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.