Association News

EPW Urges Industry Support on Legislation

Staff directors of the Senate EPW Committee last week briefed transportation-construction stakeholders on the status of America’s Transportation Infrastructure Act (ATIA), which was approved by the Committee last July. (Click here to see the related story.)

The aim is to urge discussion and consideration of the bill in the full Senate and to advocate for approval of funding by the Senate Finance Committee, preferably in the April-May time frame, as Congress is out most of July and all of August. With attention on elections in September and October, and the elections in November, there will be little time for action on the legislative calendar.

The proposed “pay-fors” include an annual fee to owners of electric vehicles (based on an average of state gas taxes, rounded down to $200/year and indexed to inflation.) Also proposed is a plan to index the motor fuels excise tax and to implement a vehicle miles traveled (VMT) tax for heavy duty trucks. The information was presented to the Finance Committee, which submitted it to the Joint Committee on Taxation for technical analysis and a score. Legislative consultant Chad Bradley attended the meeting on behalf of ACPA.

ConExpo-Con/Agg Begins Tuesday

The countdown continues to ConExpo-Con/Agg, North America’s largest construction trade show. In the midst of many event cancellations attributable to concerns about the COVID-19 (also known as the corona virus), show organizers have affirmed the show will go on! Organizers also have issued useful information to help keep attendees informed about precautions and other useful information about the virus.

Be sure to visit ACPA in the Grand Lobby in booth GL32208. ACPA staff will be on hand during the week of March 10 through 14 to discuss programs and services, and of course, all aspects of concrete pavement research, design, construction and rehab. The Grand Lobby is the area between the North and Central Halls of the Las Vegas Convention Center.

By popular demand, we’re doing another trivia contest, where booth visitors will have an opportunity to test their knowledge of concrete and concrete pavements, as well as music. Don’t miss it!

Held every three years in Las Vegas, the event features the latest equipment advances and newest technology applications in every aspect of construction. Show management expects 2,000 exhibitors. Click here to see a graphic that depicts the interior exhibit areas. You still have time to register for the show. Click here to see current registration rates and other details.

Reaching the Right People in Arkansas

What happens when you host a workshop and 18 people show up? In Arkansas, we call it a success, because as AR Promotional Director Alan Meadors says, “These are the only people who design pavements for the State of Arkansas’ projects.”

Representing the ARDOT Roadway Design Division, the Asset Management Section, and the on-call engineering consultants, the attendees participated in a hands-on workshop last week that covered AASHTOWare’s Pavement M-E software and also touched on PavementDesigner, the concrete & cement industry’s multi-program pavement thickness design platform.

Alan adds that the small group size allowed for plenty of discussion about the concrete pavement design and the use of the new generation digital tools. Like a lot of state highway departments, ARDOT uses AASHTO 93, so this first-ever workshop gave the design professionals an opportunity to see example problems and to try the design tools firsthand.

Eric Ferrebee led the training on PavementDesigner for a group representing municipalities and counties, as well as the M-E design for the ARDOT group. Alan and Brent Burwell facilitated question and discussions, some of which focused on key differences among the design resources.

“Eric showed what PavementDesigner does, and the reason why, although it’s AASHTO 93 based, it has many more features,” Alan says, adding that Eric also set the stage for discussions about Pavement M-E and why it’s better than AASHTO 93.”

“He used example problems, including a major project that resulted in 11-in. thickness designs with ’93,” Alan says, adding that the same design when run through PavementDesigner and ME were 8-1/2 in. and 9 in. respectively. Alan explains the takeaway was, “AASHTO ’93 is too conservative, and we could have been more competitive with M-E.”

He initially proposed the training to ARDOT after seeing a write-up in ACPA’s CONCRETE PAVEMENT PROGRESS about a similar workshop in Florida.

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Photo: With computers at the ready and Eric Ferrebee presenting, ARDOT officials participate in a workshop covering AASHTOWare’s Pavement M-E pavement thickness design software. (Photo courtesy of Alan Meadors, OK/ARK Chapter.) 

Conference Draws Attention to Life Cycle Assessment

The “International Symposium on Pavement, Roadway, and Bridge Life Cycle Assessment 2020” will be held in Sacramento, CA, on June 3-6.

The conference focuses on the important and timely topic of life cycle assessment–the ‘cradle-to-grave’ determination of environmental impacts of a product’s life–and its role in pavement, roadway and bridge construction. Hosted by the University of California (Davis/Berkeley) and the National Center for Sustainable Transportation at UC/Davis, the symposium will feature keynote speakers, technical paper presentations, panel discussions and poster sessions.

Keynote speakers for the three-day event include: 

  • (Thursday) Dr. Arpad Horvath of UC Berkeley, Tom Harman of the FHWA, and Sergio Aceves of Caltrans;
  • (Friday) Dr. Alissa Kendall of UC Davis, and Lew Fulton, Sustainable Transportation Energy Pathways, ITS-Davis; and 
  • (Saturday) Ezra Khan, US EPA.

The formal program is still being developed, but scheduled topics thus far include cement (and asphalt) industry perspectives; product category rules (PCRs) and environmental product declarations (EPDs)*; and other topics important to sustainability best practices. 

Click here to for additional information and to register for the event. The Symposium is supported by several universities and university-seated transportation centers; TRB; the FHWA; and associations, including ACPA, IGGA (an ACPA technology partner), ISCP; NRMCA; Southwest Concrete Pavement Association (an ACPA promotion partner); and California/Nevada Cement Association (an ACPA Association Member).

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* ASTM describes product category rules (PCRs) as specific rules, requirements, and guidelines, for developing environmental declarations for one or more products that can fulfill equivalent functions. PCRs determine what information should be gathered and how that information should be evaluated for an environmental declaration. Environmental product declarations (EPDs) provides quantifiable environmental data to compare products that fulfill the same function. In order to create comparable EPDs, they must follow the rules and guidelines called for in the associated PCR.

ACPA Emphasizes QA/QC at Airport Symposium

ACPA participated in the ACC/AAAE Design and Construction Symposium, which was held Feb. 19 through 21 in Reno, NV. Gary Mitchell participated in and presented perspectives during one of five workshop sessions called, “Increasing Your Odds of Maximum Your Investments: Pavement Updates.” 

“We discussed various pavement attributes and the importance of building the pavement correctly from the outset,” Gary says, adding that his remarks focused on quality assurance and quality control.

The panel was moderated by Wayne Seiler of All About Pavements, Inc., an ACPA member. Other panelists included Adam Browning of S&ME; Shannon Holman of Orion and Associates; and Doug Johnson of the FAA’s headquarters office. The conference was attended by approximately 1,500 engineers, planners, and airport sponsor executives from around the country. The breakout session was attended by about 150 designers and airport engineers.

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