This Executive Update features the WAPA 2022 Annual Conference, including general session highlights and details on the technical sessions and award winners, as well as the fall webinar series recordings.
Overview and General Sessions
WAPA's 63rd annual conference, which took place late last month, turned out to be a landmark event for our industry. With record turnout and asphalt tonnage at an all-time high, we can confidently report that the state of the asphalt paving industry is as strong as it's ever been. We are well-connected and unified in our mission to promote quality asphalt pavements that are safe, environmentally sustainable, and cost-effective through excellence, innovation, professionalism, and accountability. We support our member companies by providing benefits and solutions that are in the best interest of our customers, and we are very proud of the role we play to communicate the benefits of asphalt pavements through education, outreach, advocacy, and partnerships to move our industry forward. We want to thank all the exhibitors, sponsors, presenters and attendees for their continued involvement and support of the association. This kind of active engagement is what makes our conference the asphalt event of the year in Wisconsin.

General Sessions

As noted in the Full Conference Program, both Tuesday and Wednesday morning featured general sessions focused on policy, funding and government updates, as well as research and innovation. Presentations are available on the 2022 Conference Page.
Fresh off re-election, we were once again honored to have Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers kick off the conference with a welcome address highlighting the importance of investing in building and maintaining our infrastructure network and keeping his campaign promise to "fix the damn roads." Governor Evers has signed millions of dollars of new spending on road construction into state law for the first time in decades, and his opening comments set the stage for the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) update that took a deep dive into what historic investments in transportation infrastructure funding means for the asphalt paving industry.
WisDOT Secretary Craig Thompson continued the discourse on infrastructure funding by emphasizing the importance of partnerships between the agency and WAPA to deliver a transportation program that works for everyone in the state. Joe Nestler, WisDOT Administrator for Division of Transportation Investment Management, broke this down further by illustrating that asphalt quantities are well over the 10-year average and that we have seen the largest three-year run of tonnage ever. After years of advocacy and effort to ensure there is sufficient money in the transportation fund at the state and national levels, we are well-positioned to play a critical role in improving the highway system for years to come.

Richard Willis joined us from the National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA) to highlight industry priorities, including maximizing money available through the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, climate stewardship, and workforce development. Richard also presented on the latter two topics in greater detail during the afternoon technical breakout sessions. He concluded his remarks by challenging both the industry and all levels of government to work together using innovative technologies on forward-thinking solutions.

Rounding out our first day of general session presentations, our good friend Bill McCoshen with Michael Best Strategies provided post-election analysis and gave us his insider perspective on what happened on election night. Bill made it clear that our industry has benefited from the current makeup of the legislature and if there's an opportunity for bipartisan progress on any issue, continued investment in transportation funding would be at the top of the list.

The second day of our general session focused on our various partners providing updates from their organizations. WAPA maintains strong working relationships at the state and national levels through partnerships with industry leaders, key stakeholders, and development authorities.

James Pforr from the Federal Highway Administration Wisconsin Division discussed federal initiatives that are of interest to our state, including Build America/Buy America and our industry's hard-fought effort for exemption from the construction materials definitionensuring that U.S.-based pavement material producers can access high-quality asphalt binders and aggregates without unnecessary additional costs to taxpayers. James also provided potential asphalt pavement strategies as they relate to sustainability through reduced production emissions, continued recycling, and extending pavement service life.

Dave Brose from EMCS and immediate past-president of the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC), continued our partners portion of the meeting by providing an update on initiatives from ACEC. WAPA collaborates in various ways with the consultant community, and Dave made specific mention of all the ways ACEC interacts with WAPA members and staff on planning, projects, research studies, and more.

The Wisconsin Towns Association and Wisconsin County Highway Association highlighted how their ever-increasing partnerships with WAPA have contributed to their continued progress. Mike Koles and Dan Fedderly presented from their respective organizations and stressed that the local roads program has received much-needed attention due to funding increases. We're proud to work with these associations to serve the needs of their members on various projects; however, there's still significant work to be done to ensure we build and maintain all roads for economic growth throughout the state. We must continue to strengthen our partnerships because we know we are stronger when we work together to achieve our goals.

We always look forward to this time of year, when we can gather together as an industry to celebrate the end of another successful construction season. The dialogue and networking that happens at the WAPA conference shows how healthy and allied we are as an asphalt community. Again, thank you to all the exhibitors, sponsors, presenters and attendees for your continued involvement and support of the association.
Technical Sessions
During the conference, we offered eight Technical Breakout Sessions over the course of three time slots. As in past years, WAPA was pleased to provide professional development hours to participants.

Presentations are also available on the 2022 Conference Page.
Designing a Perpetual Pavement
Dave Newcomb, Texas A&M Transportation Institute
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. Long-Life Pavement designs provide agencies with an approach that reduces the life-cycle costs of a pavement. This session will discuss material selection and mixture design to optimize Perpetual Pavement performance, discuss current perpetual design practices, and present best practices for construction of high-quality, high-performance pavements.

Design of Private Market Pavements
Tim Murphy, MPT Inc.
Attendees of this breakout session will learn about the value and benefits of using asphalt pavement for parking lots and distribution centers. This session will teach proper design methodology and will offer best practices to ensure thickness design of proper long-lasting asphalt pavement parking lots, warehouses, and distribution centers (DCs) to improve the end product through design considerations.

Thin Asphalt Overlays
Mark Blow, Asphalt Institute
Thin asphalt overlays – or thinlays – are a proven construction method for pavement performance and have become an essential preservation tool. Thin asphalt overlays are a reliable way to restore smoothness and drivability to an aging pavement, while correcting distresses and adding structural value. In this session you will learn about the benefits of thin asphalt overlays over competing pavement preservation products including successful project examples.

Cold-Weather Paving
Deb Schwerman, Wisconsin Asphalt Pavement Association
Paving in cold weather can present significant challenges. The main obstacle is to achieve a uniformly consistent mat with adequate compaction while the mixture is rapidly cooling. Cold weather compaction depends on having enough time for the mixture to remain workable and enough equipment to obtain sufficient density to the pavement performs as expected. In this session, you will hear about best practices learned and guidance to achieve optimal pavement performance.

Workforce Development
Richard Willis, National Asphalt Pavement Association
The asphalt industry needs skilled works and provides its workers with advancement pathways and opportunities to grow. In this session, you will learn how NAPA aims to assist member efforts to accelerate recruitment and retention of workers through the development and deployment of effective communications as well as a comprehensive and collaborative network of partnerships with stakeholders inside and outside of the industry.

Environmental Product Declarations
Richard Willis, National Asphalt Pavement Association
Emerald Eco-Label, NAPA’s verified Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) tool, makes it easy to quantify the environmental impact of an asphalt mix. This session will detail the EPD program that was created by industry professionals and stakeholders and evaluated by sustainability experts, which establishes principles and procedures to describe the potential environmental impacts of a product.

WisDOT Research Update
Steve Hefel and Tirupan Mandal, WisDOT Bureau of Technical Services
Continuous research to discover better ways to design, build and reconstruct our roads is an important part of our industry’s success. Through rigorous testing of innovative materials and methods, this session will highlight how research leads to improved performance and service life of Wisconsin’s highways through our in-state research program as well as pooled fund research we’re involved with.

Ethics Training
Jeff Russell, Wisconsin Transportation Builders Association
Back by popular demand, this session will focus on the fundamental canons of professional conduct and other appropriate administrative rules and regulations. The discussion is designed to demonstrate a working knowledge of professional ethics and satisfy the requirement for “professional conduct and ethics.”

Award Winners
The 2022 Awards and Scholarship Luncheon gave WAPA the opportunity to recognize leadership, innovation, and initiative in asphalt design and delivery. We hope that the examples set by the award winners will continue to inspire all members of Wisconsin's asphalt community to continue to go above and beyond, delivering the best product and service year after year.

Asphalt Awards
WAPA's Asphalt Awards recognize technological advancements and innovations in asphalt pavements for two categories: State (WisDOT Region or Office) and Local (City, County, Town, or Village).

Congratulations to the 2022 winners!

  • Fabel Repair & Collision Center for constructing a polymer-modified asphalt parking lot to accommodate heavy loading and truck traffic.

We will be using an open nomination form again in 2023. Check back next year for details.

WAPA Scholarships
WAPA was able to grant five awards in our Student Scholarship program for 2022. We thank our members for their generosity in making these awards possible.

Among many worthy college student applicants, WAPA recognized the following students who are excelling in their academic pursuit of a career in the transportation construction industry:

  • Engineering Scholarship - $2,000 award for a student in a four-year civil engineer or construction engineering program:
  • Brodey Bevins - Michigan Technological University
  • Andrew Innerebner - University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
  • Benjamin Nagel - Michigan Technological University

  • Engineering Technician Scholarship - $1,000 award for an engineering technology student enrolled in a technical college:
  • Grayson Frost - Northeast Wisconsin Technical College
  • Ethan Karls - Northeast Wisconsin Technical College

We are pleased to announce that we will again award student scholarships in fall of 2023.
Quality Management Program Award
The Quality Management Program Award recognizes outstanding certified highway materials technicians who have displayed exceptional leadership roles in developing quality materials used in highway construction projects. The award was presented in conjunction with UW-Platteville's Highway Technician Certification Program. Two individuals were honored with 2022 Quality Management Program Awards at the WAPA conference.

  • Individual Awards
  • Adam Mueller, WisDOT - SW Region
  • Paula Young, Walbec Group

Distinguished Service Awards

These special awards are provided to individuals "in recognition of exceptional leadership and devoted service to the asphalt industry." This year, both Steve Hefel of WisDOT's Bureau of Technical Services and former WTBA/WAPA Executive Director Pat Goss received this honor.
Environmental Leadership Awards

For more than 20 years, WAPA's Environmental Leadership Awards program has recognized asphalt plants that go above and beyond Wisconsin's already high environmental standards. To earn this award, a permanent or portable asphalt plant must achieve the highest ratings in community and environmental excellence via a rigorous, independent inspection of their facilities.

Eighteen plants won renewal awards this year, and one more received an award for the very first time:

  • 2022 Renewal Awards -- Permanent Plants
  • American Asphalt of Wisconsin Plant 22 (Mosinee)
  • American Asphalt of Wisconsin Plant 83 (Arnott)
  • Monarch Paving Company Plant 5 (Amery)
  • Monarch Paving Company Plant 46 (Hager City)
  • Northeast Asphalt Control 55 (Burnett)
  • Northeast Asphalt Control 56 (Ripon)
  • Northeast Asphalt Control 63 (Larsen)
  • Northeast Asphalt Control 64 (Menasha)
  • Northeast Asphalt Control 65 (Green Bay)
  • Payne + Dolan Control 1 (Sussex)
  • Payne + Dolan Control 7 (Franklin)
  • Payne + Dolan Control 12 (Muskego)
  • Payne + Dolan Control 20 (Waukesha)
  • Payne + Dolan Control 23 (Paris)
  • Payne + Dolan Control 31 (Racine)

  • 2022 Renewal Awards -- Portable Plants
  • Mathy Construction Company Plant 23
  • Mathy Construction Company Plant 24
  • Monarch Paving Company Plant 75

  • 2022 New Awards -- Permanent Plants
  • Wolf Paving (Menomonee Falls)

The Environmental Leadership Program would not be possible without the cooperation of the environmental compliance staff at our member companies: Jim Mertes and Zach Leitner with the Walbec Group; Tara Wetzel and Beth Stuhr with Mathy Construction; Greg Montgomery with Monarch Paving Company; Gus Small with Rock Road Companies, Inc.; and Matt Groehler with Wolf Paving. We appreciate their help in scheduling plant inspections and making sure everything goes smoothly.

Finally, our thanks go out to Tom Stibbe and Marty Burkholder, formerly with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, who have both worked with us over the years to conduct the inspections. We are fortunate to have Tom and Marty on our team putting in this effort throughout the year.
Webinar Series Recordings
Lastly, we again this year offered a free webinar series designed to supplement our in-person annual meeting. We provided new content on a variety of topics every week leading up to the conference and wanted to share these presentations so you have all of the latest information we offered to members and customers this fall. Please find the session descriptions below with links to the video recordings.
2022 Asphalt Technical Update
Steve Hefel and Dan Kopacz, WisDOT Bureau of Technical Services
In collaboration with industry representatives, WisDOT develops best practices to ensure pavement performance by specification revisions and implementing innovations through research and partnerships. In this webinar, there is an emphasis on continued communication with stakeholders to improve the quality of asphalt pavements to deliver a quality transportation system that is essential for public safety and economic prosperity.

Warm-Mix Asphalt 101
Deb Schwerman, WAPA
Warm mix is an important step in sustainable development, simultaneously conserving natural resources, reducing the carbon footprint of the asphalt industry, and improving the quality of the pavements that Americans rely on. This webinar provides an overview of WMA to better understand the benefits in construction such as extending the paving season in cold climates, improving quality, and lengthening the lifespan of the pavement.
Perpetual Pavement by Conversion
Dave Timm, Auburn University
This webinar introduces traditional long-life pavement design and fundamental concepts needed to convert an existing pavement into a Perpetual Pavement, with an emphasis on the development of the design and application using PerRoad and PAVEXpress. Real-world case studies are also presented.

Test Track Research Findings, 2000-2021
Buzz Powell, NCAT
Since the original construction of the NCAT Pavement Test Track in 2000, findings from this unique facility have helped improve specifications for mix/materials, thickness design, and pavement preservation. This webinar provides a summary of key findings at the end of the seventh research cycle in 2021 and their implementation. The research will continue to pay dividends for years to come.
See You in 2023!
Please watch our website for details about our 64th annual conference in 2023.

On behalf of WAPA (Deb Schwerman and myself, our president Carl Johnson, our board of directors and all members), let me offer one final thanks to everyone and wish you all a safe and joyous holiday season and new year.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays,