|Accelerating Infrastructure Innovations|
|Federal Highway Administration > Publications > Focus > March 2007 > California Pavement Preservation Center Offers Fast-Track Technology Transfer|
|March 2007||Publication Number: FHWA-HRT-07-011|
California Pavement Preservation Center Offers Fast-Track Technology Transfer
State and local transportation agencies and industry in California can now tap into the expertise and fast-track technology transfer capabilities of the new California Pavement Preservation Center. Located at the California State University (CSU), Chico, the center opened in July 2006. "The center will provide a significant boost to pavement preservation activities in California," says Technical Director R. Gary Hicks. "It will act as a credible third party to provide technical advice and assistance throughout California, to local agencies, State agencies, and industry," notes Shakir Shatnawi, Chief of the Office of Pavement Preservation at the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans). "There is a lot of interest from local agencies in learning more about pave-ment preservation."
The center can provide hands-on technical assistance in conducting pavement preservation, including evaluating the performance of pavement preservation treatments, developing or reviewing specifications, and developing guides for pavement preservation practices. The center will also offer education and training opportunities, as well as assistance in identifying and evaluating new and innovative pavement preservation products. Pavement preservation is a network level, long-term strategy that enhances pavement performance by using a variety of cost-effective surface treatments that extend pavement life. These treatments must be carefully selected and must be applied before the pavement sustains structural damage.
"By advancing pavement preservation in California, the center will result in a win-win for both the State and the driving public, resulting in reduced congestion, safer roads, and more cost-effective use of limited highway dollars," says Jim Sorenson, Acting Director of the Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA) Office of Asset Management.
Initial funding for the center is being provided by Caltrans. Additional funds are expected to be raised from Federal, State, industry, and local agency partners to support their needs.
One of the primary initiatives of the center's first year is to work with the Western Pavement Preservation Partnership (WPPP) to help quantify the benefits of pavement preservation treatments. This will include looking at the performance life of pavement preservation strategies, as well as the extended life benefits offered by the treatments. "This research will provide support to Caltrans' current 5-year plan for pavement preservation and assist in documenting how much money we're saving through using pavement preservation treatments," says Shatnawi. The WPPP brings together California, Nevada, Washington State, and Hawaii as partners in advancing the use of pavement preservation, with other western States and agencies expected to join the partnership in the future.
Establishing academic programs in pavement preservation is also a goal of the center. A fall 2006 course in pavement preservation at CSU, Chico, kicked off this effort. "Industry representatives actively participated in the course by providing lectures on pavement preservation treatments," says Hicks. Currently in development are a certificate program in pavement preservation and a course in asphalt technology at CSU, Chico, planned for fall 2007.
The center will work with Caltrans and California's Pavement Preservation Task Group (PPTG) to document the results of studies on a variety of innovative flexible and rigid pavement preservation treatments, including seal coats, thin overlays, and dowel bar retrofits. Comprised of representatives from Caltrans, local government, industry, and FHWA, the PPTG's goal is to be proactive about promoting pavement preservation initiatives (see January/February 2006 Focus). In addition, the center will assist Caltrans with investigating pavement failures and provide aid to the PPTG in developing new and improved specifications for pavement preservation. Effective pavement preservation practices will also be promoted through a periodic newsletter and other marketing materials.
The center's additional partnership endeavors will include working with the National Center for Pavement Preservation at Michigan State University in Okemos, Michigan; the Texas Pavement Preservation Center in Austin, Texas; and the National Concrete Pavement Technology Center at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa.
For more information on the California Pavement Preservation Center and its services or partnering opportunities, contact R. Gary Hicks, 530-898-5981 (email: rghicks@CSUchico.edu), or visit the center's Web site at www.cp2info.org/center.
United States Department of Transportation - Federal Highway Administration