The tour addressed safety, quality & budgetary concerns
On Tuesday, July 15, 2014 the American Concrete Pipe Assn. (ACPA) hosted a plant tour for members of the Senate and House Transportation Committees, other invited legislators and their staff to address issues related to infrastructure quality, safety, design, life cycle costs and the merits of Colorado-produced products.
The tour of Precast Concepts’ concrete pipe plant in Henderson highlighted the importance of proper installation and inspection of all products; explained MAP-21 policy for culvert pipe selection; covered risk assessment factors such as flammability, floatability, road use and life expectancy; and emphasized the importance of choosing durable products that save Colorado taxpayers in the long run.
“The goal of this tour was, first and foremost, to educate key decision-makers in our state about the importance of selecting high-quality, resilient, long-lasting pipe products for use in our highways,” said Kim Spahn, director of engineering services for the ACPA. “We likewise wanted to emphasize the good news that the best products for the job are made right here in Colorado, not just by Precast, but also by Boughton Precast, Oldcastle Precast and Rinker Materials.”
The event concluded with an open dialogue with several members of the Colorado Transportation Legislation Review Committee, which centered on two key issues:
- 1. The need for the Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) to empower engineers on a project-by-project basis to choose pipe materials based on their professional judgment and the specifics of the project, rather than following the current pipe selection policy. MAP-21 gives CDOT this kind of autonomy; and
- 2. Encouraging CDOT to ensure enforcement of the current inspection requirements written into the specifications; in particular, deflection testing of flexible pipe products once installed as the three-edge-bearing test is required for concrete pipe.
The afternoon’s agenda began with a safety briefing over lunch, followed by a discussion of the products used for the reconstruction of Highway 36, where reinforced concrete pipe is being installed. Attendees then toured the plant at Precast Concepts, a Colorado family-owned business, and reviewed a case study highlighting the importance of post-installation inspection of all pipe products.