Happy New Year ACPA Members,

As 2023 Chairman of the American Concrete Pavement Association, I am proud to welcome you all to what is certain to be an exciting year of growth and prosperity for ACPA and our industry. Although ACPA’s Board of Directors recently passed a conservative zero-deficit budget for FY23, ACPA expects to continue to stay the course with fulfilling its strategic plan, while providing top-notch technical, promotion, and advocacy services for our members.

With the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) moving into its second year of funding and project planning beginning to make its way to the bidding table, the paving industry can expect some certainty, at least for a few years. While inflation has started to come down and the nation avoided a rail strike, supply chain concerns still may cause consternation as we move further into 2023. ACPA will continue to watch these matters, provide insight to our members and invite respected guests like PCA economist Ed Sullivan who have their finger on the pulse of economic issues. For those that missed Ed at ACPA’s Annual Meeting in Nashville, TN, you missed an excellent session. ACPA will continue to bring strong content though at its Mid-Year Meeting, workshops, and Annual Meeting.

ACPA is a small but mighty association, whose staff wears their passion and commitment on their sleeves. Our technical team is often called upon by agencies such as FHWA and FAA to advise on specifications and overall show thought leadership on pavement engineering issues nationwide. Eric Ferebee, Senior Director of Technical Services, has completed the first draft of ACPA’s White Paper [link] on Sustainability. This paper offers the first codification of the industry’s position on substantiality and makes the case for concrete’s relevancy in a climate conscious society. This position paper will be officially launched at a press conference on Jan. 17 at World of Concrete and additional resources will be unveiled during the next few months, giving you the tools you need to answer questions about sustainability. Eric and ACPA’s Chapter State Executives expect to continue the dialogue about climate and other matters with FHWA at a meeting this Spring.

While ACPA’s main focus is promoting concrete paving at the state level, recognizing the role agencies play in impacting that goal is imperative. Recently, DoD, GSA, and NASA, released a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), which proposes a Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) rule change that would require contractors to report their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for federally funded contracts. ACPA has met with groups around the country and on Capitol Hill, including the National Asphalt Pavement Association and American Council of Engineering Companies to assess the potential impact this NPRM could have on the industry. Not only has ACPA joined with others to call for an extension on behalf of the industry, which has been granted, but we will also submit an official concrete paving industry response with comments on behalf of our members outlining the impact of the proposed FAR rule change. ACPA’s Chief Engineer Gary Mitchell is also coordinating with the Tri-Services to evaluate the FAR’s impact and develop an appropriate industry response. A story is provided below. Addressing this NPRM is just one example of why a strong national organization acting as the face of the concrete paving industry is imperative to the future of the work that we do!

As I move into the Chairmanship, you will hear me continuously advocate that we as contractors are stronger together. While we are competitors at the bidding table, we align together to advocate for more funding, more opportunity, and to advance the message that concrete paving is a sustainable and resilient option for the future. 2023 must be a year of growth and attracting new contractor members from all over the country so that we can preserve and protect paving markets.

I look forward to seeing you all around the country this year at state chapter events, the airport workshop, mid-year meeting, and of course the annual meeting. Please feel free to reach out to me at steve.friess@milestonelp.com. I look forward to serving the industry in this capacity this year. A final request as we kick-off 2023 is for you to send in photos of where you “Fly Your ACPA Flag.” Whether it shows up in your break room, on a paver or you find another unique location to display your pride, let’s build some excitement about ACPA membership and its value.

Thanks to Laura for letting me take over In The Mix this week – there are a number of great stories below – and thanks to the hardworking staff for hitting the ground running this year. Most important though, thanks to you all for your support. Let’s make it a great year!

All the best,

Steve