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Publication Number: FHWA-HRT-05-021
Date: November 2004
Stronger, more durable bridges and faster construction. These benefits and more can result from the next generation of high-performance concrete (HPC), known as ultra-high-performance concrete (UHPC). UHPC, which has been used in two highway bridges in France and three pedestrian bridges in Canada, South Korea, and Japan, is now starting to gain attention in the United States. For the last 2 years, the Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA) Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center (TFHRC) in McLean, Virginia, has been testing the viability of this new technology and assisting States willing to experiment with UHPC for use in bridges. Iowa is now constructing a bridge with UHPC components, and Virginia is using UHPC in bridge construction as well.
For State highway agencies, the use of value engineering (VE) methods and techniques produced more than $1 billion in savings in 2003. Looking beyond the savings, VE methods also shortened project times, encouraged innovation, lowered life-cycle costs, and improved quality.
Developing guidelines to reduce or eliminate premature distress in concrete pavements is the goal of a new pooled-fund study sponsored by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), 16 State highway agencies, the American Concrete Pavement Association, and numerous State/regional concrete paving associations. The study, TPF-5(066), "Material and Construction Optimization for Prevention of Premature Pavement Distress in Portland Cement Concrete Pavements," is being conducted by Iowa State University's Center for Portland Cement Concrete (PCC) Pavement Technology. Iowa is the Lead State for this 5-year pooled-fund effort.
Adjusting highway agency budget allocation models to include roadway condition data was one of the challenges for highway maintenance managers raised at the first National Maintenance Quality Assurance Peer Exchange Conference held in Madison, Wisconsin, from October 11-13, 2004. Thirty-six States and Canadian provinces and three counties were represented at the conference, as well as the U.S. Forest Service and the University of Wisconsin.
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