Tag Archives: ACPA

Association Leaders Discuss Pressing Issues

The CEOs of the five leading transportation construction materials trade associations met by conference call yesterday to discuss some of the most pressing issues facing the surface transportation construction industry.

Jerry Voigt of ACPA; Audrey Copeland of NAPA; Mike Philips of NRMCA; Mike Johnson of NSSGA; and Mike Ireland of PCA discussed key priorities, with COVID-19 responses and economic impacts being the focal points. 

The CEOs expressed some optimism regarding relief funding. This optimism is based, in part, on an AASHTO request to Congressional leaders to enact a six-year, $800+ billion surface transportation reauthorization bill to “finally put us on the path to eliminate [the] longstanding investment backlog by the end of this decade while meeting arising asset condition and performance needs to support and sustain our multiyear economic recovery and growth.” AASHTO also presented an almost $50 billion “backstop” funding request to replace lost state revenues and for use to avoid disruptions in transportation systems.

On the subject of relief funding for surface transportation construction, the discussion centered on ensuring construction remains an “essential” activity and continuing this advocacy effort with state governors. A second key point is to advocate for transportation construction as an important element of economic recovery. The CEOs discussed key points in the area of stimulus, including:

  • Appropriate and respectful timing of advocacy efforts in relation to the many other pressing issues of the pandemic.
  • Securing the requisite federal funding to jump start the economy and address critical needs.
  • Removing the state match for a period of time to address lost state gas tax revenue and other tax revenue that supports state transportation funding.
  • Allowing states more flexibility to out-source design and have fewer permitting hurdles for highway projects so they can push out jobs and get people to work.
  • Safety for the men, women and companies working in the field and at manufacturing plants. “With regard to roadway paving, we need our state and federal partners to understand we are going to have added costs associated with ‘social distancing’ while continuing to deliver our work, Jerry says. 

The associations each have been working to address health & human safety issues for the industry and their respective organizations. This involves factoring the challenges contractors, cement and ready mixed concrete producers, mining companies and other members are facing with ensuring the safety and health of their employees in the workplace.

The CEOs also agreed that during the pandemic crisis and associated economic impact period, the industry should set aside certain lobbying efforts at both the national and local level.

The CEOs agreed to continue discussions, with the next conference call set for two weeks. 

Overlay Webinar a Great Success

With the goal of providing education & training during these challenging times, ACPA, the CP Tech Center and the ACPA affiliated chapters mobilized to present the first in a five-part series on concrete pavement overlays.

The combined effort resulted in 492 participants in the hour long presentation yesterday. The CP TEch Center provided the content and presented the webinar, ACPA provided marketing support, and the Chapters provided contacts and helped boost the participation among agencies, consultants and members. Scott Mueller, Chrissy Mysko and Andy Gieraltowski, used an innovative web-based system to customize messaging and invitations and worked with closely with the chapters to drive demand and assure seamless registration and delivery.

The next webinar in the series is scheduled for Tuesday, April 14. Details will be announced shortly, Scott says. 

On a parellel path, Eric Ferebee, Andy and Chrissy are working to post past ACPA webinars on the web. The full catalog of offerings, organized by major topics, will be available free of charge. Details will be announced by email  and featured in ACPA TODAY.

AHUA Committee Discusses Legislative Priorities

The American Highway Users Alliance (AHUA) Highway Users’ Policy and Government Affairs Committee met recently to discuss top legislative priorities for the advocacy organization.

The discussion focused on the transportation authorization and the AHUA’s policy priorities that were submitted to the US House T&I Committee and the Senate’s EPW Committee in the Spring of 2019. Highway funding, road safety, streamlining and efficiency were all discussed. Other topics included autonomous vehicles legislation, preserving the 5.9 GHz safety spectrum and modernization of NEPA regulations.

Leif Wathne co-chairs the committee with Ashley Jackson of NAPA.

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

NHI Announces Concrete Pavement Preservation Courses

For a limited time, the National Highway Institute (NHI) is offering a free, five-part distance learning program, “Constructing Quality PCC Pavement Preservation Treatments.” The comprehensive program was developed under the auspices of the NHI through a cooperative agreement between the FHWA and the CP Tech Center. 

ACPA and IGGA were instrumental in providing content for the courses, and we invested significant time and resources, providing information, images, and other support for the project. The online courses include the following topics:

  • How to Construct Durable Full-Depth Repairs in Concrete Pavements (FHWA-NHI-134207A)
  • How to Construct Durable Partial-Depth Repairs in Concrete Pavements (FHWA-NHI-134207B)
  • Proper Diamond Grinding Techniques for Pavement Preservation (FHWA-NHI-134207C)
  • Proper Construction Techniques for Dowel Bar Retrofit (DBR) and Cross-Stitching (FHWA-NHI-134207D)
  • Proper Joint Sealing Techniques for Pavement Preservation (FHWA-NHI-134207E)

The program provides a total of 13.5 hours of online learning of pavement preservation methods and technologies. Courses are also available in English and Spanish. Click here to view the course selection and register. 

Pennsylvania Concrete Conference Seen as Great Success

With an information-packed agenda, the 22nd annual Pennsylvania Concrete Conference drew 175 attendees and featured a wealth of business and technical information for participants. 

“We had 50 participants from PennDOT and the Pennsylvania Turnpike,” says ACPA/PA President John Becker, adding, “We were very happy to welcome first-time attendees, who comprised about 40 percent of our overall participation.”

John adds that the first-timers included experienced representatives from companies that have not previously been engaged with the concrete pavement community along with younger professionals who are the future of our industry. “We also had six posters presented from doctoral candidates and recent graduates from four universities on research that could reshape the state of the practice in concrete technologies.”

A diverse group of attendees representing 72 different organizations, including eleven contractor firms attended. “The conference helped us reach new and prospective members,” John says, adding, “In the past six weeks alone, we’ve added six new members, and today, we added a seventh!”

With a good mix of agencies, industry and academia, the conference started with keynote remarks from Yassmin Gramian, P.E., Acting Secretary of Transportation, PennDOT, who provided an overview of the mission and vision of PennDOT. This presentation was followed by a talk on the PennDOT 2020 construction program and on concrete pavement initiatives by T. Jay Cunningham, P.E., PennDOT’s Bureau of Maintenance and Operations. Tom Harman, FHWA, made a presentation about innovation. Craig Shuey, COO of the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission, presented on automated speed enforcement.

Becker says Leif Wathne of ACPA delivered an excellent historical overview of pavement type selection, which set the stage for a talk by Randolph Kirchain, Ph.D., of MIT; he spoke about the impact of competition on pavement economics.

Wathne also participated in the Chapter’s board meeting, held the day before the conference. At the boarad meeting, lively discussions centered on marketing, promotion, technical matters and legislative outreach efforts. 

At the conference, technical presentations covered materials, best practices, case histories, research and more. Rich Jucha from ACPA/PA presented on a contractor/aggregate producer-led skid study and Heather Steffek from the New York State Chapter presented on full-depth reclamation with portland cement stabilization. Preliminary findings from work being done by IRISE, a research consortium led by the University of Pittsburgh, were also presented. 

John says the allied promotional partners from the concrete precast, pipe and ready-mixed industries once again participated in and made presentations at the conference. “Casting this wider net serves the members of ACPA/PA, who are able to dialogue with a number of allied suppliers, producers, and others who are drawn to this more diverse program,” John says. 

As a follow-up to this conference, three Regional Concrete Pavement Forums will be held in April. Discussions will take place with greater participation from PennDOT Districts, contractors, and ACPA/PA staff on addressing and overcoming barriers to the use of concrete pavement. Discussions will also take place with designers on cost-effective concrete pavement innovations discussed at the conference. 

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