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Federal Highway Administration > Publications > Public Roads > Vol. 66· No. 1 > Editor's Notes

July/August 2002
Vol. 66· No. 1

Editor's Notes

First, I want to thank the editors of Public Roads for allowing us to "commandeer" an issue of the magazine and devote it to telling you about the national Concrete Pavement Technology Program (CPTP) and some of the important projects being conducted by the CPTP team.

Photo of Stephen W. Forester

The Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21), signed into law in June 1998, authorized highway, highway safety, transit, and other surface transportation programs for the next 6 years. Two important aspects of the Act are the emphases on rebuilding America's infrastructure and advancing research and technology. As a result of these emphases, TEA-21 included a line item calling for research to improve the performance of concrete pavements, and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) was to conduct this work in cooperation with industry.

The work evolved into a systematic program of studies designated as CPTP. Program management is provided by FHWA and industry, with input from the State departments of transportation, industry, and academia via a review committee administered by the Transportation Research Board (TRB). CPTP's four goals address the needs of State highway agencies, the concrete paving industry, and highway users, while also contributing to one of FHWA's Vital Few focus areascongestion mitigation. The CPTP's goals are to:

  • Reduce user delays
  • Reduce costs
  • Improve performance
  • Foster innovation

The goal of reducing user delays is addressed through studies on topics such as better traffic management, more rapid testing, and more rapid construction techniques. Many of these studies also contribute to the goal of reducing costs, as do projects examining life-cycle costs and the cost-effectiveness of pavement design components. To improve performance, the CPTP is pursuing new tests and procedures for materials selection and concrete mixture design, and models to predict concrete behavior and improve the reliability of performance. New technology can affect the state of the practice only if sufficient attention is devoted to deployment and delivery of that technology to the user community. Through technology transfer, the CPTP program is achieving the final goal of fostering innovation.

The articles in this issue of Public Roads cover various individual projects in the CPTP. The last article features the development of a long-term plan for future concrete pavement research and technology.

With the current economic climate of reduced budgets in the highway research arena, efficient programs with hard-working partnerships are imperative to getting the job done. As you read the articles, I think you will agree that the CPTP is a premier example of just such a program. The success of the program is due to the continued hard work of FHWA staff, industry, and our many project participants from industry, Federal and State agencies, and academia. The CPTP has many projects not covered in this issue; watch future issues of Public Roads for updates on other projects and programs.

Further information can be found at the following Web sites: FHWA's Office of Infrastructure R&D on Concrete Pavements at http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/pavement/concrete/index.cfm and FHWA's Office of Pavement Technology on Concrete Pavements at http://www.fhwa.dot.gov/pavement/concrete/index.cfm.

We welcome your feedback through the Web sites or letters to the editor of Public Roads.

Stephen W. Forster
Technical Director for Pavements
Office of Infrastructure R&D

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