Government Affairs

Industry Has Strong Presence at NC2 Meeting

ACPA and the ACPA/IGGA P3 Partnership are involved with the National Concrete Consortium (NC2) meeting this week in Saratoga Springs, NY. Jerry Voigt, Leif Wathne and John Roberts are involved in the semi-annual meeting, which is heavily focused on quality and efficient project delivery. Represesentatives of 10 chapters and close to 30 member companies also participated in the meeting. 

Specific reports and presentations addressed performance engineered mixtures (PEM), including a PEM Tech Advisory Committee meeting, where participants discussed recent shadow testing data collection efforts on trials of the PEM suite of tests. The tests are showing promise, and the trials are helping identify improvements.

A major focus of the NC2 discussion included quality assurance programs, quality assurance testing and contractor quality control. New and evolving technology, such as the use of e-ticketing/documentation, and accelerated construction (using precast concrete for pavements and bridges).

Participants will also benefit from an optional field trip on Thurs., Sept. 20, hosted by The Fort Miller Group, an ACPA member, at its precast plant in nearby Greenwich, NY.

Meeting attendance of about 190 attendees was reported to be higher than last-year’s record-breaking 20th anniversary meeting. The semi-annual NC2 meeting gives the state materials engineers, industry and academia an opportunity to share research and technical information specifically about concrete pavements. The group originally began as the Midwest Concrete Consortium and has expanded to include over 30 state DOT’s, along with toll highway authorities.
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Photo courtesy of the CP Tech Center.

Virginia Meeting Sets a Positive Direction

The Mid-Atlantic Chapter contractors met with Virginia DOT officials to discuss the value of competition in paving type selection and the benefits of a healthy two-pavement system.

Jim Tanner, President, Denton Enterprises, Inc.; Rich McDonough, District Manager, The Lane Construction Corp.; and Patrick Smith, Sr. Project Manager, Atlantic Contracting & Material Co., Inc., along with Ray Seipp, President, Mid-Atlantic Chapter, and Leif Wathne, ACPA Executive Vice President, ACPA, represented the concrete paving industry.

An impressive group of VDOT and Virginia Transportation Research Council [VTRC] personnel was headed by Garrett Moore, VDOT Chief Engineer. The group also included Mohammed Mirshahi, VDOT Deputy Chief Engineer; Branco Vlacich, State Maintenance Engineer; and Andy Babish, State Materials Engineer; along with Catherine McGhee, VTRC Director; Kevin McGhee, VTRC Associate Director – Pavements; and Tanveer Chowdhury, VTRC Assistant Division Administrator, State Infrastructure.

 “ACPA was grateful for the opportunity to have a candid and productive conversation regarding the value of competition,” Wathne said.

The Chapter is looking forward to working with Virginia in the development of a competitive pavement system for the benefit of the Virginia taxpayers.

Update on Drivers Hours of Service

ACPA’s petition for exemption of the hours of service requirements for drivers was published in the Federal Register,  83 Fed. Reg. 45300 (September 6, 2018).  ACPA is urging members and others to submit comments in support of the petition.   ACPA will send a “blast” email shortly to provide more details. 

Pennsylvania Holds Successful Paving Tour

The Pennsylvania Chapter held its annual Concrete Pavement Tour & Meeting on August 15 & 16 in Washington, PA. The event was hosted by PennDOT District 12, the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, and PennDOT District 11. 

More than 110 individuals representing 40 organizations participated in the tour or meeting or both. The list of participating organizations included PennDOT, the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, the local FHWA Division Office, and the West Virginia Division of Highways. Also participating were 11 construction companies (including Golden Triangle, Gulisek, Lane, Matcon Diamond, New Enterprise, and Swank) and 12 material & equipment companies (including Bryan Materials Group, Callahan Paving, Cemex, Diamond Products, The Fort Miller Group, Guntert & Zimmerman, and Lehigh Hanson Inc.).  The group also included 8 consulting firms, 2 universities, and 3 associations.

The tour included stops at three active construction projects and a visit to Golden Triangle’s concrete batch plant, where performance engineered mixture testing procedures were demonstrated. The final stop on the tour included a brief visit to the fourth concrete roundabout constructed in Pennsylvania.  

On the second day, attendees had the opportunity to share observations about the previous day’s site visits.  PennDOT Deputy Secretary George McAuley presented details about initiatives focused on innovation, implementation, and deployment of new technologies.  This was the 16th tour held in Pennsylvania since 1996. 

Look for expanded coverage of this event in the 4th quarter issue of ACPA’s CONCRETE PAVEMENT PROGRESS, which will be published in November.

Construction Industry Allies Discuss Hours of Service

ACPA was among 10 transportation construction associations that met Tuesday (July 31) to discuss the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration’s (FMCSA) drivers’ Hours of Service (HOS) regulations.

The objective was to discuss ongoing efforts within the construction industry to address the regulations and to determine next steps and other future actions. 

The group discussed the Honest Operators Undertake Road Safety Act, or HOURS Act (HR6178), a bill sponsored by Rep. Eric A. “Rick” Crawford* (R-AR-01). The group plans to meet with the Congressman’s office to assess the full intent of the bill and to understand the extent to which it offers HOS regulatory relief for the construction industry.  

“The common denominator among our construction industry allies is we are all looking for relief and flexibility related to HOS regulations,” according to Leif Wathne.  

Wathne shared ACPA’s efforts, which included an ACPA Board-approved plan to develop and submit a petition for exemption from the 30-minute break requirement and 12-hour limit on short haul exceptions. The petition was submitted to the FMCSA on June 12, and ACPA expects to see a formal response sometime in late December.

Further discussions will focus on whether to support the HOURS Act, as well as whether a broader construction industry exemption needs to be pursued.

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* Rep. Crawford serves as Subcommittee Chairman on House Agriculture Committee’s General Farm Commodities and Risk Management, as well as the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee where he is a member of the subcommittees on Highway and Transit, Water Resources and Environment, and Economic Development.

 

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