The Roads Ahead

by Teresa Austin, Asst. Ed.; Civil Engineering Magazine, ASCE World Headquarters, 345 East 47th Street, New York City, NY.,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1992, Vol. 62, Issue 4, Pg. 54-57

Document Type: Feature article


In 1990, 37 states spent almost $50 million on highway pavement crack sealing, according to researchers at the Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP). In the near future, a robotic combination of video and range data may slash that figure substantially. This pavement crack-filling robot (currently under field trial) is only one of 50 products recently produced through SHRP. More will be introduced by 1993. After almost five years, SHRP is approaching the end of its road. The program was born in 1987 under the Surface Transportation and Urban Relocation and Assistance Act. Monies from state and federal highway funds (a set aside of 0.25%) funds the program, which is administered by the National Research Council (NRC) through a three-party agreement among the American Association of State Highway officials (AASHTO), the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the NRC. All three groups have committed to overseeing those activities that extend beyond 1993 and to ensuring that the products are implemented. The National Academy of Sciences will create and run the SHRP Monitoring and Research Transfer Committee. In addition to implementing SHRP products, the FHWA will manage contracts for the $41 million Long Term Pavement Performance (LTPP) program. AASHTO has appointed a task force to consider ways to speed the development of standards based on the completed products.

Subject Headings: Federal government | Highways and roads | Pavement condition | Cracking | Robotics | Sealing | Imaging techniques | Field tests

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