Association News

News from Capitol Hill

This is the latest installment of highlights of PCA’s “This Week in Washington” update. Interested in seeing more? Become an ACPA Advocacy Interest Member.* Advocacy Interest Members are eligible to participate in the Legislative Issues Committee (LIC). Click here to join!

Here’s a overview of two important developments in the Nation’s capital:

  • President Donald Trump on Nov. 21st signed a Continuing Resolution (H.R. 3055) that funds the federal government until December 20 as lawmakers negotiate a long-term bill for FY2020. The legislation included a provision to prevent a $7.6 billion cut to the highway program, which we reported on in ACPA TODAY (Nov. 20). 
  • The House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis held a hearing called, “Creating a Climate Resilient America: Reducing Risks and Costs.” In former FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate’s testimony, he called for greater emphasis on pre-disaster mitigation. On the topic of the resiliency of wood as a building material, he disagreed with the Member who suggested wood was a resilient building material and raised concerns about wood buildings to withstand floods, fires and mud slides that frequently follow a large wildfire. PCA and NRMCA have previously shared with the committee the industry’s positions on the topic and further, have advocated for the use of concrete in construction of various structures.

* Advocacy Interest Membership is a special individual membership category. To be eligible for membership in this category, a member must be a stockholder, owner, director, or employee of a member admitted to any other class of membership (Article IV, Section a-i, and l). In addition, to become and remain eligible, individuals must affirm their Advocacy Interest Membership annually.

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


Heading to the TRB Annual Meeting?

The Transportation Research Board is urging people planning to attend their 99th Annual Meeting to complete event registrations before the discounted registration rate ends on Nov. 30. Registration is required for all Annual Meeting attendees, including session speakers, poster presenters, and those who attend the exhibit hall, career fair, or any workshops.

Meeting registration and hotel reservation processes are combined, so only registered attendees are permitted to reserve rooms in the TRB block. In addition to event registrations, TRB is encouraging guests to complete hotel registrations at any of the 20 hotels reserved in the block.

As part of TRB’s Centennial Celebration, all full registrants at the 99th Annual Meeting will be eligible to pick up a complimentary copy of the book, “The Transportation Research Board, 1920–2020: Everyone Interested Is Invited” by Sarah Jo Peterson. The book chronicles the events, people, and successes that helped make TRB what it is today. The number of books will be limited and distributed while supplies last. The meeting is scheduled for Jan. 12-16, in Washington, DC.


The Answer to What If…?

What if you missed all our previous announcements about registering for ACPA’s 56th Annual Meeting? Or, what if your schedule just did not allow you to finalize your hotel and/or event registration for the meeting? In response to those questions, ACPA staff has some good news.

If you have not finalized your plans, the New Orleans Marriott has rooms available at the regular rate (as of the afternoon of Nov. 20). Hotel availability may change without notice so if you need a room, please call the Marriott at 504.581.1000 or visit their general registration website.

ACPA staff will be on-site starting Tuesday morning to assist you with event registration. To register, please stop by the ACPA Annual Meeting registration desk in the hotel’s 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 hereThe meeting runs December 3 through 5.  


An Update on Performance Engineered Mixtures

Editor’s Note: This is a two-part article that provides an overview on performance engineered mixtures, and where things stand on a 5-year plan to advance this important quality initiative.  Based on a meeting in Minneapolis this week, the first part of this article provide an overview of the PEM vision.  Look for the second installment in a special issue of ACPA TODAY on Tuesday, November 26.

A performance engineered mixtures (PEM) technical advisory committee or TAC meeting this week gave stakeholders an opportunity to share updates and information on activities related to this broad quality initiative. 

Jerry Voigt represented ACPA at the meeting, whose participants also included FHWA and state transportation officials, the CP Tech Center, PCA, NRMCA and several ACPA-affiliated chapters.

The PEM vision is to develop a better way of accepting concrete for paving. This includes choosing parameters that matter more to durability, finding tools to measure them (including some new tests), choosing appropriate test limits and developing protocols for applying the tests properly in terms of purpose, consistency and repeatability. PEM is trying to improve the delivery of concrete pavements that lower the risk of premature material failures, while allowing for contractor innovation, adaptability for local conditions and an appropriate level of inspection/testing. 

Although the PEM program is focusing on mixtures, it also includes consideration of state quality programs and contractor construction practices.  At nearly halfway into the 5-year program, some important guidelines have been prepared, and a provisional standard— AASHTO PP84—has also been developed.   (To be continued in ACPA TODAY, Tues., Nov. 26.)

Photo:  Choosing appropriate test limits and developing protocols for applying tests is an essential part of the PEM initiative.  (Photo by ACPA staff.)



Barco Investment Group Acquires CTLGroup

Barco Investment Group has acquired Construction Technology Laboratories, Inc. (dba CTLGroup), formerly a PCA subsidiary. Barco also acquired the PCA campus in Skokie, according to a news release from CTLGroup.

“We are excited about the purchase of CTLGroup and the historic PCA Campus,” says Cary Cohrs, Chairman of Barco Investment Group. “Through the many talented people working at CTLGroup, we expect the company will experience strong growth and further build upon its strong reputation as an industry leader.”

“PCA and CTLGroup have been an important part of the Skokie, Illinois landscape since 1968,” says Mike Ireland, PCA President & CEO. “PCA’s offices in Skokie and Washington, DC, will continue to represent America’s cement industry, while CTLGroup will get a chance to thrive under new ownership. We’re excited about the future of both organizations.”

PCA and CTLGroup staff will continue to work at the Skokie campus in addition to offices in the Washington, DC-metro area. In addition to Illinois and DC, the CTLGroup also serves clients from Texas, Florida, and Dawlat Qatar. CTLGroup began as the research and development arm of PCA in 1987 and became a PCA subsidiary in 1986, operating as an independent engineering, research and laboratory consulting firm.

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