|Accelerating Infrastructure Innovations|
|Federal Highway Administration > Publications > Focus > August 2006 > National Transportation Product Evaluation Program: A Win-Win for States and Industry|
|August 2006||Publication Number: FHWA-HRT-06-028|
National Transportation Product Evaluation Program: A Win-Win for States and Industry
Make more informed decisions when selecting construction, maintenance, and traffic safety products by participating in the National Transportation Product Evaluation Program (NTPEP). Since 1994, this American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials' (AASHTO) program has tested hundreds of transportation products each year. The test results are sent to participating State departments of transportation and AASHTO committees in reports issued throughout the year.
"It is a win-win for States, as it reduces duplication of effort in testing and qualifying products," says Mike McGough, NTPEP manager for AASHTO. "We send States the test results without any endorsement, allowing them to decide whether to use a product. This national testing program provides cost savings for both States and product manufacturers."
NTPEP is supported by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). "We encourage States to use the results of the program to the maximum extent possible," says Michael Rafalowski of FHWA's Office of Pavement Technology.
In 2005, 375 products were tested. In the construction area, product categories include concrete admixtures, erosion control, concrete curing compounds, geotextiles and geosynthetics, and reinforcing steel. Maintenance products tested are in the categories of bridge deck overlays, hot-mix asphalt (HMA) crack sealant, rapid set concrete patch materials, and structural steel coatings. Traffic safety products include pavement marking materials, raised pavement markers, portable changeable message signs and flashing arrow panels, and temporary traffic control devices (for a complete list of product categories, see sidebar).
An NTPEP Oversight Committee sponsors Project Panels, which are responsible for developing project work plans for lab and field performance testing of products. Panel members include both State and industry representatives. Testing is primarily hosted by State departments of transportation. If the testing is beyond the available resources of State participants, then NTPEP arranges for testing to be done by universities or private testing laboratories.
Details on NTPEP's work and services are available online at www.ntpep.org. Information posted includes project work plans, reports, and guidelines for manufacturers on submitting products to be tested. A new feature of the Web site is DataMine, an online tool for querying, analyzing, and reporting on current and past NTPEP product evaluations. Developed under National Cooperative Highway Research Program Project 20-7 (Task 150), DataMine allows NTPEP participants to look up test data online. Host States can also enter their testing data using DataMine. "This will save a lot of time for NTPEP participants," says McGough. Data is currently available for the categories of pavement markings, sign sheeting, and structural steel coatings, with geotextiles and erosion control soon to be added and other categories under development.
Voluntary contributions to NTPEP of $6,000 per year per State are requested. For more information on joining NTPEP and using the product data in your agency, contact Mike McGough at AASHTO, 202-624-3632 (fax: 202-624-5469; email: firstname.lastname@example.org).
United States Department of Transportation - Federal Highway Administration