Each year, since 1985, ARRA has presented special recognition awards to deserving public officials and consulting engineers for their overall professional contribution to and their recognition and their promotion of the asphalt recycling & reclaiming industry. During its 37th Annual Meeting, in Indian Wells, California, in February, the Asphalt Recycling & Reclaiming Association (ARRA) announced the recipients of its 2013 awards:
ARRA 2013 Charles R. Valentine Award for Excellence in Cold In-Place Recycling
Mike Neil, Director of Construction Support Services, Engineering and Operations Tara Liske, Surfacing Materials Engineer, Engineering and Operations Manitoba Infrastructure and Transportation
Mike Neil and Tara Liske work within Manitoba Infrastructure and Transportation’s (MIT’s) Engineering Operations Branch. Mike is Director of Construction Support Services at MIT and is responsible for leading multiple sections: Quality Assurance, Grading and Audit, Geomatics and Civil Design, and Training Development and Recruitment Section. Tara is a Surfacing Materials Engineer and is responsible for the management and provision of technical expertise related to the design, specifications, and performance evaluation of surfacing construction materials used by the department for highway construction and maintenance. Together, Mike and Tara worked diligently over the past several years in researching recycling methods, instituting standards and specifications, educating stakeholders, and implementing Cold In-Place Recycling with Expanded Asphalt Mix (CIREAM) at the project level. Engaging staff and industry partners, candidate selection, and technical challenges in the field were three major challenges overcome in instituting the recycling process in Manitoba. Their dedication paid off in the implementation of an initial project in The Pas in 2010, followed by two more jobs in Grand Rapids and Brandon in 2012.
In their initial investigation of the recycling process, Make and Tara were intrigued by CIREAM’s robust nature, its ability to help minimize reflective cracking, and the financial and environmental savings resulting from reduced production and haulage of virgin aggregate and recycled asphalt cement. The pair also wanted to stimulate a progressive, innovative atmosphere at MIT and to expand their toolbox of rehabilitation processes. Since 2007, Mike has been involved with a committee developing draft standards for CIR, reviewing both CIR and CIREAM specs, as well as criteria for candidate selection. He also assisted with workshops and helped develop and review specifications for the process. Tara hosted workshops, helped develop lab and field testing procedures and reviewed test results during construction.
Collaboration and education were paramount to Mike and Tara’s success. Communication with members from both the Alberta and Ontario Ministries of Transportation, and research into these organizations’ existing standards allowed for the creation of Manitoba’s own specifications. Important technical and practical knowledge was gleaned from CIR contractors and other industry members in the pre-bidding process in 2010, resulting in refinement of specifications and the advancement and success of work to date. Explaining and persuading executive and regional staff of asphalt recycling’s net benefits proved to be a considerable challenge. A workshop was hosted in order to overcome any skepticism surrounding asphalt recycling practices. An initial workshop hosted in November 2009 included two industry representatives who explained In-Place Recycling in detail to all levels of staff at MIT. This workshop gained attention from executive members at MIT and enabled the team to move forward with candidate selection. After the workshop, a working group with staff from different regions, construction support services, and materials engineering, worked together to finalize specifications and generate tender documents. This working group was fundamental for completing the final stages of process implementation at the pre project stage.