With COVID numbers falling, mask mandates easing around the country, Major League Baseball ending its lockout, and Congress passing legislation to fund the government through the remainder of the fiscal year – which unlocks the full force of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) – it certainly is starting to feel like the optimism of Spring is in the air.

While the enactment of the BIL last November allocates nearly $103 billion to USDOT, representing an increase of more than $16 billion above the fiscal year 2021 enacted level, our industry will have to work hard to ensure we get our fair share of the projects funded by BIL spending. ACPA is ready to share the significant advantages of paving with concrete and the need to consider life cycle view. However, unlike with previous surface transportation bills, sustainability will play a much larger role in how the funding included in this five-year package is distributed.

In cities, counties, and states across the country, governments are passing regulations, ordinances, and laws requiring the use of low-carbon materials with the aim of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Our job over the weeks and months to come is to ensure the sustainability benefits of concrete are both understood and recognized as a viable option to achieve environmental goals. Earlier this year, we created this sustainability document to inform the dialog with key stakeholders. We encourage you to use the information to help educate your contacts about concrete pavement’s role in addressing climate change.

In these days of increased weather events and petroleum price volatility, concrete’s durability, resiliency, and price stability make it the perfect material for the streets, roads, airports, bridges, and other projects funded by the BIL. Our goals in the coming months will focus on sharing the many benefits of resilient, sustainable concrete pavement.

Recently, ACPA onboarded AOE, a communications firm that understands the concrete pavement industry and its nuances, to guide the Association’s messaging strategy on important matters such as sustainability and resiliency. One of our goals is to enhance our engagement with many of the federal agencies tasked with spending BIL money, including FHWA, FAA, FEMA, and others, sharing our sustainability story. ACPA is also drafting our new strategic plan that will contemplate industry leadership on these and other environmental issues. The plan is expected to be adopted during our mid-year meeting, June 7-9, in Newport Beach, RI.

One other quick mention. I want to give a shout-out to the CP Tech Center, which kicked off its 2022 Tech Tuesday Webinar series yesterday with more than 400 registrants! Begun at the onset of the pandemic, the Tech Tuesday series continues to serve as a valuable and sought-after forum for concrete pavement content nearly two years after its inception. You can register for future webinars here!

Thanks again for all of your support. We’ve got another great issue this week with a look at what the Appropriations passage means for BIL, an announcement from Miller Formless, a visit to Colorado, a job posting from our friends at IGGA, and an opportunity to talk to Members of Congress.