U.S. Sen. Jim Bunning presented the Asphalt Institute and the Kentucky Transportation Center (KTC) at the University of Kentucky with $500,000 to support a joint research project funded with a federal earmark.
“I am pleased to announce these funds for the University of Kentucky,” said Bunning. “These funds will be used by UK?s Kentucky Transportation Center to study construction practices that will make asphalt pavements last longer. With this research, we will hopefully be able to save time and energy constructing roads.”
“The Asphalt Institute and KTC jointly identified this study as an important project that would offer long-term benefits for the tax-paying consumer through improved roadways,” said Pete Grass, president of the Institute. “This will be an applied research study that will produce results that can be practically and directly used at all levels of the road transportation system.”
“The university is excited Senator Bunning has provided us with this opportunity to work alongside the Asphalt Institute,” said UK President Lee T. Todd Jr. “This collaboration between our Kentucky Transportation Center and the Asphalt Institute is a perfect illustration of what a top-20 public research institution needs to be doing. We need to use our intellectual capital to work alongside organizations throughout Kentucky and beyond to make this state—and the nation—a better place to live.”
The project will study the relationship between good pavement construction practices and the long-term durability of asphalt pavements. The American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials had supported the proposal, which originally was submitted by the Washington State Department of Transportation. However, because the study has benefits for local, state and federal transportation agencies nationwide, the project was awarded to the KTC, housed in the UK College of Engineering, and the Lexington-based Asphalt Institute.
In 1919, the year the Asphalt Institute was founded, there were only a few hundred thousand cars in America, and the number of paved road miles was even less. Today, most American roads are paved with asphalt, and the growth of those paved roads is due in large part to the decades of work by the institute.
The 85-year-old institute, based in Lexington since 1989, remains a leading resource for promoting the benefits and use of liquid asphalt through engineering, research and education.
The Kentucky Transportation Center provides research, technology transfer and education to the transportation industry, as well as promoting safe and effective transportation systems.