May 2020
Office: (217) 523-2208 
Location: 241 North 5th Street, Springfield, IL 62701
Deadline Dates
IDOT Lettings
June 12, 2020
July 31, 2020
September 18, 2020
November 6, 2020
AASHTO re:source Proficiency Sample Program

Asphalt Mixture Gyratory:
  • Enrollment Cut Off - May 28, 2020
  • Closing Date - August 13, 2020
Asphalt Mixture Solvent Extraction:
  • Enrollment Cut Off - October 22, 2020
  • Closing Date - January 14, 2021
Asphalt Mixture Ignition Oven:
  • Enrollment Cut Off - November 19, 2020
  • Closing Date - February 4, 2021
NAPA News
Determining "Work-Related" COVID-19, Workers' Comp & Liability Shields
Over the last few weeks, a number of state and federal agencies have started to address whether COVID-19 can or should be considered “work-related” in essential workers, whether the illness is compensable under a state Workers’ Compensation program, and if the government should shield employers from potential liability associated with business-related COVID-19 illnesses in employees or clientele (e.g., customers and subcontractors). 

Although OSHA excludes colds and influenza from being a work-related and recordable illness (see  29 CFR 1904.5(b)(2) ), on April 10, the agency issued  interim guidance  suggesting that employers of front-line workers like first responders and healthcare professionals are still required to make such work-relatedness determinations regarding COVID-19. The interim guidance also indicates the agency will not enforce its illness recording provision for other employers unless:
 
  • There is objective evidence that a COVID-19 case may be work-related (e.g., when a number of cases develop among employees who work closely together); and
  • The evidence is reasonably available to the employer.
 
Click here   for additional information on the OSHA interim guidance prepared by Ogletree law firm
 
In mid-April, the Illinois Workers' Compensation Commission (IL-WCC) approved an  emergency rule  allowing "essential" workers diagnosed with COVID-19 to presume it was contracted at work and receive coverage under the state's Workers Comp program. "Essential" industries are defined under   Illinois Executive Order 2020-10   and can be construed to include road construction and maintenance. Two weeks later, in response to potential litigation, IL-WCC  rescinded  the emergency rule. More recently, however, a number of states are considering  expanding the definition  of frontline worker beyond healthcare employees and using legislative and executive orders to create legal presumption that COVID-19 infection is work-related for essential workers.
 
For the most up-to-date information, please see  Ogletree law firm’s analysis   of state-by-state COVID-19 Workers’ Comp coverage.
NCAT News
How Effective is Crack Sealing?
Crack sealing and filling can be cost-effective treatments when applied while the pavement is still in a state of good repair. These treatments consist of applying a highly elastic material into pavement cracks to prevent or reduce the intrusion of water and incompressible materials. The benefits of crack sealing include decreasing further crack deterioration, protecting the pavement structure from moisture damage, and ultimately extending the pavement life. Although the expected life extension is typically reported to be between two to five years, the benefit obtained depends on several variables such as traffic, climate, and the condition of the pavement at the time of treatment.

Answering the question of how much life-extending benefit can be gained from crack sealing–and other preservation treatments–is the main objective of the Pavement Preservation Group Study being conducted as part of the NCAT/MnROAD partnership. Thanks to the construction of full-scale test sections and periodic monitoring of pavement condition data, the study provides an ideal platform to quantify the benefits of preservation under different conditions.
The results discussed in this article are from test sections on Lee Road 159, a two-lane county road near NCAT that represents the low-traffic volume, warm climate portion of the research. Lee Road 159 has the oldest test sections in the study, which are now approaching eight years in service. A unique characteristic of this site is that it provides dead end access to a quarry and an asphalt plant, resulting in a high percentage of traffic with heavy loads. Although both lanes are subjected to the same traffic volume, traffic loads vary significantly as trucks travel unloaded in the inbound direction (to the quarry and asphalt plant) and exit loaded in the outbound direction.

A subset of six test sections was selected to reflect potential differences in performance exhibited by pavements with and without crack sealing applied as a preservation treatment. The sections were divided into three categories, as shown in Table 1, to allow direct comparisons among pairs of treatments where the only difference in each pair is the application of crack filling or sealing. It should be noted that crack treatment varied by direction; cracks in the inbound lane were routed and sealed, while cracks in the outbound direction were filled using an overband method.

See article for additional information.
Capitol Updates
May 1 was the first day of the Governor’s newly issued disaster proclamation and newly filed Executive Order 2020-32 extending the stay-at-home order, with modifications, through May 30. During the Governor’s daily press briefings, he continues to reiterate we will remain under the stay-at-home guidance until Illinois experiences a consistent drop in newly reported cases over 14 days. This could also mean a decrease in positive tests as a percentage of total tests, as the state has increased its testing capability over a 24-hour period in excess of 10,000 tests during the preceding week. Testing will need to continue to increase as outbreaks persist at long-term care facilities and manufacturing facilities. While it appears Illinois has plateaued, it is not yet clear if we have peaked. The Governor has alluded he is looking at multiple factors to determine how he will proceed with a phased-in reopening. However, the specific criteria he will use when determining which direction to follow remains unknown. A more detailed roadmap from the administration could be coming soon.

The General Assembly has not yet convened during the pandemic, nor are they scheduled to return to Springfield. Before the end of FY 20 (June 30), members will need to pass a budget for FY 21 and take up other crucial measures. It is not yet clear when they will return or for how long. Several possibilities exist. Legislators could return to Springfield for the final two weeks of May, thereby needing only a simple majority to pass the budget. Although legislators are considered essential under the Governor’s stay-at-home order, they could wait until after the stay-at-home order expires in June, when they would need a super-majority of votes to pass a budget. Yet another possibility would be for the members to return for one day to vote to enable remote voting. We expect more clarity on this in the coming days.

House Cancels Session: From the Speaker’s Chief of Staff, Jessica Basham: “First, please note that the session days scheduled for next week (Tuesday, May 5 through Friday, May 8) are cancelled. The deadline for House Bills out of Committees, which had previously been rescheduled for May 7, will be extended to Friday, May 15. The 3rd Reading deadline for House Bills, which had previously been rescheduled for May 15, will be extended to Friday, May 22. The deadline for Senate Bills out of Committees will be extended from May 15 to Friday, May 29, and the 3rd Reading deadline for Senate Bills will be extended from May 22 to Sunday, May 31.”

Emergency Workers’ Compensation Rule: On April 23, a Sangamon County judge granted a temporary restraining order blocking an emergency rule expanding workers compensation coverage for employees diagnosed with COVID-19. The ruling follows a lawsuit filed by a coalition of business groups challenging the statutory authority of the Illinois Workers Compensation Commission (IWCC) to issue the emergency rule. On April 27, the IWCC withdrew the emergency rule; however, the IWCC also announced it will create "a committee of practitioners to assist in the examination of problems created by the COVID-19 pandemic and possible actions that the Commission may take to solve these problems.” An announcement of Committee members, meetings, and dates will be released soon. 
IDOT Updates
Pritzker Administration Partnering with Local Groups to Offer Free Food for Truckers
SPRINGFIELD – To help the public show appreciation to the trucking industry during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Illinois Department of Transportation announced today it will be coordinating with groups that want to provide free food to truckers. Events that meet and follow specific safety requirements will be held at select IDOT weigh stations throughout the state.

“We are proud to offer our assistance in saying thank you to truckers and giving them some encouragement in their travels,” said Illinois Acting Transportation Secretary Omer Osman. “All of us owe these men and women our gratitude for keeping the nation’s supply chain moving, making sure food is winding up in our homes and getting medical supplies and equipment to the people that need them most.”

The events will be held only at weigh stations, with a maximum time limit of three hours for each event. Illinois Department of Public Health criteria for handling food and other safety guidelines, which can be viewed by clicking here , must be followed at all times. Events will not be held at rest areas.

Scheduling will be coordinated by IDOT and the Illinois State Police. Requests by organizations wishing to distribute food must be received at least five days in advance. The following weigh stations will be available between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays:

  • Interstate 55 southbound at Williamsville in Sangamon County
  • Interstate 57 northbound and southbound at Marion in Williamson County
  • Interstate 64 eastbound at O’Fallon in St. Clair County
  • Interstate 70 westbound at Marshall in Marshall County
  • Interstate 74 eastbound and westbound at Moline in Henry County
  • Interstate 80 eastbound and westbound at East Moline in Rock Island County
  • Interstate 70 eastbound at Brownstown in Fayette County

For more information and to schedule your group’s involvement, contact Weight Enforcement Engineer Keith Donovan at Keith.Donovan@illinois.gov or by calling (217) 299-0934.
IDOT Events and Projects
Support Our Industry
IAPA Good Government Council
Through the years, the Illinois Asphalt Pavement Association (IAPA) and its Good Government Council Political Action Committee (GGC PAC) have supported elected legislators and officers of Illinois who understand the critical role that highway infrastructure plays in Illinois’ economy. Through these efforts and the hard work of member companies and staff, IAPA is recognized as a leader for our industry. With the recent passage of the historic $45 billion Rebuild Illinois Capital Bill, it is important for GGC PAC to be prepared to ensure the program is implemented as intended. Therefore, IAPA is requesting additional donations from members to the GGC PAC. Plant mix members are encouraged to donate $1,000 to $5,000 and all other membership categories are encouraged to donate $500 to $1000. Please support IAPA's GGC by completing the Donation Form .
IAPA Scholarship Program
The Illinois Asphalt Pavement Association's scholarship program was started in 1984. To date, the program has awarded over 200 scholarships worth more than $500,000. The purpose of the program is to:

  • Promote knowledge of hot-mix asphalt (HMA) and HMA pavements;
  • Enhance IAPA's relationship with engineering and construction schools throughout the state of Illinois; and
  • Provide educational assistance to qualified students.

Students enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate engineering or construction management program at the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana, University of Illinois - Chicago, Bradley University, Lake Land College,  Southern Illinois University-Carbondale , or Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville are eligible for the program. Applications are coordinated through each respective university. Students selected for award are required to complete a minor research report related to asphalt pavements and are invited to attend IAPA's Annual Conference.

Marshall R. Thompson Professorship Endowment
The Illinois Asphalt Pavement Association (IAPA) appreciates the support, guidance, and contributions that Professor Marshall R. Thompson has provided to the Illinois and National asphalt pavement industry over his career. Marshall is well respected by academia, government agencies, and private industry. IAPA members are dedicated to providing high quality, long lasting, sustainable pavements to the travelling public and taxpayers of Illinois. In addition, IAPA is committed to ensuring the University of Illinois at Urbana‐Champaign's (UIUC) Civil & Environmental Engineering Department of the College of Engineering remains as a national leader in flexible pavement design and asphalt materials. Therefore, our goal is to raise funds from our members to endow the "Illinois Asphalt Pavement Association Marshall R. Thompson Professorship".

Thank you for helping Illinois Asphalt keep those
in our community safe on the roads!

Kevin Burke III, P.E.
Executive Vice-President
Illinois Asphalt Pavement Association