Aggressively Pursuing

ACPA launches forward-moving campaign to reunite, revitalize

Concrete Roads Article March 21, 2002
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In 1998, the American Concrete Pavement Association (ACPA) initiated and led the most dramatic initiative in the history of the concrete pavement industry to reunite and revitalize. Since then, the association has broadened its offerings of products and services, now providing a greater range of both to more customers and stakeholders than ever before.

The association has significantly expanded market
opportunities for members. Thanks to innovative approaches to market
development and promotion, backed by the aggressive efforts of members,
chapter/state affiliates and staff, we have seen an increasing number of
agencies specifying concrete pavements for construction and reconstruction of
highways.

Our market development programs are aimed at delivering key
messages to public officials who are responsible for the selection of
pavements. A growing number of agencies are recognizing the value—both
short- and long- term—that portland cement concrete (PCC) provides. The
results of this hard work, tenacity and extra effort are paying tremendous
dividends to ACPA members, owners and the traveling public. In the highway
market alone, we have seen double-digit growth, based on market
measurements.  

 

Facilitating applied research

Just a few years ago, we had a vision for a third-party
research organization, chartered to conduct applied research, technology
transfer and public education. The Innovative Pavement Research Foundation
(IPRF) was organized to carry out that mission—and has successfully
completed a number of research projects, the results of which are now tangible
educational and training materials, as well as enhanced paving processes.

Co-sponsored by ACPA, the Portland Cement Association and
the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association, the IPRF today is facilitating
both airport- and highway-pavement research, working closely with the Federal
Highway Administration and the Federal Aviation Administration, as well as
members of the industry, research community and academia to conduct research
aimed at improving concrete pavement products and processes. style="mso-spacerun: yes"> 

The IPRF’s mission always has been clearly delineated
and sharply focused. By its very nature, research and development involves a
long-term commitment, but the researchers, stakeholders and other participants
have moved out effectively to complete research projects. Of the 16 highway
research projects originally commissioned in 1999, 10 have either been
completed or are better than 50% completed. 

Having completed the first phase of the program, we believe
as strongly now as we did in 1998 that the IPRF holds tremendous promise for
improving the value of PCC pavement and processes, while also demonstrating the
excellent value to highway users.

 

Challenges for a new era

ACPA today is stronger and more vital than ever. We have
developed solid programs and consistently delivered significant results.
Without question, the transportation-construction industry is facing some
serious challenges and threats. National security, the economy and many other
serious issues are inescapable in all of our daily lives.

History has shown that a well-built and well-maintained
transportation infrastructure is absolutely essential to economic development
and growth, security and safety, and the very freedoms that we all enjoy in
this country. 

To diminish our commitment to providing a first-rate system
of highways, airports and roads would be a terrible blunder with a far-reaching
impact on this nation’s citizens.

When we no longer reach for excellence, we’re only
treading water. When that happens, 
failure is inevitable. Now is the time to go forward, to build on the
momentum and effective results we’ve delivered thus far.

Our core values at ACPA are focused on developing and
delivering the programs to provide a first-rate surface transportation system
for this country. By implementing strong programs, we are delivering on our
promise to help this nation’s citizens travel safely, to move goods to
market efficiently and to provide the necessary information so that public
officials can make informed decisions about our nation’s highways,
airports and roadways.

We have an obligation to continue our aggressive push in all
areas—government affairs, market development, technical service and
applied research.

About the author: 
Riva is president and CEO of the American Concrete Pavement Association, Skokie, Ill.
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