Association News

Happy Thanksgiving!

Ahead of what promises to be a busy holiday travel period, we’re pleased to present you with this early edition of ACPA TODAY. This special edition is also the perfect opportunity to wish you, your family and friends a very Happy Thanksgiving. 

Starting Monday, ACPA staff will be in New Orleans, putting the final touches on our 56th Annual Meeting, which of course, runs Tuesday through Thursday. Our offices will open again on Monday, Dec. 9.  

If you have still not registered for the meeting, please stop by the ACPA Annual Meeting registration desk at the New Orleans Marriott. You’ll find it in the Mardi Gras Foyer beginning at 7 a.m. on Tuesday, December 3.  Online registration is no longer available through ACPA, but to see the annual meeting program, please click hereWe look forward to seeing you in New Orleans! 

Inside the AHUA Annual Meeting

The American Highway Alliance (AHUA) annual meeting recently covered timely transportation topics, including transportation program reauthorization updates, funding challenges and more. The meeting marked the first annual meeting for recently appointed President & CEO Laura Perrotta

The meeting also included remarks by Senator Tom Carper (D-DE), Jim Tymon of AASHTO, and Helena Zyblikewycz, Staff Director of the House T&I Committee, as well as other leading transportation officials.

In broad strokes, the overall tone and tenor of remarks was cautiously optimistic. The House T&I are working quietly behind the scenes in a bi-partisan way. They are shooting for early next year to release a bill. However, finding a sustainable funding source that also stabilizes the highway trust fund remains the main obstacle. Similarly, on the Senate side, identifying viable funding mechanisms remains a challenge. Although, the relevant committees of jurisdiction do appear to be working across the aisle on a solution. The primary “touchstones” of a funding solution appear to be: The bill must be paid for, users should pay, and the solution must be sustainable.

A panel discussion on reauthorization included perspectives from three former US DOT Secretaries: Hon. James Burnley (1983-87 and 1987-89), the Hon. Rodney Slater (1997-2001), and the Hon. Norman Mineta (2001-06). Mr. Mineta also served as RM and Chairman of the House T&I Committee for two years. Mr. Slater also served as FHWA Administrator from 1993 to 1997.

The meeting also included a keynote luncheon with Rep. Earl Blumenauer (D-OR). Also presenting remarks were Rep. Sam Graves (R-MO), Rep. Garret Graves (R-LA) and Rep. Dan Lipinski (D-IL). Other presenters included Jeff Davis, Senior Fellow and Editor, Eno Transportation Weekly, and Richard Russell, Staff Director, Senate Environment & Public Works Committee. Leif Wathne represented ACPA at the meeting.
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Photo: Panel discussion includes perspectives from three former US DOT Secretaries, whose leadership tenures with the agency spans more than 30 years.

MIT Meeting Focuses on Pavements

Concrete pavements were in focus during recent meetings at the MIT Concrete Sustainability Hub (CS Hub).  ACPA Chairman Jim Mack, 2nd Vice Chairman David Howard, Leif Wathne of ACPA and Todd LaTorella of the Missouri/Kansas Chapter-ACPA, participated in the meetings, which included an industry advisory council (IAC) session and a technical advisory group (TAG) meeting. 

ACPA has in recent years increased its involvement in the MIT CS Hub TAG meetings and also joined the IAC this fall.    

Much of the pavement related discussion revolved around ways to better communicate the work CS Hub has been doing in recent years and leverage it into effective and impactful marketing and promotion messaging. The CS Hub has developed a variety of useful resources related to the value of inter-industry competition, improved LCCA tools, enhanced pavement management strategies and the importance of accounting for pavement-vehicle interaction (such as smoothness and stiffness) and albedo when assessing life cycle GHG emissions associated with pavements. 

The CS Hub also has developed tools to address the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, via crowdsourcing road performance data through applications such as MIT’s CARBIN app. A formidable challenge is to take all these resources and information and tailor them to each region/market segment in the US, as needs and priorities vary greatly. A part of ACPA’s promotion plan will focus on sustainability, including information from the CS Hub. 

Ohio Meeting Spotlights Quality, Tech Resources

As part of ACPA’s ongoing “Concrete Competes” program, ACPA and the Ohio Chapter-ACPA held a meeting recently with Ohio DOT Director, Dr. Jack Marchbanks, and his key leadership staff from pavement engineering and construction.

The discussion focused on the advantages to Ohio DOT and taxpayers of competition between paving industries in Ohio. Remarks by industry also underscored how both quality and innovation improve with increased competition between paving industries. ACPA also highlighted a wealth of technical training and resources on behalf of the association, the chapter, and ACPA technology partners.

The concrete pavement industry was represented at the meeting by ACPA member contractors Golden Triangle Construction (Chuck Niederriter), Complete General Contractors (Whit Wardell), Great Lakes Construction (George Palko), and Kokosing Construction (Steve Prosek). Also representing the industry were ACPA staff (Leif Wathne) and staff of the Ohio Concrete Association and OCA (Greg Colvin, Mark Pardi, Joel Riter, and Tom Norris).

Arizona Conference Presents Future of Pavements

The 16th Arizona Pavement and Materials Conference drew an estimated 200 professionals last week and was focused on the future of pavements and paving materials. 

Eric Ferrebee and Larry Scofield participated in the event, with Eric presenting, “Concrete Industry’s One-Stop Shopping Pavement Design Program,” an overview on PavementDesigner.org. Larry moderated a general session covering a range of pavement-related topics.

The conference was sponsored by Arizona State University and held at the university’s Tempe campus. Cosponsors included Arizona DOT, FHWA, local government agencies and industry organizations.   

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