National asphalt roadmap report released

We are all familiar with the use of a roadmap to get us from where we are to where we want to be. In fact, it is hard to imagine going on a trip to an unfamiliar location without having a roadmap to show you how to get there in the most direct and efficient manner. Since the concept of a roadmap as a tool to get us from here to there is so well understood, it is sometimes used to describe a document that does the same thing.

The Asphalt Institute (AI) recently worked in partnership with the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), the National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA) and others to produce a report called the National Asphalt Roadmap (NAR). The purpose of the report is to identify and describe the most important challenges and issues in asphalt pavement technology today. It is intended to provide a guiding document that can be used as a tool by those involved with selecting and performing critical research and technology related to improvement ideas.

In order to ensure that the NAR included input from all members of the Asphalt Community, a Working Group was formed that included representatives of the National Stone, Sand and Gravel Association (NSSGA) and the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) in addition to FHWA, NAPA and AI. The Working Group adopted the following vision statement:

Develop improved asphalt pavement and material technologies to ensure the continued delivery of safe and economical pavements to satisfy our nation’s needs.

The report states: “This document is the result of a public-private partnership and presents the shared vision of the Asphalt Community for research and technology in the field of asphalt pavement and material technologies… (We) are proud to call it our commitment to the future. It is our hope this report will be used often and will be useful in shaping the future of asphalt technology in the United States.”

The National Asphalt Roadmap is structured into programs and projects. Seven program areas are chosen to frame the major components of asphalt technology:

  • Workforce Development
  • Long-Life Pavements and
  • Pavement Performance
  • Improved Structural Design of Pavements
  • Materials Characterization and Mix Design
  • Construction Practices and Quality Management Systems
  • Innovative Contracting Approaches
  • Surface Characteristics.

The Executive Summary of the National Asphalt Roadmap was published this summer and is available for download, along with the yet-to-be published full report, on the NAPA Website, The full report includes a complete listing of projects and problem statements in each of the program areas.