VAA, in partnership with VDOT, held the 2020 Asphalt Seminar at the Fredericksburg Expo & Conference Center in Fredericksburg, VA. Over 270 registered and attended, representing all segments of the asphalt industry (i.e., contractors, VDOT, consultants, localities and FHWA) and all geographical areas of the state. VDOT had more than 100 persons representing construction, materials, traffic engineering, maintenance, and pavement management. This cross-section of industry and government created an excellent environment for information exchange and networking.
Topics for this year’s seminar included VDOT initiatives for 2020, specification updates, and plenty of opportunities for the audience to participate. Traffic Engineering related topics included the implementation of plastic inlaid markers (PIMS) and pavement shoulder wedge. VDOT determined in the latter half of 2019 to eliminate the use of snow plowable markers for 2020 due to continued safety concerns. This rapid switch has placed much stress on all elements of the industry. The seminar provided an excellent opportunity for all industry partners to exchange information and concerns.
For the 2020 paving season, VDOT has adjusted the maintenance schedule completion dates. Instead of the first Friday in December being the fixed completion date for plant mix schedules, now all work must be completed by the third Friday in November. Dates were also adjusted for slurry surfacing and surface treatment schedules. VDOT and industry will meet later in 2020 to assess the lessons learned from these changes and any potential changes in 2021.
The afternoon sessions focused on the overall paving process and e-technology. Presentations such as “What would you do?” provided an opportunity for the attendees to become directly involved and share thoughts and opinions in a safe environment. Next, VDOT’s Construction Division provided an update on their evolutionary process for implementing e-technology.
As with 2019, a phone app was used to submit questions. Over 100 questions were submitted, and VDOT is in the process of responding to those questions. Finally, plans for next year are already underway, so now is the time to share ways to improve this yearly seminar by completing the online survey!