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Federal Highway Administration > Publications > Focus > March 1998 > Asphalt TWG Charts New Course
March 1998Publication Number: FHWA-SA-98-020

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Asphalt TWG Charts New Course

When the Asphalt Technical Working Group (TWG) was created in 1993, its mission was to evaluate the Superpave system and to develop plans for getting the Superpave specifications and devices into the hands of users. As part of its work, the TWG set ambitious target dates of 1997 for implementation of the Superpave binder specification and 2000 for implementation of the Superpave volumetric mix design procedures. More than half of the States have hit the first target, and nearly three-quarters plan to meet the second target date. But the TWG's work is far from over. Now that the Superpave system is becoming standard practice for asphalt paving projects, State highway agencies and contractors are seeking advice on construction, training, and other issues related to the Superpave system. Last fall, the TWG crafted and adopted a new strategic plan that will help it meet the States' new needs.

The Asphalt TWG is made up of staff from State highway agencies in each of the four American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) regions, representatives of the asphalt and aggregate industries, a university researcher, and staff from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the Federal Aviation Administration. The TWG meets twice a year and is assisted by expert task groups on the Superpave binder specification, the Superpave volumetric mix design procedures, and accelerated performance testing. The TWG is chaired by Don Steinke of FHWA's Highway Operations Division.

Under the strategic plan, the TWG's members have formed four groups to monitor and advise on critical areas associated with the Superpave system.

  • The constructibility group will promote "best practices" in Superpave construction, recommend solutions to construction problems, and support development of uniform quality control/quality assurance requirements.
  • The research and technology group will encourage continued research and development on the Superpave system. The group will identify areas in need of research, promote development of pavement performance tests, support the creation of a program to collect field data on Superpave pavements, and help ensure the timely assessment and dissemination of new research findings.
  • The training group will ensure that comprehensive training is available to the highway agency and industry staff involved with the Superpave system.
  • The communication group will make sure that users of the Superpave system receive information that is clear, timely, accurate, and relevant.

For more information, contact Don Steinke at FHWA (phone: 202-366-0392; fax: 202-366-9981; email:

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