A steady stream of local engineers, researchers, Texas A&M University students and members of the City of College Station Public Works Department toured the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA’s) Mobile Concrete Trailer (MCT) on the Texas A&M campus May 22–23.
The MCT was set up in the parking lot of the Texas A&M Transportation Institute (TTI) as part of the trailer’s continuous nationwide tour, which is designed to spread the word about the benefits of concrete infrastructure and share the latest technologies and testing equipment.
“Because we were coming to College Station, we requested to set up the trailer at TTI because of the Institute’s cutting-edge work involving roadway engineering, and its reputation in all things transportation,” says Jagan Gudimettla, the MCT project engineer. “Our primary focus involves technology transfer, especially with the latest, materials-related testing equipment.”
The MCT visits state departments of transportation and municipalities, attends conferences, conducts one-on-one training with engineers and contractors, and works closely with academia to spread the word about the latest concrete research and testing equipment. Gudimettla says the primary goal of the MCT project is to share information about making roads last longer.
Susan Monnat, P.E., City of College Station project manager, spearheaded the effort in having the MCT visit the area. Monnat is also the regional vice president of the Texas Society of Professional Engineers.
Even though asphalt is the primary material used in road building nationwide, the City of College Station is building more of its roads using concrete after recently conducting a cost analysis. “Even though concrete costs a little more, we determined the life cycle of concrete is longer, making it a better value,” Monnat says.
When it leaves College Station, the MCT will head to Colorado for its next show-and-tell about the benefits of concrete road construction.