Association News

Video Showcases Concrete’s Benefits and Value

Using captivating images, a vibrant musical track, and only a few words, the Global Cement and Concrete Association’s signature video tells an exceptional story about how concrete makes lives better and contributes societal benefits to the worldwide community.   

The 2-1/2 minute video begins with a dynamic presentation of some of the major performance features and benefits of concrete and then transitions to a presentation of how concrete makes lives better.  The video reminds us that concrete is vital to our past, present and future. 

Please follow this link to view the video, or alternatively, view it in ACPA’s YouTube channel at: http://www.youtube.com/concretepavements. (Select the “Why Concrete Pavements” playlist to see this and other signature videos.) 

Snapshot: Diamond-Grinding in Phoenix

Larry Scofield, ACPA/IGGA, notes the Phoenix freeway system was overlaid with a 1 in.-thick asphalt-rubber friction course (ARFC) years ago. 

The ARFC surface is now raveling and creating damage to vehicle windshields and paint, so the Arizona DOT is considering other options. As a result, a conventional diamond ground section and a Next Generation Concrete Surface test section were constructed on SR101. The work was done by the Penhall Company, an ACPA and IGGA member. 

Meeting Focuses on Collaborative Airport Pavement Research

Officials from the FAA’s William J. Hughes Technical Center, ACPA, and CP Tech Center met in Atlantic City this week to discuss ways the three organizations may work collaboratively on applied research for airfield concrete pavements.

“We appreciate the warm reception, tour, and generous amount of time we spent with Dr. Michel Hovan, FAA Airport Technology Manager and Jeff Gagnon, FAA Airport Pavement R&D Section Manager,” said ACPA President & CEO Jerry Voigt. “It gave us greater insights into some of the research the FAA is doing in the area of airside pavements.  The meeting also afforded ACPA and the CP Tech Center the opportunity to discuss research efforts with the FHWA and ACPA’s ongoing advocacy efforts, which have included specific airport pavement and highway pavement research programs.”

The meeting included an overview and discussion of current FAA research projects; CP Tech Center’s highway research & tech transfer efforts; and ACPA’s ongoing Federal advocacy efforts. 

“We discussed funding and how ACPA has worked with Federal agencies such as the FAA, FHWA, and Military Tri-Services, as well as elected officials in Washington, D.C.,” says Gary Mitchell, VP of Airports and Pavement Technology. “Our efforts include both highway and airport programmatic funding, but provisions that directly support funding for applied research.” This includes the long-standing AID-PT program, as well as a similar research provision included in the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 Sec. 744 (Research and deployment of certain airfield pavement technologies). 

Mitchell serves on the FAA’s Research, Engineering, & Development Advisory Committee (REDAC), Subcommittee on Airports, which supports the development of the FAA‘s research and development portfolio through strategic planning, budget formulation, program execution, and program evaluation. ACPA’s Chairman Mack, P.E., (CEMEX) has recently been nominated to serve on the Subcommittee as well and is waiting conformation from the current Administration.

“In the near term,” Mitchell explains, “We will continue the dialogue as we also continue to push for funding to support research for airfield concrete pavements.  Longer term, our goal is to partner with the CP Tech Center and work collaboratively on  applied research projects with the FAA.”

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Photo:  Top photo (L to R) shows Dr. Michel Hovan, Gary Mitchell, Jerry Voigt, Dr. Peter Taylor, Gordon Smith, Jim Mack, Leif Wathne, and Jeff Gagnon at the Hughes Technical Center. The photo below shows one of two accelerated load facilities at the FAA’s research center.  Mitchell explained the two ALF machines are capable of simulating wheel loads of virtually any fixed wing aircraft in the US fleet. The machine shown also allows testing under various climatic conditions.

*  The Accelerated Implementation and Deployment of Pavement Technologies (AID-PT) is a provision first included in the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP 21).  This ACPA-led initiative created both a mechanism and funding for the delivery of pavement technology.  In 2015, Congress included the program in the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, which provides funding through 2020.

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

 

 

 

Ten-Minute Pulse Offers a Ten-Year Outlook

Reflecting on ACPA’s VISION2040 initiative during the Mid-Year Meeting last week, David Howard, Strategic Advisory Committee Chairman (and ACPA 2nd Vice Chairman of the Board), led a discussion to draw on the experience and expertise of the committee and others in attendance.  

The fast-paced roundtable discussion offered additional insights on the direction of infrastructure.  Here’s a recap of the important characteristics of pavement and pavement design or construction that may likely be demanded of us by 2029 (10 years out). The brief, fast-paced discussion was aptly called the “10-minute pulse.”

The ideas are presented as recorded and do not suggest a prioritized order:

  • Lower tire-pavement noise (demand driver is quieter e-vehicles)
  • Surfaces that are optimized for smoothness (demand driver is high-speed – 150 mph – autonomous vehicles)
  • Improved sustainable footprint (demand driver is increased awareness and demand for sustainable infrastructure)
  • Pavement surfaces that help improve vehicle fuel efficiency (demand driver is societal desire for energy efficiency and independence)
  • Pavement structures resilient to inundation and more extreme weather (demand driver is climate change consideration and building code improvements)
  • Pavement structures that can be heated to melt snow/ice (demand driver is improved safety and reduced snow/ice removal costs at critical locations)
  • Pavement structures to accommodate heavier truck axle loads (demand driver is dedicated truck corridors and/or increased legal load limits for freight movement efficiency)
  • Concrete mixture design and specification system for consistently durable concrete mixtures (demand driver is higher expectation of concrete performance for interstates, critical corridors and airfields, as well as more limited virgin material availability)
  • New concrete mixtures that will work effectively for thin overlays (demand driver is to develop competition for pavement resurfacing market)
  • Reuse/repurpose of all on-site materials during pavement rehabilitation/reconstruction (demand driver is circular economy considerations and more limited virgin resource availability)
  • Increased use of geosynthetic materials in pavement layers (demand driver is resource efficiency and more limited virgin resource availability)
  • Construction methods using automated equipment requiring fewer skilled/trained workers (demand driver is fast construction and limited workforce availability)
  • Slipforming or other construction methods that accommodate embedded sensors within the pavement or inlaid striping (demand driver is movement to intelligent vehicle/pavement interaction)
  • Efficiently constructible pavements allowing faster speed of construction and opening to traffic (demand driver is traffic volume and congestion)
  • Real-time quality assurance and quality control testing and evaluation (demand driver is continuing shift away from traditional construction inspection)

In addition to these pavement, construction and design characteristics, in 10 years it was opined that the industry will need to be responsive to a larger number of owners as the states sell off parts of their systems to private owners. It was also noted that resource allocation between rural and urban area/development will be a factor influencing pavement product demand.

Seminars Set the Stage for Marketing and Promotion Plans

ACPA ON THE GRADE spoke with Scott Mueller, ACPA VP of Marketing, for additional insights on the Change Management and Social Media/Communications seminars from the ACPA Mid-Year Meeting last week. These fun, interactive and engaging sessions yielded some useful information that will be key to marketing and local promotion efforts. We asked how the two events set the stage for those marketing and promotion efforts.

“We recognize that no two chapters are alike and that each chapter has unique needs,” he says.  “While we recognize that uniqueness, we also need to have some common threads that tie our marketing and promotion efforts together in logical and productive ways.  The change management seminar gave us the opportunity to gauge some of the changes occurring in the marketplace so that we can better meet those needs.”

Asked about some of the unanticipated outcomes, Scott says, “We did not expect some of the discussion topics to cross so many different interest areas.  For example, workforce development was a strong topic and a high priority among the 13 topics discussed by the small groups, but it also appeared as a priority among other discussion groups.”

“The social media/communications seminars also provided the opportunity to gain additional insights from chapters and members, while also providing us the opportunity to share new ways of looking at customer engagement and communications,” he says, adding that results from an ACPA social media survey also provided useful insights into communications preferences, as well as the challenges and opportunities of communicating with audience groups that span a wide range of roles and disciplines in the transportation-construction community, as well as different demographics.  

“We learned from the survey and saw from the participation that 80 to 85 percent of people are willing to try something new,” Scott says.  The survey and group discussions also suggest concern about time management and a strong need for help with content development, he adds.  “We took away a great willingness among members and affiliates to support the effort.”

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Photo: Dan King, Iowa Concrete Paving Association, presents the top issues on educational programming, one of 13 major topics discussed by small groups during ACPA’s Change Management Seminar.

 

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