvania, and the Mid-Atlantic region. In recognition of his significant contributions to ACPA, Bob received the Association’s highest honor by being named the 2003 recipient of the Hartmann-Hirschman-Egan Award.

He is survived by his wife Norma, sons Robert Jr. and Christopher, granddaughters Candice and Wendy, and eight great grandchildren. We will remember Bob for his generosity, good humor, and his service to the industry.

A date and time for a memorial service will be set in the near future. If you would like to present a memorial gift in Bob’s honor, please visit, or alternatively to send a contribution to: Community Brain Injury, 681 Hioaks Rd., Suite G, Richmond, VA 23225.  

Testimonials can be made online at Fellows, Helfenbein & Newnam (FHN) Funeral Home’s website, and for those wishing to plant a memorial tree in Bob’s honor, please visit the FHN Funeral Home’s “Sympathy Store” by clicking here.
Photo: Bob Priest shares a lighter moment as he prepared for his acceptance speech of the Hartmann-Hirschman-Egan Award at the 2003 ACPA Annual Meeting.  (ACPA file photo.) 

HMG Letter Outlines Concerns About Aspects of PPP Loan Program

A letter from the Highway Materials Group expressed concerns about specific terms associated with loans under the CARES Act passed by Congress at the end of March.

Addressed to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY), the letter details three concerns: 

  • There is no clarity on how a firm demonstrates necessity in seeking a loan. Businesses applying for Paycheck Protection program (PPP) loans were required to certify in good faith that the uncertainty of economic conditions made the loan necessary for their business at the time they applied for it. Comments by public officials in the wake of revelations of publicly held companies receiving loans have left small businesses concerned that they may face penalties, despite acting in good faith. The letter says further assurances are needed for small businesses with loans above $2 million.
  • The tax deductibility of expenses paid with PPP funds. PPP loans were intended to cover payroll and limited business expenses like rent and mortgage obligations. Guidance issued by Treasury more than three weeks after SBA began accepting PPP loans indicated that business expenses previously considered tax deductible would not be so considered if paid for with PPP funds. The letter urges Congress to ensure this issue is resolved in future relief legislation.
  • Many small businesses are now uncertain how to use their PPP funds because of the ambiguities and complexities of the guidance. The level of guidance does not provide sufficient detail necessary for small businesses to proceed with any degree of certainty, and our members now fear SBA audits, fraud charges and bad publicity, despite acting in good faith from the start.
  • The HMG urges Congress to provide additional assurances that companies utilizing PPP loans, in the spirit in which they were intended, will not face penalties for failure to comply with retroactively imposed requirements.

Click here to see the complete letter.


Follow this link to see ACPA’s government affairs repository.


ACPA Directs Research to Improve Dowel Specifications

ACPA and the National Concrete Consortium have been working to develop specifications that can be used by manufacturers and agencies to guide the development and implementation of more efficient and durable dowels for concrete pavement.

Current AASHTO M254 and T253 specifications were developed decades ago and are directly applicable only to 1.25-in. diameter epoxy-coated steel dowels. Industry innovations featuring different materials and structural shapes, along with different dowel coatings, have driven the need for specifications that can quantify the potential performance benefits of these new and improved products.

One key component of dowel specifications is their ability to evaluate the structural behavior of joints containing different dowel products. It has been recognized that a new test was needed to evaluate dowel groups rather than single dowels because different dowels could have different optimal installation configurations due to differences in size, shape, and component materials and these could not be adequately evaluated using a single-dowel test. This led to a proposal to modify the current T253 structural test to include a four-foot-wide test specimen with dowel groups in each joint (rather than the single dowel in each joint for the current T253 test).

The different specimen configuration required different loading (a simulated 9000-lb wheel load at the slab corner instead of the original 4000-lb distributed load). The different loading configuration and specimen shape meant that joint deflections would be different than in the original T253 test, even if 1.25-in. diameter epoxy-coated steel dowels were used. Analytical models were used to estimate the joint deflections for both test protocols using the standard epoxy-coated dowel, but testing was needed to validate and calibrate those analytical models for “real-world” conditions.

This testing was accomplished at CTLGroup last week under ACPA supervision and with funding provided by CP Tech Center. Data from these tests are being compiled and analyzed for incorporation in a new set of “universal” dowel specifications that are built on the current AASHTO M254 and T253 specifications.

The new specifications have been developed with the input of various NCC member agencies, ACPA staff (national and chapter/state) and dowel manufacturers. We anticipate the new specifications will be released for wider review and comment early this summer, with possible promotion for AASHTO adoption soon afterward. (Special thanks to Mark Snyder, Ph.D., P.E., for compiling this report.)

Summer Webinars Continue

The summer webinar series continues next week with the first of three sessions on pavement preservation. This series follows the successful 5-part series on concrete overlays and ADA guidelines in design & construction. As reported previously, the webinars have reached a record number of agencies/owners, consultants and industry officials.  In all, the seven webinars presented thus far have reached more than 3,500 professionals. Here’s a preview of upcoming webinars:
  • June 2nd–Concrete Pavement Preservation I: Concrete pavement management and preservation including actual examples and case studies.
  • June 9th–Concrete Pavement Preservation II: Concrete pavement evaluation and strategy selection with case studies.
  • June 16th–Concrete Pavement Preservation III: Concrete pavement preservation treatment construction with in field examples, including case studies.
Click here to register for the pavement preservation webinars. The webinars are the result of the collaborative efforts of ACPA, the CP Tech Center, IGGA, and the ACPA chapter network.

Reminder: ACPA Accepting Excellence Awards Nominations

ACPA is reminding members, affiliates and others that we are accepting submittals for the 31st annual “Excellence in Concrete Pavement” awards for projects completed in the calendar year 2019.

Our final deadline for submittals and edits is Friday, July 3, 2020.

Members who previously submitted an award-winning project to an ACPA Chapter/State association using our online system do not need to resubmit for the national program. Your submittal details will be automatically carried over and entered into the national program. Incidentally, about 40 projects are currently in the system.

To submit your project for award consideration or to view complete program details, including eligibility requirements, please click here. Editing an existing project is optional for projects in the system. 

Award winners will receive an invite to attend the 31st Annual Excellence in Concrete Pavement Awards Banquet on Thursday, December 3rd at the OMNI Nashville Hotel. The banquet will be held during the ACPA 57th Annual Meeting.

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