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Publication Number: FHWA-RD-99-109
Date: November 1999
Last month transportation professionals from around the country convened in Washington, DC, to plan an implementation strategy for ADMS, the Archived Data Management Systems. As States increasingly implement intelligent transportation systems (ITS), a wealth of data is collected-only to be discarded because there is no plan or process for storing and analyzing that data. ADMS would create a historical data archive or transportation "data warehouse," capable of merging archived operational data as well as storing new data. The data would then be available to highway agencies for planning and other purposes, including collecting, verifying, and archiving of the ITS data at local, State, and Federal agencies.
To make the Superpave mix design system simpler, more practical, and more user friendly, more than 50 changes to 4 Superpave mix design standards were recently published by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO). Proposed by a 5-State task force established at the August 1998 meeting of the AASHTO Subcommittee on Materials, the changes were approved by the States in February 1999 and published in the May 1999 AASHTO Provisional Standards.
As State highway departments grapple with shrinking or frozen work forces and ever expanding maintenance needs, many are beginning to look at contracting out their preservation and maintenance work. But where do they go for policy and guidance on what is commonly referred to as contract maintenance? Only a handful of States have significant experience with contracting out maintenance, and the existing American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) guide on the subject is outdated. Most international experience is activity-based and not the performance or customer-oriented work that managers are familiar with in the United States.
The Transportation Research Board (TRB) is accepting applications for a new loaned staff position. The loaned staffer will spend up to 12 months at TRB's office in Washington, DC, working on projects related to the Superpave system, the long-term pavement performance program, and portland cement concrete. The position is open to engineers in highway agencies worldwide.
Motorists on a busy Interstate or an isolated rural road may not know or understand very much about the technology behind the pavement they are driving on, but they do know if that pavement is smooth. "All they have to judge the quality of the pavement by is the smoothness," says George Jones of Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). As more highway agencies emphasize the importance of enhancing pavement smoothness, new lightweight profilers for measuring initial pavement smoothness are providing faster and more accurate measurements than traditional methods.
In July 1999, the Maryland State Highway Agency (SHA) presented a 1-day workshop on the use of the Superpave 2 mix design software, scheduled for release in January 2000 by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO). To prepare participants for the day of intensive training, the Maryland SHA sent each of five invited asphalt contractors an advance copy of the software.
For the long-term pavement performance (LTPP) program, a September 1999 Transportation Research Board (TRB) workshop marked the start of the annual process that determines future projects and funding. Participants representing a broad spectrum of interests, including State highway agencies, pavement industries, academia, and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) convened in Washington, DC, to start defining the program of LTPP analysis and research to be conducted in fiscal year (FY) 2001.
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