Around the Globe: October
Keeping an eye on asphalt activity in Asia, Petrosil’s Bitumart newsletter reported the Xiamen Huate Group Corporation Ltd., Rizhao Tianhui Trade Co Ltd., had imported the most bitumen into China during the month of June 2016. Prior to that, Singapore Bitumen Exports sent 30 percent of its total exports, from January to May, to China.
Looking at the half-way point for the year, India had imported 600,000 tons of bitumen. 85,000 tons of that were imported during the month of June. The month prior, India sent bitumen to the UAE and Nepal. Source: Petrosil’s Bitumart
The National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA) announced in its ActionNews Aug. 15 that the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) has released its final guidance on how federal agencies, such as state DOTs, must consider global climate change in National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) reviews. If a state DOT’s project receives federal funds, the project will be required to comply with NEPA regulations, such as estimating the project’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The NAPA Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) Program is on schedule for release in early 2017 and will provide tools that will let producer members of NAPA measure their environmental footprint and identify practices to reduce that footprint.
- Get ready for the Alabama Asphalt Pavement Association (AAPA) 59th annual paving awards and officer installation luncheon Dec. 9 at the Renaissance Montgomery Hotel & Spa, Montgomery, Alabama.
- Auburn University and the Alabama DOT join for the 60th annual highway conference Feb. 15 though 16 at the Renaissance Montgomery Hotel & Spa in Montgomery, Alabama.
- Get your registration in early for the Alabama Asphalt Pavement Association (AAPA) 27th annual asphalt paving conference, March 22 through 23, 2017, at the Birmingham Marriott, Birmingham, Alabama.
Plan ahead to attend the Association of Asphalt Paving Technologists annual meeting March 19 through 22, 2017, in Newport Beach, California.
Orlando will host the 62nd annual meeting of the National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA) Jan. 29 through Feb. 1, 2017. Visit http://www.asphaltpavement.org/annualmeeting for registration and hotel information.
R.M. Towill Corporation (RMTC), Honolulu, Oahu, is serving as prime consultant, civil engineer, and construction manager on this fast-paced project. The RMTC design team also included Geolabs Inc., KAI Hawaii, Ronald N.S. Ho and Associates Inc., Lester Inouye Associates, and Irrigation Hawaii. The completed project will be the first on Oahu to incorporate the city’s Interim Complete Streets requirements. RMTC’s design incorporated a safe, comfortable, and convenient city right-of-way design for people walking, bicycling, driving and riding public transportation.
The project consists of upgrading and widening approximately 4,500 linear feet of Kalaeloa Boulevard from the upper connection with Lauwiliwili Street to Malakole Street. When completed, the 108-foot-wide right-of-way will have three asphalt travel lanes and a bicycle lane in each direction separated by a 20-foot-wide landscaped median. Two new signalized intersections with pedestrian islands will also be constructed to provide access to neighboring developments that are currently under construction or slated for future development.
The project was fast-paced and through the knowledge and experience of the RMTC team, all government agency and utility company approvals were obtained in only seven months, which is much less time than typically needed for a project of this size and scope. RMTC stated that the City Department of Planning and Permitting, Department of Transportation Services, and Board of Water Supply; and State Department of Health and Disability and Communication Access Board deserves much credit in their professional and expeditious handling of the review.
Construction was under way as of press time, and maintenance of traffic would be challenging due to the heavy use of the roadway throughout the day. Kalaeloa Boulevard is the major arterial used to transfer goods from the Campbell Industrial area and Kalaeloa Harbor, the second busiest port in Hawaii, to other parts of Oahu. RMTC, along with the client Aina Nui, the client’s representative Per Spec LLC, and the general contractor Royal Contracting Co. Ltd. developed a traffic management plan that uses the existing and newly constructed lanes to keep traffic flowing in the most efficient way possible. Aina Nui’s top priority was to minimize adverse construction impacts to the traveling public by being proactive in managing traffic and by the minimizing the construction duration. During the construction, the RMTC design and construction management groups worked as a seamless team with constant interaction to provide excellent support for the client. As a result, the RMTC team was able to work closely with the contractor to develop various value engineering changes that resulted in project savings of over $2 million.
Source: Hawaii Asphalt Paving Industry News
Caterpillar Inc., Peoria, Illinois, announced in mid-August it intends to pursue strategic alternatives, including a possible divestiture, for its room and pillar products. The company will also discontinue production of track drills within its Resource Industries portfolio.
The American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) challenged the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) proposal to measure greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from new transportation projects. The proposal is part of larger performance measures required under the 2012 “Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century” (MAP-21) surface transportation reauthorization law. In Aug. 19 comments to FHWA, ARTBA charged that the proposal “exceeds both the authority of the FHWA and the intent of MAP-21.”
In its latest comments, ARTBA noted that neither Congress nor the administration sought emission measurements in the MAP-21 performance management process, and that such proposals were not included in the “Fixing America’s Surface Transportation” (FAST) Act reauthorization law passed in December 2015.
ARTBA also raised a variety of concerns about the proposed measurement system. Specifically, it “does not define what exactly it will measure and how it will measure it,” ARTBA stated, and “[i]t is unfair to ask the regulated community to provide specific comments on such an abstract proposal.” Further, the association warned that the proposal could lead to a cumbersome regulatory process that undercuts progress from both MAP-21 and the FAST Act on expediting transportation project delivery and delay transportation improvements.