A new membership category in the TSP•2 pavement preservation partnerships for local agencies should make it easier for agencies to participate in PPP meetings. Local road agencies have an enormous responsibility in maintaining our nation’s aging road network. Local agencies including counties, towns, townships and municipalities own over 3.1 million miles, or 76 percent, of the nation’s roads. Furthermore, the public expects and demands that local roads and bridges be maintained despite dwindling resources. Decision making is often particularly difficult for local officials when friends and neighbors are making the demands.
Today, local road agencies recognize the importance of extending the life of their valuable road and bridge assets. Pavement and bridge preservation programs offer the only opportunity to proactively address the needs with limited budgets. Of course, access to current technical information is incredibly helpful to ensure success.
The AASHTO (American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials) Transportation System Preservation Technical Services Program (TSP•2)—funded in part by FP2 Inc.—recognizes the important role of local agencies, and the need to exchange technical information on pavement and bridge preservation treatments and techniques.
In April 2019, the AASHTO TSP•2 Oversight Panel authorized a new local agency membership category. For an annual contribution of $2,250, payable to the partnerships through the National Center for Pavement Preservation, a local agency representative is invited to attend and participate in either a pavement or bridge preservation partnership meeting during the year. The contribution covers the cost of travel, lodging, registration, meals, and travel arrangements.
Although local agency participation in the AASHTO TSP•2 partnership meetings is not new, creating a membership category helps reduce the problems associated with meeting travel. The intent of this new category is to remove potential obstacles and make it easier for agencies to participate in the AASHTO TSP•2.
Many agencies have little to no travel budget to fund travel, while others have difficulty getting travel approval for out-of-state travel. By establishing annual membership, costs associated with attending the meeting are already included. Travel arrangements are coordinated through the National Center for Pavement Preservation to eliminate the burden of organizing travel for the local agency representative. It’s hoped that the local agency membership will allow local agency attendees to attend consecutive partnership meetings and achieve long-lasting benefits from their participation.
The AASHTO TSP•2 was initiated in 2006 to help practitioners preserve their pavement and bridge infrastructure. Since its founding, the AASHTO TSP•2 program has established pavement and bridge partnerships in the Midwest, Northeast, Southeast, and Rocky Mountain/Western Regions.
Each partnership has an annual meeting, which includes a technical agenda and action on administrative issues. Partnerships include participation from not only state departments of transportation and local agencies but also contractors, material suppliers, consultants, and academia. They are managed by an elected board of directors consisting of agency and industry representatives. Local agency participants can serve as officers of the partnership and vote in the partnership business meeting.
Monthly conference calls further technical activities related to the partnerships throughout the year by various task forces and working groups in areas such as specifications, training and research. Local agency members will have opportunities to participate in all of these activities.
Partnership meetings are well attended, with participation at regional partnerships between 125 and 250 attendees, and participation at national preservation conferences between 600 and 700 attendees.
NCPP, administrator of the AASHTO TSP•2, provides technical and logistical support to the partnerships, both at the meetings and throughout the year. In addition, a help desk is available that can be called Monday through Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. ET for technical assistance.
For local agencies interested in obtaining further information about the AASHTO TSP•2 or membership, please contact NCPP at (517) 432-8220, or visit the website at www.tsp2.org.