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Federal Highway Administration > Publications > Focus > August 1997 > Innovative Materials Lead States Team
August 1997Publication Number: FHWA-SA-97-026

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Innovative Materials Lead States Team. Working "Shoulder to Shoulder" to Implement SHRP-Recommended Pavement Repair Materials and Techniques

Four out of five States are using at least one of the innovative materials and techniques evaluated under the Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP) to repair cracks, potholes, and other common problems that affect asphalt and portland cement concrete pavements, according to a survey by the Lead States team for innovative pavement maintenance materials.

The survey is an important first step in the Lead States team's mission to help States implement innovative methods and materials to repair and maintain pavements. The team will encourage use of the methods evaluated under SHRP, as well as new techniques that have proven even more effective.

The survey found that 44 percent of States would like assistance in implementing one or more of the repair methods evaluated by SHRP. The Lead States team will use this information to link States in need of technical assistance with neighboring States that have experience with that technique.

"We will encourage States to work together shoulder to shoulder to implement these methods," says Lee Smithson of the Iowa Department of Transportation (DOT), leader of the innovative materials Lead States team.

Industry also plays a key role in the Lead States' activities. One equipment vendor-Crafco-and one materials vendor-Koch-have responded so far to the Lead States team's call for companies interested in providing technical assistance. Representatives of the two companies will be available to help States determine the most appropriate methods, materials, and equipment for a project. The Lead States team is also developing a list of vendors using information provided by State highway agencies.

Smithson says the Lead States team will extend its outreach to local governments as well. "We went to the National Association of County Engineers and the American Public Works Association early in the game and told them what we're doing is stuff local governments can use too. They want to work with us on spreading the word and setting up demonstrations. We'll also work with Local Technical Assistance Program centers to get the word out."

The members of the innovative materials Lead States team-Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Minnesota, and Pennsylvania-have divided their responsibilities among the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) regions. For more information, contact the team's representatives in your region.

Northeastern Association of State Transportation Officials

  • Don Wise, Pennsylvania DOT (phone: 717-783-2526; fax: 717-787-7839)

Southeastern Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials

  • Lee Smithson, Iowa DOT (phone: 515-239-1519; fax: 515-239-1005; email:

Mississippi Valley Conference of State Highway and Transportation Departments

  • Paul Keranen, Minnesota DOT (phone: 612-297-3598; fax: 612-297-7576; email:
  • John Selmer, Iowa DOT (phone: 515-239-1589; fax: 515-239-1005; email:

Western Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials

  • Ahmad Ardani, Colorado DOT (phone: 303-757-9978; fax: 303-757-9974; email:
  • Scott Gurnsey, Idaho DOT (phone: 208-334-8350; fax: 208-334-8917)
  • Clayton Sullivan, Idaho DOT (phone: 208-334-8405; fax: 208-334-8595)

photo of crack sealing.

Finding better ways to seal cracks in asphalt pavements is one of the goals of the innovative materials Lead States team.

States using SHRP-recommended pavement repair methods:

  • Pothole repair: 82 percent
  • Repair of cracks in asphalt pavements: 64 percent
  • Partial depth spall repair in concrete pavements: 60 percent
  • Joint resealing in concrete pavements: 80 percent

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Updated: 02/20/2015

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