COLLABORATIVE PROPOSAL: Evaluation of Biotechnologies for Flexible Pavement Applications

Download Final Report

CAIT project no.: CAIT-UTC-032

Fiscal Year: 2012/2013

Status: Final

Rutgers-CAIT Author(s): Dr. Thomas Bennert, Research Professor, Patrick Szary, Ph.D.

External Author(s): Eileen Sheehy

Sponsor(s): New Jersey Department of Transportation, FHWA - RITA


The use of biotechnology has many benefits in construction applications, in this case, the construction and performance of flexible pavements.  From a materials standpoint, the potential use of biomaterials can reduce the dependency on petroleum products required for asphalt materials, as well as helping to reduce greenhouse emissions during production and construction.  If adaptable, biomaterials may also be able to help increase the general life of the pavement while reducing the cost of construction.  Biotechnologies may also be able to help in the stabilization of subgrade soils prior to constructing roadways over top of them.  Researchers have found that the use of microbial activity allows for a level of stabilization in liquefiable soils.  Including the use of biomaterials to help stabilize these problematic soils is a cost effective and environmentally sensitive solution.  Although biomaterials has shown to help improve pavement and soil performance, there is also evidence to show that some pavement biodeterioration does occur and may affect the general roughness of the pavement.  To conclude the research study, an assessment of paved road deterioration due to biodeterioration and how it influences roughness progression will also be conducted.