Federal law requires federal agencies, including the U.S. Department of Transportation, to revise and update their strategic plan at the beginning of each new presidential term.  In so doing, the DOT invited stakeholders to comment on the Draft DOT Strategic Framework, which included draft strategic goals and strategic objectives to accomplish each strategic goal.

The draft DOT Strategic Framework reflects the agency’s priorities for achieving DOT’s mission through six strategic goals: safety, economic strength and global competitiveness, equity, climate and sustainability, transformation, and organizational excellence. The NAPA organization was the only association providing comments on behalf of the asphalt pavement industry.

NAPA President and CEO Audrey Copeland asked DOT to prioritize worker safety in work zones and the deployment of innovative pavement technologies, both of which should be added to the DOT Strategic Framework. Copeland also recommended the inclusion of a goal: the development of revenue options for the Highway Trust Fund.

Asphalt Materials is Focused on Building, Longer-Lasting, Safer Roads

The Department of Transportation (DOT) published their draft Strategic Framework FY2022-2026, for public comment in November 2021. Shown below are a few of the important elements of the DOT’s document where the focus of Asphalt Materials and this framework as particularly aligned.

DOT’s Goals and Terms Defined 

Make our transportation system safer for all people. Work toward a future where transportation-related serious injuries and fatalities are eliminated.  

  • Safe Workers: Support the health and safety of transportation workers and first responders 
  • Safe Design: Design and build transportation infrastructure, vehicles, and systems to improve safety outcomes 
  • Infrastructure Resilience and climate-informed decision-making
  • Design for the future. Invest in purpose-driven research and innovation to meet the challenge of the present and modernize a transportation system of the future that serves everyone today and in the decades to come. 
  • Foster breakthrough discoveries and new knowledge through high-risk, high-reward research driven by policy objectives 
  • Experimentation:  Identify new ideas, new innovation, and new possibilities. Evaluate the opportunities and risks so the Department can support public benefits 
  • Collaboration and Competitiveness:  Work with diverse stakeholders to share noteworthy practices and accelerate the adoption of innovation and technologies 
  • Flexibility and Adaptability:  Design flexibility into transportation system investments to accommodate and respond to changing needs and capabilities to provide long-term benefits 
  • The DOT has expressed an interest in establishing policies, processes, and innovative culture to effectively and responsibly steward the public’s resources
  • The DOT has expressed an interest in educating the public on the value of their transportation investments 
  • Sustainability Initiatives:  Promote a sustainable, clean, and resilient future 
  • Focus on program outcomes and enhanced analytics 
Asphalt delivers sustainability by being the most recycled material in the world.

Asphalt Materials: Focused on Longer-lasting, Safer Roads

One of the most important objectives of Asphalt Materials is to create longer-lasting roads. This objective of AMI is aligned with the DOT and will lead to a more resilient and reliable transportation system, infrastructure and supply chain.  

At the core of the Heritage Group is a tradition of innovation and a strong commitment to science. You see it daily in the problem-solving that occurs among our companies and their customers. And, you see it in the world-class research that’s driven growth across The Heritage Group and earned more than 100 patents.

Nowhere is this more apparent than at Heritage Research Group, our central research and development unit which operates at the cutting-edge of technology from its state-of-the-art research facility at The Center in Indianapolis.

Our focus on innovation is further demonstrated by the creation of HG Ventures, our corporate venture arm which is primarily focused on investments in early- and growth-stage opportunities in the infrastructure space.

The Heritage Group has been developing environmentally- sustainable solutions for more than 50 years – we started Heritage Environmental Services with a Subtitle C landfill in 1970, the same year the EPA was created.

Today, Heritage Environmental Services is a leader in environmental sustainability and a one-stop waste management solution all across North America.

We help clients leverage the full potential of waste, identifying opportunities and efficiencies to re-claim value and turn waste into productive, sustainable assets by leveraging our research and development partners.

Equipped with experience and driven by creativity and innovation, we are a team of environmentalists and engineers passionate about doing things the right way or not at all.

A particularly excellent example of a Heritage Group, Heritage Research Lab and Asphalt Materials discovery is VRAM, a void reducing asphalt membrane which has been shown to create longer-lasting safer roads. Many of the objectives, goals and strategies outlined by the DOT can be achieved by using more VRAM across a variety of projects in the United States in 2022 and beyond.

  • VRAM helps build longer-lasting roads lead to a more resilient and reliable infrastructure and supply chain
  • VRAM helps build longer-lasting roads that are more environmentally friendly than many other mechanical methods
  • VRAM helps build longer-lasting roads that are more sustainable
  • VRAM is a breakthrough discovery that helps roads last up to 5 years longer and delivers a return on investment of 3 to 5 times its cost
  • VRAM is a breakthrough innovation that has an impressive track record that has been performing and delivering results since 2002
  • VRAM is being used in 21 states and The District of Columbia. These states can collaborate with other states to accelerate the adoption of the VRAM innovative technology
  • VRAM provides long-term benefits as shown in an Indiana DOT life cycle analysis where an investment of $12.5M in J-Band can result in a $39M in savings (approximately 3:1 ROI).

Asphalt Materials, Inc. an Important Company Within The Heritage Group

At The Heritage Group, we have been developing environmentally sustainable solutions for more than 50 years. We started Heritage Environmental Services with a Subtitle C landfill in 1970, the same year the EPA was created. Today, Heritage Environmental Services is a leader in environmental sustainability and a one-stop waste management solution spread across North America.

Sustainability is important all across The Heritage Group. Our businesses are focused on leaving the world a better place for future generations.

At Asphalt Materials (AMI), we work closely with The National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA). NAPA works to support, advocate, and advance the asphalt pavement industry. One of NAPA’s focus areas for 2022 is climate stewardship and how asphalt is environmentally friendly as it is America’s most recycled material. Our industry continuously explores methods and practices to contribute to a sustainable infrastructure and a healthy environment for generations to come.

It is always worth noting that asphalt delivers sustainability by being the most recycled material in the world !

Be on the lookout for future articles on these subjects throughout 2022.