Author Archives: Emma Dolan

Colorado Public Works Journal Article: Concrete Pavement Inspector Certification

Partnership with CDOT

For the last 14 years, ACPA has partnered with the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) to provide a certification program for concrete pavement inspectors.

Since 2006, any person who inspects concrete pavement on CDOT
projects or projects using CDOT specifications, has been required to
hold a construction inspector certification. An inspector’s thorough
understanding of concrete pavement and the specific construction
processes required for concrete applications can lead to increased
quality and efficiencies at a project site.

Proper inspection plays a
key role in ensuring well-constructed, high quality pavement.
Attendees across the industry

Although CDOT appears in the course title, interested participants
need not be affiliated with CDOT projects to take this course and
earn the certification. By opening the class to all inspectors, ACPA
hopes to increase the understanding of good concrete paving and
inspection practices. Many local agencies have begun requiring
certification of inspectors, as well as contractor QC personnel. This
certification is offered to a wide variety of individuals across the
industry, contractors, consultants, and local agencies.


Updates to the training Program
The program is taught by Sarah Sanders, PE, Pavement Engineer for
the CO/WY Chapter of ACPA, and Val Niculae, PE, CDOT Concrete
and Physical Properties Program Support Engineer. Most classes
also feature guest speakers from the concrete pavement industry to
provide alternate perspectives. An overhaul of the curriculum was
recently completed, and updates were made to include new specifications, equipment, and best practices. The course also provides guidance on completing the required CDOT forms for documentation on a project. The focus of this course is to provide knowledge and understanding for an inspector to ensure proper paving practices are followed on the project site.

Additional topics help the inspector verify that pavement being placed will meet the long-term durability goals that are to be expected with concrete pavement.

The test was re-written to focus on the inspector’s understanding of important concrete paving and inspection topics instead of the ability to memorize specifications. Updated topics include:

• Performance Engineered Concrete Mix Designs
• Paving equipment
• Pavement placement, finishing & joints
• Smoothness Testing
• Contractor QC Plan and QC Notebook
• New testing technologies

2021 Classes
Classes are still being taught in-person following all CDOT COVID-19 Restrictions. Class sizes are limited and are filling up fast. For anyone interested in taking the class, study materials are available from the National Concrete Pavement Technology Center, Federal Highway Administration Concrete Clips series, and many other sources.

Visit the CO/WY ACPA website ( for more information and to sign up for 2021 certification dates.

Join Us For the 2020 ACPA Annual Member’s Meeting

Please join other members of the CO/WY Chapter – ACPA to discuss the goals and initiatives for the Association in the coming year. 

Tuesday, October 06
11:00 am – 1:00 pm

ACPA Office
6880 S. Yosemite Ct.
Centennial, CO 80112
(Second Floor Training Room)

RSVP is required.
This meeting is currently scheduled to be in-person and may be subject to change due to anticipated attendance to adhere to proper social distancing guidelines. 

Lunch will be provided!

To RSVP please contact 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,


Upcoming Workshop/Events