Two workshops this week gave the FHWA, state transportation officials, industry and academia an opportunity to discuss timely issues and address strategic questions regarding performance-related specifications (PRS), as well as pavement and paving materials research and technology (R&T).

Leif Wathne of ACPA and Gordon Smith of the CP Tech Center were on hand to represent concrete pavement interests at the FHWA PRS stakeholder workshop on October 15. Key questions presented to state transportation agencies centered on the biggest issue that performance testing can address; agencies’ experience with performance testing, types of performance tests required, and types of performance testing agencies have tried or are using presently. Brian Fouch, Director of the FHWA’s Office of Preconstruction, Construction, and Pavements opened the meeting and set the stage for both open and facilitated discussions. The workshop also included four plenary sessions aimed that focused on opportunities and barriers associated with both concrete and asphalt performance engineered pavements and PRS.

ACPA Chairman Jim Mack, CEMEX; ACPA 2nd Vice-Chairman David Howard, Koss Construction; Leif Wathne, and Gordon Smith were among the participants at the second workshop, which began today and runs through Thursday, October 17. The purpose of this workshop is to gather program-level stakeholder input for issues to be addressed through the FHWA’s Pavement and Materials Program, all with an eye on current and future R&T programs.

The workshop presented opportunities for state transportation officials and industry representatives to present their top three pavement & materials issues; key areas/products that should be promoted nationally; and areas of support requested from the FHWA. Other discussion topics included pavement design and analysis, pavement management (PM2 rules); pavement design policy outreach; performance-engineered mix design (PEMD) and PRS; the FHWA Mobile Technology Center program; FHWA’s Materials laboratory research, pavement research, safety, pavement preservation and quality assurance. Both workshops were held at the Turner–Fairbank Highway Research Center in McLean, VA.

Photo: FHWA Associate Administrator for Infrastructure Hari Kalla makes opening remarks at the FHWA’s Research and Technology Workshop.