Government Affairs

FHWA Takes Aim at Workforce Challenges

The Federal Highway Administration is working to address workforce shortages and other challenges. In December, the Office of Innovative Program Delivery completed the evaluation phase of the two-year Highway Construction Workforce Pilot program, according to Tom Deitering, FHWA Project Delivery Team Leader.

The pilot program, involving AGC, ARTBA, AASHTO and the Department of Labor, Employment and Training Administration, is now transitioning to the Highway Construction Workforce Partnership (HWCP).

With the evolution of the program, the FHWA has released a HCWP Playbook which provides a concise set of approaches or plays to help States, Tribal transportation authorities and local areas form partnerships to help fill highway construction jobs.

The playbook includes best practices for organizing state, local, or tribal stakeholders; success stories from multiple pilot locations; complete, and “game-ready” programs that can be implemented immediately. The resource also includes observations about issues others have faced in identifying, training and placing workers in highway construction jobs. The resources also include a web resources (including a main website at http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/RoadsToYourFuture) and other support activity.

 

NACA Fly-In Soars to New Heights

By all accounts, the third annual North American Concrete Alliance* annual fly-in will end on a high note as the partnering cement and concrete industry associations mark another successful advocacy event.  We will include more details about the event next week, because at this writing, the event is continuing the third day activities, including Hill visits, briefings and a reception.

The preliminary feedback is positive, based on excellent engagement with key officials in the Administration and Congress and excellent participation by the NACA partners and member companies.

The event began Tuesday with updates and discussions on key transportation issues, followed by briefings and Hill visits and a reception and dinner. 

An active social media campaign was launched, and ACPA was a leading contributor to the discussion. To see examples, follow these links to see examples of ACPA and other NACA partners’ messages  on Twitter and Facebook(Social media users–Look for these tags: #2019NACAFLYIN, #CONCRETE4AMERICA, #CONCRETETOCONGRESS, #infrastructure and variations of these topics.) 

Photocaption: The Hon. Brandye Hendrickson, FHWA Deputy Administrator (2nd from left), visits with Lori Tiefenthaler, Lehigh Hanson and 2017 ACPA Chairperson, Jerry Voigt, ACPA CEO, and Pat Long, Indiana Chapter Director of Marketing and Government Affairs. 

_________________________

The North American Concrete Alliance is a coalition of 12 concrete-related associations formed in 2004 for the purpose of addressing industry-wide concerns and initiatives in the areas of research, safety, education, and government affairs. The coalition is comprised of the American Concrete Pavement Association, American Concrete Pipe Association, American Concrete Pressure Pipe Association, American Concrete Pumping Association, Concrete Foundations 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.

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

ACPA Congratulates Nason as FHWA Administrator

The Hon. Nicole Nason was confirmed as the 26th FHWA Administrator on Mar. 28. (Photo: US State Dept.)

ACPA extends its heartiest congratulations to the Hon. Nicole R. Nason following her confirmation as the 26th Administrator of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). The U.S. Senate voted 95 to 1 in favor of the confirmation. 

“We are very pleased to hear the results of the confirmation hearing, and we look forward to working with Ms. Nason and her staff,” said ACPA President & CEO Gerald F. Voigt, P.E.  “We have enjoyed a strong and positive relationship with the FHWA over the years, and we are confident that excellent relationship will continue as the new Administrator leads the agency to seize opportunities and solve challenges now and in the future.”

Ms. Nason is the former National Highway Traffic Safety Administrator (NHTSA); previously served on the Board of Directors of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD); and has vast experience with both the Executive and Legislative branches of the Federal government.

__________________________
Interested in other government affairs news?  Follow this link to see ACPA’s government affairs repository.

Associations and FHWA Discuss Research Needs

For over two decades, ACPA national staff and chapter executives have met with FHWA officials to discuss pavement-related issues and opportunities for working together to address concrete pavement-related issues.  

The most recent of these meetings was held last Friday at the Turner Fairbank Highway Research Center (TRFHRC) in McLean, VA.  The meeting was expanded to also include a broader discussion of pavement research and technology priorities for both concrete and asphalt pavements. 

The “FHWA -Pavement Industry Stakeholder Meeting” included staffs and membership representatives from both ACPA and NAPA for joint discussions and breakout sessions.  The meeting began with a welcome by Dr. Cheryl Richter, Director of the  Office of Infrastructure R&D, followed by an overview by Mark Swanlund, Research Program Manager.  

Leif Wathne presented ACPA’s VISION2040 initiative and focused on the need for current and future research, innovation, and technology deployment that will be vitally important to the Federal-aid highway system. 

Discussions revolved around various concrete pavement related topics, including concrete materials, processes, design innovations, and improved decision-making.  Industry priorities were emphasized, including performance engineered mixtures, early opening to traffic, fly ash considerations, and fundamental research around load transfer and impacts on long-term performance of pavements. 

Design and performance optimization using construction QC and QA information was also discussed. Discussions touched on decision making, including the use of remaining service life as an asset management tool, network-level pavement structural evaluation, asset management and new performance measures. Breakout sessions were used to discuss industry-specific research topics and opportunities for collaboration with FHWA, as well as stakeholder communications and interaction with the FHWA. 

The concrete pavement industry is optimistic that this meeting will be the start of an improved and more effective engagement in FHWA’s research and technology endeavors.  We are hopeful that a more formalized and regular mechanism for exchanging ideas and priorities will result in a more collaborative, cohesive national concrete pavement research and technology program.

Representing the concrete pavement industry at this meeting were: Mike Byers, Kevin McMullen, Larry Scofield, Ray Seipp, Gordon Smith, Mark Snyder, Jerry Voigt and Leif Wathne. 

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

FHWA Tech Brief Updates Precast Pavement Use

The FHWA has released its, “Precast Concrete Pavement Implementation by U.S. Highway Agencies” (FHWA-HIF-19-011), a seven-page tech brief that provides an overview of precast concrete pavement (PCP) technology and other information about its use throughout the United States.  

A review of projects constructed in the U.S., as well as field testing of selected projects “indicate that sufficient advances have been made to reliably design and construct PCP systems to achieve five key attributes of successful pavements,” the tech brief says.  The five attributes are: constructability; concrete durability; load transfer at joints; panel support; and performance/efficiency.

The tech brief goes on to say, “The use of both jointed and post-tensioned PCP systems systems has advanced during the last decade due to a combination of work sponsored by the FHWA, projects constructed by highway agencies, and innovations by the construction industry.” 

The tech brief provides details about PCP projects in 29 states including: AL, CA, CO, CT, DE, DC, FL, GA, HI, IL, IN, and IA. The list also includes KS, LA, MI, MN, MO, NV, NJ, NY, OR, PA, RI, TX, UT, VT, VA, WV, and WI. 

The author of the revised tech brief is Shiraz Tayabji, Ph.D., P.E.  Tayabji and Wouter Brink, Ph.D. authored the previous version. The 2019 version supercedes the 2015 version.

____________________
Photocaption: A precast concrete pavement panel is lowered into position.  (Credit: The Fort Miller Co., Inc., an ACPA member.)  Photo is for illustration purposes and not in indication of a project included in this report. 

Government Affairs Archive

Member Login

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!