Industry News

Magazine Cites Federal Official’s Views on Pavement Competition

Editor’s Note:  Sometimes, the more things change, the more they stay the same, and it’s for that reason we present this interesting bit of history, which we believe is as logical now as it was 96 years ago. An article in the July 1921 issue of “ARIZONA HIGHWAYS” magazine quoted federal official Thomas H. MacDonald, on his strong views about competition.  Mr. MacDonald served for 34 years as the Chief of the Bureau of Public Roads, forerunner of today’s Federal Highway Administration.  The article is presented in its entirety.

“In a statement just issued [by] Thomas H. MacDonald Chief of the United States Bureau of Public Roads  deplores the tendency that has been developing in some States to pass legislation governing conditions of bond issues and specifying one type of material to be used in highway construction.

“Mr. MacDonald urges open competition and more careful consideration of cost and local conditions affecting construction before the type of pavement is determined upon.

Thomas H. McDonald, BPR Chief, from 1919 to 1953. (Photo: Federal Highway Administration.)

“‘Granting that the preparation of the roadbed has been properly done,’ says Mr. MacDonald, “Many kinds of road surfaces will give excellent service.  The element of time is important.  There are so many miles of roads to be constructed and their cost will be so enormous that the most careful and detailed study of each road project must be made to provide, at the lowest possible cost, roads which will give satisfactory service and which can be maintained without undue depreciation under the traffic which is to use them.  Many times the question has been asked the bureau: What type of road is best.  The answer is always the same: There is not one best kind of type of road surface.'”

FAA Announces Project Grants

U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao announced the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) will award $167.6 million in airport infrastructure grants to 64 airports in 30 states across the United States as part of the FAA’s Airport Improvement Program (AIP), according to an August 7  press release.

“The Airport Improvement Program helps to maintain our aviation infrastructure and supports safety, capacity, security and environmental improvements,” said Secretary Chao.  “This is an important investment in these airports and the economic vitality of their respective communities.”

The airport grant program funds various types of airport infrastructure projects, including runways, taxiways, and airport signage, lighting, and markings, all of which help to create thousands of jobs.

To date this year, the U.S. Department of Transportation has announced more than 1,300 new grants to nearly 1,200 airports for a total of $2 billion.  These grants will provide funds for 546 runway projects and 459 taxiway projects that are important to the safety and efficiency of the nation’s system of airports.

Click here to see the projects associated with this series of grants.

A Look Ahead to Upcoming Trade Shows

ACPA and its industry allies will be once again exhibiting at two well-attended events coming up this month and next.  

  • ACPA, NRMCA, and PCA will be exhibiting jointly at the upcoming Public Works Exposition or PWX.  Formerly the American  Public Works Association Congress and Expo, the PWX show reaches public works directors and other key personnel involved in public works projects across North America.   The show is scheduled for August 27 through 30 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Fla.   Look for us at booth #700.
  • ACPA, NRMCA, and PCA also will be exhibiting jointly at the AASHTO Annual Meeting,  which draws state Department of Transportation officials and other AASHTO members from across the United States.  The meeting will be held from September 25 through 28 at the Sheraton Grand Phoenix, in Phoenix, Ariz.  The meeting includes exhibits by leading transportation concerns.  Look for us in booth #510.  

Looking for other industry meetings & events?  Visit our events calendar at  To add a meeting or event, contact Debbie Becker by email at

ACPA, Industry Allies Show Support for Airport Funding

ACPA recently co-signed letters in strong support of airport construction funding, notably to urge Congress to adjust the Passenger Facility Charge on originating passengers, as well as to boost the Airport Improvement Program by $250 million for a total of $3.6 billion in funding.

The letters, sent prior to the current August recess, urged House and Senate Appropriations Chairs and Ranking members to support additional funding in the respective versions of the “Transportation, Housing and Urban Development” (THUD) appropriations bills.  The two letters were sent by:

These letters cited long overdue increases to aviation infrastructure funding, and noted the revenue increases will support critical infrastructure projects for U.S. airports.  

The Senate passed its version of the THUD Bill on July 25; the House version is pending the current August recess, which is scheduled to end September 5.  

ACPA and other coalition partners will continue to advocate for increased airport construction funds.   The FAA bill, formally the “FAA Modernization and Reform Act” of 2012, has been extended by several short-term measures, the most recent of which is set to expire on September 30.

* The Highway Materials Group is comprised of the American Coal Ash Association, American Concrete Pavement Association, American Traffic Safety Services Association, Associated of Equipment Distributors, Association of Equipment Manufacturers, Concrete Reinforcing Steel Institute, National Asphalt Pavement Association, National Ready Mixed Concrete Association, National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association, Portland Cement Association, and the Prestressed/Precast Concrete Institute.



ACPA, ISCP to Offer Webinars in Spanish

ACPA and the International Society for Concrete Pavements will present a four-part “Meganar” series in Spanish.  The four-part series, “Overview of Concrete Pavement Design, Construction, Performance, and Evaluation,” will be presented during late August and early September.   

The webinars will each last approximately 75 minutes, and are scheduled for 10:00 to 11:15 a.m. (CDT)11:00 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. (EDT)  | 15:00-16:15 UTC on each of the following dates:

  • August 29Part 1: Types of Concrete Pavement: Structures and Functions, presented by Dr. Jeffery Roesler, P.E., CEE Professor at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and President, International Society of Concrete Pavements.
  • August 31Part 2: Mechanistic-Empirical Design Basics for Concrete Pavements, presented by Juan Pablo Covarubias, General Manager, TCPavements Ltda.
  • September 5Part 3: Modern Construction Process and Technology for Concrete Pavement, presented by Juan Pablo Covarubias, General Manager, TCPavements Ltda.
  • September 7Part 4: Concrete Pavement Evaluation and Measurement Methods, presented by Dr. Erwin Kohler, General Manager, & ISCP Board of Directors.

 To download a copy of the flyer (in Spanish and  English), please follow this link:   For additional information, including costs, discounts, and registration information, please follow this link:

ISCP members are encouraged to visit the ISCP’s webinar page prior to registering on the ACPA registration page noted above.

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