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Federal Highway Administration Research and Technology
Coordinating, Developing, and Delivering Highway Transportation Innovations

This report is an archived publication and may contain dated technical, contact, and link information
Publication Number: FHWA-HRT-05-052
Date: September 2005

Long-Term Plan for Concrete Pavement Research and Technology - The Concrete Pavement Road Map: Volume I, Background and Summary


Research plans can debut with great promise, only to fail to capture the imagination and support of the stakeholder community. With no less a mission than reinventing the concrete pavement industry, this research plan must not fail. Therefore, the CP Road Map is accompanied by a unique and bold, yet realistic, research management plan that will keep stakeholders involved and committed to the road map's success.

The research management plan in this chapter:


This research management is based on several assumptions:

First, the CP Road Map is a national research plan, not a plan solely for FHWA or any one organization.

Second, the CP Road Map is not restricted to any single funding source. Publicly financed highway research is decentralized and probably will remain so. Public and private organizations that enjoy dedicated funding understandably are hesitant to relinquish fiscal or technical control-but are willing to partner if it is in their self-interest.

Third, even in a decentralized arena like research, it is possible-indeed, critical-for stakeholder groups to come together voluntarily. The CP Road Map itself is an example of the dramatic success that can be accomplished through partnering and cooperation. Federal, State, and industry research staff and engineers around the country are looking for more opportunities 0to pool their funds and other resources in win-win situations, as has been done in the successful MC2. By working together to identify common interests and agreeing to cooperate for the long haul, stakeholders can produce something greater collectively than they can independently.

Fourth, the all-too-common disconnect between research results and implementation of those results should be fixed. Communication, technology transfer, and outreach activities should be elevated to the same level of importance as research itself.

Finally, the CP Road Map is too comprehensive and too important for a part-time management effort. Managing the overall research program effectively and judiciously will require dedicated personnel with adequate resources.


Given these assumptions, the research management plan is based on four principles that will govern conduct of the research:

By following these principles, the research management plan will help organizations conduct more research with fewer staff, find new partners, and, most important, deliver new and improved products to their constituents.


The agreement between FHWA and Iowa State University outlined specific issues that needed to be addressed in the research management plan:

Each of these issues is thoroughly covered in the research management plan described in the rest of this chapter.


In developing this plan for managing research, the team evaluated the research and technology transfer phases of another major, long-term research effort: the Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP).

Each SHRP phase was managed by a specific organization (the research phase by the TRB SHRP Program Office; the technology transfer phase by FHWA's Office of Technology Application). Each phase had dedicated funding sources, although many technology transfer projects were undertaken using State funds, NCHRP awards, and pooled funds.

Although the broad, ambitious nature of the programs is similar, there are fundamental differences between the SHRP models and the CP Road Map research management plan. The CP Road Map is setup as follows:

The FHWA Transportation Pooled Fund Program is similar to the CP Road Map research management plan. Under the pooled fund program, States, universities, and private organizations voluntarily come together to share resources and achieve common goals. Many pooled fund activities have been and are very successful.

Some people think this level of cooperation will not happen-indeed, cannot happen-with a program the size and duration of the CP Road Map. Many stakeholders who have previewed the plan believe otherwise, and that what is needed is a few champions to step forward and get started.


The research management plan puts these principles and critical elements into practice through a four-tier governance system (see figure 14).

  1. An executive advisory committee consisting of representatives from the Federal government, State agencies, and industry will be responsible for overseeing the CP Road Map.
  2. Research track team leaders will assume responsibility for coordinating all activities in a specific research track and coordinating across track lines. Track leaders will be active, longterm champions (individuals or organizations) of what are, in essence, 12 individual but related research programs.
  3. Core organizations, or sustaining organizations, will assume responsibility for conducting specific research within tracks.
  4. An administrative support group will be responsible for providing professional management services for the CP Road Map, operating chiefly as the administrative arm of the executive advisory committee but also supporting the administrative functions of the research track team leaders and sustaining organizations.

These groups are described in more detail later in the research management plan. First, however, is a brief overview of the way these groups will be organized and work together to begin implementing research as soon as possible.

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Figure 14. Diagram. Research management plan.


Research management should begin immediately. If not, the industry risks losing momentum and stakeholder enthusiasm for the CP Road Map. It also risks that the CP Road Map will become obsolete before it gets underway.

The following steps should be taken immediately and completed within 6 months of acceptance of this report:

  1. FHWA, industry, and several key DOTs should sponsor a meeting of leaders from organizations interested in participating in the CP Road Map (that is, potential sustaining organizations and track team leaders). This meeting would aim to accomplish the following tasks as soon as possible:
    • Develop and finalize a triparty agreement (industry, FHWA, and State agencies) that validates the CP Road Map, the research management plan, and the commitment to work cooperatively.
    • Determine the executive advisory committee.
    • Identify track team leaders for as many tracks as possible; beginning work on tracks 1 through 4 is especially critical.
    • Fund and identify the administrative support group.
    • Develop a memorandum of understanding and cooperation among the sustaining organizations.
  2. Convene the executive advisory committee, track team leaders, and administrative support group to develop an early action plan that identifies work underway, work planned, and critical unfunded work.

In reality, the entire process will start simultaneously and not in sequential steps. Many parties will express interest in specific research projects or tracks. As these organizations step forward, the principles may choose to assume a more managerial role on the executive advisory committee or as track team leaders. In addition, research will be funded continuously. Those who see merit in working together will identify ways to do so.


The four governing groups described earlier have separate but coordinating responsibilities.

Executive Advisory Committee


Members of the executive advisory committee should represent the three major interest groups: Federal and State agencies and industry. Each committee member should have appropriate experience, a progressive vision, a serious commitment to the CP Road Map, and a willingness to seek consensus among other organizations and special interests. Beyond that, it is difficult to define committee membership in detail. The size of the committee depends, in part, on how many organizations believe it is in their best interest to participate. The committee should be balanced, with members representing different backgrounds, experiences, and viewpoints. Committee members should be committed champions in their own right.

Specific representatives may change from time to time, but the committee itself should be prepared to function for at least 2 to 4 years. As the work evolves, the committee should reinvent itself to stimulate continuous enthusiasm and interest.


The executive advisory committee should be a decisionmaking, policymaking, and facilitating group with many responsibilities:

To accomplish these responsibilities, the committee should have a strong, fully funded administrative support group.

The executive advisory committee has one final but closely related responsibility: act as track team leader for track 11. Track 11, Concrete Pavements Business Systems, consists of standalone problem statements covering key, crosscutting efforts in the following areas: macroeconomics and life cycle costs, alternative contracting and incentives, environmental business issues, accelerated training programs, and development of major publications such as compendia and white paper series. Track 11 also contains an innovative subtrack on concrete roads of the future. These issues naturally fall within the purview of the executive advisory committee.

Research Track Team Leaders


The research track team leader strategy is a bold and creative way to oversee research. It depends on one or more sustaining organizations (described below) stepping forward to become team leader(s) for each research track. There are no real limits on who can assume track team leadership. Track leaders could be single organizations, or a working structure consisting of either multiple sustaining organizations or individuals with stature in the concrete industry that want to steer the track toward fulfilling the goals.


In addition to cooperating with the executive advisory committee, research track team leaders should provide technical oversight of the actual conduct of research in their area. This oversight should include, but may not be limited to:

Research track team leaders should not develop and issue requests for proposals. Instead, working with the executive advisory committee, they should foster partnerships among organizations willing to pool and leverage dedicated funds to accomplish ambitious research projects within the tracks.

Sustaining Organizations


No single organization has the resources or experience to deliver all of the research suggested in the CP Road Map. However, several national organizations, plus numerous State and local/regional organizations, have research programs related to work outlined in the CP Road Map and, therefore, a vested interest in coordinating their efforts with the CP Road Map and supporting its overall goals. (Many of these groups were represented at one or more of the brainstorming events and provided input and feedback on the CP Road Map.) For purposes of the research management plan, these stakeholders are called “sustaining organizations.” Several potential sustaining organizations are described in appendix C.


Sustaining organizations should assume responsibility for conducting specific pieces of research, generally because they have the specialized interest, skills, or funding. Sustaining organizations will quickly see the benefit of supporting the overall CP Road Map, conducting specific research in support of the overall goals, and working together to leverage both funding and human resources.

Administrative Support Group


Needless to say, the voluntary nature of the governing structure outlined above should be linked to a fairly substantial, funded support mechanism. The fourth tier of the governance system, the administrative support group, is that mechanism. This group should consist of an organization or an expert team with technical and administrative expertise in large program management. Its primary role is facilitation, not control.


This group's primary function is to be the administrative arm of the executive advisory committee, research track team leaders, and sustaining organizations. The administrative support group should be the “doing” body for all activities to coordinate the efforts of the groups on a continuing basis. The administrative support group's second function is to provide the communication and outreach services recommended by the executive advisory committee.


It is proposed that funding be provided for the administrative support group through the triparty agreement to hire full- and part-time staff.


Figure 14 identifies five general functions for which the executive advisory committee, supported by the administrative support group, should be responsible:

  1. Database management, CP Road Map update, and research track integration.
  2. Partnering, fund management, and contracts.
  3. Software integration.
  4. Research management, communication, and training.
  5. Concrete pavement innovation.

It is suggested that the executive advisory committee also act as research track team leader for track 11, Concrete Pavements Business Systems. The problem statements in track 11 support the committee's work.

As described below, each of these functions is critical to the success of the CP Road Map.


In a very real sense, the comprehensive database that accompanies this report is the CP Road Map, or at least its central nervous system. Successful implementation of the CP Road Map depends on a comprehensive approach to database management.

The administrative support group will maintain and update the database, but exact details on who, where, how, and how much should be decided by the executive advisory committee. There are many options, but database management should be based on the following principles:

  1. Research problem statements, projects, budgets, timelines, and research results in the CP Road Map database should be updated regularly.
  2. The database should include only those research problem statements, projects, budgets, timelines, and research results related to the CP Road Map as revised and updated during its implementation. (Other databases are better suited to the compilation of all concrete- and concrete pavement-related projects.)
  3. The database should include all research problem statements, projects, budgets, timelines, and research results related to the CP Road Map. The database should reflect the output as it relates to the accomplishment of each track.
  4. The projects should be plotted on spreadsheets, with full data in the narrative portion of the database.

The database administrator should provide regular status reports on the entire CP Road Map and specific research tracks. The database's principle audience is the executive advisory committee and research track team leaders. The second audience is sustaining organizations that want to see where proposed research fits into the overall road map. Brief monthly and annual reports on the status of the program should be prepared to keep everyone informed.

A potential third audience is the general researcher or information seeker. Only enough money and effort should be expended to serve the first two audiences. The database is intended to serve the infrastructure of the CP Road Map; it is not intended to serve the general pavement community, for whom other databases are available.

Database Management, Road Map Update, and Research Track Integration

The database includes two elements. The first is a Microsoft® Access database that includes all problem statements developed for the CP Road Map. The second is a series of Microsoft Excel spreadsheets that contain the integrated research tracks with time phasing and coded linkage to the problem statements. The spreadsheets also contain budgets.

The database has a search engine that allows users to sort problem statements. This is an important feature for a program of this magnitude.

Keeping the database current is critical to success of the CP Road Map. As research contracts with detailed scopes are identified, they should be added to the database. Likewise, completed contracts and their deliverables should be entered into the database.

A continuously updated database will:

Without immediate and continuous updating to include ongoing work around the country, the database will quickly become obsolete.

Software Integration

One of the CP Road Map's primary goals is to integrate design, mix, construction, and performance (e.g., to consider project-specific mix, materials, and construction issues when developing pavement design). The executive advisory committee should ensure that the capability exists to link these aspects of concrete pavement projects by exact formulae rather than by subjective personal experience and judgment. Therefore, several CP Road Map research tracks and problem statements focus on continued development of computer models that integrate variables across these lines. The power of integration depends on computer and software power. The goals of several tracks cannot be met without effective software management.

A software policy needs to be developed and implemented to support the integration process. Obviously, no single person, company, or agency should develop all of the software, so some complicated intellectual property right issues may need to be addressed. This should be an early order of business for the executive advisory committee.

Implementation, Coordination, and Training on Research Output

The entire U.S. highway community should be made fully aware of the CP Road Map, including research proposed and projects underway, key findings, and active participants. Strategic shortand long-range marketing strategies for research products should be developed, leading to implementation. Research products will fall into several categories and need to be marketed accordingly. As specific training media are developed, they should be added to the specific track.

More specifically, implementation, coordination, and training should include, but may not be limited to, the following activities:

Each research track includes funds for outreach and training. The executive advisory committee, however, may recommend a fund strictly for outreach and training, pooling monies from each project. Historically, the cost of implementation and technology transfer activities is estimated at 10 percent of research funds, but in reality implementation costs can vary from 1 to 500 percent of research, making a pool of funds for research results implementation and technology transfer very desirable. Such a pool should be part of the budget for the administrative support group's activities.

Partnering and Fund Management

Partnering efforts should help organizations that wish to participate in the CP Road Map research connect to others with similar interests. To be proactive in generating partners to conduct the research, a dedicated fund for seeding projects may entice sustaining organizations to fund projects. A key responsibility of the executive advisory committee, after the first wave of projects is funded, is to help establish a more detailed seed money management system and ensure its proper implementation.

Concrete Pavement Innovation

The challenge at the outset of this project was to think outside of the box and avoid searching only for incremental improvements. Given the total of research, technology, management, and funding issues addressed in the CP Road Map, this long-term research plan is innovative, challenging, and exciting. In addition, several specific problem statements in the CP Road Map, especially those involving development of new and innovative joints, call for innovation.

In addition, the research management plan includes establishing an innovative research initiative, similar to TRB's Innovations Deserving Exploratory Analysis (TRB-IDEA) programs, that focuses specifically on concrete pavement needs. The innovative research initiative should fund research on promising but unproven innovations with potential for helping to achieve overall goals of the CP Road Map. Establishing such a program should require organizational development, funds, and a matching system.


As discussed in chapter 3, the 12 research tracks include 9 sequenced, or time-phased, tracks (type 1 tracks) and three tracks in which the sequence of research is not critical (type 2 tracks). The following brief discussion of research management issues within the tracks should help track team leaders get started quickly and efficiently.

Type 1 Research Tracks Management Considerations

Each type 1 research track is, in essence, a complete research program. Each has its own management and research management issues that should be considered, especially early in the process.

Note that many of the tracks and subtracks include a framing problem statement, which becomes a framing study on implementation. The framing study calls for a full examination of the research track that includes formatting it into specific, manageable contract packages, depending on resources available from sustaining organizations.

The next step is to reevaluate the problem statements to ensure that the work is carefully sequenced and reflects a logical progress of research and funding availability. The final step is to expand each research problem statement into a detailed research plan with tasks, funding, and specific objectives.

In several cases, however, the framing study should require developing an actual usable product, such as in track 1 on performance-based mix design. Each framing problem statement is clear in its intent.

Track 1. Performance-Based Concrete Pavement Mix Design System

This track has several important research management issues to address. First, the framing study calls for developing a first cut of the future mix design procedure, using current consensus documentation. It proposes that State DOTs and industry assemble the best mix of design and laboratory practices in an organized way, using today's technology and the following steps:

Another critical point is to agree on a specification format for the new tests and procedures that should be developed. The AASHTO provisional standards process could be adopted as the model.

While not necessary, it would be extremely beneficial for the research track team leaders to have access to mix design laboratories and commit to evaluating new tests and procedures as soon as they come online. It is important that procedures and test equipment coming out of the research be validated by two or more additional laboratories. This should accelerate knowledge transfer and provide onsite expertise on many new procedures. It also would be advantageous to have two or three other laboratories, such as FHWA or NRMCA, involved in this track.

A critical element of this track is continuing FHWA's work on mix optimization and the MC2's pooled fund study on mix designs. Both efforts need to be included; they should provide considerable insight into any additional research that might need to be added to the track.

Track 2. Performance-Based Design Guide for New and Rehabilitated Concrete Pavements

This track has several critical research management issues. First, as discussed earlier in the report, this track builds on the latest version of continuing the development of models, integrating design with mix design and construction specifications, and improving reliability and the validation/calibration process. This is extremely complicated work and will require a close working relationship with current activities under the Mechanistic-Empirical Pavement Design Guide, accelerated testing for validation and calibration, and specific software integration issues.

Second, AASHTO's Joint Task Force on Pavements historically has been the lead organization for developing the guide, while FHWA has financed many of the model development contracts. It is not clear which organization is best suited to manage this track. Most probably, it would be a combination of the two organizations, plus a major university with faculty deeply involved in concrete pavement modeling and design.

As new and updated models are developed, the software should be structured so these advanced models can be plugged in. Appropriate software protocols for the research products should be investigated.

The Mechanistic-Empirical Pavement Design Guide focuses on the continued advancement of material properties and linkage with track 1, the mix design track. Both tracks show many model development activities. Ensuring compatibility and detecting gaps and overlaps is a role for the executive advisory committee through its systems integration function.

Concrete pavement overlay design now is divided into categories based on the type of existing pavement structure-whitetopping, bonded, unbonded, etc. The new guide is intended to retire these terms and use only the term “concrete overlays.” Multifaceted foundations should be treated as inputs. This should result in one design procedure. In practice, there are many pavements with multiple layers of both concrete and asphalt, making the conventional terms difficult to apply.

Elsewhere in the CP Road Map are projects to develop a mechanistic approach to concrete pavement restoration techniques, a design catalog, and improved low-volume road designs.

Track 3. High-Speed Nondestructive Testing and Intelligent Construction Systems

This track is probably the most challenging of the CP Road Map. It calls for identifying, researching, experimenting with, and adopting a full series of nondestructive tests for both handheld testing equipment and automation of the paving operation. The framing study is truly critical, and much like the mix design track, should require significant coordination with both the equipment and sensor companies.

The objectives of the intelligent construction equipment are to:

If these goals are accomplished, concrete pavement construction technology should become more critical than any other highway construction operation.

Three framing studies are included in the track. The objective of each is to develop a detailed architecture for both hand-held and equipment-mounted test equipment. They could be combined into one study, but the differing objectives of each framing study are critical. The first study calls for a full investigation of both current NDT technology and sensor technologies in other industries. Sensor advancements in the manufacturing industries are accelerating at a rapid rate. Radio frequency identification technology, for example, should be understood and defined within the context of concrete pavement technology.

The second framing study structures the work with equipment manufacturers to develop a longterm, mutually beneficial research and development program, the scale of which may be unprecedented. This requires a clear understanding of the objectives, technology, application, and economics. The track team leadership could be facilitated by a State DOT and an equipment manufacturer.

The questions that should be addressed in all these framing studies are important:

It would be extremely helpful in the framing study to develop a schematic and a threedimensional, wall-mounted presentation of a fully automated and sensored concrete pavement operation, including aggregate crushing, storage, moisture, gradation, batching, transporting, placing, finishing, and opening to traffic. This would effectively outline the research details, help organize the concepts, and market the ideas to potential vendors.

Track 4. Optimized Surface Characteristics for Safe, Quiet, and Smooth Concrete Pavements

This track probably represents the newest addition to the concrete pavement industry's needs. The need for intensive research on noise generated by tire/pavement interaction was raised 12 years ago when FHWA and AASHTO conducted a study of European concrete pavement technology through the International Technology Scanning Program, but there has been no coordinated research effort in the United States until now. Noise research that addresses the highway abutters and elevates the driver's experience is needed. The track, however, promotes research in all surface characteristics areas-friction, smoothness, noise, lateral drainage, spray, and rolling resistance-and suggests a balanced approach. Engineers will need to know more about megatexture, macrotexture, and microtexture and how each impacts specific surface characteristics. This track includes research on mix designs to meet predetermined values and innovative construction equipment to produce consistent field values.

Track team leaders must insist on long-term solutions for the noise element of the track and not be distracted by early pressures to develop a quick-fix solution. It also is important that measuring equipment be defined early in the process to ensure that data can be collected and analyzed properly. Eventually, the noise issue should be linked to noise mitigation strategies, which may link specific pavement solutions to the noise mitigation solution. This would require that a threshold value be established for pavement rehabilitation. Another critical factor is to determine whether pavement noise threshold values should apply to rural pavements, urban pavements, or all pavements, and if a solution for drivers can be found, as well.

The track also includes a full series of issues related to smoothness and friction. A critical issue with friction is tort liability and the setting of threshold values. This issue has been a deterrent to conducting more open research and technology sharing. In a truly performance-driven pavement design, setting various thresholds for factors like loadings, noise, friction, and spray over the service life of the pavement could expose authorities to public and possibly legal challenges, should any of the thresholds be exceeded. This is especially true for setting friction thresholds.

Track 5. Concrete Pavement Equipment Automation and Advancements

Research management of this track is similar to the NDT/ICS track in that cooperation with the equipment manufacturers is critical. It is possible that the two tracks would be managed by the same group. This track, however, will focus on developing a clear description of each new or upgraded piece of equipment and determining if there is sufficient market to justify the product development costs. Equipment manufacturers constantly discuss the chicken-and-egg concept on equipment development: If they develop it, will there be a market? If there is market, they will develop it. The track will require a paradigm shift in market definition with more pressure on DOTs to help define the future and make it a reality.

As a first step, a pool of DOTs interested in this track could partner with contractors from their local concrete paving industry to review and provide input into the early planning process. This should help raise awareness, establish a potential market, and identify any barriers (such as specification impediments) that would impede the research. Another key step is to develop contract language to allow experimentation with the new equipment on active construction projects. With enough commitment from DOTs to provide cooperative partnering and sufficient sites, equipment manufacturers should be better able to decide if the chicken-and-egg discussion is resolved.

Within the framing study, the track team leaders may want to examine in detail the French Charter of Innovation system of partnering with equipment manufacturers. This system is a jointventure approach in which the government, equipment manufacturers, and contractors work collectively to advance equipment.

Track 6. Innovative Concrete Pavement Joint Design, Materials, and Construction

With the cost of joints running 12 to 20 percent of the cost of concrete pavements, and joints being the primary driver of maintenance and rehabilitation, a blend of new performance data and incremental improvements in construction practices could have significant payoff. Many such projects are included in the track. The track also addresses the need for breakthrough thinking on designing, constructing, and repairing joints. One idea to explore is bottom-up cracking (as opposed to joint sawing) through frames fastened to the subgrade. There are undoubtedly many more.

Track team leaders should strive for a balance in the overall program. The challenge on long life pavements is to design and place a dowel configuration that will last 50 to 60 years with minimal maintenance. This is nearly double the current life on even moderately loaded pavements.

On shorter life pavements-thin overlays, for example-the challenge is to find a solution somewhere above the load transfer provided by aggregate interlock and a full dowel assembly. Is there a dowel design with a lower initial cost that meets the performance requirements, something in the more moderate 20-year life? And would the pavement design culture allow use of this shorter life assembly to save initial costs?

The track includes an innovative joint design competition. A strong, competitive program could address both long- and short-term issues. The competition also will look for fresh ideas on joint design that break away from the one-size-fits-all dowel bar.

Track 7. High-Speed Concrete Pavement Rehabilitation and Construction

Two national initiatives, NCHRP 20-58(1), “Accelerating the Renewal of America's Highways” and the FHWA Highways for LIFE (Long Lasting, Innovative, and Fast Construction of Efficient and Safe Highway Infrastructure) program, will influence this track. The specific problem statements included in the track could fit easily into either program, should they be funded and evolve as expected. There should be close coordination among the three programs.

A timeline is included for these activities, but they could have been treated as independent items. The precast and modular subtrack for example, could easily be developed as an independent track. The track team leaders should consider this in their planning; they may find that a small but important group of States would rally better around a smaller effort. Also, the mix projects could be placed under the performance-based mix design track.

An important project is the simulation and constructability effort. It is difficult to capture all of the important items learned on a project, so constructability reviews are helpful in applying experience from the field to the next project. This has great education merit, as well. Industry and DOTs could gain insight into traffic management, plant and haul routes, waste disposal, and other issues that would help show how concrete paving operations could be conducted in different scenarios.

Track 8. Long Life Concrete Pavements

The concept of long life pavements was difficult for many participants in the brainstorming sessions to grasp. Many factors come into play, including high initial costs for difficult-toestimate traffic and land management changes for a 60-year period.

At one of the first brainstorming sessions, participants defined a long life pavement as a “no-fixrequired” pavement that would last 50 to 60 years with relatively heavy loads throughout its life. The participants quickly modified this definition to allow for planned surface renewal with multiple grindings or the addition of a thin overlay.

A more pragmatic definition eventually evolved that called for planned maintenance between 10 and 30 years, followed by a fairly heavy joint repair and possibly an overlay to take the total pavement life to 60 years. Another definition called for a mandatory strong foundation with a thinner slab designed for 20 years of service. This would be followed by the construction of a wraparound slab that would provide service for an additional 30 to 40 years. This alternative would reduce the high initial cost, but provide for the future.

Before starting this research track, the track team leaders should use this input to clearly define a long life pavement with the following factors:

Applications that seem appropriate are not just sections with heavy truck traffic. Sections with heavy motor vehicle traffic and relatively light truck traffic loadings that show extremely high user costs during repairs could be an application for a long life pavement. The cost-effectiveness of long life solutions is not clear for facilities already at peak volume with heavy truck loadings.

Another potential application is rural sections with light traffic volume today and projected high truck traffic in the future, but several questions should be addressed. Is there enough confidence in traffic estimates and land management to justify the higher initial cost expenditure? Will planners consider the heavier initial construction cost in the statewide planning process, which subtly dictates so many pavement sections?

Continuously reinforced concrete pavements (CRCP) should be considered in long life solutions for heavy-duty pavements, but few States use the technology routinely. It would take considerable effort to reenergize CRCP, but it should be considered, because it has a solid performance record in many locations.

Finally, the cost issue should be addressed in any final application of long life principles. The challenge is not simply to add more bells and whistles, but to add value and performance without increasing the cost significantly. Increasing life and controlling costs are imperative if long life pavements are to have a role in pavement selection.

Track 9. Concrete Pavement Accelerated and Long-Term Data Collection

Current legislation limits the LTPP program to the experiment designed in the early 1980s. No new sections or parameters are accepted into the study. This is not expected to change in the next legislation. In addition, only a handful of the 24 accelerated pavement testing (APT) facilities in the United States are capable of testing concrete pavements. The framing study would analyze all of the APTs, identify those willing and able to evaluate concrete, and link them into a consortium of users. FHWA met with 13 APT owners in July 2004. All were interested in partnering, but specific topics and partnering details will be discussed in future meetings.

There also is a need to design and build experimental sections on active roadways with live traffic. Much has been learned from the LTPP program and the SPS. The keys to building local sections are well-known and include construction tolerances, sensor placement, loadings and environmental data. Track team leaders should clearly address the experimental design and services to support that design before undertaking the experiment.

Type 2 Research Tracks Management Considerations

Type 2 research tracks generally do not have time conditions. Each track is an organized collection of stand-alone problem statements under a specific topic.

Track 10. Concrete Pavement Performance

These projects address technical issues related to pavement management tools. The problem statements were restricted to issues dealing with concrete pavements and network data collection and analysis systems. They are important projects in that they will close the feedback system to design.

Track 11. Concrete Pavement Business Systems and Economics

Track 11 is unique in that its conduct dovetails with and supports the work of the executive advisory committee. Therefore, it is suggested that the executive advisory committee assume team leadership for track 11.

Track 12. Advanced Concrete Pavement Materials

Problem statements in this track are of specific interest to the concrete pavement community and provide a basis for creating the next generation of potential products for select situations. Many of these issues originated in other research planning documents and continue to be worthy of serious consideration. If any is considered especially relevant, it should be moved into an appropriate type 1 research track, if possible, and managed appropriately. Unlike other type 2 tracks, the advanced materials projects could lead to fully developed independent tracks if the first round of research is fruitful.

Cross-Referenced Database Tables

Many participants in the brainstorming events described in chapter 2 were disappointed not to see research tracks dealing specifically with foundations and drainage, pavement maintenance and rehabilitation, and environmental issues. The primary challenges related to these topics actually are being addressed in various research tracks.

As an example, the research database has been sorted to isolate problem statements related to these three critical areas; the CP Road Map presents these problem statements not only in their appropriate tracks but also in cross-referenced tables. (When research is conducted in the CP Road Map, the database manager will be able to perform additional sorts on a number of topics.)

Database Table 1. Concrete Pavement Foundation and Drainage

The foundation effort is clearly a critical part of the performance-based design and NDT/ICS tracks. The executive advisory committee may want to work with the geotechnical community to identify additional specialty foundation and drainage research needs applicable to concrete pavements.

Database Table 2. Concrete Pavement Maintenance and Rehabilitation

These problem statements are incorporated in many tracks of the CP Road Map. Because maintenance and rehabilitation issues are very important to the concrete pavement community, the project team seriously considering including a separate track devoted to these topics. In the end, however, subsuming these topics under the 12 functional track topics was deemed the best approach. This database table helps stakeholders see how and where maintenance and rehabilitation research topics are built into the sequence of research in several tracks.

Database Table 3. Environmental Concrete Pavement Advancements

This category might have been a full track if the United States had a definition of sustainability that included global issues related to pavements. Addressing the gamut of concrete pavementrelated environmental and energy issues, from cement and stone production through construction and recycling, was beyond the scope of this pavement research effort. As the CP Road Map stands, however, it includes several problem statements related to environmental advancements in the concrete pavement industry.

The key to improving the environmental record of concrete pavements is to find ways to reuse aggregates and fines in concrete pavements. This is definitely the higher use of raw materials and is within the industry's grasp.

The executive advisory committee may want to revisit the idea of an environmental track. With the advent of the M-E approach to pavement design, it may be beneficial to look at materials characteristics based on modulus and stiffness type values. Many State DOTs now require recycled materials to meet all of the conditions of virgin materials. However, work done in Germany and other places shows that recycled materials could perform exceptionally well under a stiffness or modulus criteria. This approach diminishes the importance of tests such as Los Angeles abrasion, fractured faces, and gradation, and relies more on plate load testing to determine structural adequacy.

The committee may want to work with existing programs that address environmental issues. The Environmental Council of Concrete Organizations, for example, could be more mainstreamed with the highway community. These and similar organizations should be examined thoroughly for scope of work, research funding, training, etc., that could be pulled into the CP Road Map.


Three issues should be particularly important to the executive advisory committee: ensuring initial projects are begun quickly, supporting significant changes to business systems, and focusing on technology transfer. Many of these critical, initial issues are addressed in track 11, so the executive advisory committee should begin its work as team leader for that track as soon as possible.

Early Financing and Conduct of Research

Industry leaders should validate quickly the credibility of the CP Road Map and demonstrate their own commitment to work cooperatively to fund and implement it. Research track team leaders should begin at least one project in each track as quickly as possible. In addition, each track should be updated as soon as possible to show new starts and other ongoing work being accomplished by agencies across the country, including FHWA, Iowa State University, and State DOTs.

Business System Changes

The CP Road Map recognizes a significant transfer of roles and responsibilities from State DOTs to industry. To succeed, such a transfer requires a new business model-that is, a new way for DOTs and industry to do business together. This model should include pavement economics, capital availability, risk and risk transfer, warranties, innovative contracting, incentives, and standards ownership.

The first objective is to determine the best combination of concrete pavement solutions (mix of fixes) that balances funds, traffic impact, and network efficiency. The second is to take advantage of an array of alternate contracting techniques that could enhance the procurement of concrete pavements with an improved determination of risk between the owner and the contractor.

Technology Transfer

During brainstorming events, the speed at which new technology is applied was discussed. Stakeholders were concerned about the slowness of communicating research results to agencies and industry, as well as the slowness of industry to accept new ideas and technologies. They were especially concerned about the lack of technology transfer and training materials for the workforce.

Effective technology transfer strategies will be critical for every research project that comes out of the CP Road Map, but particularly in the mix design and NDT/ICS tracks, where research results eventually will impact the job of every person on the construction site.

One stand-alone project under track 11 is to develop an expedited technology transfer plan. The executive advisory committee should encourage action in this area as soon as possible and monitor it continuously. Marketing and technology transfer resources available through projects such as FHWA's Task 65 on technology transfer and deployment of the Concrete Pavement Technology Program should be built into the technology transfer plan.


Beginning a long-term research program is a slow process. For 3 years, the Iowa State University-led team has been working closely with stakeholders to enlist support. Now FHWA should begin a strong research management effort.

The research tracks are ambitious but achievable. The research management plan is sound. Together, they identify what needs to be done and how to succeed to achieve the goal of the CP Road Map:

By 2015, the highway community will have a comprehensive, integrated, and fully functional system of concrete pavement technology that provides innovative solutions for customer-driven performance requirements.

Peer review, coordination, leveraging, and partnering are all valid strategies. For this plan to work, however, champions must step forward and join together, believing in the synergy the CP Road Map can generate (see figure 15). The executive advisory committee, supported by the administrative support group, and the research track team leaders should be true champions.

Figure 15. Illustration. CP Road Map goal. This illustration depicts a symbiotic relationship among the objectives illustrated previously in figures 2, 3, 4, 9, and 11, and includes another drawing of a construction worker in a mobile van that can collect data, by satellite, of various materials' performance, weather, and construction activities.

Figure 15. Illustration. CP Road Map goal.


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