Tag Archives: AASHTO

Advancing ME Design Implementation

The fourth AASHTO Pavement ME National Users Group Meeting last week provided engineers and other stakeholders the opportunity to discuss issues related to mechanistic-empirical (ME) pavement design. 

Key topics include the long-standing ME Pavement Design Guide as well as the AASHTOWare Pavement M-E Design program. Eric Ferrebee participated in the meeting and had the opportunity to talk with designers and key officials about ACPA’s perspectives on highway pavement design. ACPA has long advocated for the use of AASHTOWare’s Pavement ME for highway pavement design. We have also encouraged designers to make the transition from older AASHTO design programs.  

This meeting, which drew close to 90 participants representing 35 State DOTs and Canadian Provinces, is the largest gathering for state DOTs, AASHTO and FHWA to focus solely on AASHTOWare’s Pavement ME Design tool. 

“The design tool is the most advanced tool for designing and analyzing pavements that exists,” Eric says. “This has led to more realistic designs for concrete pavements.” Currently, because of complexity of the tool, many agencies are still working toward implementation, he says. 

“While there are quite a few agencies that have implemented it for concrete, others are still working through calibration efforts to ensure designs match with local performance,” Eric says. “For concrete pavements, we’ve seen that the lack of calibration can result in increased pavement thicknesses, sometimes between 0.5 in. to 1.0 in.  Even so, this is a significant decrease over the earlier empirical versions of the AASHTO design guide (i.e., AASHTO93, AASHTO86 and even AASHTO72). Those versions could result in variations that could add 2 to 3 in. to thickness designs.”  

“Moving toward Mechanistic-Empirical design is a big step for DOTs, but it can help create realistic and competitive designs for concrete,” he adds.

ARA has developed a new Calibration Assistance Tool (CAT), which many participants expressed interest and excitement about.  The tool should help ease some of the issues with calibrating the tool for local use. Designers and others a chance had an opportunity to see CAT demonstrations and to discuss issues with the tool, as well as overall implementation.

AASHTO Elects 2020 Officers

The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) has named its top officers for the 2019-2020 term. AASHTO has elected Patrick McKenna, Director of the Missouri DOT, as President and New Hampshire DOT Commissioner Victoria Sheehan as Vice President.  Commissioner Sheehan becomes the second woman in AASHTO’s 105-year history to serve in that role.

McKenna says he plans to focus on surface transportation funding reauthorization and transportation safety.

“We need to make clear the public benefit of federal surface transportation investment and its impact on the safety, mobility, health, and economic well-being of all Americans,” he explained in his emphasis areas paper released at the meeting.

Launching a national campaign focused on how “transportation is personal” that explains the many benefits transportation investment provides to all Americans is one tactic McKenna plans to spearhead during his term as AASHTO’s 2019-2020 president as part of the organization’s effort to get surface transportation funding legislation reauthorized. He also plans to place renewed focus on reducing transportation fatalities, which McKenna described as a “national public health crisis” in his remarks.

To help reduce the estimated 36,700 highway fatalities, McKenna said AASHTO will continue its role in the Towards Zero Deaths and Vision Zero national coalitions while facilitating discussions with state DOTs and local communities to consider ways to deploy “innovative infrastructure designs and technologies” to more safely accommodate pedestrians, bicyclists and scooter users.

McKenna was appointed as Missouri DOT’s director in 2015.  He previously served as MAASTO President and is a member of the TRB executive committee. He earned an undergraduate degree in finance from Bentley College and an MS in management and finance from the University of Maryland. 

Sheehan was appointed New Hampshire DOT Commissioner in 2015. She previously served with the Massachusetts DOT’s highway division, where she served in a number of roles, including her most recent post as Manager of Strategic Planning and Highway performance.  Originally from Northern Ireland, Sheehan holds a Master’s in Structural Engineering and Architecture from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland.

______________________
Photo:  AASHTO 2019/20 President Patrick McKenna and Vice President Victoria Sheehan. (Credit: AASHTO)

AASHTO Names Hendrickson as Deputy Director

The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) has named Brandye Hendrickson, currently the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA’s) Deputy Administrator, as its new deputy director.

Appointed to her current FHWA role in July 2017, Hendrickson served as the agency’s acting administrator for two years until Nicole R. Nason officially became the FHWA Administrator in May.  

“I am thrilled that someone with Brandye’s experience and leadership ability is joining the AASHTO team,” said Jim Tymon, AASHTO’s Executive Director. “She has a deep knowledge of the challenges facing surface transportation and that knowledge is going to directly benefit AASHTO and our member departments of transportation.”

“I’m excited about continuing to serve the transportation community in this new role and joining such a great team at AASHTO,” Hendrickson said in a statement.

The AASHTO announcement follows a search that began in May. Before joining FHWA, Hendrickson served as commissioner of the Indiana Department of Transportation for two years and served as a member of AASHTO’s Board of Directors and Executive Committee until her FHWA appointment.

According to an AASHTO job posting, “The deputy director assists with managing the internal and external affairs of the organization, providing guidance and support to the association’s board of directors, as well as to its committee and council leadership.”  The deputy director also serves as a spokesperson and liaison between AASHTO and a variety of external agencies and organizations, including Congress, state legislatures, government agencies, the media, and other public groups, according to the posting.

________________________
File photo: FHWA.

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

 

AASHTO Spring Meeting Hints at Changing Roles

ACPA participated in the AASHTO Spring Meeting last week, and Leif Wathne and Scott Mueller tag-teamed to participate in the four-day meeting.

One of the key focal points of the meeting was AASHTO’s highway reauthorization priorities, with funding and program stability topping the list. 

As part of the May 20th through 23th meeting in Park City, UT, the state transportation officials also held the Council on Highways and Streets. One of the major discussions focused on the changing roles of chief engineers and other officials who must increasingly address issues that go beyond historical highway-centric issues. Examples include multimodal transportation, drones, transit issues, and the changing functions of highways (which increasingly incorporate rapidly-evolving technology and communications features).

During the AASHTO Innovation Initiative session, Tom Harman, Director of the FHWA’s Center for Innovation, presented on the culture of innovation.  As part of his presentation (developed in part with input from Dan Rozycki with the Transtec Group), Harman asked Leif Wathne to share both details and insights regarding ACPA’s VISION2040 initiative.  A one-page overview about the VISION2040 effort was shared with the meeting attendees.   
__________________________
Follow this link to see ACPA’s government affairs repository.

AASHTO Washington Briefing Focuses on Investment

The annual AASHTO Washington Briefing held last week focused on bipartisan support for the next surface transportation reauthorization bill and the critical need for investment.

ACPA participated in the four-day event, which provided 45 state departments of transportation, elected officials, administration officials, and industry representatives the opportunity to exchange ideas and opinions about transportation investment and other key issues. 

During the event’s keynote address, U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao recalled the first time she and her family saw the Interstate highway system.  She detailed recent federal investments in infrastructure, as well as the Administration’s commitment to infrastructure investment.  She also commented on how the DOT “… is striving to make structural changes–streamlining the permit process so projects can be delivered more quickly while protecting the environment and maintaining safety standards.

Senate EPW Chairman John Barrasso and Ranking Member (RM) Tom Carper, as well as House EPW Chairman Peter DeFazio and RM Sam Graves discussed their 2019 legislative priorities.  The event also inluded a round-table and other panel discussions.

Recorded remarks by Secretary Chao and the Senate and House transportation committee leaders can be found in ACPA’s Youtube channel: http://youtube.com/concretepavementsFrom the dropdown menu, select “Public Policy and Funding” then scroll down to videos #9 through 13 on the playlist.
____________________________

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

 

Events Calendar

« January 2020 » loading...
M T W T F S S
30
31
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30
31
1
2

Member Login

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