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NAPA Reports: Use of Recycled Asphalt Reaches New High

New Asphalt Pavements Contain, on Average, 21.1 Percent
Material Reclaimed From Old Roads and Parking Lots

Asphalt pavements are the most consistently recycled material in the United States. Every day as part of maintenance and improvement projects, old asphalt pavement material is reclaimed from roads and parking lots and then put back to use in new pavements.

In fact, according to the latest industry survey by the National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA) in partnership with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) more than 100 million tons of reclaimed asphalt pavement (RAP) was collected for re-use in the United States during 2018, saving some 61.4 million cubic yards of landfill space. This survey has been conducted for each construction season since 2009 by NAPA, and it has consistently found that nearly 100 percent of RAP is put to beneficial uses, primarily new asphalt pavements.

“Over the years, we’ve seen steady advancement in the amount of RAP being used across the country. This has been the result of concerted engineering efforts by industry and road owners to research and apply best practices to ensure we maintain or improve performance while increasing the use of recycled materials,” stated NAPA President & CEO Audrey Copeland, Ph.D., P.E. “As interest grows in incorporating other recycled materials into pavements, we must continue to gain a solid understanding of how new materials affect pavement performance before we move to widespread deployment.”

Nationally, the average amount of RAP in new asphalt pavements during 2018 was 21.1 percent, which is the highest level reported since the survey began in 2009. The survey found that 82.2 million tons of RAP, along with 1.05 million tons of recycled asphalt shingles (RAS) were used in 389.3 million tons of new asphalt pavement mixes in the United States during 2018.

An additional 8.8 million tons of RAP and RAS were used as aggregate, in cold-mix asphalt, and other road-building activities. The survey also found that at year-end 2018 about 111.7 million tons of RAP and RAS was stockpiled for future use across the country.

Although national usage estimates were not calculated, respondents to the survey reported recycling some 1.8 million tons of recycled tire rubber, steel, and blast furnace slags, cellulose fiber, and other reclaimed and waste materials into nearly 12.3 million tons of asphalt paving mixtures during 2018.

In total, more than 85 million tons of recycled materials — primarily RAP and RAS — were used in new asphalt pavement mixtures during the 2018 construction season, a 7.6 percent increase from the number of recycled materials used in 2017. The use of RAP and RAS alone resulted in cost savings of more than $2.9 billion compared to the use of virgin materials.

The asphalt pavement industry also continues to make significant use of energy-saving warm-mix asphalt (WMA) technologies. In 2018, 157.4 million tons of asphalt pavement mixture was produced using WMA technologies. More than half of this tonnage was produced at reduced temperatures, meaning less energy was required in manufacturing. The most common WMA technology used is plant-based foaming, which injects a small amount of water into the asphalt during production. A number of environmental, worker safety and construction benefits have been realized through the adoption of WMA technologies.

“A decade ago, WMA technologies were a novel idea. In 2018, though, more than half the asphalt pavement mixture tonnage produced in 23 states used WMA technologies, and in six of those states, it was more than 75 percent of the tonnage,” stated John Harper, 2019 NAPA Chairman and Senior Vice President of Construction Partners Inc. in Dothan, Alabama. “While there remains room to grow their use, WMA technologies have become just another tool we can use to produce the best asphalt mixture to meet a given project or agency need.”

The survey was conducted in the first quarter of 2019. Results from 272 companies with 1,329 plants in 49 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, and two U.S. territories, along with data from state asphalt pavement associations for 33 states, were used to compile the report. A copy of the full survey report, including a state-by-state breakdown of data, is available at www.asphaltpavement.org/recycling.

About the National Asphalt Pavement Association

The National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA) is the only trade association that exclusively represents the interests of the asphalt producer/contractor on the national level with Congress, government agencies, and other national trade and business organizations. NAPA supports an active research program designed to improve the quality of asphalt pavements and paving techniques used in the construction of roads, streets, highways, parking lots, airports, and environmental and recreational facilities. The association provides technical, educational, and marketing materials and information to its members; supplies product information to users and specifiers of paving materials; and conducts training courses. The association, which counts more than 1,100 companies as members, was founded in 1955.

As Summer fades

By Greg Sitek

It’s hard to believe that Summer 2019 is fading into history. We are one step closer to a new transportation bill as theSenate’s America’s Transportation Infrastructure Act (ATIA) Committee on July 30 unanimously approved the America’s Transportation Infrastructure Act (ATIA), legislation introduced July 29 by EPW Committee Chairman John Barrasso (R-Wyo.), Ranking Member Tom Carper (D-Del.), Transportation & Infrastructure Subcommittee Chairman Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) and Subcommittee Ranking Member Ben Cardin (D-Md).  If enacted, the measure would significantly increase funds for highway and bridge improvements from FY 2021 through FY 2025.

According to reports from the American Road & Transportation Builders Association, ARTBA, “The Senate proposal represents the first program reauthorization bill in nearly 15 years that would significantly increase federal investment in highway safety and mobility improvements.

“The committee’s early action is a critical first step in the lengthy legislative process.  It’s also a welcome departure from the series of extensions and years of delay that have plagued the last few surface transportation bills.

“We urge the Senate Commerce, Banking and Finance Committees to take timely action early this fall on their respective policy and financing components of the measure.  Final passage of a bill this year provides a meaningful opportunity for members of Congress and the Trump administration to deliver on the infrastructure investment promise they have been making since the 2016 elections.”

The current FAST Act highway and transit investment law expire Sept. 30, 2020.

There have been reports from Washington that Senate is anxious to have the ATIA passed this year. In some of the articles, I’ve read a target date as early as this September has been suggested. Hopefully, it will get through Congress faster than the FAST Act.

In addition to transportation infrastructure getting attention, the Trump administration recently  announced three regulatory measures with significant impact for highway and heavy construction:

  • The Occupational Safety and Health Administration published a request for information asking the regulated community to help clarify various aspects of the crystalline silica rule.
  • The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) released proposed changes to the federal Hours of Service (HOS) rules, which govern the amount of time truck drivers can spend on the road.
  • An overhaul of the Endangered Species Act includes new limits to where the government can block development by declaring land as “critical habitat.”

“These three developments highlight the administration’s continued focus on removing unnecessary regulatory burdens from the project delivery process,” said ARTBA Vice President of Regulatory & Legal Issues Nick Goldstein. “ARTBA will continue to work with federal agencies to keep advancing beneficial regulatory reforms.”

ARTBA also expects in the coming weeks to hear from the U.S. Department of Transportation about the potential repeal of a federal regulation that prohibits state and local governments from using patented or proprietary products on highway and bridge projects that receive federal funding unless those products qualify for limited exceptions. The rule was adopted in 1916 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which then managed the emerging federal-aid highway program.

To address the transportation problems on the local level, there will be higher taxes in some states: The fuel price news will be compounded in a handful of states where excise taxes where hiked just as folks were finalizing their July 4th travel plans.

Drivers in California, Connecticut, Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Montana, Nebraska, Ohio, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont and along one major highway in Virginia will pay more for fuel, primarily gasoline, due to tax increases that took effect on July 1, 2019the start of their fiscal years.

Some were already in the works as phased-in incremental fuel tax hikes. Others are new, large bumps in the fuels’ prices. And a few apply to vehicles that run on diesel instead of gasoline. (Dontmesswithtaxes.com)

This fall could prove to be “legislatively interesting.” You will want to keep informed.

TRIP Report: Significant Deficiencies and High Fatality Rates

ARTBA Announces Schapker As New Vice President of Legislative Affairs

The American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) announced the hiring of Lauren Schapker as vice president of legislative affairs, a newly created position. She brings to the association nearly 15 years of experience in infrastructure policy issues.

As one of ARTBA’s primary advocates on Capitol Hill, Schapker will work with legislators and their staffs to boost federal transportation investment, secure a permanent Highway Trust Fund revenue solution and advance other transportation construction industry priorities.

Schapker spent five years at the Portland Cement Association (PCA) beginning in 2009.  She led the organization’s transportation portfolio through the MAP-21 surface transportation law. She oversaw PCA’s grassroots and political efforts, both of which grew significantly under her leadership.

Schapker left PCA in 2014 to open the Washington, D.C., office of the National Ground Water Association (NGWA). For nearly five years, she directed both legislative and regulatory portfolios on a range of infrastructure matters, increasing NGWA’s profile with key stakeholders and national media. She helped establish the nation’s first groundwater monitoring network, restore tax credits for renewable energy technologies and improve the regulatory climate for rural infrastructure projects.

Schapker began her career at the public affairs and government relations firm Xenophon Strategies, where she focused on transportation and infrastructure issues.  She represented cities, counties and school districts seeking federal assistance for infrastructure projects.  Her efforts helped secure funding in annual appropriations legislation and policy changes in surface transportation and water resources authorization bills. She also led Xenophon’s political fundraising.

A native of Cincinnati, Schapker has a B.S. in finance and an M.A. in political science from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. She and her husband reside in Alexandria, Va.

Established in 1902, ARTBA is the consensus voice of the U.S. transportation design and construction industry in the Nation’s Capital.

ARTBA Sends Grassroots Call-To-Acton Memorandum to Members

A bipartisan group of 21 U.S. Senators this week voted unanimously to reauthorize the federal highway and bridge program A YEAR EARLY and with the largest increase in core highway investment IN 15 YEARS.

The Environment & Public Works (EPW) Committee July 30 approved “America’s Transportation Infrastructure Act” (ATIA), S. 2302, which would set federal highway, bridge and highway safety investment and policy through 2025.

Read ARTBA’s analysis of ATIA for more details.

The magnitude of this first step cannot be overstated, but there is no time for a victory lap. We need to get to work.

Senators are in recess for the remainder of August and should hear from you that you support ATIA and want them to work to ensure the bill moves forward THIS YEAR.  Here’s what you can do:

  • Schedule a face-to-face meeting at the appropriate state office.
  • Invite your senators to your headquarters or job site so they can see first-hand the real-world economic, job creation, quality of life and safety impacts of transportation investment.
  • Send an email or tweet in support of the bill via ARTBA’s Grassroots Advocacy Center.
  • Attend a town hall meeting and ask your senators to permanently fix the Highway Trust Fund and support final action on ATIA this fall.

When you meet with your senators:   

  • Tell them the importance of action now to prevent the cycles of delay and uncertainty that have plagued previous reauthorization bills.
  • Ask them to support the call from EPW Committee Chair John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) and Ranking Member Tom Carper (D-Del.) to pay for ATIA with highway user fee revenue.
  • Urge them to play a leadership role in final passage of Senate reauthorization bill this fall.

You can also complement these efforts in the Senate by also meeting with your House member:  

  • Encourage them to push their respective party’s leaders to begin advancing their version of a transportation reauthorization bill or infrastructure package this fall.
  • Remind them a user-based, permanent revenue solution for the Highway Trust Fund must be the foundation of any final proposal.

ARTBA staff is ready to help with your grassroots efforts. Please contact ARTBA Senior Vice President for Congressional Relations Dean Franks with questions or if you need assistance.