December 10, VAA held a Lite version of the Mid-Atlantic Asphalt Expo and Conference (MAAE). Noting Zoom and virtual meeting fatigue, VAA scaled back MAAE to focus on three main topics 1) What Is New for 2021; 2) 2020 Paving Awards; 3) VDOT Town Hall.
The first session focused on the specifications and standards changes for the 2021 VDOT projects. VDOT Assistant State Materials Engineer Rob Crandol reviewed the documentation hierarchy from Road & Bridge Section 105.12 and covered the clarification and consolidation of a number of specifications within Sections 200 and 300. He focused attention on the density determination specification revisions and the changes associated with the definition of “mainline paving.”
Following Rob’s presentation, VDOT’s Assistant State Construction Engineer Harold Caples reviewed the 2021 pavement schedules noting that there would most likely be 149 contracts with a contract value of approximately $425 million. He also noted changes in completion dates for both surface treatment/slurry seal contracts of October 15, 2021, and Plant Mix contracts of November 15, 2021. Five VDOT Districts will have BMD pilot projects, each with an early completion date of August 20, 2021, for the specific pilot routes.
Finally, VDOT’s Senior Traffic Engineer Marc Lipschultz discussed the new pavement marking initiatives and revised standards. As with BMD mentioned by Crandol, VDOT will have several pilot projects in the 2021 paving schedules related to markings. Specific routes will have either high-build paint or a new thermoplastic material installed. These sites will be monitored over time to determine the effectiveness with wet, night-time visibility.
The second session of MAAE was the 2020 Paving Awards luncheon. During the virtual luncheon, attendees learned the VDOT and VAA category winners and the Golden Lute winner (see the related articles in this newsletter).
The final session of MAAE was the VDOT Town Hall. During this session, Chief of Maintenance and Operations, Kevin Gregg, joined VAA’s President, Trenton Clark, for an open discussion. Gregg gave a high-level overview of VDOT’s Maintenance and Operations program. Clark and attendees then questioned Gregg on topics such as the 2021 maintenance program, future funding, and adjustments on schedule completion dates. At the end of the session, Clark noted a future Town Hall with VDOT would be held to review the changes to the SYIP due to COVID-19’s fiscal impacts and legislative impacts from the 2021 General Assembly Session.
While clearly not the experience of MAAE 2019, MAAE Lite provided the critical information attendees needed to prepare for 2021. Mark your calendar now for MAAE 2021. It will be held on December 16-17 in Richmond at the Greater Richmond Convention Center. Plans are already underway to make this a memorable event!