Association News

FHWA Sustainable Pavements Group on Track to Deliver Important Resource

ACPA’s Leif Wathne recently participated in the FHWA’s Sustainable Pavements Technical Working Group (SP TWG), which met recently to discuss life-cycle assessment (LCA) and the LCA framework for highway project delivery.

Wathne noted that this was the eighth meeting of the SP TWG, whose major deliverable is a guide for sustainable pavements reference.   He said the guide is on track for publication in early 2015.

During the meeting, Wathne also provided an update and perspectives on environmental product declarations (EPD’s) and product category rules (PCR’s) as they pertain to the concrete pavement industry.  

ACPA Presents Competition Strategies to PCA Leadership

ACPA, along with other industry allies and the MIT Concrete Sustainability Hub (CS Hub) recently provided a program update to the Portland Cement Association’s Executive Committee.

The goal was to provide an update on ongoing work of the CS Hub, as well as strategies for implementation.   The CS Hub’s efforts are organized into two phases, the first being development of tangible research and models, and the second being continuation of research & modeling, as well as implementation of results by industry partners.

The presentation was championed by PCA Vice-Chairman Karl Watson, Jr. (CEMEX), who was on hand for the CS Hub Research Training event held August 27 in Rosemont, Ill. 

The group presentation was introduced by Julia Garbini, Ready Mixed Concrete (RMC) Research & Education Foundation.   Jeremy Gregory (MIT) provided an update on current and planned activities at the CSHub, and highlighted a number of recent implementation and communication efforts the CSHub has been engaged in with various local promotion groups and state agencies.  

Glenn Ochsenreiter of NRMCA, Jim Mack of CEMEX, and ACPA’s Leif Wathne made presentations focused primarily on competition.   Wathne emphasized how competition in the pavement marketplace can and should be viewed as an opportunity for highway agencies looking to extend the purchasing power of their highway dollar.  Ochsenreiter spoke about effecting policy changes in the streets & roads market, and Mack presented information about unifying the industry’s messaging, and a framework for implementation of CS Hub’s results and tools. 

Pavement Smoothness Task Force Update

The ACPA Smoothness Task Force is focused on smoothness specifications, guides to constructing smooth concrete pavements, and other recommended practices and quality initiatives.

During 2014, ACPA drew on the experience and expertise of the task force and other association members to develop the ‘best practices for smooth concrete pavement construction program.’  This is one of two learning management system modules sponsored by the FHWA and produced by the association.  (See related story, “ACPA Education & Training Highlights.”)

The task force and ACPA staff also completed preliminary background work to complete technical information and other details about constructing smooth concrete pavements for the ACPA wiki, scheduled to be launched in 2015.

Looking to the future, the task force will continue to generate improved consistency or reciprocity in smoothness specs across state lines in the highway market.  Also, in the airport market, ACPA is working to replace the current California Profilograph specification, which is being misused as a surrogate test for quality construction.  (See related story, “Airport Task Force Focuses on Specifications.”)

There are a number of additional initiatives underway.   Updates on these and other task force activities will be discussed at the next task force meeting, scheduled for 3 p.m., Tuesday, December 2, at ACPA’s 51st annual meeting.   The Smoothness Task Force is led by Chairman Dan Rozycki, The Transtec Group; Vice Chairman Steve Forrestel, Cold Springs Construction; and Staff Liaisons Jerry Voigt and Larry Scofield.

Pavement Design Task Force Weighs Implementation Challenges

The ACPA Pavement Design Task Force continues its mission to review and discuss concrete pavement design theories, equations, design inputs, and performance thresholds, all with the aim of providing support and a working knowledge of pavement design software and tools.

One of the key challenges is implementation of the AASHTO mechanistic-empirical pavement design, as well as local calibration, which has been a focal point for the task force and staff this year. ACPA provides ongoing support of AASHTOWare M-E software in the form of a site license available to staff and Chapter/States to assist agencies, contractors, and consultants with design questions and challenges.   

Other key deliverables and scheduled activities include:

  • Technical/promotional information on common design issues (an ongoing activity).
  • Completion of software patches to update all design software for Windows 8 compatibility.
  • Initial development work on IndustrialPave software to incorporate models for truck loads and specialty vehicle loads, as well as for both RCC and traditional concrete pavements.
  • Also this year, ACPA authored or co-authored white papers on two important and timely topics:
    • “Comparison of Roadway Jointed Plain Concrete Pavement Thickness Design Methods Common in the United States,” by Robert Rodden, Jerry Voigt, and Leif Wathne of ACPA.   The paper was published by the 12th International Symposium on Concrete Roads earlier this year.
    • A paper on the impact of calibration on AASHTO mechanistic pavement design results, by Rodden, along with Jim Mack and Feng Mu of CEMEX.

There are many other projects and initiatives in the works, and these, along with other program updates and plans will be discussed at the next task force meeting, scheduled for 10:30 a.m., Wednesday, December 3, at ACPA’s 52nd annual meeting.   The Pavement Design Task Force is led by Chairman Randy Riley (Illinois Chapter-ACPA), Vice-Chair Jim Mack (CEMEX); and staff liaison Robert Rodden.

Jointing Task Force Update

The ACPA Jointing Task Force continued its efforts to provide comprehensive guidance on jointing concrete pavements for highways, highways, streets & roads, and commercial/industrial facilities.  

A few of its current programs and projects include the following:

  • Reorganization of existing jointing publications in the ACPA pavement wiki – The goal is to launch jointing-related wiki pages by the end of 2014.  Additional updates for this and other categories of the wiki will be ongoing.
  • Pooled Fund Research on Joint Deterioration by CP Tech Center – (Completed 2014 – ACPA contributed $25k to this project).
  • Report on the combined impact of the number of dowel bars and the distance of the edge dowel from the edge of pavement on slab responses –  This is an ongoing activity, although a draft has been developed by ACPA staff using EverFE.  A white paper on this topic also is planned.
  • Recommended revisions to AASHTO M254 and T253 Standards –  This is an ongoing activity.  Changes initially proposed were reviewed by the task force in mid-2014.  It is anticipated that another review will occur, after which point the recommended changes will be presented to National Concrete Consortium.
  • Revision of ACPA Dowel Alignment Guide Specification – The FHWA/ACPA Dowel Bar Alignment Testing Task Force has feedback after application in projects. The scope of revisions has been developed and specification language is being worked out.   This step is expected to be completed in early 2015.
  • Joint layout guidance for diverging diamond interchange projects – This project is ongoing, and is expected to be completed in early 2015.

These topics, as well as other program and project details will be discussed at the next Jointing Task Force meeting, scheduled for 8 a.m., Wednesday, December 3, at ACPA’s 51st annual meeting.  The Jointing Task Force is led by Chairman Scott Eilken, Quality Saw & Seal, Inc.; Vice Chairman Glenn Eder, Dayton Superior; and Staff Liaison Robert Rodden.

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