U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590
|Accelerating Infrastructure Innovations|
Publication Number: FHWA-RD-00-058
Date: May 2000
With the construction of the Nation's Interstate highway system virtually complete, State and Federal highway agencies are shifting their attention to preserving and operating this $1 trillion investment in highways and bridges. This change in focus reflects a new concept known as asset management. The asset management approach emphasizes the preservation, upgrading, and timely replacement of highway assets through cost-effective planning and resource allocation decisions.
The fifth and final Lead States Team workshop will be held September 17-19, 2000, in St. Louis, Missouri. The meeting will provide an official wrap-up for members of the seven teams, who have provided expert guidance on Strategic Highway Research Program technologies to other States since 1996. Teams will also discuss their transition plans for shifting responsibilities to the appropriate American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) subcommittees. For more information, contact Haleem Tahir at AASHTO, 301-975-5275 (fax: 301-330-1956; email: firstname.lastname@example.org).
"Our customers are looking for a different kind of product," said Dave Ekern of the Minnesota Department of Transportation (DOT) as he opened the recent Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Pavement Technology Delivery Workshop in Olympia Fields, Illinois. The workshop brought together staff from the FHWA resource centers, division offices, and headquarters to learn about the different kinds of products that FHWA has to offer States, including best practices for achieving smoother pavements, software that can help engineers design a Superpave mix or simplify concrete paving decisions, and the steps to take to have a falling-weight deflectometer (FWD) calibrated.
With 5,150 km (3,200 mi) of concrete pavements to maintain, the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (DOT) knows that cracks are inevitable. The challenge is to control their location and size, so that pavement deterioration is minimized.
Implementation of the Superpave mix design system is at an all-time high, but still missing is a simple test that States can use to tell if their Superpave mix design will hold up to the traffic and climate conditions at a project site. Help is on the horizon, however. A team of researchers, led by Matt Witczak at Arizona State University, is working under a National Cooperative Highway Research Program contract (NCHRP 9-19) to identify a simple performance test to be used with the Superpave volumetric mix design. The team is close to finishing an evaluation of existing tests of asphalt mixture properties to determine if any can be adapted to be a simple performance test (see December 1998 Focus).