Revitalizing The Concrete Pavement Industry
By Valentin J. Riva, President/CEO
From the beginning of the 20th century, the concrete pavement industry has produced high-quality, durable highways and roadways to meet the traveling public's need for safe, efficient transportation. Concrete has been the material of choice for landmark highways - including the Lincoln Highway, Route 66, the U.S. Interstate system as well as thousands of miles of other highways, streets, and local roads built since the early part of this century.
It's no coincidence that from the beginning of this century through the "interstate era," concrete was the material of choice - not only for the interstate - but for other highways, airports, and roads. It was a time, when funding levels were sufficient to do things right, when there was pride in workmanship, and when the needs of the public were clearly understood and acknowledged by the policy-makers and roadbuilders alike.
As we move toward the 21st century, funding levels have increased, there is tremendous pride in workmanship, and policy-makers and roadbuilders acknowledge the public's need for safe, smooth, efficient highways, airports, streets, and roads.
This provides all of us in the surface transportation industry a window of opportunity to expand and rehabilitate this nation's pavement systems. For our part, the American Concrete Pavement Association is drawing on its strengths to better meet the needs of members, public officials, and the millions of people who depend on this nation's surface transportation infrastructure. The following is a brief overview of some of the milestones attained during the past two years.
* Beginning in August 1997, the American Concrete Pavement Association (ACPA), along with other associations, companies, and individuals, lobbied Congress to support the "Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century," the landmark legislation which provides $175 billion in highway funding, including $30 million in concrete pavement research. ACPA was instrumental in obtaining this research provision, which is the first-ever such funding for concrete pavement research.
* In December 1997, the ACPA led the effort to form an independent, third-party research & development entity. The Innovative Pavement Research Foundation (IPRF) united the mutual interests - and strengths - of the American Concrete Pavement Association, Portland Cement Association, and National Ready Mixed Concrete Association.
* In 1998, ACPA set forth to better understand the needs of our customers, members, and the public-at-large. In the same year, ACPA developed programs and implemented those programs to provide the best value and service to the our customers, members, and local promoters throughout the United States.
* In February 1999, ACPA and the Federal Highway Administration entered into a cooperative agreement for research and development, which directly involves the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) and the Transportation Research Board.
* Throughout 1999, we have been sharpening our focus and will continue to provide the best and broadest range of services to our members, specifiers of concrete pavements, and other public officials who influence the selection of pavement materials.
We are accomplishing this through well-executed local promotional efforts, technical service, legislative and regulatory affairs, and research & development. We are working harder and more effectively than ever to educate, to transfer technology, and otherwise share information with people who have an interest in quality concrete pavements.
The Association is a growing entity, and it's growing through a cooperative, positive spirit with public officials, Chapter/States, members, and others in the industry in whom the American people have placed a trust to ensure that their highways, airports, streets and roads are the best they can possibly be. For our part, we are doing everything we can to help our customers deliver on the promise of quality, safety, and durability - the very attributes of the product we so strongly advocate. After all, our members and our customers are not just building pavements, they're building a legacy that will last well into the next millennium.
Visit the ACPA Web site for more information at: www.pavement.com.