Asphalt Update

by Rita Leahy, Asst. Prof.; School of Engrg., Oregon State Univ.,
R. Gary Hicks, (F.ASCE), Prof.and Assoc. Dean; School of Engrg., Oregon State Univ.,
Carl L. Monismith, (F.ASCE), Robert Horonjeff Professor of Civ. Engrg.; Univ. of California at Berkeley,

Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1996, Vol. 66, Issue 4, Pg. 58-61

Document Type: Feature article


Of the $150 million spent in the five-year Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP), $50 million went to research to improve the durability and cost-effectiveness of asphalt pavements--on which the U.S. spends about $12 billion annually. SHRP asphalt products include a performance-based binder specification, a mix design and analysis system, and supporting tests integrated into a new system called Superpave, which offers an improved methodology for specifying material components, mix design and analysis, and pavement performance prediction. This improved capability to predict performance as a function of time and/or traffic, should enable highway agencies to select the types and proportions of materials needed to achieve a user-defined level of acceptable performance within the usual budget constraints--with substantial economic benefits for highway agencies, the taxpayers and the driving public. However, for SHRP products to be successfully implemented, agencies and industry must be willing to invest time and personnel to ensure their suitability.

Subject Headings: Asphalt pavements | Pavement design | Highways and roads | Aging (material) | System analysis | Performance-based design | Materials processing

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