Industry News

MIT Meeting Focuses on Pavements

Concrete pavements were in focus during recent meetings at the MIT Concrete Sustainability Hub (CS Hub).  ACPA Chairman Jim Mack, 2nd Vice Chairman David Howard, Leif Wathne of ACPA and Todd LaTorella of the Missouri/Kansas Chapter-ACPA, participated in the meetings, which included an industry advisory council (IAC) session and a technical advisory group (TAG) meeting. 

ACPA has in recent years increased its involvement in the MIT CS Hub TAG meetings and also joined the IAC this fall.    

Much of the pavement related discussion revolved around ways to better communicate the work CS Hub has been doing in recent years and leverage it into effective and impactful marketing and promotion messaging. The CS Hub has developed a variety of useful resources related to the value of inter-industry competition, improved LCCA tools, enhanced pavement management strategies and the importance of accounting for pavement-vehicle interaction (such as smoothness and stiffness) and albedo when assessing life cycle GHG emissions associated with pavements. 

The CS Hub also has developed tools to address the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, via crowdsourcing road performance data through applications such as MIT’s CARBIN app. A formidable challenge is to take all these resources and information and tailor them to each region/market segment in the US, as needs and priorities vary greatly. A part of ACPA’s promotion plan will focus on sustainability, including information from the CS Hub. 

Ohio Meeting Spotlights Quality, Tech Resources

As part of ACPA’s ongoing “Concrete Competes” program, ACPA and the Ohio Chapter-ACPA held a meeting recently with Ohio DOT Director, Dr. Jack Marchbanks, and his key leadership staff from pavement engineering and construction.

The discussion focused on the advantages to Ohio DOT and taxpayers of competition between paving industries in Ohio. Remarks by industry also underscored how both quality and innovation improve with increased competition between paving industries. ACPA also highlighted a wealth of technical training and resources on behalf of the association, the chapter, and ACPA technology partners.

The concrete pavement industry was represented at the meeting by ACPA member contractors Golden Triangle Construction (Chuck Niederriter), Complete General Contractors (Whit Wardell), Great Lakes Construction (George Palko), and Kokosing Construction (Steve Prosek). Also representing the industry were ACPA staff (Leif Wathne) and staff of the Ohio Concrete Association and OCA (Greg Colvin, Mark Pardi, Joel Riter, and Tom Norris).

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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