This Executive Update features an announcement regarding WAPA's Annual Conference, new videos that tout the value of asphalt, a guide to building perpetual pavements, a recap of NAPA's first virtual midyear meeting, a new article that quotes WAPA members and staff, and a new program to increase work zone safety.
WAPA 2020 Annual Conference Update

We are truly living in unprecedented times. Over the past few months, it has become abundantly clear that in-person meetings and large gatherings cannot occur without serious reservation. As you are no doubt aware, every major conference for the foreseeable future has been canceled or postponed. As such, our Board of Directors has made the difficult decision to cancel the in-person WAPA Annual Conference and Business Meeting.

Every organization like ours is having similar conversations about protecting the health and safety of members and customers. With venue restrictions that would limit participation and activities offered, it didn't make sense for us to proceed with a conference that couldn't meet the quality standards we have come to expect from our annual meeting.

However, WAPA remains resolute in our commitment to keeping our industry and community connected. In this spirit, we are pleased to announce that we will host our conference in a virtual format with a mix of live and pre-recorded presentations from December 1-3, 2020. Please stay tuned for further details, and continue to save the dates!
Communicating the Value of Asphalt

The National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA) published a series of two-page case studies illustrating the many advantages of using asphalt pavements: speed of construction, smoothness, and salvage value among others. Now, NAPA has created new two-minute videos to help drive each of these points home. These brief and engaging videos make the compelling case for why asphalt is the pavement of choice.

Click on any of the images below to view the video on YouTube, or play all three. 

Speed of Construction

The estimated duration of a construction project can make or break a bid's chances of being selected. In 2016, the chosen bid on a featured road project won because of the time saved using asphalt instead of concrete materials. With asphalt, the proposed construction duration was nearly half of what the lowest concrete bid could offer, with a savings of $4.2 million in time costs. Since asphalt construction projects can be completed quickly and during off-peak hours, asphalt offers benefits that concrete just can't match.

Smooth roads don't just save taxpayers money on fuel economy, they are also safer because they reduce driver fatigue and offer users more vehicle control. Asphalt provides a smooth, continuous surface that adds to pavement longevity and requires less maintenance than rougher roads. In fact, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has determined that pavement smoothness is a key factor in ensuring satisfaction for road users.

Salvage Value

The aggregate and binder within an asphalt mixture can both be reclaimed, giving asphalt a salvage value of approximately $25 per ton. Since portland cement powder cannot be reactivated once used, concrete pavement has a lower salvage value of $6 per ton. 

When properly designed and constructed, asphalt pavements are renewable assets and their calculated value should include the savings they provide when they're recycled. 

Perpetual Pavements

Want to build roads that last longer and cost less? Perpetual pavements offer a promising solution, and NAPA's newly released Perpetual Pavements: A Manual of Practice (now free through NAPA's online store) provides the most comprehensive guide to successfully designing and constructing them. 

NAPA also published a two-page case study highlighting a project that used a perpetual pavement design and will save the DOT approximately $40 million in undiscounted direct asphalt paving costs over the next 60 years. 

This is just one illustration of how perpetual pavements provide the greatest longevity at the lowest cost.

Long-Life Pavements, traditionally called Perpetual Pavements, are multi-layer pavement designs built from the bottom up, with each layer engineered to maximize pavement life. The FHWA encourages their use, explaining that Long-Life Pavement designs provide agencies with an approach that reduces the life-cycle costs of a pavement. With this approach, asphalt roads can be built with a structure that lasts many decades with only periodic surface renewal and maintenance required, making it an ideal choice for drivers, engineers, and the traveling public.
NAPA Hosts First Virtual Midyear Meeting

More than 250 people registered for NAPA's successful Midyear Virtual Meeting, which took place from July 13-15, 2020. The program featured keynote speaker and economist Anirban Basu and three days of informative sessions on a variety of topics, including highway legislation, e-ticketing, COVID-19 health and safety practices, and more. 

Panelists and moderators included NAPA members, staff, academics, and industry stakeholders. 

NAPA Chairman Jay Winford praised the event. "Although we are all craving human interaction right now amid the COVID-19 crisis, the NAPA staff and leadership did a wonderful job of bringing our industry together for learning and professional growth," he said. "The nine sessions presented were very timely and added great value to our organization."

NAPA advised attendees that they will receive a wrap-up report with key session takeaways as well as access to all of the session recordings once they are archived.
WAPA in the News

WAPA's authority in the asphalt pavement industry is on display in a new article published by Asphalt Pro magazine.

The article, "Wisconsin Job Exceeds Longitudinal Joint Density Expectations," examines the State Trunk Highway 23 rehabilitation project and features interviews with representatives from WAPA members Northeast Asphalt and Alfred Benesch & Company -- the project's contractor and on-site engineering personnel, respectively -- as well as WAPA Engineering Director Debbie Schwerman. 

Using technological advancements and innovations in asphalt pavements, the project achieved higher smoothness and density ratings than other techniques and will maximize the life of the current pavement structure. The project also received national recognition with a Quality in Construction award from NAPA.

WAPA commends the Wisconsin Department of Transportation for incorporating proven innovations into their program to ensure long-term pavement performance. The improvements will provide a smoother ride, improve drainage, and maximize the life of the current pavement structure.
In Closing

"Be well and safe." More than ever, we wish safety to our family, friends and colleagues.

Unfortunately, our roads -- and work zones in particular -- require as much vigilance as ever. More than 25,000 people were injured in active road construction work zones in 2019, and more than 700 people were killed. 

To help ensure road workers are safe and go home at the end of their shift, we point you to a new work zone training course, CrewSafety. This self-paced, online training helps workers recognize unsafe work zone situations and what steps can be taken to increase safety.

Also, be sure to check out Job Openings from WAPA Members if you're looking to take your career in the asphalt industry to the next level (or if you know someone who is). This page is frequently updated with job opportunities, whether you're seeking a position in pavement construction, plant operations, engineering, or management.

Lastly, for WAPA members, our Wisconsin Asphalt Industry Insider will have an October 2020 issue. Please look for details soon on how to participate.  

As always, if you have any questions about this information or if we can be of assistance in any other way, please don't hesitate to contact us.