Industry, lawmakers mark California concrete pavement milestone

Sources: American Concrete Pavement Association, Rosemont, Ill.; CP staff

Highway construction stakeholders, California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) officials, and state legislators assembled in mid-August to recognize the performance, longevity and value inherent in a 10-mile stretch of Interstate 10 concrete pavement, linking Ontario and Colton and placed in 1947 with a projected 20-year service life.

“Manufacturing and distributing cement and other building materials provides us the opportunity to see the results of the great potential that exists in the built environment. When we apply science, technology and artistry, and add equal measures of sustainable construction practices, almost anything imagined is possible,” said CalPortland Co. CEO and 2017 Portland Cement Association Chairman Allen Hamblen. “This section of highway is not only a testament of the durability and sustainability of quality concrete construction, it is also a reminder of how we must design and construct resilient projects that will withstand the impacts of increased use and an increasingly demanding environment.”

“By any standard, 70 years is a remarkable period of time for any pavement to last, but considering that it is 8 inches thick—about 50 to 75 percent thinner than most freeway pavements—and that it carries about 180,000 more vehicles per day than the 90,000 it carried less than 25 years ago, it is an exceptional example of pavement longevity,” added California Nevada Cement Association Executive Director Tim Tietz, whose served as “Interstate 10 at 70 Years” master of ceremony.

The event was staged at the Ontario Airport Hotel by co-hosts CalPortland, California Nevada Cement Association, Southwest Concrete Pavement Association and Caltrans Region 8, with support from the American Concrete Pavement Association and PCA. Alongside industry and agency accolades, the California Senate and State Assembly recognized the freeway with a formal proclamation, calling attention to the pavement’s capacity to carry more trucks with heavier payloads than ever before, and its “sustainability and resiliency to the forces of nature and man.”