Tag Archives: FHWA

FHWA Concrete Clips: Engineering Concrete Paving Mixtures

Editor’s Note:  This is an ongoing series of reviews of the FHWA’s “Concrete Clips” videos.

Engineering Concrete Mixtures for Performance,” presents an overview of how concrete mixtures can be tailored to the site conditions to produce a durable material that will ensure good, long-term pavement performance.

The 8-minute video explains how concrete durability can be ensured by specifying and designing for quality, controlling quality during construction, and through agency acceptance following construction.

Click here to view the video. You can also view the video through ACPA’s YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/ConcretePavements.

Web Resource Chronicles CP Road Map Impacts

The CP Road Map (or Long-Term Plan for Concrete Pavement Research and Technology) concluded in 2019, but its impact on concrete pavement research and technology transfer has been substantial, according to the CP Tech Center in its April-May “Resources” newsletter.

The Center has developed a website that captures the history of the CP Road Map, which was formally introduced in 2001 as a collaborative effort among the FHWA, ACPA (and its Innovative Pavement Research Foundation), CP Tech Center (formerly the Iowa State University’s Center for Portland Cement Concrete Pavement Technology). Over time, the initiative expanded in recognition that no single organization was large enough or well-resourced enough to pursue research & technology (R&T) needs alone. Federal, state and local agencies, industry and academia collaborated and contributed funding to what the large scale initiative.

The CP Tech Center has created a well-organized and comprehensive web-based resource center that captures the background, history, accomplishments, and research tracks that became the CP Road Map. A section called “So what now?” describes ongoing activities aimed at contributing further to concrete pavement R&T. Click here to explore the information, photos and other resources.

ACPA to FHWA: Four Suggestions Could Reduce Adverse Impacts

In one of the latest efforts to support the concrete pavement industry during the current pandemic crisis, ACPA has proposed several actions to the FHWA.

In a message to Alex Etchen, FHWA Associate Administrator for Highway Policy and External Affairs, ACPA offers four suggestions that could address COVID-19 related health and economic issues impacted contractors and others in the industry. The full text of the message, penned by Leif Wathne, follows below:  

  1. Issue FHWA guidance that clearly and unambiguously classifies highway construction workers as “Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers” under the CISA memorandum. Additional FHWA guidance in this regard can be helpful in ensuring that vitally important highway construction work continues. As underscored by all our transportation stakeholders, maintaining the transportation construction sector is vital to our nation’s ability to continue delivering needed medical supplies, food and goods, clean water and energy to the American people as we address this pandemic.
  2. Issue FHWA guidance that makes clear that relief funds under the CARES Act are eligible for reimbursement of costs incurred by highway contractors to protect their workers by adhering to the CDC-recommended social distancing guidance during the pandemic while continuing critically important infrastructure construction functions (e.g. such items as increased per diem, additional site vehicles, enhanced PPE, added hand washing stations, additional jobsite toilets,  etc.). Contractors are fully committed to workforce safety and adhering to U.S. Government social distancing guidance during these unprecedented times comes at additional, unanticipated costs, and should therefore be explicitly eligible for reimbursement.     
  3. FHWA should issue guidance to suspend state/local match requirement on federal aid projects (i.e. 100% federal Share) for a two-year period to allow the federal investment to be put to work without delay, as state/local budget revenue losses will threaten their ability to meet any state/local match requirement. Such a suspension of state/local match requirements will allow the federal investment to be put to work more quickly, putting our ranks of unemployed to work in a matter of weeks, rather than years. This will be especially important if federal recovery legislation (Phase 4 or later) includes a substantial increase in infrastructure investment, as state DOTs would not be able in a position to meet the state match requirement. 
  4. FHWA should issue guidance that encourages state DOTs to increase flexibility in contracting mechanisms employed during this crisis (e.g. design-build and other innovative contracting mechanisms). Such flexibility will enable states to accelerate lettings and construction projects so more people are again put to work more quickly. This will be especially important if federal recovery legislation includes a substantial increase in infrastructure investment, as state DOTs are not currently staffed to handle such an increase in workload in a timely manner. 

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

Tech Overview Covers Concrete Workability and Test Methods

In its ongoing series of “Observations from the FHWA Mobile Concrete Technology Center (MCTC),” the technology overview covers some practical workability tests for concrete used in slip-form paving.  

The information-packed information sheet provides a description of workability, then details the Box test and the VKelly test, both of which provide an enhanced assessment of concrete workability.

The illustrated publication describes features of both tests and says a common feature of both tests is they measure concrete’s response to vibration and better assess the workability of concrete during field placement. Though both tests can be used in the field, the primary use is during mix design/approval for optimizing concrete mixtures, the MCTC says.

The publication continues with a description of slump and explains why, in spite of limitations, slump testing is also important in concrete mixture evaluation.  A brief summary provides the reader with highlights of one of the MCTC’s latest publications. 


FHWA and Stakeholders Discuss Workshop

FHWA Long-Term Infrastructure Program (LTIP) officials and industry stakeholders met by conference call last week to begin planning for a future workshop, says Larry Scofield. The goal of the workshop is to set priorities for conducting the remaining FHWA Long-Term Pavement Performance (LTPP) data analysis projects. 

The current LTPP strategic plan for data analysis (“tablecloth”) was developed almost a decade ago, so the group agrees they need to update the current plan. The existing plan has nine strategic objectives and a list of data analysis projects under each strategic objective. 

The purpose of the future workshop is to help the LTIP staff set priorities for the 100 or so identified data analysis projects that have yet to receive funding. The conference call provided background to the stakeholders for planning the future workshop. Leif Wathne is ACPA’s LTIP representative, and along with Scofield, participated in the call. 

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