News & Press: Featured News

Asphalt Recycling & Reclaiming Association (ARRA) Names 2020 Special Recognition Award Winners

Wednesday, March 4, 2020  

During the 44th Annual Meeting of the Asphalt Recycling & Reclaiming Association held February 17-21, 2020, in San Antonio, Texas, ARRA congratulated four individuals as recipients of 2020 ARRA Special Recognition Awards.

Each year, via the ARRA Special Recognition Awards, ARRA recognizes public officials and consulting engineers who have made outstanding contributions to the asphalt recycling and reclaiming industry.  Nominations are submitted by ARRA members and the ARRA technical committees review all nominations and select the award winners.  



 Greg Kelley, County of Los Angeles, accepts the Charles R. Valentine Award for Excellence in Cold Recycling from ARRA Executive Director Rick Church. Photo by Tom Kuennen, courtesy of FP2.


The first recipient recognized was Greg Kelley, P.E., Deputy Director, County of Los Angeles, the winner of this year’s Charles R. Valentine Award for Excellence in Cold Recycling.  Under Kelley’s careful watch, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works Transportation Division became an incubator for new ideas, products and processes.  Test sections were placed and samples were tested in the lab.  County staff spent years of attention to understand product capabilities before adopting or suggesting specification changes.

 Also, under Kelley’s leadership, the County created a world class public information campaign focused on educating the taxpayers, elected officials and other agencies on the benefits of preservation, recycling and reclamation through public ads, print materials and their Road Stewardship website.  Additionally, the County created a three-pronged approach:  re-utilize existing materials in place, use recycled materials in treatment selections and take care of their roads that are in good condition.  This cost-effective, sustainable approach has become a model for other agencies.   
 The 2020 Special Recognition Award for Excellence in Full Depth Reclamation was presented Laura Kline, State Stabilization Engineer, South Carolina DOT, for her leadership in the US 123 Pickens County, South Carolina Project.  SCDOT had been investigating and considering the use of Cold in Place recycling treatments (CIR) as well as reclamation with alternative stabilizer products, for several years.  Kline attended training classes at the Wirtgen facility in Nashville, Tennessee for Cold in Place technology.   


South Carolina DOT’s Laura Kline accepts ARRA’s Special Recognition Award for Full Depth Reclamation. Photo by Tom Kuennen, courtesy of FP2.

 SCDOT had previously considered other CIR or bituminous stabilization projects, but due to funding and planning complications, the projects were not feasible.  Kline was critical in promoting the idea of these alternative treatments and stabilizers to extend the Departments’ maintenance funds.  When the project was let to contract, one contractor suggested a value engineering proposal.  The concept was to recycle the top eight inches of structure with a foamed asphalt additive, widening in the same operation and completing the project with the planned two lifts of asphalt overlay instead of patching, widening, milling and overlaying with two lifts of asphalt.   
 Kline took the lead in finalizing the specification.  She used a Virginia DOT specification as a baseline and made appropriate adjustments for South Carolina.  During construction, Laura scheduled tours of the jobsite because this was such a new process for SCDOT.  Kline’s leadership made the project a success and created opportunities for this process in South Carolina going forward.   
 The next special recognition award went to Rebecca Embacher, Advanced Materials and Technology Engineer, Minnesota Department of Transportation as the winner of the 2020 Award for Excellence in Cold Planing. Embacher recognized the potential value and waste reduction that could be gained through the 3D milling process.  For two years, her agency conducted testing on the 3D milling process which eventually led to her development of a new 3D milling specification.  The specification allowed the industry to showcase not only the tight tolerances that the 3D milling system can provide, but also used technology to remotely verify milling depths in real-time.  

Glenn Engstrom of MnDot accepts ARRA’s Award for Cold Planing on behalf of winner Rebecca Embacher, MnDot. Photo by Tom Kuennen, courtesy of FP2.

 As a result of the testing and eventual specification, MnDOT let its first project with the new 3D milling specification in December 2018.  The project included 509,591 square yards of “Mill Bit Surface (Special)” on Interstate 90 between Blue Earth and Fairmont, Minnesota.  The first half of the project was successfully completed in 2019 and will be completed in the spring of 2020.  The team was able to exceed the tolerance requirements in the specification and transmit milling performance data to the cloud in real-time.  This allowed our recipient and her team to monitor the progress of the project from their office more than 2 hours away.
The final ARRA special recognition award went to Bill Conklin, Road Commissioner, Ingham County, Michigan Road Department, as the winner for the 2020 Award for Hot In-Place Recycling. The Ingham County Road Department (ICRD) maintains all of the 1254 miles of county roads outside of the cities in Ingham County including roads in Meridian Township just east of East Lansing, a residential and commercial community of approximately 43,000 population. Okemos Road, running north-south through most of Meridian Township and one of the community’s more heavily used main roads, underwent milling and resurfacing with Hot In Place Recycling (HIPR) between the milling and resurfacing steps in 2019.  Due to road conditions and budget constraints, ICRD has continually sought and implemented various innovative means of road recycling and improvement to optimize use of a limited budget. 


Nominator Chris Gallagher, Gallagher Asphalt Corporation, accepts the ARRA Award for Hot In-Place Recycling on behalf of Bill Conklin, Ingram County Road Department. Photo by Tom Kuennen, courtesy of FP2.

 ICRD has used HIPR with desired results for the last 10 years on both residential and main roads.  Typically, roads are milled to a 1 to 3 inch depth depending on existing pavement thickness, the pavement left in place undergoes HIPR, and new hot asphalt of the same thickness as that milled out is replaced in one or two courses.  ICRD has found HIPR typically costs about half to 75% or the equivalent depth of additional milling and new asphalt paving.

Contact Us

Asphalt Recycling & Reclaiming Association
800 Roosevelt Road, Building C-312
Glen Ellyn, IL 60137

    Email Member Services