Industry News

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.   

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.

 

Leaders Move to Block Rescission of Highway Contract Authority

House Democratic leaders on Tuesday released the text of a second fiscal year 2020 stopgap appropriations measure, with this CR expected to last from midnight November 21 to midnight December 20, according to Jeff Davis of The Eno Group. Aside from keeping the federal government operating at prorated FY 2019 levels past midnight Thursday (tomorrow), the legislation would repeal the $7.569 billion rescission of highway contract authority scheduled to take place on July 1, 2020, by section 1438 of the FAST Act.

Section 1702 of the draft bill states, “Section 1438 of the FAST Act (Public Law 114–94; 129 Stat. 1432) is repealed” and changes the FAST Act table of contents correspondingly. Title VIII of the bill also declares that neither the OMB nor the Senate shall score the budgetary effects of the bill on the “scorecard,” so any outlay consequences of the rescission repeal (if they are found to exist) will not be counted toward budget totals.

The provision of the bill repealing the rescission still violates several points of order under the Budget Act, as well as House and Senate budget rules, but the looming federal government shutdown affords House lawmakers the ability to “dare” opponents of the repeal to elevate the issue to the point where opposition of the appeal could result in a large-scale government shutdown.

In anticipation (and in strong opposition to) the rescission of the highway contract authority, the Transportation Construction Coalition, sent a letter to House Leadership last Friday strongly urging repeal of the rescission. The rescission of this contract authority, the Associations reasoned, would adversely impact all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Click here to see the letter.

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

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.)

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

 

 

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