Today’s highway users expect a high-quality traveling experience on roads that are safe and well maintained with the least possible delay. The Federal Highway Administration plays a leadership role in ensuring that innovative technologies that can improve the safety and performance of the transportation system are deployed and implemented on the Nation’s roadways.
One way FHWA is leading the way is through the Accelerated Implementation and Deployment of Pavement Technologies (AID-PT) program. Congress established the program in 2012 under the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21). The purpose is to document, demonstrate, and deploy innovative pavement technologies, including their applications, performance, and benefits. In 2015, Congress continued the AID-PT program in the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act, with funding available through fiscal year 2020.
Central to the AID-PT program are various technology transfer and outreach efforts that deliver insights, experience, and practices to the transportation community through meaningful and cost-effective strategies, ranging from site reviews, demonstrations, and webinars to guidance documents. Transportation agencies have implemented a number of technologies in areas such as concrete overlays, asphalt pavement durability, and sustainability.
In its AID-PT 2016–2017 annual report, FHWA highlights case studies that discuss the anticipated long-term improvements in cost savings, project delivery time, congestion relief, enhanced safety, and pavement performance because of the program. Specifically, FHWA is engaged in a variety of efforts to improve paving materials and deliver guidance to help highway agencies design and construct both asphalt and concrete pavements more effectively.
Examples of ongoing initiatives include the following:
- Encouraging implementation of the methodology described in the Mechanistic-Empirical Pavement Design Guide published by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. Fourteen highway agencies have implemented the procedure for asphalt pavements, while 31 plan to implement. For concrete pavements, 13 agencies have implemented, and 32 plan to implement.
- Increasing the use and application of recycled concrete aggregate in new and reconstructed pavements and the use of ground tire rubber in asphalt pavements. These practices not only save on costs but also support an overarching focus on sustainability and reduce the impact of pavements on the environment.
- Improving construction processes for asphalt pavements, particularly in the use of more effective compaction practices that lead to longer lasting pavements at little to no additional cost.
- Advancing and promoting approaches in the design of both asphalt and concrete pavement mixtures that focus on extended performance and long-term durability.
With strong stakeholder support, the AID-PT program is providing benefits ranging from shorter project delivery times and less congestion to cost savings and fewer roadway fatalities.
FHWA highlights concrete overlays in its AID-PT report because of its growing popularity as a sustainable, cost-effective solution for maintaining and preserving pavements. Using a concrete overlay to rehabilitate an existing pavement offers benefits that include extending service life, increasing structural capacity, reducing maintenance, and lowering life-cycle costs.
This newsletter is published biannually by the New Jersey Local Technical Assistance Program, Center for Advanced Infrastructure and Transportation, Rutgers University, using funds from the Federal Highway Administration and the New Jersey Department of Transportation. The opinions, findings, or recommendations expressed in this newsletter are those of the New Jersey Local Technical Assistance Program and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Federal Highway Administration nor the New Jersey Department of Transportation nor Rutgers University. Any product mentioned in this newsletter is for information purposes only and should not be considered a product endorsement.