U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
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Federal Highway Administration Research and Technology
Coordinating, Developing, and Delivering Highway Transportation Innovations
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Publication Number: FHWA-HRT-10-049
Date: August 2010
The MAP was initiated in August 2004 to address remaining priority pavement structure materials data characterization needs for test sections in the LTPP SPS-1, -2, -5, -6, and -8 experiments.
All nine tasks in the MAP were successfully completed under the leadership of the FHWA LTPP team with the cooperation of participating highway agencies and the diligent efforts of LTPP program contractors.
Based on the best available macro-database numerics, availability of needed priority materials data on SPS-1, -2, -5, -6, and -8 project sites due to the MAP increased by 24 percent between 2004 and 2009 based on the addition of more than 21,000 material test result data sets, reaching a 90th percentile level of achievement. This level represents the practical maximum of additional material testing possible due to the ability to obtain an adequate quantity of materials from thin layers and the suitability of material for anticipated tests. In addition to filling data gaps, new material tests were obtained to extend the previous material characterizations on these important test sections.
While fund restrictions prevented a formal reassessment of materials data characterization on all LTPP test sections as planned under MAP task 9, the resulting increase of available pavement structural materials on the priority SPS project sites clearly demonstrates the ability of participating agencies and FHWA management to mobilize contractor resources in concert with expert peer review from TRB and to adapt to changes in program funding in order to optimize research data needs for a long-term research program such as LTPP.
While for purposes of transparency the LTPP program is reporting a 9 percent missing materials data characterization on the SPS projects included in the MAP, the reality is that the MAP has successfully addressed as many data shortfalls as possible through a field data collection and laboratory testing effort. The new data will expand the usefulness of these prime SPS projects in future pavement analysis and in development efforts related to mechanistic-empirical pavement design and performance models.