Asphalt Pavement Magazine - September/October 2016 - 27


INNOVATIVE
Pavement Research
Providing systematic answers for our infrastructure crisis
By Courtney Jones

I

t's no secret that our nation's
infrastructure as a whole is
in a state of disrepair. Every
four years, the American
Society of Civil Engineers
(ASCE) issues a report card assessing
the condition of American
infrastructure. The average grades
have been near failing for almost 20
years. Most recently (2013), roads
received a grade of D. When our
roads are in poor shape, the health
and well-being of our nation suffers,
but the problem is how to maintain
our aging roads on a limited budget.
"As stewards of our mature
highway infrastructure system, we
must explore new ways to maintain
our highways as cost effectively
as possible," says Dr. Randy West,
Director of the National Center
for Asphalt Technology (NCAT).
Innovative pavement research
demonstrates the feasibility of new
technologies that can make our
roads safer, longer-lasting, and more
sustainable, while striving to reduce
construction and maintenance
costs. As such, pavement research
has to be a systematic part of the
answer to our infrastructure crisis.
The first step in solving
any problem, large or small, is
identifying and defining the
need. In response to that need,
an innovative idea is generated,
envisioning a potential solution-a
material, device, or method-that
could achieve the desired end
result within the given economic

NCAT researchers oversee every detail of their pavement tests to ensure the validity of their results.

constraints. Before testing the
concept, researchers conduct a
literature review to find out if
others have already explored the
idea and if so, how they did it. This
step enables researchers to learn
from prior successes and failures
and provides valuable insight for
establishing an experimental plan
to test the idea.
Innovative pavement
technologies are typically tested
first in the controlled environment
of a laboratory. If those results
are promising, the technology
is evaluated in a field trial or at
an accelerated testing facility,
which provides results in a much
shorter time frame. Marketing a
new technology often begins after

successful lab trials and includes
economic analyses, presentations to
stakeholders, reports, advertising,
and trade shows.
Developing pavement
technologies is a lengthy process,
but the time from concept to
implementation can be drastically
reduced when using a full-scale
accelerated testing facility, such
as the NCAT Pavement Test Track,
as a proving ground. Test section
sponsors receive tangible, easily
interpreted results in a fraction of
the time than field trials take on a
public roadway. And if a pavement
failure occurs, the travelling
public is not affected. The realistic
construction methods and loading
used at full-scale testing facilities

Asphalt Pavement Magazine - September/October 2016 * 27



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Asphalt Pavement Magazine - September/October 2016

Chairman’s Commentary
Industry News
Innovation in Mindset and Technology
Innovative Pavement Research
Freight Innovations in Our Future
Creating a Sustainability Program:
Industry Calendar
Index of Advertisers / Advertisers.com
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - September/October 2016 - Cover1
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - September/October 2016 - IBD_L
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - September/October 2016 - IBD
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - September/October 2016 - cover2
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - September/October 2016 - 3
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - September/October 2016 - 4
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - September/October 2016 - 5
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - September/October 2016 - 6
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - September/October 2016 - 7
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - September/October 2016 - 8
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - September/October 2016 - Chairman’s Commentary
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - September/October 2016 - 10
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - September/October 2016 - 11
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - September/October 2016 - 12
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - September/October 2016 - Industry News
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - September/October 2016 - 14
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - September/October 2016 - 15
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - September/October 2016 - 16
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - September/October 2016 - 17
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - September/October 2016 - 18
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - September/October 2016 - Innovation in Mindset and Technology
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - September/October 2016 - 20
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - September/October 2016 - 21
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - September/October 2016 - 22
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - September/October 2016 - 23
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - September/October 2016 - 24
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - September/October 2016 - 25
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - September/October 2016 - 26
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - September/October 2016 - Innovative Pavement Research
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - September/October 2016 - 28
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - September/October 2016 - 29
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - September/October 2016 - 30
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Asphalt Pavement Magazine - September/October 2016 - 31
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - September/October 2016 - 32
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - September/October 2016 - Freight Innovations in Our Future
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - September/October 2016 - 34
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - September/October 2016 - 35
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - September/October 2016 - 36
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - September/October 2016 - Creating a Sustainability Program:
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - September/October 2016 - 38
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - September/October 2016 - 39
Asphalt Pavement Magazine - September/October 2016 - 40
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Asphalt Pavement Magazine - September/October 2016 - Industry Calendar
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Asphalt Pavement Magazine - September/October 2016 - Index of Advertisers / Advertisers.com
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