Tag Archives: quality

FAA & TriServices Discussions Yield Positive Results

A series of meetings last week set a positive tone for developing a collaborative applied research & technology program and for improving airport concrete pavement specifications. 

Representatives of ACPA met with John Dermody, Director of the Office of Airport Safety and Standards; Khalil Kodsi, Airports Division Manager; and Doug Johnson, FAA Headquarters Paving Engineer. Gary Mitchell, ACPA’s Vice President of Airports, says they had a productive discussion about various research topics, as well as how to structure an applied research program that would facilitate agency and industry collaboration.

As ACPA has been reporting, Gary and others representing the concrete pavement industry have fostered an excellent relationship with the agency and have been working closely with officials from  FAA Headquarters and the William J. Hughes Technical Center to discuss both a viable collaboration and specific focal points for applied research that is focused on improving the quality of concrete pavements. As reported in ACPA  TODAY, the 2020 appropriations legislation, signed into law in December, provides funding for R&T similar to what ACPA developed and led to create the Accelerated Implementation and Deployment of Pavement Technologies (AID-PT) program with the FHWA. ACPA worked closely with PCA and NAPA on both programs, and it should be noted that the asphalt pavement industry is also engaged in similar discussions about R&T with FAA officials.

Also last week, there were two meetings with the US military Tri-Services, the first of which involved military officials, ACPA staff, Airfield task force Chairman Martin Holt (Interstate Highway Construction), other contractors, vendors and architectural and engineering (A/E) firms to discuss specifications. The group had a thorough and detailed discussion about the military’s Unified Facilities Guide Specifications, all with the aim of fine tuning and improving the concrete pavement spec.

Later in the week, Gary, Martin Holt and Jerry Voigt, met with the Tri-Services to discuss specifics ways to help improve concrete pavements and concrete pavement construction. “We agreed to enter into a close working relationship,” Gary says, adding that this relationship is focusing on a “better understanding of each other’s perspectives.”

He adds the military has some very exacting standards for quality, and those standards have everything to do with both the overall mission, as well as the type of aircraft taking off and landing on pavements, often in less than ideal conditions. “We understand and appreciate the Department of Defense requirements and why they are so exacting.”

The working relationship is very important and underscores the important point that our goals are the same: to increase the quality of airfield concrete pavements, he says.

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

An Update on Performance Engineered Mixtures

Editor’s Note: This is a two-part article that provides an overview on performance engineered mixtures, and where things stand on a 5-year plan to advance this important quality initiative.  Based on a meeting in Minneapolis this week, the first part of this article provide an overview of the PEM vision.  Look for the second installment in a special issue of ACPA TODAY on Tuesday, November 26.

A performance engineered mixtures (PEM) technical advisory committee or TAC meeting this week gave stakeholders an opportunity to share updates and information on activities related to this broad quality initiative. 

Jerry Voigt represented ACPA at the meeting, whose participants also included FHWA and state transportation officials, the CP Tech Center, PCA, NRMCA and several ACPA-affiliated chapters.

The PEM vision is to develop a better way of accepting concrete for paving. This includes choosing parameters that matter more to durability, finding tools to measure them (including some new tests), choosing appropriate test limits and developing protocols for applying the tests properly in terms of purpose, consistency and repeatability. PEM is trying to improve the delivery of concrete pavements that lower the risk of premature material failures, while allowing for contractor innovation, adaptability for local conditions and an appropriate level of inspection/testing. 

Although the PEM program is focusing on mixtures, it also includes consideration of state quality programs and contractor construction practices.  At nearly halfway into the 5-year program, some important guidelines have been prepared, and a provisional standard— AASHTO PP84—has also been developed.   (To be continued in ACPA TODAY, Tues., Nov. 26.)

Photo:  Choosing appropriate test limits and developing protocols for applying tests is an essential part of the PEM initiative.  (Photo by ACPA staff.)



FHWA Video Covers Aggregates for Concrete Paving

This is our latest review of the four new videos produced as FHWA’s “Concrete Clip” series. 

This week, we’re showcasing the “Aggregates for Concrete Paving Mixtures” video, which provides a useful overview of aggregates and aggregate gradation.  The video starts with the role of aggregates in concrete mixtures, then discusses types (course and fine), and common sieve size used in concrete pavements.  The video describes aggregate characteristics, common sources, and the common specifications used for gradation and quality. 

With an eye on minimizing deleterious materials, the view also provides useful information about handling, proper perspectives on gradation and gradation limits (and the importance of understanding sieve analysis).  The video also includes covers mix proportions (including the Shilstone method) and optimized gradation using the Tarantula Curve (pioneered by Dr. Tyler Ley).  The video also steps through various AASHTO standard test methods used for testing aggregates to improve quality of the concrete mixture and finished pavement.  The video also provides details about manufactured lightweight aggregates, recycled aggregates, and other useful information.

This is an excellent information for new contractor company personnel, but is also a good refresher or overview for more experienced personnel in contractor companies, as well as other companies and organizations in the concrete pavement community.  The approx. 12-1/2 min. video is available in ACPA’s Concrete Pavement Channel, and of course, the FHWA’s “Concrete Clip Channel.”

Pennsylvania in the News

Kudos to the Pennsylvania Turnpike and the Pennsylvania Chapter-ACPA, and all involved in the Pennsylvania Turnpike story about the project on the Southern Beltway. The story appeared in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (and was cited in Concrete Construction magazine). 

The story described the process of producing quality concrete and using some precise process controls in both the mixture and placement. Kudos to John Becker of the Penn. Chapter, who was one of several experts quoted in the story. 

We reported on this project as part of our coverage of the Pennsylvania Chapter’s successful concrete paving tour last week, but we thought this front page story deserved a second look. This also gives us the opportunity to thank and credit Rich Jucha for the great photos used in both our posts about this project. Look for detailed coverage in the 4th quarter issue of CONCRETE PAVEMENT PROGRESS.

Webinar to Focus on Performance Engineered Mixtures

The CP Tech Center will be holding a webinar on Performance Engineered Mixtures (PEM) for Concrete Pavements on June 27, from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. (CDT). 

The PEM program is designed for agencies to specify and contractors to deliver quality materials for durable concrete pavements every time.

Join presenters Peter Taylor (CP Tech Center) and Kevin McMullen (Wisconsin Concrete Pavement Association) as they dsescribe how can shape the present and future of concrete pavement construction & rehabilitation.

To participate, please follow this link to register on ISU’s Adobe Connect platform: https://connect.extension.iastate.edu/r847vh74t2vd/. Click here to download more information. 

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