A new unified voice…..introducing the Pavement Preservation & Recycling Alliance
After more than a decade of working together, the Boards of the Asphalt Emulsion Manufacturers Association, the Asphalt Recycling & Reclaiming Association, and the International Slurry Surfacing Association, launched the Pavement Preservation & Recycling Alliance (PPRA) in 2011. PPRA is not an organization, or a separate entity, and AEMA, ARRA, & ISSA continue to exist as they have since their inceptions. PPRA is more a formal recognition of an agreement to work together to cooperatively represent and promote the technologies, processes, and applications currently represented and promoted individually by AEMA, ARRA & ISSA.
For several years, AEMA, ARRA & ISSA have conducted a joint annual meeting. They began and publishing a joint newsletter in 2010. PPRA is an extension of these types of cooperative programs. It is well understood the three groups participate in many of the same activities, such as workshops, seminars, newsletters, certain trade shows, and more. The alliance concept allows the three to more formally combine forces effectively, efficiently, and economically, and to show a greater return on investment to our members, much as we’ve done with the annual meeting.
PPRA branding was introduced at the 2011 AEMA-ARRA-ISSA Annual Meeting. The joint newsletter continues, and PPRA branding is now evident in the AEMA, ARRA & ISSA exhibits at World of Asphalt, NACE, AASHTO, CONEXPO, APWA, and other industry trade gatherings. The alliance concept offers all three groups more recognition on each other’s programs. AEMA’s ISAET will likely expanded to include more technical presentations related to micro surfacing or full depth reclamation, for example, and ARRA’s Semi-Annual Meeting could add presentations on chip seals over recycled surfaces.
Guided by three delegates from each of the Association Boards, the Pavement Preservation & Recycling Alliance is funded with existing monies from existing line items in the respective budgets of each group (newsletter, promotion, trade shows, etc.). PPRA is still in its infancy, but shows huge potential for partnering and speaking with a larger, unified voice as AEMA, ARRA & ISSA continue to carry their message to consulting engineers and government at all levels, and to the entire pavement preservation & recycling industries. All members of AEMA, ARRA & ISSA are kept well-apprised of all PPRA initiatives.
The Asphalt Recycling & Reclaiming Association has many accomplishments of note, including the annual FHWA/ARRA In-Place Recycling Workshop, the publication of the Basic Asphalt Recycling Manual, the Federal Highway Administration’s adoption of an official policy on recycling, the National Highway Institute’s asphalt recycling and reclaiming training course, special features in the trade press, and several very successful joint annual meetings with the Asphalt Emulsion Manufacturers Association and the International Slurry Surfacing Association. ARRA members are seeing their industry organization get caught up and putting its tools to work as it continues to make its technology known throughout the highway community.
Particularly exciting this year is the continuation of the Pavement Recycling & Reclaiming Center, a partnership with California State Polytechnic University (Cal Poly) and the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans). Initial funding for the Center is provided via three-year contracts with Caltrans and ARRA, with a transition plan established for shortly after startup to become a cooperative effort between public agencies, academia and industry. The Center’s vision is to become a resource to all of North America, with a future plan to expand internationally as dictated by market conditions. Visit http://prrcenter.org/. Next up is ARRA’s re-issuance of updated guideline specifications for each of its disciplines, soon to be easily available free of charge via www.arra.org.
No matter what goes on with politics, social issues, or the economy, one thing is certain – America needs its highways. Everyone acknowledges that sooner or later all roads have to be maintained, preserved, and rehabilitated, and that the methods represented by ARRA offer the least expensive, longest lasting alternatives for stretching available dollars. Our future is bright!
ARRA members are an integral part of this continuing effort for system preservation and rehabilitation to provide a safe, cost-efficient, and comprehensive network of roads and highways. The asphalt recycling and reclaiming industry remains a strong, healthy component of the highway maintenance, rehabilitation, and preservation market. Public agencies are stretching their dollars by paying increased attention to the benefits of recycling, and reclaiming their existing asphalt pavements. Environmentalists, taxpayers and legislators will be pleased to know that ARRA member contractors are responsible for keeping literally millions of tons of asphalt out of North American landfills.
ARRA continues to take steps to increase its visibility on federal, state, and local levels. We are actively involved with the FHWA, FP2 Inc., and the National Center for Pavement Preservation. Our 2012 Annual Meeting was again held jointly with AEMA and ISSA. ARRA officials in the past year have come to Washington, DC, to meet with key Federal Highway Administration officials and highway industry association executives. ARRA's membership in the American Highway Users Association, the Transportation Construction Coalition, FP2 Inc., and TRIP (The Road Information Program), four of the main forces behind the passage of the next Highway Bill and institutional leaders in making sure that funds are spent on the highways, helps keep us attuned to what is going on at the Federal level and provides us with key contacts. A cornerstone of ARRA's efforts to increase the market share for recycled asphalt has been our work through local organizations, universities, and technology transfer centers to conduct seminars which benefit those involved in the design, construction and maintenance of streets, roads and highways.
Throughout the year, ARRA members continue to participate in a wide range of local, regional and national seminars and conferences to promote the industry and the recent improvements in technology. And, in 2012, ARRA co-hosted the FP2 hospitality suite at the Transportation Research Board‘s Annual Convention in Washington, DC. Our members have been speakers for programs sponsored by various state superintendents’ organizations, county engineers’ associations and other highway-related groups.
ARRA continues to serve as an excellent network for the information exchange and technology transfer among professionals in the highway industry. Although the Association does not maintain a technical staff, we continue to address a surprisingly large volume of inquiries through the Frequently Asked Questions on our website at www.arra.org, and through e-mails to the headquarters office, which are distributed to various member experts to formulate a timely, non-biased response. ARRA will continue to be able to address concerns of a technical nature by calling upon the tremendous bank of expertise that exists throughout its membership. Time and again, persons calling ARRA Headquarters after receiving little useful assistance from other sources are thrilled to be referred to a member or members who can answer their questions. ARRA gets the job done!
As stated many times before, the dissemination of information is one of the most valuable services any trade association can perform, and in the past year, ARRA headquarters and the ARRA website again responded to countless direct inquiries; members and committee chairmen responded to many more. The website is receiving hundreds of hits each month. In one way or another, every one of our responses serves to promote the asphalt recycling and reclaiming processes.
In a continuing effort to keep abreast of technological advances, ARRA continues to enhance its website at www.arra.org, and plans to make this medium its primary tool for information dissemination. E-mail and website addresses are provided in both the website and in the directory whenever available.
No doubt, the biggest news continues to be the BARM, in its second printing, with a comprehensive re-write almost complete. With oversight and an endorsement from the FHWA, the BARM is widely recognized as the definitive reference for those seeking more information about the technology of our industry. In fact, several states are turning to the BARM as they craft new specifications for utilizing our processes on their roads. Of nearly equal importance is the National Highway Institute’s decision to use the BARM as the basis for its recycling course curriculum.
ARRA continues to be a forum for the exchange of ideas and solutions to recycling concerns. More importantly, ARRA will continue to develop new programs, strategies and funding not only to improve the technological side of the industry but to increase the market share for recycled asphalt, as compared to other types of maintenance, preservation, and rehabilitation options.
With new programs being planned at the committee and regional levels, and coordinated at the national level, the Asphalt Recycling & Reclaiming Association is able to more readily respond to the needs of its members and the public, for rebuilding a stronger and safer network of highways, streets and roads across the country and around the world.