Industry News

Report: Rural Roads and Bridges in Dire Need of Repairs

America’s rural transportation system is in dire need of repairs and modernization to correct deficiencies and continue to support economic growth.

This is according to a new report released today by The Road Information Program (TRIP). The report, Rural Connections: Challenges and Opportunities in America’s Heartland, evaluates the safety and condition of the nation’s rural roads and bridges and finds that the nation’s rural transportation system needs immediate improvements to address deficient roads and bridges, high crash rates, and inadequate connectivity and capacity.

The report says rural, non-Interstate routes accounted for 22% of all vehicle miles traveled in the U.S. in 2017. However, crashes on those routes resulted in 41 percent of the 37,133 traffic deaths. 

The chart (inset) shows the states with the highest rate of rural pavements in poor condition, states with the highest share of rural bridges that are rated poor/structurally deficient, and states with the highest fatality rates on non-Interstate, rural roads.

The report finds that the nation’s rural roads and bridges have significant deficiencies. Fifteen percent of U.S. rural roads are rated in poor condition, while 21 percent are in mediocre condition. Seventeen percent of the nation’s rural roads are in fair condition and the remaining 47 percent are in good condition.

Nine percent of the nation’s rural bridges are rated in poor/structurally deficient condition, meaning there is significant deterioration to the major components of the bridge. Poor/structurally deficient bridges are often posted for lower weight or closed to traffic, restricting or redirecting large vehicles, including agricultural equipment, commercial trucks, school buses and emergency services vehicles. Forty-six percent of rural bridges are rated fair, a rating that indicates the bridge’s structural elements are sound but minor deterioration has occurred to the bridge’s deck, substructure or superstructure.

Significant improvements are needed, not only because of safety, but also to support the nation’s Heartland, which is a critical source of energy, food and fiber. With increases in population and growing employment, rural America is heavily reliant on the quality of its transportation system to sustain further growth, TRIP says.

ISCP Issues Final Call for Abstracts

The International Society for Concrete Pavements (ISCP) is people interested in making presentations at the 12th International Conference on Concrete Pavements (12th ICCP) to submit abstracts on or before May 31.  

Conference organizers are looking for presentations covering a wide range of subjects related to concrete pavement design, construction, testing, and rehabilitation.  Presentations reflecting the conference theme, “Making Waves with Durable, Resilient Concrete Pavements” are welcome, but not mandatory.Click here to submit an abstract on or before the May 31 deadline.

The 12th ICCP will be held August 30 through September 3, 2020, in Minneapolis, MN.  The conference continues the tradition of a series of international conferences begun in 1977 by Purdue University and now organized by ISCP.  

Conference participants typically are federal, state/provincial, and municipal/county engineers; contractors; consulting engineers, suppliers, and members of academia. 

Click here to see more information about the 12 ICCP conference, including hotel, sponsorship, workshops, and student competitions, is available at the conference website.

 

Open House Showcases Overlay on Vital KY Parkway

Almost 40 people participated in an open house event yesterday in Elizabethtown, KY.  The event was of special significance because of its focus on a 6-in. thick unbonded concrete overlay on the Bluegrass Parkway (from mile marker 0 to 6). 

This Kentucky Transportation Cabinet project is being constructed on a vital section of highway connects with Interstate 65 to the west and U.S. Route 60 to the east.  

The event started with a briefing and a luncheon at the City’s Pritchard Community Center. Greg Smith, Director of Paving Technology for the Kentucky Concrete Pavement Association, covered some recent concrete overlay projects in Kentucky and Indiana, national perspectives and statistics, and an overview of the project. He also presented many design tools and other resources offered by ACPA (including www.pavementDesigner.org), along with resources offered by the CP Tech Center. 

Tony Korba, Operations Manager at E&B Paving, an ACPA member, provided details about the construction of the Blue Grass overlay project, covering details about smoothness, joints, paving challenges, and fibers. 

Following the briefing, participants then loaded a bus and headed to the project site, where they had the opportunity to see the concrete overlay and discuss specifics about project on the WB lane of the Bluegrass Parkway, one of seven highways that are part of the Commonwealth’s parkway system.

Bill Davenport from ACPA was on hand to chronicle the event, which will be produced as a video report soon. The project also will be covered in an upcoming issue of CONCRETE PAVEMENT PROGRESS magazine. 

Still Time to Register for Ohio SPS-2 Tech Day Event

There is still time to participate in the next SPS-2 Tech Day.  The event will be held on Thursday, May 22, in Delaware, OH.  There is no charge for attending the latest of these popular events, but registration is required.

Mark Pardi, ACPA Ohio Chapter Representative, is the primary point of contact, so please contact him as soon as possible if you would like to attend.  Mark can be reached at  614.891.0210 or mark@ohioconcrete.org

Click here for a flyer with details about the event, including registration information.  Click here for more illustrations and details  about the meeting location at the Ohio DOT District 6 headquarters.

To see presentations from prior events, please visit our dedicated page for the 2019 SPS-2 program.  

The Long-Term Pavement Performance (LTPP) SPS-2 study, or Strategic Study of Structural Factors for Rigid Pavements, represents the most comprehensive set of concrete pavement performance data in the United States.  To read more about this important study, please click here. Also, click here to see our complete SPS-2 Resource Center.  

Jim Minnich Retires, Ushers in Future Company Leadership

Minnich Manufacturing, an ACPA member, announced yesterday the retirement of owner Jim Minnich after more than 25  years of distinguished service with the company and the construction industry.  

Jim Minnich led an era of innovation and expansion at Minnich Manufacturing, the business his father started out of a Mansfield, Ohio, gas station in 1968. Under Jim’s ownership, Minnich Manufacturing introduced several innovative technologies, grew to more than 40 employees, and moved into a larger manufacturing facility in Mansfield, OH, all with an unwavering focus on meeting customer needs, the company says.

“My father, Roger, built Minnich Manufacturing on customer service,” Jim Minnich said. “He would do whatever it took to support his paving customers, from shipping product after hours to making staff available 24/7. As I pass on the family business to the next generation, I’m proud that we continued that tradition of around-the-clock service during my years with the company. And nothing is going to change.”

Succession Plan
A succession plan has been in the works for years.  Three family partners will lead Minnich Manufacturing into a bright future: Todd Jurjevic (President/Chief Sales Officer), Jeff McDaniel (President/Chief Operating Officer) and Rob Minnich (President/Chief Marketing Officer). Jurjevic and McDaniel are Jim Minnich’s sons-in-law; Rob Minnich is Jim’s son.

“You’ve heard the saying that three heads are better than one. Todd, Jeff and Rob are proof by what we have already seen in their combined accomplishments,” Jim Minnich said. “I have great confidence in these three — and no doubt that they will take Minnich Manufacturing to a whole new level.”

Jim Minnich entered the family business in 1993 and acquired the company from Roger two years later. Over the next two decades, Minnich developed and launched a number of products with advanced technology to enhance productivity and safety, including:

  • The first vibrator monitoring system, the Auto Vibe, to read, record, and control paving vibrator speeds.
  • A dust collection system for dowel pin drills to help improve operator safety.
  • A remote-control dowel pin drill to enhance operator visibility and safety.
  • The Hornet, a compact, lightweight and ergonomic solution for drilling gas leak detection and extraction holes.

 Minnich Manufacturing moved to its current facility in 2011, adding 14,000 square feet to its operations and positioning the business for future expansion. The company celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2018, Jim’s final full year as owner.

Jim was an influential member of the concrete and equipment industries throughout his career. He served as chairman of the American Concrete Pavement Association’s equipment division and also serving on the board of directors. In addition, he was appointed to the board of the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM), where he represented the light equipment division.

“Like my grandfather before him, my dad was committed to developing the highest quality products and being there for customers,” Rob Minnich said. “Moving forward, our entire company is ready to carry on his legacy.”

 

 

 

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