Government Affairs

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.

* 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.


NACA Partners Map Strategies, Communications

Government affairs representatives of the associations comprising the North American Concrete Alliance met in Washington, DC, on July 27.

The primary focus of discussion related to infrastructure investment and the recent “discussion” draft introduced by T&I Committee Chairman Bill Shuster (R-PA-9) last week.  Discussions also touched on ongoing efforts to develop a NACA website to communicate the group’s legislative and policy priorities with legislators, regulators and members.  The group anticipates launching the NACA website by the end of August.

 “The associations continue to coordinate and collaborate actively on topics of strategic interest to all our members,” says Leif Wathne, who represented ACPA members at the meeting.   

“We’re making good progress,” he says, adding, “The group’s broad and varied expertise represents significant value to our collective memberships. 

“Together, the NACA partners represent a formidable force in the transportation-construction industry, and our industry’s government affairs posture will be expressed prominently via the website and related communications,” he says. A related topic was coordinating fundraising and other PAC activities to provide an even greater presence among lawmakers.

NACA is comprised of the American Concrete Pavement Association, American Concrete Pipe Association, American Concrete Pressure Pipe Association, American Concrete Pumping Association, Concrete Reinforcing Steel Institute, National Concrete Masonry Association, National Precast Concrete Association, National Ready Mixed Concrete Association, Portland Cement Association, Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute, and Tilt-Up Concrete Association.

FHWA Offers Valuable Resources

You probably have heard of the FHWA’s Mobile Concrete Trailer (MCT), and you may have had the opportunity to see it first-hand, but did you know how easy it is for contractors to borrow some of the MCT’s testing equipment?  

To borrow equipment, contractors should contact Michael F. Praul, FHWA Senior Concrete Engineer (207.512.4917 | or Jagan Gudimettla, MCT Project Engineer, ATI, Inc. (202.366.1335 |  

There are no forms to fill out and no excessive paperwork required, according to Mike Praul, who said if the equipment is available, it’s normally shipped within a couple days. He says there are no preset requirements for time the equipment may be borrowed.  He adds one contractor “has had one of our super air meters (SAMs) for over a year.”

“All we ask is they take care of the equipment and return it as agreed,” he said, mentioning the contractors pay the return shipping costs. “When it’s time to return the item, we may ask you to return it to us or possibly to ship it directly to the next person borrowing the item.”

He said some flexible training options are available, too. “We are willing to provide training to industry personnel performing the test.  The training can be over the phone or via video link or even phone/video calls,” he said. “Jagan and the technicians are well versed in the tests and do a great job training people to run them.”

Click here to see some of the equipment currently available; be sure to click on the other links on the page to learn more about the equipment/technology.  By the way, Praul said he is currently working on expanding the loan inventory.

Finally, if you’re interested in seeing where the MCT will be next, click on this link to see the upcoming schedule.   Please note the schedule is subject to change without notice.

Update on ACPA Airport Workshop

As reported previously, we will be hosting the annual ACPA Airport Workshop, a three-day training and tech transfer event, from August 28 through 30 at the Marriott Mission Valley in San Diego.   ACPA is finalizing hotel information and the meeting agenda, and expects to be releasing details shortly.

In the mean time, ACPA is reminding members, Chapters/States, and other guests to be sure to “save the dates” for this important event.  This popular workshop has had record attendance the past three years, so please if you are involved in designing, constructing, or rehabbing concrete pavements for commercial and military airports, please reserve the dates.   

Look for updates by “blast” emails and in ACPA TODAY as agenda details and presenters are confirmed.

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