2016 APWA North American Snow Conference

APWA_snow_show_2016

Wait, it’s not even summer and we’re already thinking about snow and ice? You betcha! Snow and Ice management is a huge challenge to our infrastructure, so now is the time for public works professionals to prepare for next winter!

That’s why we’re headed to Hartford, CT later this month for four days of winter training and exhibiting new concrete maintenance solutions at the 2016 APWA North American Snow Conference. The special conference will bring together more than 2,000 snowfighters from every corner of the winter maintenance community, including our own representatives from POLYQuik, a division of Willamette Valley Company.

Snow and Ice Conference

The 2016 Conference is an excellent opportunity for us to introduce public works professionals to our high-performance concrete repair products, custom application systems and more.

Organizers will also be presenting quality education programs and technical tours, and opportunities to exchange ideas with manufacturers, distributors, consultants and other public works professionals.

The APWA North American Snow Conference is hosted by the APWA New England Chapter (and who would know more about snow and ice?). Be sure to stop by booth 441 to learn more how POLYQuik products are an effective solution to common concrete maintenance challenges relating to snow and ice.

About APWA
The American Public Works Association is an international educational and professional association of public agencies, private sector companies, and individuals dedicated to providing high quality public works goods and services. Originally chartered in 1937, APWA is the largest and oldest organization of its kind in the world, with headquarters in Kansas City, Missouri, an office in Washington, D.C., and 64 chapters throughout North America. APWA provides a forum in which public works professionals can exchange ideas, improve professional competency, increase the performance of their agencies and companies, and bring important public works-related topics to public attention in local, state and federal arenas.

To learn more, read our post 5 Ways American Public Works Association Impacts Your Community or visit www.apwa.net.

Self-Healing Concrete May Not Just Be For Sci-Fi

Henk-Jonkers

Professor Henk Jonkers at work. Photo Source: Newscientist.nl

“The problem with cracks in concrete is leakage. If you have cracks, water comes through — in your basements, in a parking garage. Secondly, if this water gets to the steel reinforcements — in concrete we have all these steel rebars — if they corrode, the structure collapses.” – Professor Henk Jonkers, Delft University of Technology, Netherlands.

Concrete repair products is a subject we know a lot about!  We’ve seen first hand the problems that slow-building cracks can create. But what if damaged concrete could heal itself? That’s exactly what Professor Henk Jonkers is working towards with his work into bioconcrete — concrete that heals itself using bacteria.

Jonkers was inspired by the human body in his work, which works by adding a limestone-producing bacteria agent to the concrete mix. As air is let in through cracks and damage to the concrete, the bacteria is activated and begins producing limestone and patching out the cracks.”You need bacteria that can survive the harsh environment of concrete. It’s a rock-like, stone-like material, very dry,” says Professor Jonkers.

This process could play a pivotal role during construction, when small imperceptible cracks form as concrete is laid. By self-patching immediately, this bioconcrete could prevent long term damage. You can see some of the self-healing concrete at work below.

To date, bioconcrete has only been able to heal cracks up to a very slim 0.8 mm wide in about three weeks, but it can also be sprayed in cracks of regular concrete to use its mending powers. It will certainly be interesting to hear what the future holds for bioconcrete, and if its European Inventor Award finalist nomination is any indication, we’ll be hearing much more soon!

It’s this ingenuity and forward-thinking approach to finding new unexplored solutions to potentially long-term and expensive problems why we have named Professor Henk Jonkers our “Featured Innovator of the Month.” We look forward to hearing more of his work in bioconcrete in the future!

Note: Henk Jonkers does not work for Willamette Valley Company nor is he affiliated with our company.

Sources:

CNN 

TUDelft

XPrize

The Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act or “FAST Act” is Signed Into Law

FASTAct2America has always been a nation on the move. But an aging and crumbling transportation system is not only slowing Americans down, it’s reducing productivity, undermining our ability to move products across the country and around the world, and increasing congestion and air pollution. It’s time to get America moving again! – U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Last month, the first law providing long-term funding certainty for surface transportation in over a decade was signed into law. The implementation of the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act, or “FAST Act” States means that local governments should be able to move forward with critical transportation projects, like new highways and transit lines, more easily. “After hundreds of Congressional meetings, two bus tours, visits to 43 states, and so much uncertainty – and 36 short term extensions – it has been a long and bumpy ride to a long-term transportation bill,” says U.S. Transportation Secretary, Anthony Foxx. “It’s not perfect, and there is still more left to do, but it reflects a bipartisan compromise I always knew was possible.”

The deteriorating condition of America’s roads, bridges and rail lines have been an area for concern for some time.  According to US Department of Transportation, sixty five percent of America’s major roads are rated “less than good” condition, while one in four bridges require significant repair or cannot handle today’s traffic and 45 percent of Americans do not have access to transit.

The FAST Act is considered by many to be a good start, as it increases funding by 11 percent over five years. “This is far short of the amount needed to reduce congestion on our roads and meet the increasing demands on our transportation systems,” states the U.S. Department of Transportation. “In comparison, the Administration’s proposal, the GROW AMERICA Act, increases funding by 45 percent”.

The law also makes changes and reforms to many Federal transportation programs, including streamlining the approval processes for new transportation projects, providing new safety tools, and establishing new programs to advance critical freight projects.

For a more detailed summary of some FAST Act provisions, visit www.transportation.gov/fastact.

 

Headed to Phoenix for the American Public Works Association’s ‘Best Show in Public Works’

Photo Source: American Public Works Association on Facebook

Next month, the fantastic team in our concrete repair products division is heading over to Phoenix, Arizona for the American Public Works Association’s Best Show in Public Works.

The APWA International Public Works Congress & Exposition, the public works industry’s premier international event, is August 30 – September 2, 2015 at the Phoenix Convention Center.  For more than 100 years, the event has drawn thousands of public works professionals from all over the world and we’re honored to be a part of it.

To give you an idea of how large this event is, watch this highlight video from a previous year.

Representatives from our POLYQuick division will be in the Sustainability Pavilion to provide information and concrete repair resouces as well exhibit new and literature at Booth 1934.

WVCO will exhibit POLYQuick at the APWA International Public Works Congress & Exposition in August.

We are looking forward to unveiling the newest FastPatch products and breakthrough technologies with thousands of professionals from the Public Works, Engineering/Construction, Streets/Roads/Bridges and Facilities industries. 

Thousands of public works professionals from around the world come to this event every year.

Photo Source: American Public Works Association on Facebook

About APWA
The American Public Works Association is an international educational and professional association of public agencies, private sector companies, and individuals dedicated to providing high quality public works goods and services. Originally chartered in 1937, APWA is the largest and oldest organization of its kind in the world, with headquarters in Kansas City, Missouri, an office in Washington, D.C., and 64 chapters throughout North America. APWA provides a forum in which public works professionals can exchange ideas, improve professional competency, increase the performance of their agencies and companies, and bring important public works-related topics to public attention in local, state and federal arenas.

To learn more, read our post 5 Ways American Public Works Association Impacts Your Community or visit www.apwa.net.

The Challenges of Funding our Growing Transportation Needs

Highways and Bridges

Grow America

Transportation is critical to economic growth, however, economic growth is critical to fund the ever changing needs of our transportation system. One cannot exist without the other. The imminent threat of Highway Trust Fund insolvency combined with this paradox is the root of intense debate and discussion in Washington, DC and among key players in the transportation industry.

According to US Department of Transportation, sixty five percent of America’s major roads are rated “less than good” condition, while one in four bridges require significant repair or cannot handle today’s traffic and 45 percent of Americans do not have access to transit.

One of the proposed solutions to this challenge is The GROW AMERICA Act, a six-year bill that would increase investment for our nation’s highways, bridges, transit, and rail systems by 45%. The proposal is funded by supplementing current revenues from the Highway Trust Fund in combination with a 14 percent transition tax on an estimated $2 trillion of untaxed foreign earnings that U.S. Companies have accumulated overseas.

Critical investments are needed to help communities keep pace with our expanding economy, our growing population, and the traveling needs of the public. This animated video explains the key features of the GROW AMERICA Act and why we need to move forward on a long-term surface transportation bill.

How would you address the funding challenges in our transportation infrastructure?

For more information on this proposed bill and other transportation topics, please visit www.transportation.gov.

photo credit: 2008 06 09 – 3057 – Baltimore – I-895 at Moravia Rd via photopin (license)

2015 Western Bridge Preservation Partnership Meeting

Bridge Preservation
A few months ago, “60 Minutes” aired an insightful report about America’s aging infrastructure. According to the peice, titled “Falling apart: America’s neglected infrastructure“, 1 in 9 of the 700,000 bridges in the United States is considered “structurally deficient”.

Transportation activists and professionals agree there is an urgent need for lawmakers to invest in the much needed restoration of America’s outdated roads, rails, airports, seaports and bridges. One of the biggest challenges facing transportation engineering and maintenance personnel today is maintaining the integrity of these massive structures used by millions of people every day.

“Our highway infrastructure took decades and generations of Americans to build and is simply too valuable to be left to languish,” says Larry Galehouse, National Center for Pavement Preservation (NCPP) in this post. “As with any valuable asset, we must work hard to preserve it by judicious and timely proactive maintenance.”

Our POLYQuik Performance Products team is looking forward to meeting with bridge practitioners from state and local agencies, contractors, consultants, suppliers, academia, and federal government officials at the 2015 Western Bridge Preservation Partnership Meeting May 18-20, 2015 in Portland, Oregon. The event is a regional forum dedicated to bridge preservation practices throughout the Western Region.

Bridge Preservation is defined as “actions or strategies that prevent, delay or reduce deterioration of bridges or bridge elements, restore the function of existing bridges, keep bridges in good condition and extend their life.” Source: AASHTO Board of Directors, Policy Resolution PR-3-11, October 17, 2011.

The experienced chemists and engineers in our POLYQuik division continue to research and create high performance concrete repair products that are successfully utilized in bridge maintenance. The conference is an opportunity for us to share our concrete repair solutions with bridge maintenance managers, superintendents, designers, crews, planners, programmers, inspectors along with local, state, federal, and other agency bridge owners involved in bridge maintenance activities.

photo credit: “Old Town” Tbilisi and the Mktvari River via photopin (license)

POLYQuik Solutions to Be Presented at 2015 CCSA Pavement Preservation Workshop

Willamette Valley Company Vice President, John Murray will join POLYQuik Technical Sales Manager Rob Loomis and a handful of distributors to present our line of high-performance concrete repair products like FastPatch MD, FastPatch DPR and fillers & sealants like our EJC products at the California Chip Seal Association Pavement Preservation Workshop February 4-5, 2015.

The theme of this year’s CCSA Pavement Preservation Work Shop is aptly titled, “A Little Goes a Long Way”. Workshop attendees will include a range of transportation and infrastructure professionals who can expect to learn about the following concrete repair solutions at the Willamette Valley Company exhibit-

Expansion Joint (EJC) product line

The EJC product line is a unique hybrid polyurea that provides users with the ability to repair concrete expansion joints and passes the testing needed for airport runways, highways, parking decks, bridge decks, roofing and sidewalks that no other product of its kind can achieve. Even under extreme weather conditions and traffic, they retain the high performance characteristics needed for years to come. What you can expect from Expansion Joint Products: Rapid cure, 100% solids, Zero VOC, Self leveling, Highly elastic, remains flexible in freezing temps, Durable under stress.

FastPatch Products

It doesn’t matter if your concrete repair problem is up high, down low, in cold or warm temperatures, big or small, you’ll find the perfect solution in one of our FastPatch Products. This line of concrete repair products provides users with the ability to repair concrete spalls or voids in everything from roadways and parking lots, to warehouse buildings and sidewalks.

FastPatch MD’s meter dispensing is perfect for repairing large areas of damaged concrete while FastPatch DPR is ideal for distressed pavement repair in parking lots, warehouses, sidewalks and roadways. With each of these products you’ll experience excellent adhesion to concrete and an incredible cure rate that allows the repaired area to be open for use in as little as one hour!

To see it in action, watch this FASTPATCH MD/GC demonstration that features a large spall repair, longitudinal crack repair, and transverse joint sealing and filling:

POLYQuik products are tested and developed to the most stringent standards. Systems are thoroughly evaluated for performance with the latest in application equipment, physical properties testing, weather exposure, adhesion testing, chemical resistance testing and much more. The resulting concrete repair products are fast curing, tough materials.

Our laboratories and research centers are located in Oregon, Georgia, Louisiana and Chile. Our team of scientists and engineers consists of more than 45 members with more than 75 years combined experience in product development and application.

 

FastPatch Repair on the CSX Louisville Subdivision Queensgate Yard in Cincinnati, Ohio

CSX Transportation

Photo @ CSX Transportation Historical Society

The team of experienced chemists and engineers at Willamette Valley Company are continuously searching for better ways to apply our products and enhance your production.  Concrete repair products like FastPatch MD/GC-MD, developed by our POLYQuik Division, are a testament to our commitment of providing unrelenting quality and innovative solutions to the transportation industry.

FastPatch was used to conduct a repair on a scale chair in the CSX Queensgate Yard in Cincinnati, Ohio, one of the largest rail classification facilities in North America. Queensgate Yard, considered one of the most productive hump yards on the CSX system, is located along the Mill Creek west of downtown Cincinnati and covers approximately 70 miles of track. Constructed at a cost of over 71 million dollars with the purpose of consolidating several small yards in the area, the yard was dedicated on October 20, 1981. In 2012, our POLYQuik Division conducted a repair on a scale chair using a total of 5 lifts and 14 bags of gravel. The FastPatch procedure took 90 minutes to complete.

The following presentation illustrates the repair process:

FastPatch MD

Chair prior to removal

WVCO FastPatch

Chair removal

Concrete Repair

Old material and concrete removal

Concrete Repair

Area prepped and primed before application

FastPatch

Chair was set in place prior to any work being done

FastPatch Repair

Gravel was poured and FastPatch dispensed around chair. First lift was 6 inches. Anchor bolts were set in place while product was being applied.

Rail Repair

Chemical was allowed to cure for 55 minutes before train cars were allowed on the scale.

About FastPatch MD/GC-MD
FastPatch MD/GC-MD is a flexible, two component urethane designed as a fast curing repair product for concrete roadways. It is a 100% solids product supplied in ready-to-use kits or drums/totes for metered applications. FastPatch MD/GC has excellent adhesion to concrete. Concrete repaired with FastPatch MD/GC can be opened to traffic in as little as an hour. Click here to learn more about how POLYQuik Fastpatch concrete repair products.

 

Content Resources:
www.cincyrails.com/queensgate
www.csx.com
www.wilvaco.com/Cincy_Scale_Chair_Repair_PolyquikCSX

Maintaining a State of Good Repair at the 2014 Pacific Northwest Bridge Maintenance Conference

One of the biggest challenges transportation engineering and maintenance personnel face today is around the clock bridge maintenance. Think about it, our safety depends on their service and expertise as they work to maintain the integrity of these massive structures used by millions of people every day.

Our POLYQuik Performance Products team is looking forward to meeting with these individuals and many others who provide such a critical service to the infrastructure of our country and abroad at the Pacific Northwest Bridge Maintenance Conference in Portland, Oregon October 14-16, 2014!

This conference will feature a number of innovative seminars led by industry experts including representatives from the Oregon and Washington State Departments of Transportation. The keynote speaker this year is Sandi Doughton, the award-winning science writer for The Seattle Times and the author of Full Rip 9.0: The Next Big Earthquake in the Pacific Northwest. Here she is speaking at TEDxBellingham:

A number of important issues and topics will be covered relating to bridge maintenance information, innovations, ideas, and best practices. Other goals of the 2014 conference are to:

• Provide a means for bridge maintenance personnel to obtain training and a better understanding of bridge maintenance / repair techniques
• Foster the development of leadership skills
• Promote technology transfer within the bridge maintenance community
• Provide a forum for networking
• Promote “Fix it First” Strategies

Why POLYQuik?
Our POLYQuik division produces high-performance concrete repair products that are utilized in bridge maintenance. The conference is an opportunity for us to share our concrete repair solutions with bridge maintenance managers, superintendents, designers, crews, planners, programmers, inspectors along with local, state, federal, and other agency bridge owners involved in bridge maintenance activities.

Our experienced chemists and engineers are continually searching for better ways to apply our products and enhance your production. Stop by our exhibit booth #16 to learn more about our latest concrete repair products and discuss the very latest technology and techniques!

photo credit: Éole via photopin cc

Product Spotlight: POLYQuik’s FamoCrete Instant Concrete Repair

Companies across the globe turn to us for solutions to a variety of challenges ranging from railroad repair, automation system improvements, lumber mills production challenges, concrete repair and more.

POLYQuik’s Famocrete™ Instant Concrete repair is one of our most popular solutions used in the transportation and infrastructure markets. Famocrete™ is mostly commonly used to repair:

Walls – fill voids or patch defects
Pillars – repairs damaged areas
Sidewalks – fixes transitions or spalls
Curbs – repairs broken or damaged areas
Joints – supports and seals

It’s sag-resistant features makes it ideal for vertical and horizontal repairs. As you will see in this demo video, Famocrete™’s fast curing and excellent adhesion properties allows for a strong bond to concrete and quick return-to-service:

To learn more about POLYQuik Fillers and Sealants and other concrete repair products,  please visit Performance Products, a Division of Willamette Valley Company.