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Coordinating, Developing, and Delivering Highway Transportation Innovations

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Publication Number:  FHWA-HRT-11-065    Date:  April 2012
Publication Number: FHWA-HRT-11-065
Date: April 2012


Long-Term Plan for Concrete Pavement Research and Technology—The Concrete Pavement Road Map (Second Generation): 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 has not failed. The CP Road Map is accompanied by a unique and bold, yet realistic, research management plan that has kept stakeholders involved and committed to the CP Road Map’s success.

The research management plan for the CP Road Map performs the following:

Shortly after the CP Road Map was completed, a consortium of stakeholders initiated support for its implementation. To date, this administrative support has been sponsored in large part under transportation pooled fund TPF-5(185) and conducted by the National CP Tech Center.(2)

This chapter describes the plan as originally envisioned and provides a synopsis of the implementation activities to date.


During its development, the research management was 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. Public and private organizations that enjoy dedicated funding are understandably hesitant to relinquish fiscal or technical control, but they are willing to partner if it is in their self interest.

Third, even in a decentralized arena like research, it is possible 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 to pool their funds and other resources in win-win situations, as has been done in the successful National Concrete Consortium. By working together to identify common interests and agreeing to cooperate for the long haul, stakeholders can pool resources to extend budgets and expand research results or programs.

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 the following four principles that 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.

Critical Elements of the Research Management Plan

The agreement between FHWA and the National CP Tech Center outlined the following 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—SHRP.

Each SHRP phase was managed by a specific organization (the research phase by the TRB SHRP Program Office and 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 set up as follows:

The FHWA Transportation Pooled Fund Program is similar to the CP Road Map research management plan. Under the 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.

According to lessons learned on other shorter term projects and programs, the active participation of champions is needed for long-term success.


The research management plan has put these principles and critical elements into practice through the following four-tier governance system:

  1. An EAC 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 EAC 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, figure 14 provides a brief overview of the way these groups are organized and how they work together to implement the research.

Figure 14. Flow chart. Research management plan.
Figure 14. Flow chart. Research management plan.


It was noted in the original CP Road Map development that the 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. Implementation has begun and is moving forward.

The following steps were deemed critical to begin the implementation process:

  1. FHWA, industry, and several key State transportation departments will sponsor a meeting of leaders from organizations interested in participating in the CP Road Map (i.e., potential sustaining organizations and track team leaders). This meeting includes the following tasks:

    • Develop and finalize a tri-party agreement (industry, FHWA, and State agencies) that validates the CP Road Map, the research management plan, and the commitment to work cooperatively.

    • Determine the EAC.

    • Identify track team leaders for as many tracks as possible.

    • Fund and identify the administrative support group.

    • Develop a memorandum of understanding and cooperation among the sustaining organizations.

  2. Convene the EAC, 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 EAC 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.



Members of the EAC 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 EAC should be a decisionmaking, policy-making, and facilitating group with the following responsibilities:

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

The EAC has one final but closely related responsibility: act as track team leader for track 11. Track 11 consists of stand-alone problem statements covering key crosscutting efforts in the following areas: macroeconomics and life-cycle costs, alternative contracting and incentives, accelerated training programs, and development of major publications such as compendia and whitepaper series. Track 11 also contains an innovative subtrack on concrete roads of the future. These issues naturally fall within the purview of the EAC.

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 wants to steer the track toward fulfilling the goals.


In addition to cooperating with the EAC, 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 the following:

Research track team leaders should not develop and issue requests for proposals. Instead, working with the EAC, 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 B of this report.


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


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 EAC, 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 EAC.


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


Figure 14 identifies the following five general functions for which the EAC, supported by the administrative support group, should be responsible for:

  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 EAC also act as research track team leader for track 11. 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 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 EAC. There are many options, but database management should be based on the following principles:

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 EAC 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 the 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 perform the following:

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 EAC 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 EAC.

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 EAC, 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 EAC, 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 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.


The following brief discussion of research management issues within the CP Road Map tracks should help track team leaders get started quickly and efficiently.

Some of the tracks identified in the CP Road Map are, in essence, a complete research program in and of themselves. As such, they have management and research management issues that should be considered, especially early in the process. Some are even part of ongoing initiatives (e.g., a major pooled fund for tracks 1 and 4 and a large FHWA program addressing track 12). A framing study should be initiated for these tracks, calling 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.

Track 1. Materials and Mixes for Concrete Pavements

This track has several important research management issues to address. The framing study should call for developing a first cut of the future mix design procedure, using current consensus documentation. It should propose that State transportation departments 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 National Concrete Consortium 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 MEPDG (DARWin-METM), accelerated testing for validation and calibration, and specific software integration issues.

Second, the AASHTO Joint Technical Committee 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 MEPDG 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 EAC through its systems integration function.

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. Intelligent Construction Systems and Quality Assurance for Concrete Pavements

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. These tests fall under the umbrella of ICSs. 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 intelligent construction equipment are as follows:

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

The objective of the early framing studies should be to develop a detailed architecture for both hand-held and equipment-mounted test equipment. There should be a full investigation of both current NDT/ICS 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 work with equipment manufacturers should also be studied to develop a long-term, 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 transportation department and an equipment manufacturer.

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

It would be helpful in the framing study to develop a schematic and a three-dimensional, wallmounted 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 nearly two decades 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, splash and 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 drivers to unsafe conditions and agencies to the potential of increased legal risks 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 transportation departments to help define the future and make it a reality.

As a first step, a pool of transportation departments 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 transportation departments 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 12–20 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. Premature joint deterioration has emerged as a significant issue affecting all parts of the country, but particularly the northern States. This also warrants serious consideration. 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 50–60 years with minimal maintenance. This is nearly double the current life on even moderately loaded pavements.

On shorter life pavements (e.g., thin overlays), 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? In addition, 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. Concrete Pavement Maintenance and Preservation

The current economic climate has severely limited funding for new pavement construction and shifted much of the focus of State transportation departments to maintaining and preserving existing pavement assets. As such, establishing proven and reliable maintenance and preservation methods for existing concrete pavements is essential.

Because maintenance and preservation issues are very important to the future of the concrete pavement community, the project team has recently identified track 7 as a separate track devoted to these topics. This track will help stakeholders see how and where maintenance and preservation research is headed and provide the mechanism for rapid implementation of both better practices and key innovations.

It is important to distinguish at the outset the differences between maintenance and preservation activities, such that research conducted under this track can be appropriately implemented. Maintenance should focus on the routine activities (e.g., resealing concrete pavement joints, cleaning out edge drains, etc.) that help a concrete pavement function as intended. Preservation should focus on specific treatments (e.g., diamond grinding to reduce curling and improve ride quality, DBRs to restore load transfer, etc.) that will help extend the functional and structural life of the pavement.

Track 8. Concrete Pavement Construction, Reconstruction, and Overlays

Two national initiatives, SHRP2 Renewal 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.

The modular and overlay subtracks, for example, could easily be developed as independent tracks. 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. In addition, the mix projects could be placed under the performance-based mix design track.

An important project within this track 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 transportation departments 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 9. Evaluation, Monitoring, and Strategies for Long-life Concrete Pavement

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.

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.

Regarding accelerated testing, 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 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.

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

Track 10. Concrete Pavement Foundations and Drainage

While the foundation effort is clearly a critical part of the performance-based design and NDT/ICS tracks, this new track underscores the importance of this area. Furthermore, the need for coordinated research to understand and improve the quality of drainage is included in this track as a companion subtrack. In this track, there should be close coordination with the geotechnical community to assist in identifying specialty foundation and drainage research needs that are applicable to concrete pavements. Technologies, such as intelligent compaction, and the use of existing NDT, such as ground-penetrating radar, should be part of early tasks.

Track 11. Concrete Pavement Economics and Business Management

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

Track 12. Concrete Pavement Sustainability

Recently, the concrete pavement industry has been working toward a common definition of sustainability. Furthermore, FHWA recently initiated a major initiative in this area. Addressing this topic means addressing a gamut of concrete pavement-related environmental and energy issues, from cement and stone production to construction and recycling. This track includes several problem statements related to sustainability advancements in the concrete pavement industry, most of which are crosscutting with other tracks.

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. 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 transportation departments 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 track leadership 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 EAC: 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 EAC should begin its work as team leader for that track as soon as possible.

Early Financing and Conduct of Research

Industry leaders should quickly validate 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, the National CP Tech Center, and State transportation departments.

Business System Changes

The CP Road Map recognizes a significant transfer of roles and responsibilities from State Transportation departments to industry. To succeed, such a transfer requires a new business model—that is, a new way for transportation departments 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 EAC 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 Advanced Concrete Pavement Technology (ACPT) program should be built into the technology transfer plan.


Beginning a long-term research program is a slow process. During the final 3 years of the original CP Road Map development, the development team worked closely with stakeholders to enlist support. FHWA should now begin a strong research management effort.

The research tracks and management plan identify what needs to be done and how to succeed to achieve the following new goal of the CP Road Map:

By 2020, 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, all participants must take on the role of champion (see figure 15), including the EAC, supported by the administrative support group and the research track team leaders.

Figure 15. Illustration. CP Road Map goal.
Figure 15. Illustration. CP Road Map goal.


With recognition that the CP Road Map is a living research and technology document, the need for dedicated, structured administrative support has been identified. Shortly after the release of the CP Road Map, this support was provided via funding of an operations support group (OSG). Pooled Fund TPF-5(185), with sponsorship from FHWA, as well as New York, Virginia, Iowa, Michigan, Mississippi, and Pennsylvania, currently provides funding for the OSG, which is currently managed by the National CP Tech Center.(2)

The OSG helps agencies and industry partners meet their research goals efficiently and tracks national concrete pavement research which, in turn, helps Federal, State, industry, and academic partners work together to leverage resources and avoid costly duplication of research activities.

Work under TPF-5(185) has been conducted under individual task orders.(2) As of June 2011, five task orders have been issued. The following sections highlight the various implementation activities that have been executed under these task orders.


As part of the first task order, the OSG established an EAC. The role of the committee is to provide overall guidance and coordination of the National CP Road Map Program. The committee has met three to four times per year, and their responsibilities have included the following:


The original CP Road Map database was created as a tool to assist in the development of the CP Road Map plan, and it contains related research as of the end of 2000. As part of the operational support effort, the National CP Tech Center has augmented this database with research started, in progress, or completed since that time. The database has been designed to serve the following immediate specific purposes:

The information included in the database includes work conducted under sponsorship of FHWA, NCHRP, pooled fund studies, the concrete paving industry, and some international work. Sources of information include traditional electronic clearinghouses (e.g., Transport Research International Documentation) and discussions with technical leaders from these organizations.

Track Team Meetings

The OSG has provided planning and facilitation services for various track teams. That said, the tracks cannot be moved forward without the agreement and support of organizations interested in sponsoring the research. One of the key steps has been to identify potential sponsors and bring them into the discussion. Sponsors have included FHWA, NCHRP, ACPA, PCA, NRMCA, and State transportation departments through pooled fund mechanisms. Table 2 includes the tracks that have met as part of the implementation work to date.

Table 2. Track coordinators.
Track Coordination
1. Mix Peter Taylor
2. Design Dale Harrington
3. NDT/ICS Rob Rasmussen
4. Surface Characteristics Rob Rasmussen
8. Construction/Overlays Dale Harrington
11. Business Tom Cackler
13. Sustainability Peter Taylor

The OSG has followed the guidance of FHWA and EAC in identifying which tracks to begin with as well as the strategies for initiating them. The CP Road Map includes 12 tracks. Originally, the first four were identified as priority tracks. Other tracks were identified as priority because of meetings of the EAC. These included coordination of overlay-related research under track 8, as well as the business management and sustainability tracks. The latter became known as the 13th track since it was added to the 12 tracks originally published. Because of the refresh task that led to the publication of this report, the tracks have once again been reduced to 12. For a comparison of the original tracks and the new, "refreshed" tracks, see appendix C.

Specific support for the research track teams has included the following:

Some of the track activities include the following:

Track 1. Materials and Mixes for Concrete Pavements

Management of this track has been conducted in recent years as part of a dedicated transportation pooled fund project, TPF-5(205), Implementation of Concrete Pavement Mixture Design and Analysis (MDA) Track of Concrete Pavement Road Map.(12) The Iowa Department of Transportation (Iowa DOT) leads this project, and partners include Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Montana, New York, Oklahoma, Texas, and Wisconsin. The purpose of this project is to support activities that align with track 1 research needs statements. Currently, investigations are underway for the development of alternate methods for calculating mix proportions, evaluating on-site analysis tools, and assessing requirements for the air void systems. It is anticipated that a guide will be prepared. Recent work completed under this project investigated acoustical methods to determine set time.

Track 3. Intelligent Construction Systems and Quality Assurance for Concrete Pavements

As part of the CP Road Map, the following nine potentials technologies were proposed for development and integration into the paving operations:

  1. Temperature/moisture/strength/stiffness changes and development.
  2. Pavement thickness.
  3. Dowel/tie bar/reinforcement alignment.
  4. Curing effectiveness.
  5. Slab support.
  6. Workability.
  7. Air void systems.
  8. Mix density and volumetrics.
  9. Smoothness/texture/skid resistance and splash/spray.

A track leadership team was formed to investigate this further, including individuals from the paving industry, equipment industry, transportation departments, FHWA, and academia. The team identified the most critical parameters to monitor during construction as fresh mix properties/variability, curing operations, and smoothness/texture. The team also identified the corresponding technology that could be used to assess the most critical factors. Since that time, several important projects have been monitored. Two notable national projects that fall under track 3 include the following:

Also of significance has been the ICS program that FHWA has recently been pursuing as part of the Every Day Counts initiative. The main objective of this effort is to identify existing and emerging technologies in the area of intelligent construction of pavements including but not limited to systems, components, processes, and software that can bring benefits, such as increased production, increased efficiency, cost savings, real-time measurements/feedback, and improved quality and uniformity.

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

In track meetings conducted to date, a sound framework has been developed for this track. Various ongoing and foundational research efforts have been identified and are actively tracked. A summary of some of the more relevant national projects include the following:

In addition, the following efforts have been identified:

Track 8. Concrete Pavement Construction, Reconstruction, and Overlays

For the last several years, the National CP Tech Center, with the sponsorship of FHWA, State transportation departments, and industry, has pursued a multifaceted effort to develop and implement better practices for the design, construction, and maintenance of concrete overlays. This effort has led to the development of the Guide to Concrete Overlays, a companion guide for the design of concrete overlays (expected to be released in fall 2011), and a field application program.(27) All of this work has been conducted with guidance provided by the CP Road Map.

CP Road Map Web site

A Web site has been developed and maintained as part of the OSG effort. The Web site has been critical as a means to coordinate and communicate the CP Road Map. It provides the following:


One of the most effective means to project the mission of the CP Road Map has been the publication of a regular e-newsletter via e-mail. Illustrated in figure 16, the CP Road Map E-News issues highlight research from around the world that is helping the concrete pavement community meet the research objectives outlined in the CP Road Map. Every issue includes numerous links to publications of interest and highlights a research agency including work that they have sponsored or conducted. To date, highlights have been developed for the following:

Figure 16. Screen shot. E-news example.
Figure 16. Screen shot. E-news example.

Moving Advancements into Practice (MAP) Briefs

To date, each release of an E-News has been accompanied by a specialized implementation brief called a MAP Brief. Illustrated in figure 17, the MAP Brief highlights a specific research effort and its products. More importantly, it discusses the potential for implementing the findings from that research.

Figure 17. Screen shot. MAP Brief example.
Figure 17. Screen shot. MAP Brief example.

To date, MAP Briefs have been developed on the following topics:

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