Tag Archives: infrastructure investment

Panel Evaluates Pavement-Vehicle Interaction

An FHWA technical review panel (TRP)* is studying various Pavement-Vehicle Interaction (PVI)** models —including two from MIT—to assess the role the models can play in determining vehicle operating costs and evaluating excess fuel consumption based on roadway conditions.

One of the goals is to determine the compatibility of PVI models with traditional economic models that agencies use for highway and roadway investment.  The panel also plans to study and resolve  gaps between the PVI and economic models, and all of this is aimed at ultimately influencing factors that can improve pavement sustainability.

An initial web meeting last week began with a discussion of both the study and meeting objectives, literature review, and other details, including comments about the various PVI models currently available. In opening remarks, the panel acknowledged a comment that none of the current PVI models has been perfected to date.

“No model is perfect,” says Leif Wathne, ACPA Executive Vice President, “But that doesn’t mean it’s not useful.  These models are context sensitive and there are uncertainties, but there are ways to handle uncertainty. We need to use the models as best we can to inform decision making.”

Leif, along with ACPA Chairman Jim Mack (CEMEX) represent the concrete pavement industry on the panel.  Jim says awareness about PVI has increased significantly and adds this has become an increasingly important sustainability factor to the roadbuilding community.

“The roadbuilding community has gained a greater understanding and appreciation for the value of PVI modeling than when the industry and MIT first presented it in 2012,” he says.  Today PVI is widely seen as an important use-phase sustainability benefit, and in fact is one of the major factors in use-phase sustainability consideration.  Use-phase benefits are often significantly more impactful than other environmental factors such recycling and reuse, particularly for heavily trafficked corridors.   

“None of this would have likely happened had the cement and concrete industry not invested in itself to research, advocate and support PVI and other sustainability research and technology,” Jim says,

The work of the TRP is particularly important because of the current situation with limited funding, which impacts everything from research to staffing among agencies.

“We’re currently in a period of constrained resources,” Jim says, “And yet, industry is being asked to address issues that we’ve never had to deal with in the past.” He points to the ACPA’s VISION2040 initiative, which is looking closely at disruptors such as driverless vehicles, in-road magnetic induction, smart highways/roadways and other technologies that will increasingly affect how infrastructure investment decisions are made by agencies.

“PVI goes far beyond traditional cost factors and pavement type selection decisions used historically,” Jim says, adding, “This initiative is really about improving the quality of information needed to make the best and most informed decisions possible.  This is not just about fine-tuning the approach to cost and pavement-type selection, and in fact, decisions among highway and roadbuilding agencies will increasingly be made long before pavement type is considered.”

“As we look ahead, industry will continue efforts to learn more about PVI and its role in highway construction and continue supporting our agencies with solutions that offer exceptional performance, longevity and value, and of course, sustainability benefits,” Jim says.

* The TRP is being led and facilitated by the FHWA’s Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center, Engineering & Software Consultants, Inc, The Transtec Group, Inc.  The TRP is comprised of three state highway agency officials, two members of academia, representatives of Argonne National Laboratory and the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and representatives from the concrete and asphalt pavement industries. 

** PVI is a concept that looks at the interaction between a vehicle’s tires and the roadway surface on which it is driving, according to MIT, which adds, it is also known as rolling resistance.

Highway Materials Group Event Focuses on Federal Investment

Members of Congress and officials from companies and associations involved in rebuilding America’s aging infrastructure held a press conference at the House Triangle yesterday to discuss the critical need for federal investment in the nation’s surface transportation infrastructure.

Organized by the Highway Materials Group (HMG) coalition, the event included comments by U.S. Representatives Earl Blumenauer (D-OR-3), Chairman of the Ways & Means Committee’s Tax Policy Subcommittee, and Rodney Davis (R-IL-13), Ranking Member  (RM) of the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee’s Highway & Transit Subcommittee.

“Every day we don’t act to improve our nation’s infrastructure, we fall further behind our global competitors,” Chairman Blumenauer says, adding, “It is past time that we step up and demonstrate the courage necessary to pass a comprehensive infrastructure bill. I look forward to working with the Highway Materials Group and vast array of supporters in finally delivering for the American people.”

“Since 2003, federal spending on infrastructure has decreased by 20% when adjusted for inflation,” RM Davis says. “We need major investment in our infrastructure if our economy is going to continue to thrive. I’m encouraged by the interest of both parties to get something done on infrastructure this Congress, but we have to figure out a way to pay for it. I believe it is long past time to consider ways to diversify funding streams for transportation projects and it’s the only way to guarantee long-term sustainability. I’m looking forward to continuing these conversations throughout Infrastructure Week and as we work to get a bill done.”

Representing ACPA at the event were Chairman Jim Mack (CEMEX) and Leif Wathne, ACPA Executive Vice President. 

HMG Sponsors TV Ads
In related news the HMG sponsored TV ads over a two-week period to urge Congress to fund and pass meaningful infrastructure investment legislation. The campaign TV commercial, “Life Won’t Wait,” shows the human toll that the nation’s deteriorating infrastructure takes on our daily lives. The HMG is joining with the American Trucking Associations in this venture to give greater voice across sectors on the need to fun infrastructure investment now.  The ad campaign is running through May 23 in the Washington, DC. media market.  

For more information on the pressing need for infrastructure investment and the cost of doing nothing, visit www.roadtoabetterfuture.com. On social media, be sure to follow the hashtags #InfrastructureNOW and #TimeToBuild.

The Highway Materials Group is comprised of eleven national associations, representing companies that provide the construction materials and equipment essential to building America’s roads, highways and bridges. We employ tens of thousands of men and women in well-paying American jobs, and we strongly support increased investment in America’s surface transportation network.  Members include: American Coal Ash Association; America Concrete Pavement Association; American Traffic Safety Services Association; Associated Equipment Distributors; Association of Equipment Manufacturers; Concrete Reinforcing Steel Institute; National Asphalt Pavement Association; National Ready Mixed Concrete Association; National Stone, Sand & Gravel Association; Portland Cement Association; and Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute.

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

See the commercial and other videos on ACPA’s YouTube Channel:  http://www.youtube.com/ConcretePavements

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.”

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

Perspectives on the $2T Infrastructure Plan

The President and Congressional leaders met yesterday to discuss infrastructure, and insiders report the meeting was constructive and focused on working together to develop an infrastructure bill valued at $2 trillion, according to the American Highway Users Alliance (AHUA).  An infrastructure could include a long-term highway reauthorization bill.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) expressed positive comments about the meeting, with Sen. Schumer saying “there was goodwill” on both sides toward developing a major piece of legislation, according to a report by THE HILL, which added  Speaker Pelosi said both sides had “come to one agreement: that the agreement would be big and bold.”There is no information or agreement on how the parties expect the bill to be funded. Although the Administration will rely on Congress to draft the legislation and will not be drafting its own detailed proposal, there was reportedly some regret within the Administration over their 2017 proposal that relied heavily upon public-private partnerships and leverage as the primary source of funding for infrastructure, AHUA says. In addition to President Donald Trump, Secretary Elaine Chao and National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow were among the senior-level Administration attendees present.

Although details are limited, the characterization of the meeting being cordial and constructive is important. Had the meeting been a disaster, it would have likely doomed any progress on infrastructure or highways this year. Instead, there is some potential bipartisan momentum that could energize the process, AHUA says.

Shortly after the meeting, Speaker Pelosi and Minority Leader Schumer issued a joint statement, saying, “Building America’s infrastructure is about creating jobs immediately, and also bolstering the commerce it facilitates, advancing public health with clean air and clean water, and improving the safety of our transportation system, and addressing climate change with clean energy, clean transportation and resilient infrastructure. 

“We are pleased the President agreed to include a major investment in expanding broadband to rural, urban and other underserved areas to deliver broadband’s benefits for education, health care and commerce,” they say. “We have an historic opportunity to build infrastructure for the future, and an urgency to address the safety needs that our crumbling infrastructure represents.  Every congressional district in America has urgent needs, which any big and bold initiative must address.”

Also commenting on the meeting yesterday was House Transportation & Infrastructure Chairman Peter DeFazio.  “Today’s meeting with the White House was a big step in the right direction in our work to develop a robust, bipartisan plan for infrastructure investment,” he says, adding, “Two trillion dollars is a significant federal investment that could make a real difference in communities across this country, whether we’re talking roads, bridges, and transit systems, or harbors, airports and wastewater systems, just to name a few areas that would get a real boost from a bipartisan deal.

“I’m encouraged to hear the widespread agreement on the need to act on infrastructure—and to act soon— and I look forward to continuing this critical conversation with the White House and House and Senate leadership in the coming weeks,” he adds.

At the time of this writing, there was no corresponding statement regarding the meeting by the White House or Congressional Republicans, although some party members, including Rep. Greg Pence (R-IN-06), did express support in social media posts.  The WASHINGTON POST reports that “Congressional leaders said they will return to the White House in three weeks to determine how to pay for it.”

Transportation-construction, labor, and other advocacy groups will continue to advance positions on the Highway Trust Fund, funding mechanisms, and other key provisions in support of the highway bill, and more broadly, on infrastructure investment. 

Photo:  The Hill

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

Join the Discussion!

ACPA is encouraging members, chapter/states, and our technology partners to join the discussion on both the need and the urgency of investing in our nation’s surface transporation infrastructure, and in particular, highways and bridges.  ACPA has initiated a social media campaign in direct support of The Road Information Program (TRIP). 

We invite you to use these messages in your own social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.).  Special thanks to Will Wilkins and Lisa Templeton at TRIP for supplying the reports and fact sheets ACPA staff used to create these messages.  Feel free to use the photos and the corresonding messages, or alternatively, customize the messages if you’d like. In our cust0mization of the messages, we’ve added “Now is the Time” to the graphics to emphasize the urgency and to tie into upcoming meetings and ongoing discussions in Washington, DC.

Last, but not least, for those of you familiar with social media, be sure to “tag” both ACPA and TRIP so we can keep the momentum going!  

  • ACPA – Twitter: @PaveConcrete | Facebook: @paveconcrete63  
  • TRIP –  Twitter: @TRIP_Inc


Investment messages (right click images to download).  Messages are paired with the image appearing directly below the lines of text.

#Infrastructure investment boosts the economy, says .@TRIP_Inc. In the short time, investment in our highways and bridges creates well-paying jobs in #construction and related fields.

#Infrastructure investment boosts the economy, says .@TRIP_Inc. In the long-term, investments enhance economic competitiveness & improve quality of life by reducing travel delays & transportation costs, improving access & mobility, improving safety, and sustaining job growth.








According to @TRIP_Inc., a recent AASHTO Transportation Bottom Line Report reveals annual investment in the nation’s roads, highways and bridges needs to increase from $88B to $120B. The report also found the backlog in needed road, highway and bridge improvements is $740B.








Why is #infrastructure investment so important? One reason is 72% of the $16.8 trillion of goods shipped in the U.S. is carried in trucks on #highways, says .@TRIP_Inc. An additional 14% travels by rail, water, #USPS or couriers, which use multiple modes, including highways.









Highway and Bridge Condition messages

Road conditions are another reason we need #infrastructure investment now. According to @TRIP_Inc., a recent AASHTO Transportation Bottom Line Report reveals annual investment in the nation’s roads, highways and bridges needs to increase from $88B to $120B. The report also found the backlog in needed road, highway and bridge improvements is $740B. 








Highway accessibility was ranked the #1 one site selection factor in a 2017 survey of corporate executives by AREA DEVELOPMENT magazine. Labor costs & skilled labor availability (both impacted by site accessibility), were rated 2nd & 3rd, respectively, according to @TRIP_Inc.







Forty-five percent of America’s major urban Interstates experience congestion during peak hours, acccording to .@TRIP_Inc . Traffic congestion costs American motorists $170 billion a year in wasted time and fuel costs.








Safety Messages

Forty-five percent of America’s major roads are in poor or mediocre condition. Driving on roads in need of repair costs U.S. motorists $131 billion a year in extra vehicle repairs and operating costs – $616 per motorist, according to .@TRIP_Inc.








There were 37,133 traffic fatalities in 2017 in the US, according to .@TRIP_Inc. Roadway features are likely a contributing factor in about 1/3 of traffic fatalities.  Between 2013 and 2017, 175,080 people died on U.S. highways. The time is now to #invest in our #infrastructure.








Crashes in which roadway design was likely a contributing factor cost U.S. motorists $102.4B/year year in medical costs, lost productivity, travel delays workplace costs, insurance costs and legal costs, according to .@TRIP_Inc.  The time for #infrastructure #investment is now.








According to a study conducted by the Federal Highway Administration, $100 million spent on highway safety improvements will save 145 lives over a 10-year period, according to .@TRIP_Inc. The time for #infrastructure #investment is now. 


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