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Federal Highway Administration > Publications > Focus > February 2001 > The LTPP Forecast
February 2001Publication Number: FHWA-RD-01-061

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The LTPP Forecast

Rolling out a new version of the DataPave software, introducing improved testing procedures and guidelines, and studying the benefits of the long-term pavement performance (LTPP) research are just a few of the activities the LTPP program has planned for 2001.

DataPave 3.0 will contain even more data on traffic, materials, performance, environment, and other variables at the more than 2,400 LTPP test sections across the United States and Canada. The software is scheduled for release mid year and will be available on both CD-ROM and the LTPP program's Web site. Other products in the pipeline for release this year include an improved start-up procedure for resilient modulus testing, guidelines for temperature adjustment of falling-weight deflectometer test results, and a software program containing climatic data for use in pavement design, research, forensics, and construction scheduling. "Putting products such as these out there is the reason we're doing the LTPP program," says Charlie Churilla of FHWA.

The program's data collection activities will focus on evaluating in-place pavement drainage systems and using ground-penetrating radar to assess section layer thickness. Work will also continue on the Specific Pavement Study (SPS) traffic data collection study (see November 2000 Focus). Nineteen States have committed to participating in this pooled fund study, which is designed to increase and improve the collection of monitored traffic data for five of the SPS projects.

With more than 10 years of data collection and product releases behind it, the LTPP program has also launched a study of the benefits resulting from its work. These benefits range from such tangible items as the establishment of the LTPP database and advances in materials testing and pavement evaluation to such intangibles as increased awareness of the importance of effective traffic monitoring and greater sharing of information by States. In many cases, the benefits translate into cost savings. For example, it is estimated that $68 million a year could be saved if the LTPP program's LTPPBind software, which provides improved low- and high-temperature models for selecting performance-graded binders for a specific location, was used in only a quarter of the hot-mix asphalt projects in the United States. Details of these and other benefits will be covered in the study's summary report, which is due out this summer.

For more information on the LTPP program's products and activities, contact Charlie Churilla at FHWA, 202-493-3142 (fax: 202-493-3161; email: charles.churilla@fhwa.dot.gov).

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Updated: 04/07/2011

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