Thursday, December 22, 2016

Executive Director Message - December 2016 - Go Ahead, It's OK to Brag a Little...

As we close in on the year that was 2016, I can't help but be grateful for another incredible year of growth and support for the Utah Asphalt Pavement Association (UAPA). Come January, it will be five years since I took this job. The time has flown by, but the lessons have been many and we have accomplished much together. 
That's why I hope you will take some time in the New Year to look back and nominate either a project or one of your peers for the awards that will be given out at the 2017 Utah Asphalt Conference (Feb. 22 - 23 at the South Towne Expo Center). Awards for nomination include the Industry Leader of the Year Award, Project of the Year (Small), and Project of the Year (Large). 

Over the past five years, I've learned we are an industry that quietly and professionally goes about doing the best work possible without much fanfare and without much publicity (unless something goes wrong!), so I think it is important that we use the awards at the Utah Asphalt Conference to go ahead and brag a little. Simply put, we work hard. Many of you give your entire professional careers to this industry and you certainly give countless hours over the course of the season year in and year out to ensure the very best for your project, your company, and the state of Utah. So, go ahead, it's OK to brag a little . . . just click on the links below to find out how you can help to showcase our very best at the Utah Asphalt Conference in 2017! 

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Executive Director Message - November 2016

The 2016 Southern Utah Seminar - A Moment to Say Thanks  

Happy Thanksgiving! This month we have a lot to be grateful for (it finally snowed!). The season is winding down (at least for a few weeks) and we are busily getting ready for the 2017 Utah Asphalt Conference. Before we get there, however, I’d be remiss if I did not mention the 2016 Southern Utah Asphalt Seminar (SUAS) hosted by UAPA in St. George just over a week ago.

With 150 attendees, 15 vendors, and multiple sponsors, this year’s Seminar was our most successful educational event in the area to date! Now in its third year, I can’t help but appreciate and be grateful for what the SUAS has turned in to for not only for UAPA, but for the community that is our industry in Southern Utah. The keynote address from Mark Owens with Landmark Testing this year provided an amazing perspective on just how far the area has come and what is on the horizon as the area continues to grow. The best part of Mark’s remarks, however, came when he recognized all of the individuals who, through many years of dedicated work and service, have made this special corner of Utah what it is today. Plus, who doesn’t like free .22 shells as a giveaway!? Brilliant! 

In addition to Mark’s comments, we had four great educational sessions (CE Certificates coming soon!) and even a live demo that featured crack sealing best practices - thanks Scott! 

As mentioned above, all of this would not have been possible without our event sponsors, so special thanks to our Black & Gold Sponsor, Sunroc; our Black & Silver Sponsors, Honnen Equipment, Summit Energy, Wheeler Machinery, Western Rock; and our Black & Bronze Sponsors, Coughlin Company, Ingevity, Kimball Equipment Company, and Crafco, Inc.

I hope the rest of this week and month finds you surrounded by those closest to you as we kickoff in earnest the holiday season. Through it all, take a moment to be grateful and give thanks. For me, that was the biggest takeaway from the SUAS this year. Thank you to everyone that helped make the Seminar a huge success! 


P.S. The Networking Golf Outing on the 14th wasn't bad either!!

Friday, November 18, 2016


Collaboration toward Comprehensive Maintenance Leadership Training

Have you thought about collaborating with other transportation agencies to meet your workforce development needs? Discover the benefits of NHI's Maintenance Leadership Academy (MLA) and learn about collaborative hosting options from NHI's recent article in Public Roads, FHWA's bimonthly magazine.

Learn More

Tips for Finding Partners

  • Talk to neighboring states that share similar challenges, geography, or weather.
  • Invite neighboring states that use different processes or approaches.
  • Invite regional AASHTO peers.
  • Ask NHI to hold seats for neighboring states.

To talk to an NHI training professional about the MLA or about regional collaboration, contact us at 1-877-558-6873.

New & Updated Courses

Highway Safety
FHWA-NHI-380120: Introducing Human Factors in Roadway Design and Operations (ILT)

FHWA-NHI-135041: One-Dimensional Modeling of River Encroachments with HEC-RAS (ILT)
FHWA-NHI-135092: Highway Hydrology: Basic Concepts and Methods Web-Based (WBT)
FHWA-NHI-135094: Culvert Hydraulic Analysis and Design Program (HY-8) (WBT)

Freight and Transportation Logistics
FHWA-NHI-139011: Fundamentals of Freight Data Workshop (ILT)

Pavements and Materials
FHWA-NHI-131140: Hot In-place Recycling (WBT)
FHWA-NHI-131142: Full Depth Reclamation (FDR) (WBT)

FHWA-NHI-130105A: Introduction to FRP Materials and Applications for Concrete Structures (WBT)

FHWA-NHI-130105B: Construction Procedures and Specifications for Bonded Repair and Retrofit of Concrete Structures (WBT)
FHWA-NHI-130105C: Quality Control of Repair and Retrofit of Concrete Structures Using FRP Composites (WBT)

Transportation Performance Management
FHWA-NHI-138004: MAP-21 Transportation Performance Management Overview (Including FAST Act Updates) (ILT)

Transportation Planning
FHWA-NHI-151056: Highway Performance Monitoring System (HPMS): Concepts, Data Collection & Reporting Requirements (ILT)

Friday, October 28, 2016

Executive Director Message October 2016

Join Us for the 2016 Southern Utah Asphalt Seminar!

As the season begins to wind down I hope you will consider joining us at the 2016 Southern Utah Asphalt Seminar happening on the 14th and 15th of November at the Dixie Center in St. George. On the 14th we’ll have the opportunity to socialize and network at the Seminar’s official golf outing happening at Sky Mountain Golf Course in Hurricane. Then, on the 15th we will have a day’s full of education covering topics from the importance of inspection to the use, construction, and design of thin asphalt overlays. We’re also very excited to partner with the Dixie Center in offering a crack seal demonstration in their parking lot. We already have over ninety attendees registered, fifteen vendors, and seven sponsors. Special thanks to Sunroc for being our Black and Gold Sponsor at this year’s seminar and to all of our presenters that will help to make this year’s seminar the best one yet! See you in St. George in November!

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Although the Perpetual Pavement Concept was first articulated in 2000, many asphalt pavements that were constructed long ago function as Perpetual Pavements.

For example, many full-depth and deep-strength pavements were built around the country in the 1960s and 1970s.
Perpetual Pavement Award Nomination Form
The Asphalt Pavement Alliance instituted the Perpetual Pavement Award program in 2001 to recognize State Agencies and other owners of pavements that had the foresight to build pavements according to these principles. To qualify for the award, the pavement must be at least 35 years old and must have never had a structural failure.
The first winner of a Perpetual Pavement Award was the New Jersey Turnpike, which was 50 years old at that time. Between 2001 and 2013, a total of 93 pavements qualified for the award. Winners include interstate highways, rural roads, and airport runways. The easternmost winner is in Connecticut, and the westernmost is on one of the Aleutian Islands in Alaska.
  • In addition to having served for 35 years with no structural failure, additional requirements for the award include:
  • Pavement must have hot-mix or warm-mix asphalt binder and surface layers.
  • No rehabilitation or series of rehabilitations over the preceding 35 years that has increased the total pavement thickness by more than 4 inches. Thus, the overall structural gain during the 35 years of a pavement’s life preceding the nomination cannot be more than 4 inches.*
  • Resurfacing intervals of no less than 13 years on the average.*
  • Minimum project length is two (2) miles for all roadway types.
  • In the case of “staged construction,” the 35-plus year time frame against which the award criterion is evaluated begins when all stage construction is completed.

Perpetual Pavement Award Nomination Form for Municipal Roadways
Until now, the Perpetual Pavement Award program focused mainly on Interstate/US and State routes, Turnpikes, Farm to Market roads and Airports. This year we are excited to announce award criteria for Municipal Roadways and Residential Streets. To qualify these pavements must be at least 35 years old with no structural failures and a minimum project length of 1,200 feet (or 4 continuous blocks).
Municipal streets are noted for undergoing extreme traffic loading conditions and asphalt pavements have provided years of service to municipalities throughout the US. This award intends to recognize those pavements that have demonstrated outstanding performance.

In Our Opinion: Utah Recognized for Transportation Infrastructure Investment

Deseret News editorial 

Motorists who find themselves frustrated by frequent confrontations with a slalom course of orange barrels along a stretch of road repair should look on the bright side — Utah is gaining a national reputation for taking care of its transportation infrastructure in a way that has made other states envious, and it has enhanced its image as a top place for new business growth.
A recent report by a nonprofit think tank gives Utah high marks for investing in state road projects in a survey that shows an increase in spending on transportation needs much greater than in any other state in the last year. A report by the Reason Foundation, which describes itself as a promoter of “libertarian principles,” elevated Utah in its rankings of performance and cost effectiveness in road management from 29th in the nation to 13th, a massive jump not matched by any other state. The primary reason is an increased rate of investment in transportation, which other state governments have looked upon with jealousy.
Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper recently led an expedition of business and civic leaders to Utah to take note of the state’s relatively high rate of expenditures in transportation upkeep. Utah spends about $660 million a year on road expansion, while Colorado spends about $159 million. The results include less congestion, safer conditions and a general benefit to statewide commerce.
The Utah Department of Transportation has successfully managed to eke out more funds from the state budget by convincing lawmakers that investments in transportation conditions will pay for themselves by facilitating more private business development and a commensurate increase in the tax base. Indeed, Utah was ranked as the best state in the nation for business this year by the cable channel CNBC, which cited investments in infrastructure as one of the key metrics in the analysis.
The lesson is that you can’t take care of infrastructure needs without biting the budget bullet and freeing up the needed cash. Following the state’s suit, Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski made it a priority in her first budget to increase spending on road upkeep in the capital city after years of restraint. Since 2008, the city has diverted funds typically used for road maintenance to other needs. The mayor proposed, and the City Council approved, a $7.75 million appropriation of state-allocated funds for needed road work, a significant sum that will help reverse a trend of deteriorating conditions. Municipal transportation officials have estimated that two-thirds of the roads in the city are in “poor” or “very poor” condition.

Certainly, investment in infrastructure comes at a cost. State and local budgets contain many other priorities, all of which carry good arguments for increased spending. Utah policymakers have come to realize that putting money toward highways and city streets is not a winner-take-all game. A modern and functional infrastructure is a hallmark of a strong local economy, and keeping the roadways in good shape can literally help pave the way toward sustained economic growth.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Executive Director Message September 2016

The Best Get Better

If you are lucky enough in your professional life, every now and then you will come across former colleagues and bosses that remind you how much you owe them for what they have done for you and really how much more you have left yet to do to achieve similar levels of success. I recently had such an occasion as I listened to Senator Orrin Hatch discuss the passage of the FAST Act and its ramifications for Utah’s infrastructure moving forward. Senator Hatch was my first boss out of college, and I remember well many of the discussions we had then about Utah’s roads and highways as we drove around much of the state together. Little did I know then that my start as a staff assistant would, within a few short years, lead to a chance to help Utah’s roads and highways become even better through the work of the Utah Asphalt Pavement Association (UAPA).
As Senator Hatch mentioned the other day, Utah’s roads and highways are some of the best in the nation. So much so, other lawmakers in Washington, D.C. continue to approach him asking just what is Utah’s secret for success? For us, it is no secret: strong leadership from the Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT), matched by incredibly talented and dedicated producers and contractors who know how to keep Utah moving, equals roads that are the envy of much of the nation. The icing on the cake, however, or, to be more true to our industry, the extra inch of HMA on the project, continues to be an inherent and deeply rooted desire to be even better.
For the asphalt pavement industry in Utah, that means working hand-in-glove with the Utah Chapter of the APWA, cities, counties, private owners, and UDOT to produce specifications that will increase durability without sacrificing stability, draw focus to longitudinal joints, emphasize smoothness for ride quality, make great products like Stone Matrix Asphalt (SMA) even better, and create opportunities to work towards solutions that are both right and reasonable when changes need to be made. The hairy details of each of these specifications and the changes we have worked through can, and often do, take pages. In fact, I’m pretty sure I was close to getting a reserved parking space at UDOT during the summer months because I spent so much time in meetings there!

None of that matters when you see all of what you have worked for come to fruition. That, in my mind, continues to be the beauty of the road construction industry. We build things, we connect people, we keep the state moving, and we get to witness all of it take place each and every day. I saw it earlier this summer as the Central UDOT parking lot was paved with a HMA mix produced according to the new APWA specifications. I saw it ten years ago as I drove the roads of Utah with Senator Hatch, and I simply cannot wait to see what we can do even better in the future!   

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Executive Director Message August 2016

What Happened to Summer?
I recently read an interesting scientific article where the authors contend that how we experience time changes as we get older. In essence, they took what we all seem to feel, that time goes by faster the older you get, and put it into quantifiable meaning via science and math. Their conclusion, we do indeed experience time differently the older we get because we get used to repetitive experiences so our senses do not need to or want to slow down as much to experience things we have been through before. It’s like how the drive out to somewhere always seems longer than the drive back. That’s why summers tend to fly by now, but when we were kids they seemed to last forever! 
Now that I have lost just about everybody, I tend to think the authors’ thesis to be true because there is no doubt about it, August flew by for the association! Together we successfully hosted the 5th Annual UAPA Golf Classic at Mountain Dell on the 17th (see below). Later this month we’ll partner with the Utah Chapter of the APWA to host a lunch and learn event, “What to Expect When Inspecting” at the Gathering Place in West Jordan. And we continue to meet with UDOT on a host of specifications that range from longitudinal joints to smoothness. Add it all up, and you get a recipe for success in building UAPA’s legacy as a willing partner and force for good in our industry. 
Adding to everything that happened in August, earlier this month I was in Iowa at a conference for state asphalt execs from across the country. Each time I attend this event I’m continually amazed at the work put in by state associations across the country. I often leave this conference feeling that UAPA has so far yet to go (which is true!), but then I get days like I have had the rest of this month where the association is out making connections for people, discussing important and upcoming changes to key specifications, and raising a little bit of money for great causes in our community. Small things when taken on an individual account, but when compiled together, I see a work that is moving forward for the betterment of our industry. We stand on the shoulder of giants who have come before, and we lost a great one this month in the passing of Mont Wilson, but we are carving out something entirely new for our association and its making a difference. Thank you for your support!
In the weeks in months ahead we will be hosting additional lunch and learn events, traveling to St. George for our Southern Utah Asphalt Seminar (SUAS), and out to the Uintah Basin for our Uintah Basin Asphalt Summit (UBAS). We’ll also work hard on continued specification improvement, and hopefully be able to lay some serious groundwork for an impactful Asphalt Inspector Certification Program. I’ve said it before, but I will say it again here. If you are not a part of UAPA, you should be. We need your expertise and talents in contributing to all the association is doing in all of these areas. Special thanks to all of those members who continue to give so much!
-Reed Ryan
UAPA Executive Director

Monday, August 22, 2016

Act Now! Tell Your Member of Congress to Fix the Highway Trust Fund's Fiscal Dilemma

The enactment of the “Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act,” or FAST Act, in December 2015 provided a needed—albeit temporary—stabilization of federal highway and public transportation investment.  Unfortunately, once the FAST Act expires in October 2020, the Highway Trust Fund revenue shortfalls that plagued surface transportation investment and forced multiple short-term program extensions over the last nine years will return.  Due to the inability to provide a permanent revenue stream for the Highway Trust Fund, Congress and the last two presidential administrations shifted $143 billion from elsewhere in the federal budget to preserve highway and public transit funding.  Without a real permanent solution before the FAST Act expires, Congress will once again be forced to choose between devastating investment cuts or more temporary bailouts.
Republicans on the tax-writing House Ways & Means Committee rolled out a “blueprint” to rewrite the nation’s tax code in late June.  While this plan includes much to commend, it does not address the Highway Trust Fund’s fiscal dilemma.  It is important to note that over the last 30 years all enhancements to the trust fund’s revenue stream have come as part of broad tax or budget packages. 
Tell Your Member of Congress to Fix the Highway Trust Fund's Fiscal Dilemma
Requested Action
The House Ways & Means Committee Republicans view their blueprint as the beginning of a conversation on tax reform and want to hear from all Americans.  The transportation construction industry should tell all members of Congress that stabilizing and growing federal surface transportation investment must be a component of any pro-growth tax reform proposal.  Please tell your members of Congress:
  • I agree with the group of 130 bipartisan House members who wrote to Ways & Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas) in May that a permanent Highway Trust Fund solution should be part of any tax reform plan and that all options should be on the table to rectify this situation once and for all.
  • If Congress does not act, the Highway Trust Fund will face annual revenue shortfalls of $18 billion once the FAST Act expires.
  • Congress has a narrow window to address this situation before states will once again be forced to begin delaying projects due to uncertainty about future federal funds.
  • Please urge the Ways & Means Committee to enhance their tax reform blueprint by including a permanent Highway Trust Fund revenue solution.
Send a Letter to Your Member of Congress Today! 
In addition to delivering these messages to your members of Congress, please work with your state organization to submit written comments directly to the House Ways & Means Committee that echo these points, and also describe your state’s unique transportation challenges and the importance of a permanent Highway Trust Fund fix for your state’s economy.  This state-specific information can be found here. The Committee is requesting comments at, by Wednesday, August 31.
For more information on how to schedule a plan tour, request an in-district meeting or to attend a town hall meeting, vistit the NAPA Grassroots Action Center or contact Ashley Jackson.

NCAT Announces Four New Researchers

The National Center for Asphalt Technology (NCAT) at Auburn University welcomes Dr. Adriana Vargas-Nordcbeck, Dr. Fabricio Leiva-Villacorta, Dr. Fan Gu, and Dr. Fan Yin to their research team.

Dr. Adriana Vargas-Nordcbeck, an Auburn alumna, is joining NCAT in August as an assistant research professor. Adriana comes to Auburn from the University of Costa Rica and their national infrastructure lab, Laboratorio Nacional de Materiales y Modelos Estructurales (LANAMME). She will lead all pavement preservation experiments and pursue new projects related to pavement management and pavement preservation in addition to teaching select civil engineering courses.

Dr. Fabricio Leiva-Villacorta will be joining NCAT in August as an assistant research professor. Fabricio is an Auburn University alumnus and was a graduate assistant at NCAT before working at LANAMME with his wife, Dr. Adriana Vargas-Nordcbeck. Fabricio will lead research on using recycled materials in asphalt pavements, multi-scale pavement analysis, teach civil engineering materials courses, and instruct segments of NCAT training courses for the asphalt pavement industry.

Dr. Fan Gu will be joining NCAT in September as a postdoctoral researcher. Dr. Gu received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Southeast University in China. He served as a postdoctoral research associate at the Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI) after receiving his Ph.D. in civil engineering from Texas A&M University. Dr. Gu will lead research regarding rolling resistance, cold central plant recycling (CCPR) and cold in-place recycling (CIR), assist numerous ongoing studies, and instruct segments of NCAT training courses.

Dr. Fan Yin joined the NCAT staff in July as a postdoctoral researcher. Dr. Yin earned his bachelor’s degree in transportation engineering from Southeast University in China and moved to the United States in 2010. He received his master’s degree and Ph.D. at Texas A&M University and worked as a graduate research assistant at TTI. Dr. Yin is working on the cracking group experiments led by NCAT and the Minnesota Department of Transportation’s MnROAD facility. One of his initial assignments is to recommend a long-term aging protocol for lab and plant produced asphalt mixtures prior to cracking tests. He is also working on analysis of cracking tests, cost effectiveness of premium mixtures, and porous asphalt pavements.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Executive Director Message - July 2016

A Chance to Give Back
August is almost upon us and so is the 5th Annual UAPA Golf Classic. I hope you will consider joining us as we partner with the Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Intermountain Area to give a little something back to those who are in need in our community. The tournament continues to be one of my favorite things that we do each year as an association. Not simply because I love the game of golf, but more so for the chance that we have take a few hours out of the heart of the paving and construction season to be together and to focus on what really matters: friends, families, and kids in need.
We do a lot each year to connect communities, improve the quality of life and infrastructure in Utah, and give to those in need. On the 17th, I hope you’ll join us in giving just a little more at a time of year when we know that you are already giving so much. The good news is you will not be alone as we are on pace to have record numbers at this year’s tournament. Thanks to you, I am excited to help make a difference in the lives of some families in need. See you on the 17th!!

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Executive Director Message - June 2016

It’s hard to believe that the month of June is almost up and that July is right around the corner.  It’s great to see the weather finally cooperate and have everyone out on projects helping to make UDOT’s vision of keeping Utah moving a reality.  Like many of you, I felt like I never really got my feet under me during June.  It could have been the numerous meetings with UDOT working on important specification changes, the fact that I had to attend Scout Camp for the first time since I was thirteen, or the continued work of the association in putting on another great Lunch and Learn and meeting with the various committees that remain the heartbeat of the association.  Unfortunately, the month of June also saw the unexpected passing of a close friend to our family, so even though things may be incredibly busy now both on the job and in the office, be sure to tell those you love that you indeed love them and are grateful for all they do for you.
July and all of its madness is right around the corner.  There’s no slowing down in the immediate future, but hopefully you’ll come and join us on the 17th of August at the 5th Annual UAPA Golf Classic so we can give a little something back to our community and to our future leaders through our scholarship fund.
Thanks for all the good you do!