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Federal Highway Administration / Publications / Focus / May 1997

Accelerating Infrastructure Innovations

Publication Number: FHWA-SA-97-023
Date: May 1997

Kansas DOT Sets Up Certification Program in Superpave Mix Design Procedures

The Kansas Department of Transportation (DOT) has set up what may be the first combined certification program for Superpave mix design and quality control/quality assurance (QC/QA) procedures. The certification program was developed as part of Kansas DOT's plans to implement the Superpave system and QC/QA procedures by 1999.

"In June 1994, we initiated a 5-year plan to move from current specs to QC/QA on asphalt concrete and portland cement concrete pavements and portland cement concrete structures," says Dick McReynolds of Kansas DOT, who coordinates the Superpave and QC/QA certification and training program. "At about the same time, the Superpave system came on line. We decided to switch to both at the same time. To do so, we needed to develop training and certification for our staff and contractor staff."

The training and certification program is sponsored by Kansas DOT and Kansas State University (KSU). Two courses are offered-a 3-day course on QC/QA and other field procedures intended for field laboratory technicians and a 5-day course on field procedures and Superpave mix design geared for laboratory chiefs and materials engineers. Both courses include hands-on training.

The DOT has offered the courses, which have each been held three times already, to all contractor and DOT staff working on Superpave projects planned for this summer. Once Kansas DOT has fully implemented the Superpave system and QC/QA procedures, contractors will be required to have one or more certified field technicians on every project.

At the end of the class, attendees must pass a written test on the material covered in the course to receive certification.

"As far as we know, we're the first State to combine Superpave and QC/QA certification and training," McReynolds says.

Kansas DOT worked closely with industry to develop its QC/QA procedures and the certification program. Some companies have continued their participation. For example, Shilling Construction Co. staff have made presentations during the courses about designing Superpave mixes with the locally available soft and highly absorbent limestone aggregates. They have also discussed the use of reclaimed asphalt pavement in Superpave mixes.

Doug Shilling of Shilling Construction says the certification program is good for the asphalt pavement industry in Kansas. "The more educated contractors are, the more competitive the asphalt industry will be in vying for new construction jobs," he says. "The bottom line goal for the industry is to make our product better so we have more confidence and the State has more confidence."

Kansas is now involved in developing regional certification procedures. Because the Superpave procedures are standardized, says McReynolds, it should be relatively easy to adopt regional Superpave mix design and QC/QA certification.

For more information on Kansas DOT's Superpave and QC/QA certification program, contact Mostaque Hossain at KSU (phone: 913-532-1576; fax: 913-532-7717; email: mustak@ksu.edu).

Is your State implementing a Superpave certification program? Drop us a line and let us know.

-The Editor (fax: 202-347-6938 ).

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