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U.S. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION, Office of the Secretary, Office of Public Affairs, Washington, DC 20590

Thursday, August 23, 2001
Contact: Jim Pinkelman
Telephone: 202-366-0660
FHWA 30-01

FHWA Part of National Team Cited For Work in "Saving Superpave"

A team that included representatives of the U.S. Department of Transportation's Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has won a national award for its work in identifying and mobilizing support for critical road improvements using the highly acclaimed Superpave asphalt technology.

"Superpave technology is essential in producing stronger and more durable roads in the United States," FHWA Deputy Executive Director Vince Schimmoller said. "The work by FHWA's staff and the team members from other organizations will help ensure that Superpave technology is used in all road construction projects, a goal we in the federal government share with our state partners."

The Superpave (SUperior PERforming Asphalt PAVEments) system was developed to give highway engineers and contractors the tools they need to design and construct asphalt pavements that will perform better and last longer under extremes of temperature and heavy traffic loads.

The "Saving Superpave" team received the 2000 Team Recognition award from the Standing Committee on Quality of the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO). Other members of the team included representatives from AASHTO, the National Research Council and several state departments of transportation.

Superpave was the principal product of the Strategic Highway Research Program and revolutionized material specifications, tests, and mixture design for asphalt pavements. Individual states contributed financially to Superpave's development. The Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act of 1991 (ISTEA) contained a special funding provision for further work. ISTEA's successor, however, the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21), contained no such special funding.

The "Saving Superpave" team, formed in 1999, recognized the negative impact of the reduced federal funding in advancing Superpave technology. As a result of the team's efforts, critical projects were identified and sufficient funds obtained, including about $2.5 million in 2001. Also through the team's efforts, a Transportation Research Board Superpave committee was created to oversee financial activities and to coordinate efforts on further research related to Superpave.

ISTEA in 1991 directed the FHWA to implement the results of Superpave research. Over the next decade, the agency conducted a program of intense research and development. As a result, today more than 40 states have designed and constructed asphalt pavements using Superpave.

Asphalt pavements constitute more than 90 percent of all paved highways in the United States, with more than $10 billion spent each year on their construction and rehabilitation.


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