Picture of Dept of Transportation Commissioner Charles Zelle

The Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDot) is a member of the National Road Research Alliance (NRRA), along with other government agencies, academia and private businesses. NRRA focuses on strategic pavement research and building alliances to share best practices and more. Shortly NRRA will be hosting its annual pavement conference to share the latest industry news. During the conference topics such as asphalt, concrete, grading, pavement preservation and pavement radar to name a few will be covered.

So what does technology & pavements have in common? Expensive conferences, costly tools, paid speakers, networking events and lots of government funding. Network structural evaluation, deflection meter, infrastructure condition, and interval framework are some of the terms thrown around by MnDot pavement gurus. Maybe these guys can build rocket ships as well, based on these terms there must be more to pouring concrete. I thought it went something like this, build a frame, pour the concrete, make sure it’s level, soak up the excess water and watch it dry for eight hours or two weeks if you’re a government employee.

Apparently, I was wrong for these guys are brilliant. As the Department of Transportation Commissioner Charles Zelle was allegedly conducting a weekly conference call with MnDot employees, Mr. Zelle told attendees watching concrete dry takes skill, emphasizing watching without sleeping takes years of experience.

More can be found at https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/pavement/mana.cfm and at http://www.dot.state.mn.us/mnroad/nrra/pavementconference/index.html