Association News

ACPA Discusses Highway Investment on Podcast

Inaction is not an option for ACPA and its members. That was one of the key messages Jerry Voigt expressed in one of the latest PCA podcasts called “Hard Facts.”  

Jerry discussed the need for investment at the federal level, what’s driving the increasing focus on vehicle miles traveled (VMT) taxes, the realities of focusing too much on pavement preservation, and other points that support the critical need for investment in the nation’s highways and other infrastructure.

He also mentioned ACPA’s VISION2040 initiative, which is taking a long-term view of the nation’s surface transportation infrastructure needs. Jerry also mentioned the need for inter-agency competition, citing it as an example of good stewardship.  Click here for the podcast web page. Click on episode 7, “Leadership Wanted.”

 

ACPA Featured in Construction in Focus

ACPA was featured prominently in the printed and digital editions of CONSTRUCTION IN FOCUS magazine (April 2019). Jerry Voigt and Bill Davenport collaborated on the article, which provides insights into a few of the high priority initiatives and issues on which ACPA is focused, including competition, VISION2040, and the association’s role in the concrete pavement industry. 

The magazine reaches 112,000 construction professionals throughout North America.  About 44% of the readers are senior management officials. More than 65% of the readers are contractors, suppliers, and engineering/consulting firms.  Click here to read the complete issue and here to read the article, “Driving the Concrete Pavement Industry Forward.”  

Bomb Cyclone is No Match for the Colorado/Wyoming Chapter

In this week’s continuing coverage of “Gold Standard” Chapter events, we’re pleased to highlight the Colorado/Wyoming Chapter’s 2019 Annual Concrete Pavement Workshop, held March 14.

The “Pi Day” theme of the annual workshop gave Angela Folkestad, Jamie Johnson and Emma Dolan the opportunity to add some humor to the day-long event, but as the day of the workshop drew closer, talk of a large-scale snowstorm moving across the region proved to be no laughing matter.

“My first thought was, ‘will it really happen?’ But, there was no way I was going to cancel just because of a snowstorm,” Angela says.  “People in Colorado know how to get around in snow, especially people in the construction industry.”  After all, big trucks and four-wheel drive vehicles are common, she adds.

As the storm approached, calls started coming in from speakers, who said their flight plans (including double- and triple-booked alternative flights) were being canceled.  Eventually, all but two out-of-state participants were grounded at home or at intermediate connection points.

That’s when Angela reached out to ACPA staff, and Jerry Voigt (one of the grounded speakers), Andy Gieraltowski, and Bill Davenport to put a plan into action.  With support from ACPA and the CP Tech Center, all the “remote” speakers were able to participate through live web-based broadcasting programs.  “I was very relieved to have ACPA helping out throughout the day,” Angela adds.

By the morning of the event, the bomb cyclone had dumped 5 to 20 inches of snow throughout the state, delivered winds gusting up to 80 mph, and dropped the  barometric pressures to historically low levels, according to 9News.com. 

Angela praised Melody Perkins of the Colorado DOT, who was stuck in the storm on her way home the night before.  After spending most of the night trying to get home, and then after only an hour of sleep, she presented at the workshop. Angela recognized Colorado DOT Chief Engineer Joshua Laipply for presenting at the workshop, in spite of the severe weather.  It’s also worth mentioning Colorado DOT materials engineers from around the state spent most of the day before the workshop meeting in a dark conference room after the power went out in their building.  “They didn’t want to miss their opportunity to meet while the whole group was in town,” she says.

Angela also commended the remote speakers for delivering presentations seamlessly and complimented presenters and moderators who were at the conference, noting their flexibility in adapting to time changes and jumping in where needed. 

The use of the “webinar” program to link the remote speakers wasn’t the only technology put to use during the workshop.  Two undergrads studying with Dr. Tyler Ley at Oklahoma State University, were able to attend, thanks to their arrival earlier in the week. Emily Rideout and Hailey Goodale, participated in the program and assisted with the Q&A following the presentations. They used a toll-free number where participants could text questions, a technology that led to a very robust exchange of questions and responses. “About half of the questions came through the texting program,” Angela says. 

Although the conference fell a little short of the anticipated attendance, Angela said there were more than 225 attendees.  “To have more than two-thirds of our expected attendance is really amazing,” she says, adding, “A few people were not able to attend because roads were closed in Wyoming and south of Denver.”

Throughout the day, this writer observed that Angela, Jamie, and Emma, exhibited tremendous grace under pressure.  The workshop delivered a wealth of technical information, program updates, and some hospitality and networking events, along with the Chapter’s paving awards program.  Along the way, there were plenty of “Pi” jokes, which underscored the humor and forethought that went into the workshop.  In the end, the workshop also showed that ACPA members, national and chapter staff, agency customers, and others excel through even the harshest conditions.

Click here for more information about the “Gold Standard” feature coverage

Airport Expands Tarmac with Concrete Pavement

The Coastal Carolina Regional Airport in New Bern, NC, held a ribbon-cutting ceremony Monday to celebrate the expansion and completion of improvements to the airport apron, says Greg Dean, Executive Director of the Carolinas Concrete Pavement Association.

Construction of the $5.5 million apron expansion  project began back in October and was completed last week.  Andrew Shorter, Airport Director, in an interview with WITN-TV news, says, “By expanding this, we’ve added about 50%.

“We went from about 4 acres of tarmac to 6 acres of tarmac and while we did that, we changed it from asphalt to concrete, which is capable of handling heavier and larger airplanes,” he adds.

Along with Greg, Steve Swan, of Summers Concrete Construction (the paving contractor) and other officials were on hand for the ribbon-cutting ceremony. Click here to see the complete news report.

 

ACPA Presents Concrete Benefits to County Officials

ACPA chapters had the opportunity to discuss the features and benefits of concrete pavements with county officials this week during the National Association of County Engineers’ Annual Meeting/Management and Technical Conference. 

Held in Wichita, KS, the annual event is a prime opportunity to meet with county officials responsible for infrastructure policy administration, funding and construction.  Discussion topics included concrete overlays and PavementDesigner.com, the cement and concrete industries concrete pavement thickness design platform.

Todd LaTorella and Ken Liescheidt of the Missouri-Kansas Chapter and Alan Meadors Oklahoma/Arkansas Chapter represent ACPA for the two days of the exhibitor program, one of the highlights of the annual meeting and conference. 

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