Industry News

Meeting Focuses on Transportation Investment

Continuing our goal of informing elected officials about the importance of tranportation investment, Leif Wathne and Ed Graber met Tuesday with Terra Sabag, Chief of Staff, and Alexandra Menardy, Senior Legislative Aide, for Rep. Rick Larsen (D-WA-02). 

The conversation covered transportation topics in general, as well as infrastructure resilience, sustainability and stewardship.  Leif also shared highlights of a recent presentation by Dr. Jeremy Gregory of MIT’s Concrete Sustainability Hub.  He also shared a factsheet on Washington’s cement and concrete industry, courtesy of PCA.

Rep. Larson is a member of the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee and serves as Chairman of the Aviation Subcommittee.  His district is in northwest Washington and includes mainland communities in Snohomish, Skagit and Whatcom counties, as well as San Juan and Island counties.  

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

ACPA Opens Event, Hotel Registration for Annual Meeting

ACPA today announced the official opening of the event and hotel registration for the Association’s 56th Annual Meeting. Our one-stop registration/information website is

To reserve a room at the Marriott at a discounted rate of $189/night, follow this reservation link or visit the event website.  ACPA members are eligible to receive a 20% discount off any registration ticket type, including those for your spouse and guests for whom you are paying. To receive the discount, please enter the following promotional code at the top of the ticket selection screen before you proceed to checkout: member20.

Some of the highlights for our program include:

  • Guest presentations at our Task Force meetings — The RCC, Airports and Jointing task forces will each include guest presentations by concrete pavement experts from industry, academia and the public sector.
  • Guest presentations at our CPU general session — Our general session will include important and timely presentation from the perspectives of the FHWA and state DOTs.
  • New format for Concrete Pavement University breakouts— The eight breakout discussions will include four general interest tracks and four contractor/construction tracks.
  • New developments at the Strategic Advisory Committee meeting — The meeting will focus on results from the change-management workshop held during the Mid-Year Meeting. 
  • Fun-filled social and networking events— Our Mardi Gras theme reception, which will include some surprises throughout the two-hour event, our luncheon and annual meeting of the members, and our closing dinner & awards banquet, as well as some optional activities noted below.
  • Exciting optional activities— On December 3, the first day of the meeting, we’re planning three optional activities:  a golf outing, an airboat swamp tour, and a “sprits and cocktails” walking tour.  On Wednesday, we’ll be hosting a special culture & cuisine tour for spouses and guests.

The meeting will be held Tuesday, Dec. 3, through Thursday, Dec. 5., at the New Orleans Marriott.  There’s much more to our 56th Annual Meeting, and in the weeks ahead, we will be reporting on additional details about what promises to be an exciting, information-loaded, and fun-filled meeting. 

As a reminder, record attendance at our Mid-Year Meeting and our increasingly high number of new members means we will very likely have record attendance.  So, don’t delay; register today! 

Open House Spotlights PEM and Related Testing

An open house event yesterday focused on performance engineered mixtures (PEM), as well as PEM testing methods.  Cosponsored by the Federal Highway Administration, Illinois DOT and Illinois Chapter-ACPA, the event began with presentations describing the PEM approach.  Peter Taylor of the CP Tech Center provided an overview of the PEM approach,  James Krstulovich of the Illinois DOT,  provided an agency perspective on PEM, and Mike Ayers, Illinois Chapter, provided an industry perspective.

The event, which began in Moline, IL, was followed by PEM test demonstrations at Hahn Ready Mix, Sand & Gravel in nearby Davenport, IA.  About 40 professionals representing the FHWA, Illinois DOT, industry and the CP Tech Center attended the open house event. 

PEM was developed in part, due to the traditional testing and acceptance methods, which are based on factors such as strength, slump and air.  Although these are measures of quality, they have little correlation to future performance, says the CP Tech Center, which notes the goal of the PEM transportation pooled fund is “to bring new testing technologies to state agencies and assist in new test methods that will help deliver durable, long-lasting concrete.”

“We need to make a spec that works better than what we have at the moment,”  Taylor said as in his opening remarks.  “As we move away from prescriptive specs, method specs– and move toward giving the contractor and the producer ownership of their mix designs, we have to keep moving away from the prescription, giving the freedom and innovation over to the people making (the concrete),” Krstulovich said.  Ayers said, “What we don’t consider in pavement design is durability issues, and that’s what’s coming back to haunt us.  Performance engineered mixtures is going to go a long way in alleviating that problem.”

Following the insightful presentations, the DOT also provided a brief overview of the I-74 reconstruction project, a joint project among the Illinois and Iowa DOTs to improve the I-74 corridor from Moline to Davenport.  The project includes the replacement of the I-74 bridges over the Mississippi River as well as interchange ramp reconfigurations and local roadway improvements, according to the I-74 River Bridge website.

The open house continued in the afternoon with demonstrations and interactive discussions about our testing methods that support PEM.  They are: the Super Air Meter, which measures air-void characteristics of concrete; surface resistivity testing, a rapid measurement technique to determine the permeability of concrete; the box test, a measure of workability; and the V-Kelly test, also a measurement of workability.

Photo:  (L-R) Mike Ayers and Peter Taylor discuss surface resistivity testing during the PEM workshop.  (Photo by Bill Davenport for ACPA)

ACPA Presents Views on Senate EPW Passage of Transportation Bill

The U.S. Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee on Tuesday unanimously voted to approve the draft transportation reauthorization bill, America’s Transportation Infrastructure Act (ATIA). ATIA provides $287 billion in contract authority over five years beginning at the expiration of the FAST Act on September 30, 2020.

Proposed funding levels for core highway programs are:
• FY 20- $43.373 billion (Fast Act level)
• FY 21 – $47.86 billion
• FY 22 – $48.83 billion
• FY23 – $49.85 billion
• FY24 – $50.91 billion
• FY25 – $51.98 billion

Most of the funds (90%) will be distributed by the FAST Act formula with provisos ensuring each state receives back 95% of the amount of motor fuels and other taxes paid into the Highway Trust Fund (HTF). Each state is guaranteed a 2% increase over FY 2020 FAST Act levels and at least a 1% increase in each subsequent year.

In broad strokes, ACPA is very supportive of this bill, which increases the Federal-Aid formula-program significantly by an average of 15%, or $6.5B/yr. The federal Highway R&D Program, including the Technology and Innovation Deployment program, also gets substantial bumps in the Senate proposal (22.7% and 100%, respectively). With those increases, the ACPA-led AID-PT program* ($12M/year for concrete and asphalt technology implementation and deployment, that helps fund the majority of CP Tech Center’s federal contracts) is included and “enhanced” with some additional reporting requirements.** ACPA believes these additional reporting requirements under the AID-PT program can be helpful to the concrete pavement industry.

It is important to acknowledge that the Senate EPW Committee delivered a surface reauthorization bill ahead of schedule; the FAST Act expires next year. Although this EPW Committe action is the first of many that will be needed to advance a plan to the President, ACPA remains fully committed to working with both the Senate and the House to produce and pass a robust, effective final reauthorization before the expiration of the FAST Act. According to reports by Politico, Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has signaled receptiveness to reserving floor time for the ATIA bill this coming fall. ACPA will keep members informed about possible calls to action in this regard.
* The Accelerated Implementation and Deployment of Pavement Technologies (AID-PT) is a provision first included in the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP 21).  This ACPA-led initiative created both a mechanism and funding for the delivery of pavement technology.  In 2015, Congress included the program in the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, which provides funding through 2020. ACPA also advocated for a similar research provision was included in the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018 Sec. 744. Research and deployment of certain airfield pavement technologies.

** Additional reporting requirements include: pavement monitoring and data collection; pavement durability and resilience; stormwater management; vehicle efficiency; the energy efficiency of the production of paving materials; evidence of the ability of paving materials to enhance the environment and promote sustainability; and integration of renewable energy in pavement designs

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

Calling All ACPA Sponsors

ACPA’s 2019-2020 sponsorship program is off to a great start.  For those interested in sponsorship, there are still opportunities for your company to be seen at ACPA’s upcoming 56th Annual Meeting, as well as the 2020 ACPA/TRB Reception and ACPA Mid-Year Meeting.   If you’re interested in becoming a sponsor, please follow these links for a digital sponsorship form, which can be completed and emailed to ACPA. 

Our thanks and appreciation go to our current sponsors listed below.  Remember, there’s still time to take advantage of the great opportunities to be seen by industry and agency customers!   

Company Sponsorship Level

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