A big contingent of NDOT team members, plus Nevada’s road and infrastructure engineers, materials suppliers, and builders, along with students from the University of Nevada, Reno all gathered together at the Atlantis Casino Resort on Wednesday, October 25th for the 21st Annual Nevada Infrastructure Concrete Conference, the best-attended event in the two+decade history of the NICC. More than 200 in total participated in the conference.

Tom Van Dam gets down to basics in his first presentation, “Roadmap to Successful Concrete.”

The theme of NICC 2023 was “Getting Back to Basics,” and featured a robust and engaging program that focused on the vital connection between quality and sustainability. Presentations by NDOT and Industry subject matter specialists included innovative practices, project case studies, and expert insights. Highlights included simple quality improvement examples that enhance durability, reduce maintenance, and improve the performance of our infrastructure.

Audience interaction was animated and engaging. Pictured here with the microphone is Michaela Bruns of the UNR Concrete Canoe Team, alongside Clay Slocum of the California Nevada Cement Association.

From the opening address by NDOT Deputy Director Darin Tedford to Tom Van Dam’s “Roadmap to Successful Concrete” and “Demonstrating Low-Carbon Concrete,” NICC 2023 kept the attendees engaged with insightful presentations from industry experts on the fundamentals of long-life concrete pavement and infrastructure.

NDOT Assistant Chief Materials Engineer Peter Schmalzer took the audience on a tour of the “580 to 395 Corridor” in his presentation.

NDOT Spotlight Project presentations took the audience throughout the State, from the Henderson Spaghetti Bowl Project in Las Vegas by NDOT’s Dallan Affleck and CA Group’s James Mischler, up to the U.S. 395 North Valleys Project by NDOT’s Robert Vrooman. NDOT Assistant Chief Materials Engineer Peter Schmalzer showcased the “580 to 395 Corridor,” CEMEX’s Corey Zollinger and CNCA’s Clay Slocum presented “Recent Advances in RCC Roadway Construction,” and Fonte & Co.’s Matte Fonte offered valuable guidance in “Concrete Pavement Troubleshooting & Solutions.”

Michael Smith of CEMEX delivers his “elevator speech” to the audience. NICC 2023 featured exhibits from a dozen industry sponsors, who enjoyed a tremendous amount of interaction with the 200+ attendees.

The Innovations in Pavement & Materials session continued with the FHWA’s Jim Grove illuminating “Concrete Mix Designs,” and GES’s Greg DeSart educating the audience on “The Proper Care & Feeding of Cylinders.”

Co-hosts Tom Tietz, Executive Director of the California Nevada Cement Association, left, and Charles Stuart, Executive Director of the Southwest Concrete Pavement Association, far right, present NDOT Deputy Director Darin Tedford with the Golden Hard Hat Leadership Award in recognition of his outstanding work over more than three decades at NDOT, inspiring teamwork, engagement, and excellence in all fields of endeavor. And in recognition and appreciation of his outstanding support, guidance, and active participation in helping to make the Nevada Infrastructure Concrete Conference a paradigm of partnering success over the past two decades.

The Innovations in Bridge Construction breakout sessions attracted a rapt audience with Stantec’s Sreenivas Alampalli’s “Smart Bridge Testing with Embedded Sensors,” NDOT’s Ryan Hornback and Chris Kuhn’s “I-80 West Bridge Replacement Project,” Parametrix’s Nathan Johnson’s “Foundation Reuse for Bridges in Nevada and the Southwest,” and NDOT’s Dave Chase and Jacobs Engineering’s Robbie Coomes’ presentation, “Nevada’s First Ultra-High-Performance Concrete Project: Multiple-Span Bridge on I-80 in Fernley.”

The morning following NICC 2023, Nevada Cement VP and Plant Manager Jared Kupcak and Plant Optimization Manager Damian Flores conducted tours of the plant in Fernley, Nevada.

The following morning, Dave Chase and Robbie Coomes brought their presentation to life as a part of the NICC 2023 Field Trip that included guided visits to the UHPC I-80 Bridge Project in Fernley, and outstanding tours of the Nevada Cement Plant, courtesy of Nevada Cement VP and Plant Manager Jared Kupcak, who, along with Plant Optimization Manager Damian Flores, conducted the in-depth tours of the facility.