Roads are something I think about every day – their composition and construction, the stresses and strains we place on them, their maintenance, the safety of the teams building them, and how to maximize their effectiveness while making the most judicious use of the resources
I recognize that I am unusual in that regard and most people take roads for granted, unless or until something goes wrong. I am very happy we remain unnoticed, as this means we are doing our jobs well. I am grateful for the daily hard work of my colleagues, building or repairing the roads themselves, mining and formulating road products, and developing new materials and techniques in Heritage Research Group.
However, as this report highlights, we all have a lot of work ahead to build the next generation of roads that drive our economy for future generations.
For more than 65 years, Heritage Construction + Materials companies have been engaged in building and maintaining the roads and bridges that transformed the American economy into an economic powerhouse. I am proud to say that during that time our business has been at the forefront of innovation, making enhancements to construction techniques, developing new materials, and increasing the sustainability of both over time. This work continues, with more improvements being made constantly.
More than ever, we see that more radical solutions are on the horizon, with new opportunities coming from innovative materials, autonomy, electrification and more.
Every day, my colleagues and I see the hard choices that those responsible for the stewardship of our road infrastructure must make; the choices of which roads’ repairs will be prioritized, and which communities will have to wait for their turn.
Even just thinking about road surfacing, we can see that while there are many exciting alternative materials being developed and trialed, asphalt is reliable, durable, costeffective and, with so much of it recyclable, sustainable. Asphalt will also be part of the make-up of our roads, but it will be joined by other materials, where they are more appropriate solutions. The same goes for construction techniques, materials used for repair, funding models, and every other area.
I endorse my HG Ventures colleagues’ view that the future of roads will look different – and it may be a surprise to some that this is something that excites me. Thinking differently about our roads, and how technology can play a bigger part in their future, does not mean scrapping what we currently have, but it means we have new opportunities to serve the public with impactful solutions that benefit all.
The Heritage Group has survived for nearly a century because it has always evolved. More than that, our company has often led the way, and I see the future of our roads as our greatest opportunity yet to continue that \tradition of innovation and evolution, so that we all may
continue to rely on our roads to keep the world moving.
READ MORE in The Future of Roads: The Role of Technology in Securing Vital Infrastructure report.
Heritage Construction + Materials (HC+M) is part of The Heritage Group, a privately held, family-owned business headquartered in Indianapolis. HC+M has core capabilities in infrastructure building. Its collection of companies provides innovative road construction and materials services across the Midwest. HC+M companies, including Milestone Contractors, Asphalt Materials, Inc., and US Aggregates, proudly employ 3,000 people at 55 locations across seven states. Learn more at www.heritagebuilds.com.