Tag Archives: USACE

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.

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ACPA Leads Plant Training

With support from members Duit Construction Co.* and RexCon,* ACPA presented plant manager training for Duit personnel last week. Personnel from the Air Force Civil Engineer Center (AFCEC) and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) audited and provided feedback on the course. 

The training is part of a specification requirement for a project at Tinker Air Force Base, OK.  The course last week allowed Duit to meet the specification requirements several months before alternate training was available.

John Privrat of Duit Construction praised the team efforts led by Gary Mitchell. “The team ‘knocked it out of the park,’ especially since we had to put this whole class together in less than a month,” John says. “Gary did a great job anchoring most of the presentations, and we also had several other quality speakers. The feedback I received from our people, and from USACE and the Air Force was overwhelmingly positive. We sure appreciate the support from ACPA and all of the work Gary put into this. As always he did an outstanding job.”

Privrat, who serves as the ACPA Airports Task Force vice chair, adds that he hopes this training module will be included in future airfield pavement specifications.

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* ACPA member companies.

ACPA Reports Results from Military Tri-Services Meeting

ACPA met with the Tri-Service at the annual meeting with industry early this month at the TRB annual meeting in Washington, D.C. This meeting was the annual meeting hosted by the USACE Transportation System Center, and included designers, specifiers, material suppliers, contractors, and others interested in military concrete paving. The purpose of this meeting was a general discussion about the Unified Facilities Criteria Airfield Concrete Specifications. 

During the meeting, ACPA members discussed various outstanding issues. The meeting also was an opportunity to share presentations on new information and products to the group of about 35 officials. 

As a follow-up to the meeting, ACPA had a second, half-day meeting to discuss how ACPA and Tri-Service could work together better. ACPA’s Jerry Voigt and Gary Mitchell represented ACPA, while the FAA’s Greg Cline was also on hand to share examples of how that agency and ACPA have worked together. The purpose of this meeting was to present the “redline” mark up ACPA has produced, a process similar to the mark-up of the draft FAA P-501 spec.

The topics of discussion centered around accredited training program, smoothness specifications, aggregate gradation specification, contractor central batch plant checklist, and contractor quality control manager requirements. The results of this meeting with regard to each of these main topic are an accredited training program, an aggregate gradation specification, contractor central batch plant certification, contractor quality control manager requirements, and smoothness.   (Click here to see details.)

These meetings and their outcomes underscore the high value of the relationship ACPA and the Military Tri-Services have formed, as well as the progress that has resulted from working together over the years.

ACPA Urges Prompt Registration for Airport Workshop

The Hilton Omaha is the site of ACPA’s 2017 Airport Workshop. (Photo: Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc.)

With about half the available seats sold, ACPA is urging members and Chapter/State affiliates to finalize plans to attend the association’s upcoming Airport Workshop.

The workshop covers a wide range of design and construction topics, while also focusing on the FAA’s P-501 and UFGS 32 13 11 specifications.

Scheduled for Tuesday, July 25, through Thursday, July 27, the training and tech transfer workshop will be held at the Hilton Omaha, 1001 Cass Street, Omaha.  

For those wishing to make hotel registrations early, please call 1.800.HILTONS (1.800.445.8667).  Online hotel registration is also available by clicking here. Please use the group code “ACP” with phone or online reservations.

Click here to see a detailed program with event registration information, the workshop agenda, pricing, and other information.  Click here to register for the workshop online.

 

USACE Invites ACPA to Provide Key Specification Language

Following a recent discussion about specification language with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, agency officials have asked ACPA to provide specific language for consideration.  ACPA has since provided suggestions aimed at addressing a potentially challenging issue for contractors.

“One of the challenging provisions of Unified Facilities Guide Specification (UFGS) 32 13 11 is related to the qualifications of the Contractor Quality Control (CQC) System Manager and Quality Control staff qualifications,”said Gary Mitchell, P.E., ACPA’s Vice President of Airports and Technology.  Mitchell added this was a topic discussed during the annual meeting with the TriServices earlier this year at the Transportation Research Board’s annual meeting.

“USACE asked ACPA to provide them with proposed language that would be acceptable to contractors and allow them to use their qualified personnel, while still keeping requirements that would have the best chance of providing them with the best concrete pavement quality,” Mitchell said, adding, “USACE’s original provision would have forced the contractor to hire outside personnel while not necessarily improving the chances of higher quality pavements.”

Mitchell said that in addition to the CQC language, ACPA also included language about the Accredited Airport Pavement Training Program and our mobile Central Mix Plant check list. 

Very Large Step Forward
“This represents a very large step forward in our working relationship with the military on concrete pavement specifications,” said ACPA President & CEO Jerry Voigt.  Voigt and Mitchell, along with contractors and manufacturer representing the ACPA Airport Task Force, were involved in the discussion via conference call.   

Voigt added this is an significant step,  because “(t)he military traditionally conducts their deliberations and specification language development internally, which has sometimes resulted in provisions that are difficult to interpret and provisions to which even well-qualified contractor members cannot adhere practically. “

“We thank those who participated in providing comments,” Mitchell said, adding the language will be reviewed and discussed at the Airport Task Force meeting, scheduled for 3:30 p.m. (Central) at the ACPA Mid-Year Meeting in Chicago.   Click here for registration and other information.

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