By Bob Horan, P.E.
Pavement preservation can be generally defined as a proactive approach to maintaining and preserving pavements to keep them in good condition. The Asphalt Institute strongly supports the adoption of utilizing pavement preservation by owner/agencies because it’s cost-effective in extending pavement service life.
While reactive reconstruction and rehabilitation projects are still necessary to address pavements that are in poor condition, a balanced approach is recommended to include preservation strategies designed to keep good pavements in good condition.
Pavement preservation is currently a hot topic with many state highway agencies considering adoption over the next several years. There are many reasons, but a major factor is Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) fourth edition of Every Day Counts (called EDC-4) that includes pavement preservation as one of the initiatives. Through EDC-4, many states have committed to moving forward with increasing their use of pavement preservation treatments and more and more are ready to make a full commitment to making it an integral piece in their maintenance program.
AI believes in the widely-used mantra of “the right treatment at the right time on the right pavement.” There are many different preservation treatments, including emulsion treatments like chip seals, slurry seals and microsurfacing, as well as crack sealing and thin lift plant mix asphalt overlays. Depending on various factors, any of these may be the “right treatment” for a given project.
FHWA and state DOTs have asked for more education on pavement preservation topics. Based on this input, AI announced in 2017 that 12 of our recorded webinars on emulsions and pavement preservation treatments would now be offered free of charge.
Following is a list and brief description of these 12 recorded webinars on various pavement preservation topics. They can be viewed for free at asphaltinstitute.org/training/webinars/. Professional Development Hours (PDHs) are available upon request after viewing the webinar.
“Emulsified Asphalt” series (five two-hour webinars) This series of webinars explain the characteristics of asphalt emulsions and their uses as well as information about when, where, and how emulsions should be used. This webinar will also help you evaluate pavement systems for construction and maintenance, and choose the emulsion that best fits your project’s specific conditions.
• Introduction, Chemistry of Emulsified Asphalt
• Storage, handling, sampling, testing and selecting the right grade of emulsified asphalt
• Surface treatment (chip seals, slurry seals, etc.)
• Emulsion-Aggregate Mixtures
• Asphalt pavement recycling, miscellaneous applications
“Pavement Preservation Treatment” series (three 1½ hour webinars) This series of webinars introduce three of the most commonly used pavement preservation treatments and goes into detail about the materials used and discusses best practices to ensure proper application and optimum performance.
• Introduction to Crack Treatments & Best Practices
• Introduction to Slurry Seal, Microsurfacing & Best Practices
• Introduction to Chip Seals & Best Practices
“Advanced Pavement Preservation” series (three 1½ hour webinars) This series of webinars provide insight into three important pavement preservation topics. In one webinar, all phases of evaluation, design and construction of hot and cold in-place recycling technologies are discussed in detail. The important steps of proper mix design prior to construction and inspection during construction of various pavement preservation treatments are covered in the other two webinars.
• Mix Design Methods for Slurry Seal, Microsurfacing and Chip Seals
• Introduction to In-Place Recycling
• International Slurry Surfacing Association (ISSA) Inspectors Manual
“Thin Lift Asphalt Overlays, Project Selection, Design and Construction” (1½ hour webinar) This webinar is designed to provide a thorough overview of the important aspects of thin lift asphalt overlays and how they differ from standard overlay considerations. A goal of this webinar is to increase the longevity of thin lift asphalt overlays through proper project selection, design and construction practices.
AI strongly supports the utilization of pavement preservation techniques to extend the expected service life of pavements in good condition. These free recorded webinars are available at asphaltinstitute.org. AI can play a role in improving the knowledge of both agency and contractor personnel in these topics related to pavement preservation.
Horan is an Asphalt Institute Senior Regional Engineer.