How Our HMA Laboratory Adapts During COVID-19
By: Jon O’Brock | Senior Project Engineer
As with nearly everyone, the 2020 construction season has been in many ways unique for the Materials Testing Consultants (MTC) Hot Mix Asphalt (HMA) Laboratory. We have not been immune to the changes affecting our world since early spring and have adapted with split shifts, enhanced cleaning, and altered drop off procedures—all designed to prevent the transmission of the COVID-19 virus and protect our employees and clients. Our staff has taken the changes in stride and has risen to the challenge of being able to operate a functioning lab and maintain exceptionally high-quality standards while having minimal face-to-face interaction with colleagues and clients.
While different, our work has also been remarkably similar in 2020. Materials Testing Consulting has entered our 19th year of providing HMA quality assurance testing to MDOT. We currently operate the MDOT Grand Region HMA QA laboratory as well as provide Traveling Mix Inspector services. In addition to our workload from MDOT, MTC has provided HMA QA services to various other local governments, continuing relationships forged in past seasons. These projects are managed from our three Michigan offices. Meetings have switched to virtual and masked smiles have replaced handshakes on job sites, but the work of rebuilding Michigan’s crumbling roadways has continued. We continue to support all our clients through accurate, repeatable, and defensible HMA materials testing to ensure quality standards are being met. We also continue to provide support to other MTC departments in investigating HMA pavement-related failures as needed.
While we look forward to the end of the pandemic, we stand ready in the meantime to demonstrate our core values of Trust, Ethics, Service, and Technical Leadership (while wearing a mask for now).