ISSA and AMRL-A "Game Changing" Partnership

by Bob Jerman, MWV, ISSA Technical Director

Embracing change seldom means taking the path of least resistance. However, taking the path of least resistance seldom generates great reward. For many years, we’ve posted a list of ISSA member laboratories on the ISSA website. However, we don’t have accreditation authority for any of those labs. As ISSA members, these labs engage in design and/or technical support of one, or more, of ISSA’s supported pavement preservation disciplines, as well as other industry-related services. Many of them have certain aspects of those services already accredited. Those may include asphalt testing, emulsion testing, aggregate testing, or even hot mix design. Currently, there is no accreditation program for slurry seal or micro surfacing design. Agencies are hungry for quality, high performance pavement preservation technologies to meet the needs of their pavement management programs in a world of ever-tightening budgets. They want confirmation that the products for which they are paying are designed by qualified laboratories.

Everyone in this industry recognizes the tremendous brand recognition of the AASHTO Materials Reference Laboratory (AMRL). As our partner in this journey, the team from AMRL has been working with us for over a year to develop a Lab Assessment Program (LAP) using the ISSA Technical Bulletins as the foundation for the assessment worksheets. We’re very close to beginning initial laboratory assessments for slurry seal and micro surfacing design.

News regarding this program is exciting and will generate many, many questions from each of you. The goal of this message is to inform everyone that this initiative was not only underway but is nearing launch. As with any new venture, there will be challenges. We’ll do our best to address them in a timely fashion in order to deliver a quality program to every member. Look for additional news and details in upcoming newsletters and during the PPRA 2015 Fall Meeting in Niagara Falls.

So, what’s the reward referred to at the beginning? It’s one step in a multi-faceted approach to improved credibility and validation of two of the best pavement preservation technologies available today. It’s one more asset for you as an ISSA member to use in promoting quality performance with ISSA and AMRL brand recognition. Please join us in welcoming “Team AMRL”. Together, we win. Thank you for your support.

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