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AEMA, ARRA and ISSA Continue Collaborative Efforts with FHWA

Friday, September 1, 2017   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Kristi Olson

On July 13, 2017, leaders representing AEMA, ARRA, and ISSA joined FHWA team members in Washington, DC, as part of ongoing biannual meetings to share information and identify opportunities for collaborative efforts. Connie Yew, in her new roles as team leader of the Construction Management Team, expressed her desire to partner with stakeholders such as the PPRA groups, with the intent that all will work together to help each other to advance national programs. 

AEMA President Mark Ishee, AEMA Vice President Todd Ryne, ARRA President Darren Coughlin, ARRA Secretary/Treasurer Eric Baker, ARRA Government Relations Chair John Rathbun, ISSA President Carter Dabney, and ISSA Vice President Rex Eberly attended to represent the PPRA associations. Representing FHWA were Construction Management team members Antonio Nieves Torres, James Gray, and Donna Harris, as well as Pavement and Materials team member Jason Dietz.

FHWA took the opportunity to share information on the Every Day Counts (EDC-4) Pavement Preservation initiatives. Dietz summarized When/Where activities, noting that 26 state agencies have elected this as a focus.  Some of these activities include:

  • Converting to electronic training tools for delivery.
  • Working with AASHTO re:source on best practices.
  • Local agencies webinar – systems used for pavement management system.
  • Activities moving forward with in next month or two include selection guides and peer to peer exchanges.
  • FHWA indicated they could use industry assistance on developing short clips on pavement preservation/webinars. 

Dietz is working to develop a pooled fund program that would complement PPETG and EDC activities.  There will likely be opportunities or a mechanism for the associations to participate in pooled fund group.

Gray summarized the status of EDC-4 How activities, which 10 stage agencies have selected as a focus.  Activities include:

  • Getting ready to award a contract to hold peer-to-peer exchanges
  • Updating Pavement Preservation checklists
  • Pavement Preservation website being built out with new, current info
  • Developing quarterly webinar series with coordination between PPETG, EDC When/Where, and EDC How
  • Focus on training and development at local level

Gray, also Co-Chair of the Pavement Preservation Expert Task Group (PPETG),  indicated that AEMA, ARRA, ISSA each have seats on the PPETG. This group is trying to meet quarterly with conference calls and twice annually in person.  There are about 20 PPETG members with 10 industry, and 10 state and local agency representatives. Gray noted that PPETG is funded for in-person meetings for this fiscal year (which runs October to October). The first meeting will be Nov 7 & 8 in Louisville, with another meeting in the April/May timeframe.

FHWA committed to continuing to support and provide funding for PPRA meetings and workshop, with Gray indicating he is working to get approval for 10 or more agency representatives to attend the 2018 Slurry Systems Workshop.  Following the meeting, travel expense support for the 2017 ARRA Semi-Annual Meeting was also confirmed.

For PPRA, Ishee summarized the joint efforts of the PPRA association under the Synergy Project to try to develop a better resource, especially for those at local level, to serve the state agencies and public.  This effort will attempt to make unified resource, reduce overlap, and limit competition from website hopping.  FHWA noted that they would be happy to assist and that PPRA is welcome to download and utilize any FHWA tools.

ARRA expressed an interest in how the Recycling First policy was being implement and how ARRA could work with FHWA on this initiative.  Nieves Torres suggested working with FHWA to get the Tech Brief out and assisting in development of training video/CD on mix design.  ARRA and FHWA planned to schedule a conference call to strategize on additional mechanisms.

ISSA summarized their work on contractor/inspector certification and the partnership with NCPP to manage the certification.  ISSA Executive Technical Director Tom Wood also joined the meeting by phone and shared some of his activities, including developing High Performance Micro Surfacing Guidelines.

Recognizing the benefits of continued collaborations, it was determined to that FP2 would be added to the group of invitees for future meetings.  The group will next meet again in January 2018 during the Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting.

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