The health of the US economy depends on the efficiency with which raw materials and goods move to market and people travel from point to point. The efficient movement of people and goods relies on the quality of the supporting roadway infrastructure. The quality of highways depends on the design, the materials used, and the construction techniques applied. Therefore, improving the understanding of the materials and procedures used to construct our highways is a matter of national interest.
The Federal Highway Administration, on behalf of US national interests, hosts Asphalt Expert Task Group (ETG) meetings twice a year for the purpose of advancing the understanding of asphalt pavement technology. They bring together leading thinkers in industry, academia, and government who expand the knowledge base through research and the identification of best practices that lead to better quality roadways. The meetings provide the opportunity for the presentation and critical evaluation of concepts as well as the collegial sharing of insights, ideas, and experiences from around the country. The FHWA plans, coordinates, and facilitates the meetings that are open to anyone interested.
One and a half days are spent on asphalt binder and asphalt mix-related topics each for a total of three days of meetings. The most recent meetings held in Bozeman, MT from September 19-21, 2017 covered topics such as crack testing, rut testing, compaction best practices, advanced testing procedures and equipment, results from FHWA’s accelerated loading facility in Virginia, the impact of recycled materials, performance-based specifications, integrating our growing understanding of cracking and rutting into pavement design, and university level education on asphalt and asphalt pavements. Presentations made during these sessions can be reviewed at the NAPA website. The participants truly shape the asphalt industry of tomorrow and contribute to a future vibrant US economy.