Tag Archives: competition

ACPA and West Virginia DOT Continue Competition Discussions

A recent stakeholder meeting with the West Virginia DOT emphasized the agency’s continued interest in competition in the highway paving market.  The meeting with newly appointed Transportation Secretary Byrd White, and other key DOT officials, focused on ways to extend the purchasing power of the paving dollar in the state, says Ray Seipp, President of the Mid-Atlantic Chapter, ACPA. 

The meeting, which was the latest in ongoing discussions between the chapter and the DOT, presented an opportunity to discuss costs and quality, as well as to share perspectives on alt design/alt bid projects and warranty contracts. The meeting also presented the concrete pavement officials with an opportunity to discuss ways to make both asphalt and concrete pavement projects more competitive and more equitable for both pavement materials. 

Research has shown that increased inter-industry competition has not only resulted in better value for agencies and taxpayers, but also results in higher quality and  increased innovation.

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* In addition to WV Transportation Secretary Byrd White, the DOT was represented by Aaron Gillispie, State Highway Engineer, and Ron Stanevich, Director of the DOT Materials Control, Soils & Testing Division. Representing ACPA were Chuck Niederriter, Golden Triangle Construction Co., Inc. (ACPA Past Chairman-2018); Brad Allison & Mike Durst from Hi-Way Paving, Inc.; Rich McDonough, The Lane Construction Co.; Mike Coughlin, McCarthy Improvement Co.; Ray Seipp, Mid-Atlantic Chapter; and Leif Wathne, ACPA.

ACPA, PCA Offer Policy Recommendations to T&I Leadership

The American Concrete Pavement Association (ACPA)  and the Portland Cement Association (PCA) penned a joint letter to the Leadership of the House Transportation Committee, reaffirming the associations’ interest in working closely with the Committee to advance legislation to make needed investments in our nation’s infrastructure.

The letter emphasized said, “An efficient and well-functioning transportation network is essential to meeting the needs of the 21st century, and for positioning the U.S. economy for robust growth.”

The letter also included specific recommendations to inform policy discussions regarding improving and restoring America’s infrastructure.  They included:  greater investment; investing wisely (with an emphasis on competition, life-cycle cost assesment and resilience); and the need for research and technology deployment.

The Accelerated Implementation and Deployment of Pavement Technologies (AID-PT) is a provision first included in the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP 21).  This ACPA-led initiative created both a mechanism and funding for the delivery of pavement technology.  In 2015, Congress included the program in the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, which provides funding through 2020.

The program has resulted in funding and major initiatives being directed to the National Concrete Pavement Technology Center (CP Tech Center), an ACPA Technology Partner.  AID-PT has had direct and tangible benefits for highway agencies, contractors, consultants, and academia.  Concrete overlays and performance-engineered concrete mixtures (including the use of recycled concrete aggregates) are two technology initiatives that have received support in the form of outreach, education & training, and technology transfer.

ACPA also led advocacy efforts for a similar research provision was included in the FAA Reauthorization Act of 2018, Sec. 744, “Research and deployment of certain airfield pavement technologies.”

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

ACPA Presents at Concrete Pavement Workshop

In support of the Cement Association of Canada, an ACPA affiliate, Leif Wathne participated in the 2018 BC Concrete Pavements Workshop in Burnaby, BC, last week. He spoke about competition, asset management, and on concrete overlays.  In the concrete overlay presentation, Wathne cited several resources, including the CP Tech Center’s “Guide to Overlays,”  which is just one of a large collection of manuals & guidelines, reports, tech briefs and other overlay resources the Center offers. 

Workshop participants included industry and agency officials, Wathne says, noting that Omar Swei, Assistant Professor at the University of British Columbia, presented on improving infrastructure design and maintenance. LCCA and project examples from across Western Canada also were focal points of the workshop.

Wathne says, “An ongoing dialogue with the concrete and cement industry in BC can help agencies better understand what steps to take to start benefitting from inter-industry competition.”

ACPA Presents Comments to Transportation Board

Leif Wathne and Ray Seipp participated in the two-day Virginia Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) meeting last week in Winchester Virginia.  Wathne was one of several transportation experts who presented comments on a wide range of topics, including policy issues and programmatic matters. 

Wathne’s comments centered on inter-industry competition, which ACPA has discussed in many forums with industry and public sector officials. Wathne explained that MIT, at the urging of industry, undertook a comprehensive multivariate analysis of DOT bid pricing, covering a 10-year span and 298,000 pay items from 47 state DOTs.  

“The results clearly show that increasing competition between paving material industries lower paving costs for both asphalt and concrete jobs and is likely to result in significant savings for DOT’s and taxpayers,” Wathne said.  

He cited recent discusssions with VDOT staff about how to better capitalize on competition and thanked VDOT Chief Engineer Garrett Moore and the Department for their earnest engagement in these discussions.  

“We are encouraged by VDOT’s interest in ways to extend the reach of Virginia’s paving dollars, however, we urge the Commonwealth Transportation Board to reinforce VDOT’s commitment to this significant opportunity,” he said, emphasizing, “This is not about one product being better than the other; it’s about providing the best value.” 

As he concluded his remarks, he said, “There are no engineering reasons why concrete pavement cannot be part of any agency’s program, including VDOT’s.”  He also noted concrete pavement is used successfully in several neighboring states, as well as throughout the United States.

Click here to view Wathne’s comments online. (His comments start at marker: 1:01:20) 

 

‘Concrete Competes’ Provides Local Support

ACPA has implemented a new program called “Concrete Competes,” which is aimed at providing focused assistance to chapter/states and members locally.  The program takes a “back to basics” approach and is draws on concrete material and paving experts to renew competition and quality for highways.   

The program is designed to provide technical, promotional, and organizational support locally, while also emphasizing competition, longevity, quality, and engineering solutions to agencies and other stakeholders. 

A recent example of this focused support program was a meeting held last week with the Secretary, Chief Engineer, and Head of Materials, Design and Construction of the West Virginia Department of Transportation. Chairman Chuck Niederriter (Golden Triangle), Jerry Voigt (ACPA), and Ray Seipp (Mid-Atlantic Chapter)–along with officials from Atlantic Contracting & Materials Co.; Kokosing Construction Co.; Lane Construction Corp.;  McCarthy Improvement Co.; and Swank Construction Co.–met with the DOT officials in Charleston to communicate a strong desire to build business in the state. 

The Secretary set a positive tone for the meeting by opening with a comment that he wanted more concrete paving in the state, in part to increase competition between the paving materials industries.  “It was positive meeting, and we have some momentum to work on specifications and project requirements that will help the industry compete in West Virginia,” Voigt said.    

 

 

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