Rule 8: Eventually it is in the best interest of everyone to work together
Subsequently, rulemaking workshops were conducted with the Department in order to outline a legal Pavement Type Selection, which would allow for legal points of entry for our materials, as well as for asphalt. It was a major milestone for an agency to summarily divest itself of some authority and give legal standing to industry during the decision making process. It will be up to us to be persistent and vigilant in making certain that we maximise these tools in order to turn this ship. To assist our Concrete Paving Alliance Chair, Sam Joiner, our Association hired, Tom Malerk, a retired 40 year veteran of the FDOT to be the FC&PA’s Director of Transportation Engineering.
Two key ingredients that round out what we hope will move towards a two pavement system:
- We respond to all Pavement Type Selections issued on all projects by the Department, even those that we feel we currently have little chance of winning. Because even if we lose the war, there will be one or two battles within that project that we can take to the next PTS and insure that that particular concession made by the Department is implemented in the next project; eroding the unfair disparity on initial cost over time.
- The FDOT has established within the Department several committees that will optimise our designs and ensure that the inputs in pavement design software are correct. Those committees include the Concrete Specifications Task Force, the Life Cycle Input Committee and the Rigid Pavement Committee. Also, the Department is working with our industry to build a concrete test road on US 301 in North Florida in order to study a variety of concrete designs.
We continue to maintain an active governmental advocacy component, including several more presentations before legislative committees; my participation on the Governor’s transition team; a yearly fly-in to the Capitol and candidate meet and greets during the election cycle. Our Regional Promotion Group members have turned their sites to those Streets and Local Roads on the county and municipal level and it is our hope that the FDOT breaking bread with us will signal to those local government bureaucrats that they have coverage should they choose to use our highly sustainable, locally produced materials by a domestic workforce in plants that pays ad valorem taxes that are 9x’s greater than our asphalt counterparts.
Our arguments are universal, but it is critical to be united, educated and fearless. You must create expectations, decision points and accountability; otherwise you will always be working on a solution instead of implementing one.
A ‘how to’ guide for any state interested in legislating concrete paving:
- Have consensus from the industry that this is a major initiative worthy of financial support.
- Have an industry sponsor that has decision making ability.
- Create your message and make sure all participants are staying on message.
- Find your legislative partners – the key elected positions that will carry your legislation and give proper care and feeding.
- Exhaust all administration remedies.
- Prepare to compromise to get the job done.
- Update industry often
Read the article online at: https://www.worldcement.com/the-americas/13062013/effective_concrete_advocacy_part08/