Mark Gottlieb, Secretary of Wisconsin DOT, took the opportunity to spotlight WAPA and Wisconsin’s asphalt industry at a national research summit held in Madison on July 22. Gottlieb addressed a group of some 80 individuals representing the state research directors at a meeting of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials.
Gottlieb discussed the value of public-private collaboration and the asphalt industry’s leadership on the many pavement innovations underway in Wisconsin. “We have a lot that we can learn from what private sector is doing in research development and innovation,” Gottlieb told the national audience, “as well as by working very closely and involving our research program with our industry partners like the WAPA folks that are here today. The folks that lead the asphalt industry in our state came to us and said, ‘We think there’s a lot of things we can be doing differently. We can save a lot of money and we can deliver a better product for the state.’ We were certainly willing to listen.”
He noted the importance of sharing the burden of risk as part of the path to innovation. “I said I’m willing to try a lot of what you want to try, but we have to have a clear understanding of who’s assuming the risk,” Gottlieb said.
He concluded: “There’s something we can learn from our industry partners. There are things that they know that we don’t necessarily know.”
We appreciate this acknowledgment on the national stage, and we look forward to continuing our strong ongoing partnership with Wisconsin DOT.