Recently, I was honored to represent Blacklidge and speak to a knowledgeable group of industry attendees at the Virginia Pavement Research & Innovation Symposium in Culpepper, VA.
The presentation highlighted the fact that the average quality and expected lifespan of asphalt pavements in the United States has recently declined, despite improvements in material technology, equipment technology and historically unprecedented information sharing capabilities. This demonstrates that declining infrastructure performance is not solely a problem of lacking innovation or access to information. It is clearly also a problem of misinformation and lack of implementation of existing and even preexisting innovative technologies. Japan and Europe were used as examples where performance, particularly relative to RAP usage and asphalt pavement longevity, has significantly outperformed the US, even though the US shares similar knowledge and even superior material technology. Much of it is not new.
How could this be possible? According to Douglass Bernard, FHWA Director of the Office of Technology Applications, it is because the “American contracting procedures discourage the use of novel techniques.” Blacklidge exists to principally serve our customers and the driving public “novel techniques” or high-performance products for road building, including age-extending products such as ReGen® that are capable of optimizing the use of reclaimed materials while also producing the highest level of pavement performance and longevity.
Given this background, it was a pleasure to attend an event designed to place a spotlight on companies, such as Blacklidge, and our innovative products. We appreciate the opportunity to meet with industry colleagues, concerned agencies, and tax-paying citizens to share the benefits of ReGen. I’m excited to share this presentation with our readers.