A European Road Comes to the U.S.

by John Prendergast, Managing Editor; Civil Engineering Magazine, ASCE World Headquarters, 345 East 47th Street, New York City, NY.,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1992, Vol. 62, Issue 5, Pg. 52-54

Document Type: Feature article


From Sept. 7 to Sept. 22, a group of 21 federal and state transportation officials and industry representatives participated in the European Asphalt Study Tour, traveling the roads of Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Sweden and the U.K. One of the biggest discoveries was an asphalt mix used widely as an overlay or surface course on high-volume roads in Germany, the Netherlands and Scandinavia called stone mastic, or stone matrix, asphalt (SMA). A report issued by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) in June 1991 called SMA the special purpose mix with the greatest promise for use in the United States, and in the wake of the tour, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and several state DOTs have begun evaluating the mix on U.S. roads under varying climate, traffic and construction conditions. The first test sections were placed last summer, in Michigan, Missouri, Wisconsin and Georgia. The article covers the pros and cons of the SMA, findings from test sections, and prospects for its use in the U.S.

Subject Headings: Pavement overlays | Highways and roads | Federal government | Rocks | Infrastructure construction | Highway and road conditions | Industries | Transportation studies | Europe | United States | Germany | Denmark | France | Italy | Sweden | Netherlands

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