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Federal Highway Administration > Publications > Focus > September 1997 > Some Frequently Asked Questions About the Superpave System
September 1997Publication Number: FHWA-SA-97-027

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Some Frequently Asked Questions About the Superpave System

As the Superpave mix design system takes hold across the country, highway agencies, contractors, and others are asking questions about the system. Here are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions.

Q. Does the Superpave system handle open-graded mixes, large stone mixes, and stone matrix asphalts (SMAs)?

A. Yes. Superpave is a mix design system, not a mix design. Thus, Superpave techniques can be used to design SMAs, open-graded surface courses, and other types of asphalt concrete mixes. The exact details are still being worked out.

Q. We're running into some problems trying to adapt to the Superpave system. Is there anywhere I can go to hash these things out with other folks in the field?

A. The Superpave online discussion group hosted by the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) is an excellent starting point. To subscribe, go to the WSDOT SHRP Evaluation & Implementation Database ( and fill out the subscription form, or send an email message to In the message, type SUBSCRIBE SUPERPAV {your full name}. Another good source of information is the Superpave Lead States team (see February 1997 Focus).

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Updated: 02/20/2015

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