U.S. Department of Transportation
Federal Highway Administration
1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
Washington, DC 20590
|Accelerating Infrastructure Innovations|
Publication Number: FHWA-SA-98-028
Date: December 1998
Engineers and researchers throughout North America and in several other countries are using data from the thousands of long-term pavement performance (LTPP) experiment sites to improve the durability of asphalt and portland cement concrete pavements. To make it easy for them to share information and learn from each other's experiences, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has established the LTPP ListServ in cooperation with the University of Mississippi. The email-based discussion group provides subscribers with an easy way to post and reply to questions about LTPP data and the DataPave software (see sidebar).
When we last reported (November 1996 Focus) on the HWYCON software program developed under the Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP), the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Subcommittee on Materials had recommended that HWYCON be evaluated for possible inclusion in its AASHTOWare software collection. HWYCON is an expert system that helps diagnose the cause of distress in concrete pavements and structures, determine appropriate repair and rehabilitation strategies, and select optimum construction materials.
A new brochure on high-performance concrete (HPC), High-Performance Concrete Bridges: Building Bridges for the 21st Century (Publication No. FHWA-SA-98-084), is now available from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). The brochure provides, in a handy question and answer format, an introduction to HPC and its many uses and benefits, as well as a list of resources for States that want to learn more about HPC. To obtain a copy, contact the FHWA Research and Technology Report Center at 301-577-0906 (fax: 301-577-1421).
Over the past 2 years, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) Lead States team members have sponsored workshops, published brochures and other materials, released training videos, and generally been on call to assist other States in implementing the products of the Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP). Now to broaden their outreach, they have launched the new Lead States Web site (leadstates.tamu.edu).
Looking for some assistance in using the Superpave system? Unsure of where to turn? Members of the Superpave Lead States team's pool of expertise are on call and ready to help. The pool consists of representatives from the Lead States, as well as their partners from FHWA, academia, and industry. They primarily provide technical assistance by phone, but they can also recommend other sources of information, such as technical reports. In addition, an updated Directory of Superpave Resources (Pub. No. FHWA-SA-97-083) is now available and can be ordered from the FHWA Research and Technology Report Center (phone: 301-577-0906; fax: 301-577-1421).
You've put together an asphalt mix that uses the best materials and follows the Superpave mix design guidelines to the letter. But how will the mix really hold up to traffic and climate conditions at the project site? What you need is a simple performance test. "States and contractors are looking for a test that will tell us what will work in the field in terms of rutting and other distress," says Larry Michael of the Maryland State Highway Administration. "Even with the Marshall mix design procedures, we never had anything that would predict performance."
The Transportation Research Board (TRB) 78th annual meeting, scheduled for January 10-14, 1999, in Washington, D.C., will feature numerous sessions highlighting the latest in the implementation of the Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP) products and technologies.
The Illinois Department of Transportation (DOT) has saved approximately $300,000 by applying research done at Louisiana State University on the heat-strengthening of steel bridges. Meanwhile, New York State DOT estimates that its use of a new concrete mix for bridge decks, developed after doing a literature search of existing research, results in life-cycle cost savings of nearly $9 million per year. Besides saving money, what do these States have in common? They know the value of having access to accurate and up-to-the-minute information.