Industry News

Pandemic Impacts Industry Events

The pandemic crisis is forcing many organizations to cancel or reschedule events, and in some cases, decisions about rescheduling are not possible at the present time.  Among the recent national industry events to be impacted are:

  • Canceled–The 2020 National Association of County Executives (NACE) Annual Conference, Orange, AL. The conference was originally scheduled for mid-May.
  • Postponed–The 2020 Cement and Concrete Industry Fly-in, Washington, DC. The event was originally scheduled for mid-May.
  • Postponed–The 2020 ACPA Chapter Committee Meeting, Vail. CO. The meeting was originally scheduled for mid-May.

Many ACPA chapter workshops and other industry events also have been canceled or postponed, and some are being rescheduled.  We encourage members and affiliates to check our web calendar on the ACPA home page (acpa.org) for additional information. If you know about a canceled or postponed event, please email details to:  education@acpa.org.

FHWA Concrete Clips: Aggregates

Editor’s note: In 2018, the Federal Highway Administration introduced “Concrete Clips,” a series of videos that inform viewers of  interesting and valuable information about concrete pavements, materials, testing methods, and much more. Since then, the FHWA has expanded the series. The entire series is definitely worth watching!  As such, we’ll be presenting a different video in the series in this and other issues of ACPA TODAY.

The FHWA’s video, “Aggregates for Concrete Paving Mixtures,” describes the basic building blocks of concrete, the hydration process, and the role of fine and coarse aggregates in concrete. The video then provides details about the purpose and value of sieve sizes and the important role they play in formulating quality concrete mixtures.

The 12.5-minute video explains why crushed limestone has emerged as the most common coarse aggregate. It also describes the importance of proper cleanliness and gradation, as well as the fundamentals of aggregate gradation. The characteristics of good quality aggregates are also described, as are the ASTM test methods for testing aggregates.

Click here to view the video. You can also view the video through ACPA’s YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/ConcretePavements.

Please contact your US Senators and Members of Congress immediately!

Congress is considering additional broad stimulus legislation in the coming days to address the impact from COVID-19. Last night, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) released one such proposal, the  Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi  released their own informal proposal as well.

To advance priorities and relief for the highway construction sector, including ACPA members, the Transportation Construction Coalition sent a letter to Capitol Hill highlighting the short-term and long-term positive impacts of infrastructure investment on the U.S. economy.

Action Requested: ACPA is asking members to engage in an industry grassroots campaign and contact your Representatives and Senators today using a prewritten letter  asking Congress to include ACPA’s priorities within a future stimulus package. Specifically, this letter is asking Congress to take immediate action to:

  1. Aid businesses to ensure they can pay their workers and maintain operations;
  2. Ensure that building materials remain available for construction of vital infrastructure projects;
  3. Support a long-term recovery through investing in our nation’s infrastructure.

 Please click HERE to access the letter.  

Thank you for your continued support!


American Concrete Pavement Association
200 Massachusetts Ave. NW, Suite 200
Washington DC 20001

 

NOTE: The link above should open directly to the letter which you can customize and send quickly and easily. If the website opens to the webpage showing three icons, click on “TAKE ACTION” to reveal the letter.

New Resources Address Bridge Deck Cracking

New resources from the CP Tech Center take aim at the issue of bridge deck cracking, as reported in the spring issue of the NC² News, the consortium’s quarterly newsletter.

One resource is the new NC² Moving Advancements into Practice (MAP) Brief,”Extended-Life Concrete Bridge Decks Utilizing Internal Curing to Reduce Cracking—Results from Ohio DOT Field Trial,” is now available from the NC² Resource Library.

The 8-page brief includes a brief introduction, which details common causes and contributing factors. The publication also includes a section on internal curing, concrete mixtures and placement considerations. Additionally, the publication includes sections on performance monitoring, predicting service life, life-cycle cost analysis, and Ohio’s plans to use lightweight fine aggregates and specialized mixture designs to mitigate cracking.

In addition to the MAP brief, the CP Tech Center is drawing attention to resources covering bridge deck construction and related issues. To access the information, click here. When the web page appears, look for the search field and enter “bridge deck” to see recent resources.

The CP Tech Center is also encouraging engineers and other professionals to check out recent questions, included one added by the WV DOT, in the NC² States’ Q&A Listserv.  The Listserv allows member states of the TTCC Pooled Fund to poll other member states regarding specifications, materials, construction, research, or other concrete paving issues. 

Meetings Focus on Key Sustainability Topics

Two important and timely “virtual” meetings last week provided an opportunity for representatives from the FHWA, industry, academia and other stakeholders to delve into the broad topic of life cycle assessment and product category rules (PCRs), essential focal points in sustainability measures. Eric Ferrebee represented ACPA and provided the following report:

LCA Meeting – The LCA meeting last Wednesday and Thursday was a virtual meeting (originally planned as a meeting in Phoenix). The goal of the meeting was to beta test a pavement LCA tool that’s being developed by FHWA through a contract with Applied Pavement Technology (APTech), along with TheRightEnvironment and UC Davis (and Professor John Harvey).

The tool, which is being developed through FHWA’s Sustainable Pavements Program, allows users to conduct an LCA utilizing nationwide data (some of which is still being evaluated and collected), while also allowing the opportunity to input regionalized or local data based off of environmental product declarations (EPDs). 

Although the tool is still being developed, this meeting was to get industry’s (i.e., concrete, asphalt, and aggregates) feedback on the tool’s functionality. While finalizing the tool, FHWA and the LCA team will be working on a rollout plan that will include education and training. The first version of this tool is mainly aimed at education as it does not feature the use phase of an LCA, which ACPA has long maintained is an extremely impactful measure of sustainability. The FHWA and the LCA team hope to include the use phase in later updates to the tool.

PCR Meeting – The Product Category Rules (PCR) Harmonization meeting was another FHWA sponsored meeting/workshop that was switched to an online meeting. This meeting was led by Dr. Amlan Mukherjee (a Professor at Michigan Tech University), along with Heather Dylla and Latoya Johnson of FHWA.

The goal of this meeting was to evaluate the state of pavement material product category rules for all paving materials. These PCRs are only good for a certain amount of time, and thus need to be periodically updated and evaluated to ensure accuracy. This also helps to confirm that the various materials are being treated consistently for proper evaluation. 

This process allows us to evaluate what environmental impacts are being attributed to the various paving materials. This is an important process to make sure that all environmental impacts are being accounted for, which can be an intricate process when dealing with byproduct materials.

About PCRs and EPDs
PCRs are defined in ISO 14025 as a set of specific rules, requirements, and guidelines, for developing environmental declarations for one or more products that can fulfill equivalent functions. PCR determine what information should be gathered and how that information should be evaluated for an environmental declaration.

Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) 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.

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