Industry News

SIMPLEX Announces Transition to New Company Name

SIMPLEX USA announced today it has transitioned to a new name, American Highway – A Simplex Company, says the company’s Co-Chief Executive Officer, Ron Meskis.

“We are proud of our latest addition, ‘American Highway,’ to our company name. Our intent on this pivot to American Highway is to better inform and provide more color definition to this large industry landscape. Of relevance, prior to Simplex’s purchase of Dayton Superior’s paving division in 2019, the trade name of American Highway was predominantly used to supply steel products to the concrete paving industry. As such, the name brings a long-established road creed and added value to our overall corporate brand as a recognized and familiar staple in the industry.”

The road infrastructure leader is recognized as much more than a steel dowel manufacturer. Particularly considering the expansion into new markets with other integrated American made products, facilitating its mass demand in the infrastructure space.

Sarah Bazey, founder of Simplex-USA, led and managed the company for more than 30 years as its CEO, and further navigated Simplex’s purchase of JC Supply & Manufacturing, including the paving division of Dayton Superior. She says, “Our team is comprised of individuals with unparalleled experience and talent throughout the organization. Therefore, our collective human capital will continue to drive unprecedented success within the highway industry.”

Mark Kaler, Chairman of the Board for Simplex-USA, states, “I am very excited about the forward trajectory of our diversified company as we continue to expand its product offering in the infrastructure market. My history with the name of American Highway goes back to the early 2000’s when I was part of the team which established its name. American Highway has a long-recognized reputation and is something I am quite proud of having been a part of since its inception. Consequently, I am now even more excited to be part of the company’s growth plans; providing added products and value for our contractor and distributor partners.”

Click here to view a video the company released to coincide with the announcement.

ACPA Announces ‘Excellence’ Award Recipients

ACPA announced today the recipients of the 31st Annual “Excellence in Concrete Pavement” awards. Click here to see the overall award recipients. In keeping with tradition, the announcement of the “Gold” and “Silver” award level will remain a secret until the award presentation ceremony during the annual meeting.

This year, the association recognizes 28 award-winning projects, along with the hard work, outstanding quality, and creative approaches to problem solving demonstrated by contractors, agencies, and engineers. In all, ACPA recognizes 23 unique contractors, whose exceptional projects span 12 affiliated chapter/state association areas.

ACPA also expresses thanks and appreciation to 56 professionals who served as judges of the award submittals, reviewing nomination forms, project details, and photos depicting the projects.

Award winners will be recognized during the Annual Excellence in Concrete Paving Awards Program held on Thursday, December 3rd during ACPA’s 57th Annual Meeting.

FHWA Spotlights Concrete Overlays

It’s official: The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) formally announced that pavement overlays have been selected by the agency’s Every Day Counts (EDC) program for rapid deployment.

The FHWA formally made the announcement Monday that targeted overlays pavement solutions (TOPS) including concrete pavement overlays have been formally selected as one of the innovations in the 6th round of EDC (for 2020/2021).

The current round of EDC innovations appear in the EDC’s updated website. Pavement overlays were one of seven innovations recognized in the current round.

FHWA describes overlays as, “Solutions for integrating innovative overlay procedures into practices that can improve performance, lessen traffic impacts, and reduce the cost of pavement ownership”

“Approximately half of all infrastructure dollars are invested in pavements, and more than half of that investment is in overlays. By enhancing overlay performance, State and local highway agencies can maximize this investment and help ensure safer, longer-lasting roadways for the traveling public.”

The FHWA notes that concrete overlays create improved pavements that last longer. The site also points to the many benefits of concrete overlays, including safety; cost savings; and performance. The agency also includes brief information about the state of the practice, which includes “recent improvements to design methods, interlayer technology, slab geometry, and concrete mixtures have broadened concrete overlay surface treatment applicability, reliability, sustainability, and cost-effectiveness.”

ACPA encourages members, chapters, and others to visit the FHWA EDC website to see more about the special recognition of concrete overlays.

Leif Wathne and John Adam represent ACPA and the CP Tech Center on FHWA’s EDC6 Innovation Deployment Team for Concrete Overlays.

FAA Announces Another $1.2 Billion in Grants

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Elaine L. Chao announced yesterday that the Trump Administration will award more than $1.2 billion in airport safety and infrastructure grants through the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

The funding is intended for 405 airports in 50 states and the Federated States of Micronesia, the Marshall Islands, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, Palau, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The total includes over $1 billion from the Airport Improvement Program (AIP) and $152 million in Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act grants to equal a 100 percent federal share.

A complete listing of grants (PDF) and an interactive map of airports receiving funding is available on the FAA website.

The grants will be used for a variety of critical infrastructure and safety projects. The projects include constructing runways and taxiways, repairing runways and taxiways, installing aircraft lighting, and other safety and infrastructure investments.

Since January 2017, the Trump Administration has delivered $13.5 billion to America’s Airports to improve infrastructure and safety. In 2020, the Administration has delivered $10 billion in economic assistance to America’s airports during the COVID-19 public health emergency. The previous investment, reported in the July 29th issue of ACPA TODAY, was $273 million.


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

REDAC Meeting Provides Forum for Key Concrete Pavement Topics

A meeting of the FAA Research, Engineering, and Development Advisory Committee (REDAC)—Subcommittee on Airports presented an opportunity for ACPA to discuss some important airfield pavement topics.

Gary Mitchell and Jim Mack of CEMEX (and past Chairman of the ACPA Board)—members of the REDAC* Subcommittee—had the opportunity to participate in the summer/fall meeting last week.

The shortened-format meeting was held by web conference and centered around research pertaining to safety and environmental issues that have been mandated to be addressed by Congress in the 2020 Appropriation Bill.  Even so, a few pavement research topic updates were presented to the Subcommittee. These pavement related topics included emerging pavement materials and additives; state specifications for airport pavements; and updates to FAARFIELD 2.0., the FAA pavement design software.

Gary and Jim both provided valuable input for research into the use of state highway specifications for airports, which is now an option to designers for use in general aviation paving projects. In addition, they provided recommendations to the research team on updating failure criteria for pavement design that would ultimately lead to more efficient pavement design for the FAARFIELD software.

ACPA, through its Quality Construction Committee, has already provided a review and recommendations to the FAA for the Pavement Design Advisory Circular (AC), which accompanies the FAARFIELD software. The emerging pavement materials and additives research is looking into the use of nano-particles in concrete mixtures as a real time, self-monitoring system to track damage development in concrete pavements. This research was identified in the FAA’s 10-year research plan and is in the early stages.

Gary and Jim also provide findings and recommendations on emerging pavement materials and additives research that would align the research to be more inclusive with pavement construction. Because of the shortened format of the meeting, an update to the extended pavement design life program was postponed until the winter/spring REDAC Subcommittee meeting scheduled for next March.   

* Established in 1989, the FAA’s Research, Engineering and Development Advisory Committee (REDAC) provides advice and recommendations to the FAA Administrator on the needs, objectives, plans, approaches, content, and accomplishments of the aviation research portfolio. The REDAC also assists in ensuring FAA research activities are coordinated with other government agencies and industry. The REDAC considers aviation research needs in five areas: NAS operations, airport technology, aviation safety, human factors, and environment and energy./span>

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