Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Executive Director Message - December 2017

A Quick Look Back on 2017 to Know What is to Come for 2018

I believe the association is not alone in saying that 2017 was a pretty busy and crazy year. The amount of work for almost everyone I know reached unprecedented levels in 2017, and, I’m afraid to say that 2018 looks to be just as full and amazing with all the work that is to come.
2017 for the Utah Asphalt Pavement Association (UAPA) brought about a heavy focus on seeing through to implementation a number of the specifications that were worked on 2016. In addition to record numbers at the Utah Asphalt Conference, the year saw UAPA reach out to all corners of the state through our partners and others in providing regional conferences, plant tours, lunch and learns, in-house briefings, site visits, and live demonstrations of the latest technology and trends that our industry has to offer.
Because of all these activities, active committees, and strategic goals not yet met, the fact of the matter is this: UAPA has matured to the point now that some changes are needed. That’s why I am excited to announce that in 2018 UAPA will be securing its own office space and looking to hire an office manager to help with all that we are doing and will yet do in the near future and beyond.
This, no doubt, is a very big step for the association that involves some risk, but I am glad to have the full support of UAPA’s Board of Directors as we move forward into this uncharted territory for the association.
There will certainly be bumps along the way, but there is so much more ahead of us that such steps must ultimately be taken. I’m so excited to see these changes and many more through in 2018, and am very grateful and honored to have worked with Association Solutions as a partner in helping to get UAPA where it is today.
We may change an address and have a different view from the new office window, but the goals and values of this association will remain the same through our committed, unified voice for industry. Here’s to 2018!

-Reed Ryan
Executive Director

The Utah Asphalt Pavement Association

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Executive Director Message - November 2017

End of the Road School, but Not the End of Top-Notch Educational Opportunities

Dear Members and Friends of UAPA,
As most of you have likely heard, the Utah League of Cities and Towns (ULCT) will not longer be hosting the Road School in St. George each spring. While such change is often difficult, I want you to know that ULCT remains a great partner of the Utah Asphalt Pavement Association (UAPA) and that just because one opportunity is no longer available that other opportunities do not exist to meet your needs.
Below I’ve offered a brief summary of what UAPA currently provides to both members and potential members of the association. We’ve built this association around providing the best educational opportunities to you, and that will not change moving forward. In short, I hope you will take advantage of these opportunities and, in the meantime, let me know how UAPA can best meet the needs of the great opportunities that were provided through the Road School. Road School will be missed, but I am confident that by working together UAPA can continue to provide great opportunities for networking, social outings, and education in the road construction industry here in Utah.
I am grateful for all you do for this association. I look forward to seeing many of you at the 2018 Utah Asphalt Conference in February. Until then, please do not hesitate to let me know if there is anything I can do for you.

The Utah Asphalt Conference
The Utah Asphalt Conference (UAC) takes place each year in the early spring. The 2018 UAC will be on February 21-22, 2018, at the South Towne Expo Center in Sandy, UT. The UAC offers over twenty-eight educational breakout sessions with CE credit hours available for PE license renewals. Tracks at the conference include Pavement Preservation; Asphalt Basics; Construction and Engineering; Safety, Aggregates, and Asphalt Production; and Industry, Innovation, and Design. In addition to the educational sessions, the UAC offers the chance for attendees to network with roughly one thousand attendees and close to one hundred exhibitors with thirty thousand square feet of equipment on display both inside and outside of the exhibit hall.
Registration for city and county employees begins at $125. Conference partners include the Utah Department of Transportation, the Utah Chapter of the APWA, the Utah League of Cities and Towns, and the Utah LTAP. More information regarding The Utah Asphalt Conference can be found by visiting the website for the Utah Asphalt Pavement Association’s website at:

The Southern Utah Asphalt Seminar
The Southern Utah Asphalt Seminar (SUAS) takes place each year in the fall at the Dixie Center in St. George, UT. This year’s conference will take place on the 13th (networking golf outing) and 14th (conference) of November.
This regional event is open to attendees from across the state and typically covers four to five educational sessions (CE credits for PE license renewal available) along with regional spotlights from local government representatives and Region Four of the Utah Department of Transportation. Educational topics for this year’s conference include emulsions; patching best practices; road preparation prior to paving; and hot plant operations with a tour.
Registration for all attendees is $75. More information regarding the Southern Utah Asphalt Seminar can be found by visiting the website for the Utah Asphalt Pavement Association’s website at:

The Uintah Basin Asphalt Summit
The Uintah Basin Asphalt Summit (UBAS) takes place each year later in the spring, typically towards the first part of April.
Similar to the Southern Utah Asphalt Seminar, the UBAS is a regional one-day educational event that is open to attendees from across the entire state. The date for the 2018 Summit has not been set, but the event is typical held in the new county convention center in Vernal, UT. The UBAS also offers CE credits for PE license renewal.
More information regarding the Uintah Basin Asphalt Summit can be found by visiting the website for the Utah Asphalt Pavement Association at:

UAPA Lunch and Learn Series
Throughout the entire year, the Utah Asphalt Pavement Association (UAPA) offers free Lunch and Learn seminars for city and county employees. Topics presented this year included asphalt binder history and basics; micro surfacing; paving and compaction principles; and APWA specification revisions.
These events typically take place in the months that UAPA is not hosting a larger educational event or the two months (July and December) where holidays fill up the calendar. Similar to the larger events UAPA holds, these events are education-based and are not a sales pitch for attendees to use one product or process over another.
All UAPA Lunch and Learns are free to attend with lunch provided by the association. More information can be found on these events by visiting the website for the Utah Asphalt Pavement Association at:

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Executive Director Message - August 2017

I am not sure where summer has gone, but I can tell you things have no indication of slowing down for the asphalt pavement industry for the foreseeable future. Between a record year for the association’s golf tournament and a very successful luncheon and plant tour hosted by UAPA, the APWA, and Geneva Rock Products, August was great month for all things UAPA. In addition to the events above, I also attended a special conference for the directors of all the state asphalt pavement associations in the country. I’m excited to incorporate some of the ten pages worth of notes that I took into what we are doing with UAPA. I was also pleased to learn just how far we have come as an association within the relatively short timeframe of six full years of existence. We’re certainly on the right track, but there is more we can and will do!
Moving forward, I hope you will join us for our next UAPA Lunch and Learn happening on the 21st of September at Honnen Equipment. We should have great discussion about paving with an eye towards quality and, as always, lunch is on us, so come out!
Looking ahead, we also have the Southern Utah Asphalt Seminar happening on the 13th and 14th of November at the Dixie Center in St. George. Along with the 2018 Utah Asphalt Conference (Feb, 21 -22) right around the corner!

Times are busy, but good. Stay safe. Maintain quality. And expect the best of yourself and others and I’m confident that we will finish this construction season just as strong as we began it a few short months ago – we’re almost there for 2017!

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Executive Director Message - June 2017 - Even at Full Blast, Think Safety!

It seems as if everything is on full blast this time of year. Simply put, there is a lot going on with the association this month. We successfully held another Lunch and Learn in June on asphalt binder, we're gearing up for the golf tournament in August, we're working through some additional specification work on preservation treatments, working to get a meaningful certification program up and off the ground, and we are trying to get out and visit job sites, projects, and demos. While there is a lot going on, my one request this month is that we all take an extra minute to focus on safety.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Executive Director Message - May 2017 - One Asphalt Specification to Rule Them All…and Put More Oil Back Into the Mix

Hey, a guy can dream, can he not? Oh, that such a proverbial “silver bullet” existed when it comes specifying, producing, and constructing quality asphalt mixes. It would simplify production, reduce waste, and increase proficiency across the board from design to construction and even preservation!

Unfortunately, no such specification to rule them all exists (at least not one that I am aware of!), but I do believe that industry and owners, by working together, have taken a much-needed critical step in the right direction over the course of the last few years. Indeed, after many meetings, lots of discussions, and maybe even a few shed tears (mostly on my part), I firmly believe that UAPA, UDOT, and particularly the Utah Chapter of the APWA have worked very hard to produce a set of 2017 standard asphalt specifications that will meet the needs of Utah. So while our bullet is not quite silver, I do believe that now, more so than ever before, we have developed quality specifications that can and should drive our industry as the “go-to standards” in Utah for the years to come.

If I may, I would like to focus on just the APWA Standards. By simplifying the APWA Specifications through, among other things, targeting air voids, changing calculations for the absorptiveness of virgin aggregate and RAP, and bumping binder grades to account for the use of RAP in your mix according national standards, we now have standard specifications that will meet the needs of every city and county in Utah. By narrowing our specs to five or six go-to mixes based on the application, we can and, by all accounts, we will build better roads, reduce waste, and become more efficient both as industry and owners in what we do. By working together, we can go from the over four hundred iterations of city and county specifications across the state to under ten mixes that will handle most, if not all, applications for cities and counties in the state.

It is that sentiment that drove us last week to hold the fist UAPA Lunch and Learn of 2017. At that meeting, we had over one hundred people in attendance to discuss opportunities and challenges in specifying, producing, and constructing asphalt mixes along the Wasatch Front. I am very grateful to Waylund Ludlow (Geneva Rock Products), James Inglis (Granite Construction), Doug Watson (CMT Engineering), and many others who offered valuable insight and time as we prepared for the May Lunch and Learn presentation. As Waylund, James, and Doug led the discussion, I was impressed with their candor and willingness to share their perspective on what has happened in the Utah market over the course of the last ten to fifteen years. I was also really taken back by the slides Doug shared that illustrated the unbelievably high amount of mixes you could produce across the Wasatch Front based on previous specifications. Simply put, such a continued proliferation of different specifications is not sustainable, nor warranted.

That’s why UAPA’s invitation to take a fresh look at the 2017 APWA Standards for the production of hot mix asphalt (HMA) for cities and counties in Utah is a key priority for our association in 2017. So much so, we have even shared a letter from either the presidents or vice presidents of all of the major companies (or parent companies) that produce asphalt in the state.  Click HERE to view the letter.

My invitation and challenge to you, if you are representative from a city or county (including consulting engineering firms that represent cities and counties!) that builds, designs, bids, preserves, or manages roads, is to take a look at this letter and then give me a call. I am happy to visit with you about this development in specifications, talk to you about where your current specifications may be improved, and, more important than anything else, just be with you to listen to you speak about your roads, understand what you are seeing, and work together to meet the challenges and opportunities you are facing – in a nutshell, that is UAPA’s commitment to industry and that is my commitment to any of you that would like to take me up on this invitation.

We are off to a great start to the construction season. Stay safe. Be aware. And be sure to come home to the ones you love each night.

Best regards,


W. Reed Ryan
Executive Director
The Utah Asphalt Pavement Association

Friday, April 28, 2017

Executive Director Message - April 2017

Snow, Snow, Go Away (for now)...
Welcome to Springtime in Utah! What a winter we had this past year! I, like many Utahns, think we all had our fair share of snow this past winter. The moisture, however, is certainly welcome, and I'm grateful that we may not face the same extreme conditions this summer that we've experienced in recent years.

All of the snow this year has certainly kept UDOT, cities, counties, and others busily engaged in maintenance, plowing, and keeping the traveling public safe. It's no secret that in all of this, our roads have taken nothing short of a beating.

That's why I am excited for our first UAPA Lunch and Learn event this year happening on the 18th of May. I hope you will join us for an important presentation and discussion on New and Important Changes to Standard Specifications for 2017. Each  of these changes, geared towards an eye on durability, should help each of us in our jobs to specify, produce, and inspect asphalt mixes across the Wasatch Front. If you are a city, county, or private owner that would like to know more about how to improve your specifications, I would strongly encourage you to attend this Lunch and Learn in May. By working together, as industry and owners, I am confident these new specifications will produce great asphalt mixes that are both stable and durable for applications across the Wasatch Front and all of Utah. Come learn more on the 18th! See you there!

-Reed Ryan