Industry News

ISCP Announces 11th International Concrete Pavements Conference

The International Society for Concrete Pavements (ISCP) has announced details for the 11th International Conference on ISCP-ICCP2016-logo-smConcrete Pavements including the call for papers (letters of intent and abstracts), which are due April 30, 2015.

The conference will be held August 28 through 31, 2016, in San Antonio.   The event will be held at the Marriott Rivercenter, a Riverwalk hotel located at 101 Bowie St. in downtown San Antonio.

The conference is designed for pavement-, materials-, and geotechnical-engineering professionals representing Federal, state, provincial, and municipal agencies; consulting engineers; contractors; materials suppliers; and members of academia.  The course content typically covers all aspects of concrete pavement design, construction, testing, evaluation, and rehabilitation.

The conference is held every four years, and carries forth the tradition of a series of international conferences begun by Purdue University in 1977. As with the previous international conferences, the focus of this conference will be to present information on new technologies related to the design, construction & rehabilitation of various types of concrete pavements.

Additional details about the conference, including the event program, are available on the ISCP website at http://www.concretepavements.org/11thiccp/.  Click here to view the ACPA calendar listing (and event program) for this event, as well as to save it to your Google or Apple iCal calendars.

Rep. Blumenauer Reintroduces Gas Tax Increase

Blumenauer joined by leaders in transportation, commerce, labor, and construction to introduce UPDATE Act that funds our nation’s infrastructure

 On Tuesday, Feb. 3,  Representative Earl Blumenauer (D-Ore.-03), with the support of leaders in the fields of transportation, labor, commerce, and construction, introduced HR 680 to allow passage of the first comprehensive, six year transportation bill since 1997, according to a press release from the Congressman’s office. 

The bill, The Update, Promote, and Develop America’s Transportation Essentials (UPDATE) Act, would phase in a nickel a gallon tax increase over each of the next three years on gasoline and diesel. Of all the proposals being circulated on Capitol Hill, this is simplest, easiest to pass, and the only one giving long term stability. Blumenauer spoke with a diverse cross section of groups at a press conference to emphasize the momentum behind such a proposal.

As President Ronald Reagan said when he led a similar effort in 1982, it will not increase the deficit or increase taxes due on April 15.  Instead, it will be paid for by the gas tax user fee that has supported the Highway Trust Fund since 1956.

“Every credible independent report indicates that we are not meeting the demands of our stressed and decaying infrastructure system – roads, bridges and transit,” Blumenauer said.  “Congress hasn’t dealt seriously with the funding issue for over 20 years and it’s time to act. The gas tax used to be an efficient road user fee, but with inflation and increased fuel efficiency, especially for some types of vehicles, there is no longer a good relationship between what road users pay and how much they benefit.

“The average motorist is paying about half as much per mile as they did in 1993. There’s a broad and persuasive coalition that stands ready to support Congress, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, National AFL-CIO, the construction and trucking industry, cyclists, professional groups, numerous associations of small and medium businesses, local governments, and transit agencies. We just need to give them something to support,” he added.

In 2011, the Federal Highway Administration estimated that over $70.9 billion worth of repairs were needed just to maintain safe bridges; that number has since increased each year. The American Society of Civil Engineers estimates that surface transportation in the US needs over $2 trillion of investment in order to remain economically competitive by 2020.

In recent years, Congress has added to the deficit by transferring over $65 billion of General Fund revenue to the Highway Trust Fund to keep it afloat. In order to maintain current funding levels in the following years, the Highway Trust Fund will need over $15 billion a year by 2018 in addition to current gas tax receipts. Continuing down the current path will mean a 33% drop in federal transportation spending by 2024. The UPDATE Act would solve the problem by providing $210 billion over ten years.

“Addressing the infrastructure deficit, stabilizing transportation funding, and helping America’s all-too-slow economic recovery is critical if we want a livable and economically prosperous country in the years to come,” said Blumenauer. “The UPDATE Act will put hundreds of thousands to work at family wage jobs in every state, while improving the environment and quality of life.”

Statements of Support for the UPDATE Act of 2015  

A number of organizations, including the Highway Materials Group, comprised of ACPA, NRMCA, and PCA, offered statements of support.   The following statements are a representative sampling of those statements.

“In concurrence with the Highway Materials Group’s funding principles for the next highway surface transportation authorization, the group supports Congressman Blumenauer’s proposed bill that would continue funding the Highway Trust Fund through user fees, while bolstering awareness about the impending Highway Trust Fund insolvency.  Due to the magnitude of importance of the issue, increasing the gas tax and implementing a road usage charge based on vehicle miles traveled are only two of the numerous options we support to increase revenues into the HTF.  We commend the Congressman for taking this bold step toward solving the dire problem facing the nation’s surface transportation infrastructure in the months and years ahead.” – Highways Materials Group

“Getting America To Work applauds Congressman Blumenauer for continuing his efforts to ensure America’s transportation and infrastructure needs are funded for years to come. America’s businesses and workers rely on public transportation to keep our economy moving. Our coalition of transit agencies, councils of government and business groups strongly urges all members to follow Rep. Blumenauer’s lead and work together to bring our public transportation systems into a state of good repair.”  – Getting America to Work Coalition

“Congressman Blumenauer’s proposal for a modest adjustment to the gas tax is a no-brainer for Americans concerned about road and bridge safety. Every day, Americans pay what amounts to a pothole penalty because of the failure of Congress to fully invest in our nations crumbling roads, bridges and transit.” – General President Terry O’Sullivan, Laborers’ International Union of North America (LIUNA)

“The challenges facing the Highway Trust Fund could be easily solved if Congress and the President demonstrated a little policymaking courage.  Representative Blumenauer has put forward a very thoughtful proposal to avert the next trust fund crisis and to do so in a fiscally responsible way.  Most importantly, his plan would help provide the sustainable revenue stream necessary for states to begin fixing and modernizing their roads, bridges and transit systems.”   – President Pete Ruane, American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA)

“On behalf of the Association of Equipment Manufacturers and our more than 900 member companies, we applaud Congressman Blumenauer for his leadership in finding solutions and building bipartisan support to address our infrastructure needs.  The UPDATE Act of 2015 could spur economic growth and competitiveness while improving our nation’s ability to efficiently move goods and people.  Investing in our national infrastructure is critical to keeping America competitive, and we appreciate Congressman Blumenauer taking these important steps to ensure we can reauthorize the federal highway bill for the long-term.” – John Patterson, Chairman, JCB Inc. and Chairman, Association of Equipment Manufacturers.

“It is time for our nation’s leaders to stand with Rep. Blumenauer and others who support pragmatic and cost-effective steps to improve our country’s transportation system. Americans are paying the price for years of congressional inaction with nothing to show for it but increasing frustration and less time with friends and families. A continued failure to act costs drivers an average of $324 annually in additional vehicle operating costs and 38 hours wasted in traffic each year. Congress should act immediately to restore stable and required funding for our roads and bridges.” – CEO Bob Darbelnet, American Automobile Association (AAA)

“The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) hails Congressman Blumenauer on his steadfast leadership to restore America’s infrastructure and strongly endorses the Update, Promote and Develop America’s Transportation Essentials (UPDATE) Act. This bill will provide long-term, sustainable funding to address America’s surface transportation infrastructure and comes at a critical juncture as the nation’s Highway Trust Fund veers toward insolvency in a matter of months. In ASCE’s 2013 Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, a comprehensive assessment of infrastructure across 16 sectors, the cumulative GPA for the nation’s infrastructure was an abysmal D+.  The Report Card estimates total investment needs at $3.6 trillion by 2020 across all 16 sectors, leaving a funding shortfall of $1.6 trillion based on current funding levels. We look forward to working with Rep. Blumenauer and all members of Congress to advance this important legislation to revitalize our nation’s roads, bridges and transit systems for decades to come.” – Robert D. Stevens, Ph.D., P.E., President, American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)

“The American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) strongly supports Congressman Blumenauer’s efforts to update the federal user fee dedicated to improving and maintaining our nation’s surface transportation system.  We need to look for new ways to fund critical infrastructure projects in the future, and embrace a range of options for doing so.  In the near term, however, we must restore the purchasing power of the user fee that has been the basis of the federal-aid program for decades.  This is a relatively small price to pay for improving safety, enhancing mobility and ensuring American competitiveness.  Congressman Blumenauer’s legislation helps to achieve all of these goals.” – The American Council of Engineering Companies

“While we remain open to considering other potential revenue sources, ATA continues to believe a user fee-based system of federal fuel taxes is still our most equitable, efficient , reliable and best source of long-term, sustainable funding for the Highway Trust Fund. We hope the introduction of this important legislation by Rep. Blumenauer will move us closer to passing a long-term surface transportation bill that addresses funding and other important issues prior to the expiration of the current authorization in May.” – President and CEO Bill Graves, American Trucking Associations (ATA)

“Congressman Blumenauer is demonstrating the kind of wisdom and courage we need more of in D.C. by pushing for the kind of common-sense solution to the funding challenges that have made it increasingly difficult to invest in needed improvements to our roads, bridges and transit systems.”–CEO Stephen E. Sandherr, Associated General Contractors of America

 

Web-Based Training Covers Concrete Paving Best Practices

The American Concrete Pavement Association has launched two new web-based instructional modules that provide professional training about best practices for constructing smooth concrete pavements and handling aggregates for concrete paving.

Developed by ACPA with support from the Federal Highway Administration, the courses are offered free of charge to participants involved in highway and heavy construction.   The courses are targeted to concrete paving contractors, agency personnel, consulting engineers, and others involved in construction management and/or concrete pavement project delivery.   The courses are intended for persons with pavement construction, rehabilitation, and/or preservation experience.

FHWA-coursesThe courses are available at http://acpa.scholarlab.com/.   After registering, users will be asked to enter a coupon code, which is pavement1 (pavement and the number one).   Registration and entry of the coupon code enables participants to take the course at no cost.

The courses provide a content-rich learning experience, complete with well-illustrated presentations led by professional civil engineers; field interviews with contractor personnel and other experts; and videos, photographs, and animations that illustrate process steps or actions related to the subject matter.

The courses are each divided into multiple sections, organized by topic.  Prior to advancing to the next section, participants will be required to complete simple, “hurdle tests,” multiple choice or true/false tests, to validate participation and comprehension of subject matter.  

An optional “evidence of learning” exam is also administered at the conclusion of each module.  Successful completion (70% or more correct answers) of the exam will allow participants to produce a certificate of completion that may be used for company compliance requirements and/or professional development hours (PDH’s), where allowable by local licensing organizations.  

 About the Course Content

  • Best Practices for Constructing Smooth Concrete Pavements–Comprehensive training covers all aspects of constructing smooth concrete pavements, from defining roughness to why smooth pavements are mportant. Also covers smoothness measurement, the “10 commandments”  of smooth paving, and quality control methods. (4.5 hour course / 4.5 PDHs)

  • Best Practices for Handling Aggregates for Concrete Paving–In-depth training covers basics of aggregates; acceptance criteria; tips and techniques for configuring a concrete plant site; stockpile management best practices; proper handling between stockpiles and concrete plants; and what can go wrong if poor techniques are used. (3.5 hour course / 3.5 PDHs)

  • Safety on Concrete Pavement Construction Sites – This course is designed for anyone who works directly on site or has reason to visit concrete pavement construction sites. The course addresses safety concerns around slipform paving equipment (paver, spreader, cure machine, construction bridges, etc.), batch plant, haul trucks, concrete saws, and the general paving site. (1.5-hour course / 1.5 PDHs)

  • Proper Use of Stringless Paving Technology–This course covers stringless paving technology for concrete pavement projects. The program includes an overview of the technology, as well as how stringless paving works. It also includes recommended best practices for using stringless paving technology to place quality concrete pavements. (1.5-hour course / 1.5 PDHs)

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* Some restrictions may apply. Courses are designed and intended for persons with a working knowledge and experience in concrete pavement construction, as well as associated fields.  In advance of beginning these courses, participants are responsible for checking state/provincial licensing requirements, as well as acceptance of these courses for continuing education and/or professional development requirements.

 

 

ACPA Announces Launch of Wikipave Application

The American Concrete Pavement Association (ACPA) announced the launch of its Wikipave™ website,  which places information about and related to concrete pavement at the fingertips of anyone, anywhere in the world.    

As is true of other wikis*, Wikipave is a collaborative application, which will allow ACPA staff, members, technology partners, and affiliated Chapter/State personnel to add, delete, or otherwise modify technical content, encyclopedic listings, definitions, photos and illustrations, and other content. 

ACPA emphasizes that this free-resource is available worldwide without limitation, but adds that content development and editing rights will be Wikipavelimited to ACPA and its members and affiliates.

“Wikipave is the largest-scale technology transfer, knowledge transfer, and educational initiative in the 51-year history of the American Concrete Pavement Association,” said ACPA President & CEO Gerald F. Voigt, P.E.  

“This collaborative, web-based application reflects the vast body of technical information developed by ACPA over more than five decades, but also includes a wealth of technical and general information from other sources.

“Wikipave is a significant change for the association and industry in terms of how we deliver information.   As is true of most associations, we historically produced and sold commercially-printed technical resources and other publications” Voigt said, adding, “We are cutting a new path, embracing a technology that most member-based associations consider competition to the value-proposition of their members.  We are not sure any other association has done this, but we are making this commitment because of the great potential and value the application offers.”

“Like most businesses and associations over the past decade or more, we transitioned to more digital publications and migrated more information to our website and microsites.  This wholesale change to Wikipave, is a natural progression in our view, but starting this project has required a tremendous effort to coalesce, update, and begin the process to reformat the material into the wiki application,”   he said. 


Content for Wikipave was originally drawn from association and industry resources produced by the Association and its technology partners, allies, and affiliates.

“It’s a work in progress,” Voigt said, adding, “But by their very nature, wiki’s are and should be dynamic and constantly evolving.  What we love most is the opportunity to engage our members in developing and editing content.   Members of associations today want to engage for the value and sense of belonging to a community, but they want to do it on their own terms.  We see Wikipave as a great adaptation to meet this need!”

ACPA is quick to point out that at this stage some of the content is intentionally “rough-hewn,” basically put in place for review and redaction by its member community. 

“There are some pages of information that we would consider to be farther along,” Voigt says, adding, “But the fallacy of thinking something like this is complete goes against the nature of this technology, which is constantly evolving.   It’s for this reason that we encourage all interested parties to bookmark our page, http://wikipave.org, then come back often.  Our vision is that one day soon any search for pavement technology someone enters into their browser will lead to a Wikipave entry.”  

In its embrace of technology over the past decade, ACPA has also developed a comprehensive library of web applications that perform an array of calculations useful to paving engineers and contractors (http://apps.acpa.org); a digital resource center containing the most comprehensive digital library of concrete pavement reports and documents, considered among the largest online repositories of its kind (http://resources.acpa.org); and other digital applications such as online learning courses.  

ACPA announced the launch of Wikipave at a press conference at World of Concrete, the annual international event dedicated to the commercial concrete and masonry construction.

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(TM) Wikipave is a trademark of the American Concrete Pavement Association.

*  Ward Cunningham is credited as the developer of the first wiki software, WikiWikiWeb.  Wiki is the Hawaiian word meaning “quick.”  (Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wiki.)

TRIP Names Don Weaver, Weaver Bailey Contractors, as 2015 Chairman

Washington, D.C. (January 28, 2015) – The Road Information Program (TRIP) announced today that Don Weaver, Executive Vice President, Weaver Don_Weaver_black_and_white_Dec_2014Bailey Contractors, Inc.*, was elected 2015 chairman of the organization’s Board of Directors. 

Weaver joined the TRIP Board of Directors in 2004, and was appointed to its executive committee in 2008.

“Weaver Bailey Contractors strongly supports TRIP’s efforts to increase public awareness of the need to invest in America’s surface transportation system and I look forward to leading this fine organization,” Weaver said.

“TRIP’s efforts to inform the public and lawmakers about the critical issues facing America’s transportation system are more important than ever as the debate over federal surface transportation funding continues in the nation’s capital; improving America’s surface transportation system not only saves lives and creates jobs, it also impacts our lives every day by increasing our mobility and accessibility, here in Arkansas, and throughout the country,” he continued.

In addition to his service as a TRIP director, Weaver is a past chairman of The Associated General Contractors of America Highway &Transportation Division and past president of the Arkansas State Associated General Contractors.

Locally, Weaver serves his community through his involvement with: the Conway Chamber of Commerce, where he served as Chairman of the Transportation Study Group for Vision 2025; the University of Central Arkansas (UCA) Foundation; and the UCA Purple Circle Board.   He also serves on the University of Arkansas at Little Rock School of Building Construction Advisory Board and the University of Arkansas School of Architecture Circle of Friends.  In addition, he also has supported and been involved with Methodists Family Health for many years.

Weaver-Baily Contractors was founded in 1960 as a specialty general contractor with an emphasis on quality concrete paving.  Today the El Paso, Ark.-based company is recognized as the largest main line concrete paving contractor in the state.

TRIP also elected the following officers for 2015:

  • President – Scott Williams, President, Hamilton Construction Company, Springfield, Ore.
  • First Vice President – Nick Yaksich, Vice President – Global Public Policy, Association of Equipment Manufacturers, Milwaukee, Wis.
  • Second Vice President – David R. Gehr, Sr. Vice President, Highway Market Leader – Americas, Parsons Brinckerhoff, Herndon Va., and
  • (Re-elected) Secretary-Treasurer – L. Jeffrey DiStefano, Vice President, Harrison & Burrowes Bridge Constructors, Inc., Glenmont, N.Y.  

TRIP also elected the following people to three-year terms on its Board of Directors:

  • John M. Irvine, Manager, Business Development, The Lane Construction Corporation*, Chantilly, Va. and
  • Seth Myers, Vice President, Business Development, American Infrastructure, Worcester, Pa.

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* Member of the American Concrete Pavement Association.

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