Industry News

TRB Opens Registration to Centennial Meeting

The Transportation Research Board announced yesterday it has opened registration for its 100th Annual Meeting, a virtual event.

The event will include more than 3,000 presentations in approximately 350 sessions, along with about 350 TRB standing committee meetings. The event will also include seven days of exhibits, showcasing transportation-related products and services. TRB says registrants will have access to meeting content for 30 days, from January 21 through February 19. Click here to register for the meeting and here to read more information about the meeting.

Study: U.S. Mayors Consider Infrastructure Investment High Priority

America’s mayors consider infrastructure investment a high priority, according to a study released by the U.S. Conference of Mayors and Siemens USA, and conducted by The Harris Poll.

From public works projects to filling potholes, repairing roads, solid waste management, and other projects, mayors from small to large cities and across all regions argue that investing in infrastructure to generate jobs and economic growth are the top immediate (69%) and long-term (71%) priorities.

The study, “Infrastructure, Technology and Mayors’ Priorities for Confronting a Health, Economic and Societal Crisis” finds that even though infrastructure investment and job growth are priorities, COVID-19 has had detrimental impacts on city operating budgets.

Nearly all mayors (98%) expect their city’s operating budget to decline over the next 12 to 18 months, with 2 in 3 (66%) attributing all or most of the decline to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, these mayors agree that infrastructure improvements are necessary to support a strong recovery and a more resilient future.

This new study supports a push for federal assistance to states and localities, an initiative that ASCE (which announced the study) and many other transportation organizations have advocated for fervently.

The vast majority of mayors agree that the federal government should be doing more: 94% agree that the federal government should provide emergency fiscal relief for America’s cities to mitigate the budget shortfalls resulting from COVID-19’s impact on their local economies and 86% say that without financial assistance from the federal government, the ability of their city’s economy to bounce back will be significantly delayed.

Earlier this summer, the National League of Cities reported that over 700 cities will need to delay or cancel capital investments in infrastructure due to the pandemic. Delays of this magnitude will have a long-term impact on the state of our nation’s infrastructure. State and local revenues have been decimated and this will constrain their ability to keep up with road maintenance and address unbudgeted crises. On a parallel path, American families are paying a hidden tax of $9 dollars a day because of our D+ outdated, unreliable infrastructure, ASCE says.

Click here to view the full report online and here for downloadable executive summary (PDF).

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CP Tech Center Executive Board Reviews Efforts and Lays Out New Plans

Dr. Peter Taylor and Gordon Smith last Friday led a meeting of the National Concrete Pavement Technology Center’s Executive Board. In addition to reviewing progress and accomplishments, the Center outlined its future program plans.

The Executive Board discussed and supported the continued efforts on concrete overlay implementation, performance-engineered mixtures, and the joint webinar program with ACPA and the ACPA-affiliated chapters/state associations. Year to date, more than 9,700 people have been trained on these webinars.

The meeting included an update on the cooperative agreements with Federal Highway Administration ($2.3 Million under contract, 20 consultants engaged in the program to date) and the new agreement just signed with Federal Aviation Administration ($3.5 Million to manage an applied research program). Jerry Voigt highlighted the new FAA Cooperative Agreement in ACPA’s 3 Minutes on Monday on September 21.

ACPA members Board members spoke passionately about the value the Center provides.

“Our partners rely on the Center and it provides great third party credibility,” says Ernie Peterson, Ash Grove Cement.

“The CP Tech Center is helping ACPA and ACPA contractors answer the challenges of state highway agencies,“ says Robert Seghetti, Acme Concrete Paving Inc.

ACPA Participates in Arizona Roads and Streets Conference

The 69th Arizona Roads and Streets Conference was held September 22-25. This annual conference, organized by the ACEC of Arizona, was a virtual event this year and consisted of 48 breakout sessions over four days. The conference also featured 50 vendor exhibits in a virtual format. The event drew more than 1,100 over the four days.

Keynote speakers included FHWA Administrator Nicole Nason, and Kelley Regal, the FHWA’s Associate Administrator for Research and Development and Technology Director at Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center.

Speaker presentations covered a plethora of topics ranging from change management to agency case studies dealing with technology and budgets. ACPA and the concrete pavement industry was represented by Larry Scofield, who provided a 45-minute presentation on the “Billion Dollar Decision.”

The presentation provided an overview of the asphalt rubber performance currently covering the Phoenix Freeway system. It also included a 50-year Life Cycle Cost Analysis indicating that at the time of construction, a longitudinally tined concrete pavement was almost five times more cost effective than placing an asphalt rubber overlay. It further discussed the property damage (windshield damage) caused by fly rocks when aggregate ravels out of the asphalt rubber overlay.

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