Author Archives: Emma Dolan

How Colorado’s Concrete Paving Industry is Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Colorado’s concrete paving industry is committed to reducing
Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions in Colorado and around the world.
The concrete paving industry has identified three Stages of
Opportunities for Reducing Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Emissions:
Before Construction, During Construction, After Construction.

Reducing GHG Emissions Before Construction…
Optimizing pavement design and materials selection begins the
process of reducing GHG emissions in the beginning stages of
any pavement’s life. Designing with concrete means designing for
longevity and longevity of pavement life is the primary opportunity
for the reduction of GHG emissions as it allows for less frequent
The production of cement is often the most referenced item in
regard to CO2 output. One way the concrete pavement and cement
industries have begun addressing this issue is by producing and
using Portland Limestone Cement (PLC) or Type IL. Blending
limestone into the cement reduces the amount of energy required
as well as the amount of CO2 produced. Alternative fuels are also
being used in these plants which burn cleaner than coal and
renewable energy options are being pursued.
Requiring Supplemental Cementitious materials such as Flyash
and Slag Cement utilizes byproducts from coal fire power and steel
production while increasing the durability of concrete pavements.
Specifying optimized gradations reduces the amount of cement
required and the use of recycled concrete can also greatly improve
the opportunity for reduced GHG emissions.

Reducing GHG Emissions During Construction…
Sourcing locally available materials is one of most effective ways to
prioritize sustainability during the construction process. The use of
mobile batch plants decreases the number of trucks hauling long
distances. Having onsite mining operations, 5,200 truck trips can
be avoided when producing 120,000 tons of sand. When recycling
pavement that is removed into 50,000 CY of base 4,200 truck
trips can be saved. All of these contribute to the reduction of
GHG Emissions.
By optimizing phasing of projects, identifying concrete mixtures for
specific situations, and performing nondestructive testing construction can be accelerated which reduces congestion.


Reducing GHG Emissions After Construction…
During its long lifespan, concrete reabsorbs a significant amount of
CO2 through a naturally occurring process called recarbonation.
Pavement preservations and restoration serves the main purpose of
extending the life of the pavement and minimizing disruptions to the
traveling public while maximizing the efficiency of resources.
Diamond grinding is a practice that is often combined with other
Concrete Pavement Repair (CPR) procedures. Diamond grinding can
extend a pavement’s life by 14-17 years per a study performed by
Caltrans. Improved smoothness, texture and reduced noise can all
be anticipated as a result of Diamond Grinding.
Concrete Overlays contribute greatly to pavement preservation and
are a great opportunity for reduced GHG Emissions after initial construction. Concrete overlays efficiently utilize resources and eliminate
the need for disposal of existing pavements. They are cost effective
and are constructed quickly while simultaneously extending the life
of the pavement.
It is imperative to consider all aspects of “use phase” of road construction and identify the areas before, during and after construction
where improvements can be made to create the most sustainable
and reliable roadways possible.

Adapting to New Ways of Working and Preparing for More Challenges Ahead

As Colorado’s concrete paving industry continues to work through
the coronavirus outbreak, their focus remains on providing a safe
working environment for their employees, project partners, and the
traveling public.
The staff of the CO/WY Chapter of ACPA is working closely with our
colleagues across the country, and we’ve partnered with the National
Concrete Pavement Technology Center to develop webinar programs to provide ongoing education about all things concrete pavement. While our traditional gatherings at conferences and workshops
are on hold, we’re providing alternative ways to support your planning, design and construction efforts. Registration for all upcoming
webinars will be available at If you have education needs on additional topics or missed
the concrete overlays or ADA series and would like to access the
webinars, please email Sarah Sanders (

The concrete paving industry recognizes that the challenges of funding transportation are becoming greater as transportation revenues
in Colorado continue to decrease. Data on the impacts of a lack of
transportation funding can be found at ACPA has
been actively advocating for increased infrastructure funding both in
Washington DC in partnership with other national organizations and
in Colorado through our involvement with the Colorado Construction
Industry Coalition.

We ask that you join us in reaching out to the
legislators who represent you on both the state and national level to
reinforce our message on the importance of funding infrastructure.
While we work with the limited amount of funding available, it
becomes even more important that the money is spent wisely and
includes longer term fixes with concrete pavement that reduce the
annual maintenance costs and frequency of rehabilitation activities.
ACPA staff is continuing to work remotely, and we’re available to
assist with any of your concrete pavement questions and challenges.
Congratulations to all the Excellence in Concrete Pavement Award
winners we recognized this spring! Learn more about their projects
in the center section of the magazine. We enjoyed seeing many of
you at our annual concrete pavement workshop in early March,
and we look forward to when the time is right to see you all again!

Upcoming Concrete Pavement Inspector Certification

The upcoming Concrete Pavement Inspector Certification will be held on June 09 as a virtual training. If you are registered you should have received an email letting you that the training has been moved online. 

The exam portion of the certification will be held in person on June 12. Registrants should contact Sarah Sanders ( to schedule their exam.

Registration for the certification is required and there are still spaces open for the June training/exam. Click here to register!

Contact Sarah Sanders with any questions,

ACPA and CP Tech Center Upcoming Webinars


ADA Webinar Series

Register for our ADA Webinar Series by clicking here – it’s a 2-part webinar on May 12 and 19 @ 11 am MDT.  Engineers are faced with ongoing planning, design, and construction challenges when it comes to following ADA guidelines. Whether you are with a DOT, county, city, consultant, or contractor there will be lots to learn on implementing your ADA program.

This ADA Webinar Series is offering Professional Development Hours (PDH’s).  Attendees will:

  • Learn the requirements and importance of an ADA Transition Plan
  • Learn the design and construction requirements detailed in PROWAG 2011
  • See how these guidelines are being implemented in Wisconsin and Missouri

Sign up is required, and we have an improved two-step process to ensure proper processing for PDH’s.  Please click here to register.

Sustainability in Concrete Pavements

Content provided by Shaped by Concrete

The role of concrete in connecting us to our daily lives and keeping our economy moving

The roadways and airstrips connecting our nation are integral to our society and daily lives. We expect smooth drives and safe landings, yet we rarely stop to think about the foundation of those expectations: the best material that can be used to surface roads, runways and other infrastructure.

Concrete pavements are a staple of our infrastructure – a durable, economical and sustainable solution for our roadways, airstrips, military bases, parking lots and sidewalks. Additionally, concrete pavements offer many safety benefits to drivers.

Simply put, concrete pavements have the longest lifespan of any paving material. It can withstand the freezing winters of the upper Midwest to the scorching summers of the Southwest, with an average service life of 30 to 50 years.

Concrete pavements consume minimal materials, energy and other resources throughout its lifespan, giving it a lower overall energy footprint, and offers better fuel efficiency for drivers. Concrete pavements have a lower energy footprint associated with production, delivery and maintenance than asphalt pavement.

  • Concrete’s lighter color reduces the amount of power necessary for illumination and mitigates the urban heat island effect.
  • Tires driving over smoother roads get better mileage per tank of gas; the overall better condition of concrete pavement compared to asphalt gives drivers better roads and better mileage.
  • Concrete can be 100% recycled at the end of its service life, making it a renewable pavement option.

Concrete pavements require minimal materials and energy for initial construction and do not require repeated resurfacing, spot repairs or patching. Compared to other road surfacing materials which require constant maintenance, concrete is cheaper to use at the outset and less expensive throughout its lifespan because it does not require extensive upkeep.

  • It was estimated that using life-cycle cost analysis for pavements alone can save an average $91 million for every $1 billion spent, or 9.1 %, when comparing equivalent concrete and asphalt pavement alternatives.
  • The use of concrete pavement is less disruptive to traffic – the construction of concrete pavements does not require lengthy lane closures and roads can be reopened in as short as six hours.
  • Concrete pavement can dramatically increase the life of transportation systems, cutting the amount of yearly repairs and spreading them out over longer time periods.

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Upcoming Workshop/Events