Latest News

Dr. Gail Ervin of The Ervin Consulting Group, a long-time friend and collaborator of NCE, joins forces with NCE

Gail ErvinDr. Gail Ervin of The Ervin Consulting Group, a long-time friend and collaborator of NCE, is joining forces with NCE to better serve her clients and communities with a team of exceptional professionals that share her values and commitments. She is a consulting principal with over 30 years of experience in environmental assessment and planning, facilitation, and public dispute resolution, specializing in downtown commercial and housing development, municipal infrastructure, adaptive reuse of historic buildings, military base closures, and brownfield development, with special expertise in downtown and neighborhood revitalization and CEQA/NEPA compliance for both the private and public sectors. Her professional experience, uniquely complemented by her active civic involvement, provides a thorough understanding of project analysis, public dispute resolution, public policy development, project management, public outreach, and development review from all perspectives. Gail and NCE embody an ethic of collaboration, integrity, and service. NCE is honored to combine forces with her. Gail can be reached at NCE’s Richmond office at (510) 215-3620, at her mobile at (916) 764-2498, or at

2016 California Statewide Needs Report Released

The 2016 California Statewide Local Streets and Roads Needs Assessment Report was released last week. No surprise to any of you, the 2016 Report found continued decline in pavement condition, bridges and essential components that make up the local street and road system. The average condition has dropped from a 66 on the Pavement Condition Index (PCI) [a scale of zero (failed) to 100 (excellent)] to a 65 which is in the “at risk” category. While this drop may not seem significant on its own, consider that since the inaugural report in 2008 the number of counties with an average PCI in “good” condition has dropped from 16 to 6 in just 10-years.


Since 2008, NCE has performed the Statewide needs assessment study of 539 cities and counties in California and has updated it biennially in 2010, 2012, 2014 and the most recent report in 2016. The scope of work includes collecting data on over 143,000 miles of local streets and roads, or over 80% of the state’s publicly maintained roadways.

The major tasks in this study include data collection from all cities and counties. These data is reviewed, summarized and evaluated. A methodology for standardizing the comparison process (converting all “apples” and “oranges” to “strawberries”) was developed in 2008 and continues to be utilized. This considers agencies with old data, missing data or no data. The results are presented to a variety of audiences including the California Transportation Commission, the State Legislature, Regional Transportation Planning Agency Planning Group and industry representatives.

Please visit to download a copy of the report.

FHWA Sustainable Pavements Program

FHWA_Thomas Van DamThe FHWA launched the Sustainable Pavements Program in 2010 to advance the knowledge and practice of sustainability related to pavements. The overall objective of the program is to increase the awareness, visibility, and the body of knowledge of sustainability considerations in all phases of the pavement life cycle. Under that program, the FHWA has completed the technical resource publication “Towards Sustainable Pavement Systems: A Reference Document” (FHWA-HIF-15-002), and is now delivering a series of five webinars to help implement and promote key elements of pavement sustainability.

NCE’s Principal, Thomas Van Dam, PhD, PE, will be co-presenting the webinars which are scheduled from 1-3PM (EDT). The schedule and topics are listed below:

June 25th – Sustainable Strategies for Concrete Pavements: Materials, Design, Construction
August 20th – Maintenance, Rehabilitation, and End-of-Life
September 9th – Use Phase, Livable Communities, and Path Forward

For more information, click Sustainable Pavements_Webinar Flyer.

Strategic Highway Research Program Resource Manual Published

TRB’s second Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP 2) Report S2-R23-RW-2: Guide to Using Existing Pavement in Place and Achieving Long Life provides guidance for selecting, designing, and constructing long-life pavements using existing pavement structure has been published. The guide is intended to complement the design tools developed by SHRP 2 Report S2-R23-RR-1: Using Existing Pavement in Place and Achieving Long Life. This project also produced Addendum 1 and Addendum 2 to update and expand the information presented in the guide. The NCE Team authored the guidelines, best practices, pavement evaluation manual, and construction specifications.

LTPP Data Analysis: Advancement of Profile-Based Curl and Warp Analysis Using LTPP Profile Data

NCE is working with the University of Michigan to advance the innovative method for calculating curl and warp from measured longitudinal profile demonstrated in the study of a PCC Long Term Pavement Performance (LTPP) project in Arizona (, and for estimating the portion of roughness that can be attributed to curl and warp each time the profile is measured.  This methodology permits the study of roughness progression over a long monitoring history without the confounding influence of short-term changes in roughness.  In addition,  the potential for expanding the utility of FWD data with regards to curl and warp will also be explored.  Any strong relationships demonstrated will add a new tool to pavement designers’ toolboxes.

Leading Expert in Pavement Sustainability Joins NCE

NCE is happy to announce a new addition to our team. Thomas Van Dam, PE, PhD, FACI, LEED AP has joined NCE as a Principal in the Transportation Research Group where his expertise will expand NCE’s research capabilities and refine our pavement-related expertise. Dr. Van Dam has been actively involved in pavement-related issues at the national, regional, and state levels. His areas of expertise include sustainable civil engineering infrastructure, airport and highway pavement performance, durability, and training.

With 29 years of experience in pavement design and evaluation, concrete, materials assessment and sustainability, he has managed large projects for the FHWA, multiple state Departments of Transportation and the Innovative Pavement Research Foundation to analyze the effects of concrete properties and durability on pavement performance and has published numerous articles and papers.

Dr. Van Dam graduated from the University of Illinois-Urbana with a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science in Civil Engineering, and Doctorate in Philosophy. He’s a member of several national associations, including the American Concrete Institute, American Society of Civil Engineers, Transportation Research Board, and International Society of Concrete Pavements.

“As we are winning new pavement sustainability projects, Tom’s experience and technical skills are great assets to the growing NCE transportation research practice and to the firm,” said Claude Corvino, NCE President.