This week, I had the opportunity to attend the American Council of Engineering Companies Annual Conference and Legislative Summit, where White House Senior Advisor and Infrastructure Coordinator Mitch Landrieu spoke on the Administration’s priorities. As a former mayor, who presided over multiple infrastructure and weather challenges in the city of New Orleans, one suspects that Landrieu might know a thing or two about resiliency and sustainability. One thing was very clear in hearing his words – this Administration and many Americans are prioritizing climate-friendly materials as a way to make America stronger, and equity as a way to deliver opportunities to the underserved and disenfranchised.

Regardless of where the politics shake out on climate and equity as two emerging household terms, the conversations don’t seem to be abating. The story the concrete pavement industry needs to tell about its contributions to these societal goals only creates more opportunities for our industry. Our community is called to step out of the shadows and tout to decision-makers and the general public that you have to consider concrete if you truly want to use infrastructure dollars to solve global challenges.

ACPA’s hardworking Chapter/State Executives have promoted the role of long-lasting pavements in carbon neutrality for many years and recently gathered in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, where the sustainability of concrete pavement was a key topic of discussion. We have an opportunity like never before to unite behind these messages. When the entire life of the product is considered, concrete pavement is an environmentally sound choice for our future. Moreover, when considering issues such as surface temperatures and resiliency in the face of climate disasters, selecting concrete helps offer safe and reliable pavements upon which communities can rely.

To that end, ACPA was on-hand for meetings at MIT this week that tackled these topics. MIT’s Randy Kirchain did an impressive job, as usual, guiding these discussions. The opportunity is upon us, and the conversations on equity and sustainability are not going away. Check out that story in On The Grade, and keep reading to learn more about the fun receptions we’ll be hosting at our Mid-Year Meeting in Newport, Rhode Island, our upcoming airfield workshop, Top Products awards won by ACPA members, and a new resource on inflation issues in the pavement sector.