Last week, ACPA Executive Vice President Leif Wathne presented at the Arkansas and Oklahoma ACPA Chapter’s 2021 Arkansas Concrete Pavement Conference in Little Rock, Arkansas. Leif spoke alongside officials from FHWA and ArDOT, researchers from the University of Arkansas, MIT, and the CP Tech Center at Iowa State, and representatives from industry partners and participants.

The purpose of Leif’s visit was to highlight the opportunities that come with healthy inter-industry competition and the benefits that competition provides to all stakeholders. Such competition between different paving materials is foundational to meaningful life-cycle cost analyses (LCCA) and, by extension, DOT stewardship of the roads they operate and the taxpayer dollars which fund them. Programs like alternate bidding (ADAB), mix-of-fixes, and asset management are rendered ineffective if LCCA is undermined by a lack of meaningful cost information sprouting from a lack of real competition between paving industries.

DOTs who currently don’t enjoy a healthy two-pavement system can set the stage for healthy competition by sending a clear signal to both paving industries that they are serious about marshaling the benefits of competition. Competition enables agencies to maximize the purchasing power of the highway dollar. This is particularly important when faced with the passage of the largest infrastructure investment in a generation. ACPA continues to promote and advocate for sound public policy that levels the playing field and ensures our members have as many opportunities as possible to compete for new projects.