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Federal Highway Administration / Publications / Focus / January 1997

Accelerating Infrastructure Innovations

Publication Number: FHWA-SA-97-019
Date: January 1997

Pavement Maintenance Workshops Wrap Up Successful Run

What's the best way to repair common pavement problems? How can preventive maintenance prolong pavement life and improve ride quality? Hundreds of managers, crew supervisors, and others from highway agencies across the country have learned the answers to these questions at two workshops showcasing the pavement maintenance materials, techniques, and strategies evaluated under the Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP). The workshops were held in each of the Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA) nine regions and were cosponsored by State departments of transportation.

The "Pavement Maintenance Effectiveness/Preventive Maintenance Treatments" workshops drew approximately 700 maintenance supervisors, crew members, and others, who came to learn about preventive maintenance treatments for asphalt pavements and portland cement concrete pavements. The workshop discussed how to use these treatments in a carefully planned preventive maintenance strategy, as well as how such a strategy keeps pavements in service longer and in better condition.

The "Pavement Maintenance Effectiveness/Innovative Materials" workshops introduced approximately 700 managers, engineers, and other highway agency staff to new methods and materials for patching potholes and sealing cracks in asphalt pavements and for fixing spalls and sealing joints in concrete pavements. Participants also learned how to select the best technique for a particular job, how to use each technique, and how to rate the effectiveness of the repair.

The New York State Department of Transportation (DOT) hosted the preventive maintenance treatments workshop for Region 1. Ed Denehy, head of the DOT's pavement and bridge preventive maintenance section, says, "The workshop particularly benefited the people who are relatively new to preventive maintenance. By hosting the workshop, we were able to expose many of our staff to the most up to date preventive maintenance practices in the industry." Local governments also sent maintenance staff to the workshop.

FHWA does not plan to sponsor any more of these showcase workshops. However, the interest created by the workshops has prompted several States and a few industry groups to host workshops on their own, using the same teams of instructors that taught the showcase workshops. (For more information on hosting pavement maintenance workshops, contact the FHWA office in your State.)

What's Ahead?

With the workshops over, FHWA is now turning its attention to new ways to evaluate and promote pavement maintenance.

Two new test and evaluation projects will begin this year. Under the first, Arkansas, Delaware, Michigan, North Carolina, Wisconsin, and Wyoming will test several methods of patching potholes and sealing cracks in asphalt pavements. Delaware and Wyoming will also test the Iowa Vacuum (IA-VAC) joint seal device, which can test as many as 100 joints in concrete pavement in a day. For more information, contact Joe Huerta at FHWA (telephone: 202-366-1556; fax: 202-366-9981; email: joseph.huerta@fhwa.dot.gov).

FHWA is seeking States interested in participating in a field test of preventive maintenance treatments for asphalt and concrete pavements. Test sections should be structurally sound and in fairly good condition. The experiment will last 2 years, but States may want to continue monitoring their test sections to collect additional performance and cost-effectiveness data. For more information, contact Angel Correa at FHWA (telephone: 202-366-0224; fax: 202-366-9981; email: angel.correa@fhwa.dot.gov).

FHWA also plans to produce a series of manuals explaining when to use surface treatments, how to apply them, and what benefits they provide.

According to Huerta, FHWA's project manager for innovative maintenance and repair materials, the agency is already planning a second-generation pavement preventive maintenance workshop. The new workshop will be a hands-on, how-to look at preventive maintenance techniques and strategies. It will incorporate parts of the innovative materials and preventive maintenance treatments workshops, as well as case histories from the Lead States teams on innovative pavement maintenance materials and pavement preservation (see November 1996 Focus).

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Updated: 06/27/2017
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