With an information-packed agenda, the 22nd annual Pennsylvania Concrete Conference drew 175 attendees and featured a wealth of business and technical information for participants. First-time attendees comprised about 40% of our overall participation. These first-time attendees included experienced representatives from companies that have not previously been engaged with the concrete pavement community along with younger professionals who are the future of our industry. Six posters were presented from doctoral candidates and recent graduates from four universities on research that could reshape the state of the practice in concrete technologies.
The diverse group of attendees represented 72 different organizations, including twelve contractor firms. With a good mix of agencies, industry, consultants and academia, the conference started with keynote remarks from Yassmin Gramian, P.E., Acting Secretary of Transportation, PennDOT, who provided an overview of the mission and vision of PennDOT. This presentation was followed by a talk on the PennDOT 2020 construction program and on concrete pavement initiatives by T. Jay Cunningham, P.E., PennDOT’s Bureau of Maintenance and Operations. Tom Harman from FHWA spoke about Innovations and Craig Shuey, COO of the Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission presented on automated speed enforcement.
Leif Wathne of ACPA delivered an excellent historical overview of pavement type selection, which set the stage for a talk by Randolph Kirchain Ph.D. of MIT, about the impact of competition on pavement economics.
Technical presentations covered materials, best practices, case histories, research and more. Rich Jucha from ACPA/PA presented on a contractor/aggregate producer led skid study and Heather Steffek from the New York State Chapter presented on full-depth reclamation with portland cement stabilization. PennDOT staffers Joe Cribben, Dave Jarvis, and Pat Baer updated the group, respectively, on CPQI Initiatives, 408 Updates, and Performance Engineered Mixtures.
The conference again included participation and presentations from the concrete precast, pipe and ready-mixed industries. Casting this wider net allowed attendees to dialogue with a diverse mix of suppliers, producers, and others who were drawn to this more diverse program.