Industry News

ASCE: Infrastructure Investment Gap is About $5 Trillion

With the impending expiration of the FAST Act, the ASCE released new data on transit systems, roads, and bridges.

The report shows the current transportation system investment trends are unsustainable, producing dire consequences for the American people and the economy. The cumulative investment gap between what we are currently spending and what we need to spend to decrease congestion and maintain our assets in a state of good repair is approximately $5 trillion in 2019 dollars, says ASCE.

If industry costs are passed on to consumers, cost per household could be as high as $12,500 over 20 years, or $625 dollars per household. Over time, the effects worsen. Losses to households and industries will amount to $677 billion over the 2020 -2029 period and $1.3 trillion during the 2030-2039 decade, according to the report.

Looking specifically at roads, the funding gap required to rehabilitate pavement and make other operational condition improvements is $12 billion annually, or nearly $238 billion over 20 years. In other words, spending on highways must increase 29 percent over current spending levels to address the current backlog and anticipated future backlogs.

Click here to read “Failure to Act,” the report of preliminary findings. The full report will be released later this year.

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

ACPA Announces FAA Cooperative Agreement

ACPA’s most recent “3 Minutes on Monday” focuses on a “red letter day” and some very big news.

Jerry Voigt presented an overview of a new cooperative agreement between the FAA and the concrete pavement industry. With the news unveiled earlier this week, we now present additional details.

The agreement calls for $3.5 million for the concrete and asphalt industry, says Gary Mitchell.  The agreement initially is for one year but would be extended for as long as it takes to conduct various research projects.

The program resembles the previous Airport Pavement Technology Program (APTP), which was advocated by ACPA and implemented by the IPRF in the early 2000’s. Oversight for the new program will be through a Program Coordination Group (PCG). The CP Tech Center, ACPA, and FAA will each have a member on the PCG. Other entities that may be represented on the PCG are:

  • National Association of State Aviation Officials
  • American Association of Airport Executives
  • Airports Council International – North America
  • American Society of Civil Engineers, Air Transportation Division
  • Airport Consultants Council
  • Construction Contractor Member of ACPA
  • Boeing Aircraft Company
  • Department of Defense (U.S. Air Force)
  • Federal Aviation Administration (Office of Airports)

The program will be focused on applied research to address specific problems identified by the PCG. The intent is to address issues affecting concrete pavements that are outside the scope or expertise of the FAA Test Center. “In this way we extend the reach of FAA’s development of new and revised standards and specifications, and their adoption of new technology. It’s a win-win for the agency and industry,” says Gary Mitchell, ACPA Vice President of Airports and Technology.

Working with the FAA, ACPA has already developed a list of potential projects to be recommended for consideration to the PCG. These projects include: alternatives or new materials for ASR mitigation, rapid construction procedures, pop-out control for concrete mixtures, alternative methods for pavement strength acceptance, effects of grinding on airfield pavements, alternative doweling systems for thin concrete pavements and overlays, and rubber removal guidance for airfield pavements.

“We are pleased to see this FAA cooperative research program get re-started. It has taken a good bit of time and effort to see this program brought back to life,” says Gary Mitchell. “We have been discussing various applied research needs with the FAA Headquarters engineers for some time and this program will help fulfill some of those high-priority needs.

“Leif Wathne [Executive Vice President] and Gary Mitchell, along with association partners and consultants have done an outstanding job advocating for funding through the reauthorization and appropriation legislation to support this important program,” says Jerry Voigt, ACPA President/CEO.  “ACPA also has invested significant effort with the CP Tech Center and FAA to garner support for the program and we now look forward to getting the program underway to build on the success of the past IPRF research program.”

“I am delighted that the FAA has agreed to fund this program,” says Dr. Peter Taylor, Director of the CP Tech Center. “It will allow researchers around the US the opportunity to help address some of the critical research needs in concrete construction for airfields. We look forward to working with the FAA team to prioritize the work and get it started!”

FHWA Expands Overlays Outreach to Division Offices

Editor’s Note: This is the latest in our continuing updates on the Round 6 of the FHWA’s Every Day Counts initiative, and specifically, the agency’s focus on targeted overlay pavement solutions (TOPS).

FHWA formally rolled out the TOPS program to its division offices on Monday.

ACPA, in collaboration and cooperation with the CP Tech Center, successfully advocated for the inclusion of concrete overlays in the EDC program.

The mission of the EDC TOPS program is to: extend pavement life, increase load-carrying capacity, and improve safety, mobility, and user satisfaction in a cost-effective and sustainable manner, the FHWA says, noting this will be done by targeting pavement overlay solutions to Federal, State, and local transportation agencies.

“Our industry strongly believes that concrete overlays meet the goals identified in this EDC mission,” says Leif Wathne.

The EDC Concrete TOPS team will focus on building awareness about concrete overlays and usage, identifying champions at state highway agencies, sharing information at upcoming workshops and conferences, and training decision makers via peer exchanges and webinars.

Eric Prieve P.E., Concrete Engineer with Colorado DOT, presented a concrete overlay case history from SH 13 north of Craig, CO. The project was a 6 mile long 6ft x 6ft x 6 in. concrete overlay of a distressed asphalt route in NW Colorado.

The project employed performance engineered mixture concepts, which resulted in an exceptionally durable and smooth pavement. Innovative pilot car operations were also used and contributed to continuous roadway operation and enhanced safety. The project won both an ACI State Award for Excellence in Concrete and an ACPA National Gold Award for Excellence in Concrete Pavement Overlays. This EDC6 TOPS case study is another example of the more than 10 million SY of concrete overlays built by CDOT in the last few decades.

ACPA’s Leif Wathne and CP Tech Center’s John Adam represent the concrete pavement industry on the EDC6 Concrete deployment team. Click here to see our previous report and more details about the EDC6 TOPS program.

TRB Meeting Focuses on Outreach and Education

TRB’s Pavement Maintenance Committee (AKT30) met last week to present an update on conference papers reviewed for TRB’s 100th Annual Meeting, a virtual event scheduled for January.

In addition to the papers reviewed, the meeting also covered the current committee roster and discussions on future webinars. Both IGGA and ACPA participated in the virtual event that had approximately 60 participants.

AKT30 is a new committee that was created by combining two previous TRB Committees, Sealants and Fillers for Joints and Cracks (AHD25), and Pavement Maintenance (AHD20). John Roberts and Larry Scofield represented ACPA and IGGA at the meeting.

National Concrete Consortium Spotlights Concrete Patching Research

The National Concrete Consortium (NC2), in its latest NC2 E-News, focuses on concrete patching with its coverage of the Concrete Infrastructure Research Database of in-progress and recently completed research.

Maintained by the CP Tech Center, the database allows easy search of curated research related to concrete pavements and bridge decks across the US from the previous 5 years. Originally developed under the former CP Road Map, research included in the database is identified from the Transportation Research Board (TRB) list of Research in Progress (RiP), newsletters from across the concrete industry, and agency websites.

The current NC2 e-newsletter shows an example of available research based on the phrase “concrete pavement patching.” (See inset illustration.)

The database also includes recent research on a wide range of topics and is useful for agencies, engineers, and others with an interest in current pavement research.

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