Industry News

Event to Celebrate First Concrete Pavement

ACPA Members, Chapter/State affiliates, technology partners, and others are invited to a ribbon-cutting ceremony to commemorate the construction of a replica of the test strip that was placed by George Bartholomew in 1891 prior to the construction of America’s first concrete pavement.

The replica was designed as part of a project to revitalize the downtown area with a new outdoor patio expansion to the popular brick oven pizzeria, “Six Hundred Downtown.”  The event will begin at 11:30 a.m. (Eastern) on July 12, and will be held in the 100 block of Main Street in downtown Bellefontaine.  The unveiling of a commemorative plaque also will be part of the celebration.

The event will include remarks by Bellefontaine’s Mayor, the Hon. R. Benjamin Stahler, ACPA President and CEO Jerry Voigt, Great Lakes Cement Promotion Council Executive Director Ray McVeigh, and Ohio Concrete Association Executive Director Greg Colvin.  Also invited are local officials from Bellefontaine and family members of the Bartholomew family.   For additional details about the event, please click here to download an event flyer.

The event was organized by the Task Force for the Preservation of Historic Concrete Pavement Artifacts, and was made possible because of the contributions of corporate sponsors, in-kind contributors, and individual contributors.  For a list of the contributors, please see the event flyer.

In April 2016, Bellefontaine was the site of a 125th Anniversary celebration of the first concrete pavement, and that event prompted the concept of further recognize the original concrete pavement.  Participation in the event is free of charge, but interested parties are asked to register with Amy Fimple of the Ohio Chapter, ACPA at  614.891.0210 or amy@ohioconcrete.org.

ACPA: Take the Grand Challenge

ACPA is encouraging all civil engineers to take the “Grand Challenge” initiative, which is aimed at reducing the life cycle cost of infrastructure projects by 50 percent by 2025.  The initiative also fosters innovations and promotes optimization of infrastructure investments.

Sponsored by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), the initiative has been formally endorsed by ACPA. To get started, ACPA is encouraging all civil engineers to visit the dedicated website, at https://ascegrandchallenge.com/.

Taking the challenge is quick and simple.  From the home page, users can learn why their support is needed, then take the pledge by clicking the “I’m In” tab and completing a simple online form.  Users also have the option of sharing stories about how they are helping achieve the goal, as well as communicating about the initiative through social media channels.

After taking the Grand Challenge, or if you’ve taken it already, please take a moment to click on the highlighted link to send ACPA a preformatted email confirmation.

Why is This Important?
The goal of the program is to encourage civil engineers to rethink what is possible, and to transform the way they plan, deliver, operate, and maintain the nation’s infrastructure.   At the core is the goal of closing a gap between available funding and infrastructure needs. 

“Our policy and funding advocacy are no less important than in the past. However, they cannot close the gap alone,” says Leif Wathne, P.E., ACPA Executive Vice President. “We must do what our profession alone is uniquely qualified to do. We must lead the significant improvement in the delivery and life cycle performance of infrastructure investments through innovation spurred on by performance based standards; increased focus on life cycle performance, especially through life cycle cost analysis, and enhanced resilience.

He emphasizes that advocacy for increased funding, a solution to the Highway Trust Fund issue, and fair and equitable policies (including competition) are still important, but adds that the Grand Challenge is an important process for civil engineers to make a profound impact by raising awareness, controlling life-cycle costs, and optimizing investments in highways, airports, and other infrastructure.

Advocacy Groups Urge Legislators to Support Competition in Infrastructure Projects

Leaders from more than a dozen advocacy groups signed a letter urging Congress to support open competition in infrastructure projects, according to an article in Transportation and Infrastructure Daily

In a letter sent May 17, the groups called for Congress to allow open and competitive bids and to include requirements for open bids in all infrastructure projects.

The letter said, “Specifically, legislation should include language that clearly requires an open, competitive bidding process for materials that will be used in infrastructure projects.” 

According to the special interest groups, there is already bipartisan agreement within legislatures that the nation’s infrastructure is badly in need of replacement or repair, the newsletter reported, adding that, “the group also asserts that with an open bidding process project engineers will be able to make better fiscal decisions with taxpayer money and ultimately choose materials that lower project costs.”  

The message to lawmakers is clear: without open and competitive bidding, taxpayers will foot a higher than necessary bill for needed infrastructure projects. Although states spend some money on infrastructure, a large part of funding for major infrastructure projects comes from the federal government.

The plea from advocacy groups also includes details about a recent study conducted by the National Taxpayers Union (NTU), which concluded that replacing the aging infrastructure of the nations water systems would cost $1.32 trillion dollars.

The letter writers also said, “It is projected that allowing open competition for materials in just water infrastructure projects could save over $371 billion in taxpayer funds. A separate study conducted by Massachusetts-based BCC Research found removing barriers to competition could save up to 39 percent per mile in pipe costs alone.”

“The concept of open competition is not be limited solely to energy and water infrastructure, but can be applied to numerous other aspects of publicly funded infrastructure projects that have been limited for decades by protectionist and outdated restrictions on materials,” the letter writers added.

The letter was signed by 21 leaders from different conservative lobby groups including the Tea Party Nation, Americans for Tax Reform, the Taxpayers Protection Alliance, Americans for Prosperity, Freedom Works, and the National Taxpayers Union. 

Concrete Sustainability Hub to Present PVI Webinar

The next event in the continuing series of public webinars by the Concrete Sustainability Hub at MIT (CSHub@MIT) will cover “Pavement Vehicle Interaction (PVI): Design and Maintenance.”

The webinar is scheduled for Thursday, June 29, 11 a.m. (EDT).   Pavement vehicle interaction (PVI) considers the interaction between a vehicle’s tires and the roadway surface on which it is driving. PVI leads to excess fuel consumption and, as a result, smog and greenhouse gas emissions, and impacts drivers, states, and municipalities financially. This webinar will present CSHub research which has led to models that quantify excess fuel consumption due to PVI for pavement segments and pavement networks. Advance registration is required: http://tinyurl.com/cshubPVIwebinar.

Past webinars by the CSHub at MIT are also available online on the CSHub’s YouTube channel.

ACPA Participates in LCA Symposium

The Life Cycle Analysis 2017 (LCA) Symposium was hosted in April at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to focus on the implementation of LCA for pavements in North America and around the world.  The event followed the FHWA’s Sustainable Pavements Technical Working Group Meeting.

Cosponsored by the Illinois Center for Transportation, the Illinois DOT, and the University of California (Davis/Berkeley) Pavement Research Center, the symposium’s objective was to review the current status of LCA implementation, identify the extent of consensus, and discuss future developments for pavement LCA implementation.

The symposium included poster presentations, papers, and panel discussions by subject matter experts representing universities, industry, and the public sector.  

ACPA’s Leif Wathne and Eric Ferrebee participated in the symposium.  

“This was an great opportunity to see how pavement LCA is gaining wider acceptance,” Ferrebee said, adding, “The symposium also provided a view of the practical, meaningful ways industry, the public sector, and academia are working together to show the importance and value of LCA in highway, airport, and roadway construction.”

Wathne participated in a panel discussion called, “Where Do We Go from Here!” where he emphasized that meaningful advancement in sustainable practices and LCA will only be realized by fully marshaling and leveraging the expertise, know-how and innovative spirit of both paving industries, primarily though competition.

Also on the panel were  Navneet Garg, FAA; Gina Ahlstrom, FHWA; Steve Gillen, Illinois Toll Highway Authority; and Richard Willis, NAPA.  The CS Hub at MIT, along with Illinois State University, NRMCA, and ACPA members APTech and ARA, were among the presenters and panelists participating in the event.

This symposium is a follow-up to the 2010 Pavement LCA Workshop, Davis, California; 2012 RILEM Symposium on LCA for Construction Materials, Nantes, France; and 2014 Pavement LCA Symposium, Davis, California.

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