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Pavement Test Tracks Advance Asphalt Design in Safe, Collaborative Manner

Pavement Test Tracks Advance Asphalt Design in Safe, Collaborative Manner
SEPTEMBER 20, 2019 

Finding ways to build better, longer lasting roadways has been a task many in the asphalt industry have been challenged with for years. There are constant innovations in our industry to do just that, but putting a new type of pavement down on a roadway for the traveling public to test is not only risky, but the price of failure is just too high.

This is why facilities like the National Center for Asphalt Technology (NCAT) were developed. Established in 1986 as a partnership between Auburn University and the National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA) Research and Education Foundation, the goal of NCAT is to provide practical research and development to meet the needs of maintaining America's highway infrastructure. Their mission is to ensure the industry's ability to provide pavements that are durable, sustainable, quiet, safe and economical.

A 1.7 mile test track was created at NCAT as a real-world laboratory that allows for cutting-edge experimentation while avoiding the risk of failure on actual roadways. The track is comprised of 46 200-ft test sections funded as a cooperative project among highway agencies and industry sponsors. Research experiments based on single test sections or groups of test sections provide sponsors the confidence to move concepts into practice, saving state departments of transportation millions of dollars each year (see sidebar)... FULL ARTICLE

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