Awards honor the strength and longevity of asphalt pavements

The Asphalt Pavement Alliance (APA) recently announced the newest recipients of the Perpetual Pavement Awards.

The award celebrates long-life asphalt pavements that reflect the characteristics of perpetual pavement design.

The award is presented to state transportation departments and local agency road owners for well-performing asphalt pavements that are at least 35-years-old with proven high-quality structural design.

To earn the award, the pavement must have not suffered a structural failure and it should have an average interval between resurfacing of not less than 13 years.

Engineers at the National Center for Asphalt Technology (NCAT) at Auburn University, evaluated the nominations and validated the results for the twelve 2019 Perpetual Pavement Award winners. Since the APA Perpetual Pavement Award (PPA) was first presented in 2001, 144 pavements in 31 U.S. states and one Canadian province have been honored with the award.

The 2019 winners are:

Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) for a 4.9-mile section of a four-lane divided highway on State Route 210/Ross Clark Circle in Houston County. This is the eleventh PPA for ALDOT.

Arkansas Department of Transportation (ARDOT) for a 2.10-mile section of two-lane U.S. Highway 79 (Section 10) in Jefferson County. ARDOT has earned 10 PPAs.

Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT), Region 3 for a 23-mile section of two-lane State Highway 141 in Mesa County. This is CDOT’s third PPA.

Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) for a 9.4-mile section of a four-lane roadway on Interstate 95 in St. Johns County. This is the tenth PPA for FDOT.

Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) State Highway Administration for an 8.3-mile section of six-lane Interstate 70 in Frederick County. MDOT has earned five PPAs.

Montana Department of Transportation (MDT) for a 15-mile section of two-lane U.S. Highway 2 in Roosevelt County. This is the fifth PPA for MDT.

Nebraska Department of Transportation (NDOT) for a 5.7-mile section of two-lane U.S. Highway 6 in Hitchcock County. NDOT has earned four PPAs.

North Dakota Department of Transportation (NDDOT) for an 11.3-mile section of two-lane North Dakota Highway 5 in Pembina County. This is the first PPA for NDDOT.

Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) for a 2.2-mile section of two-lane State Route 0956 (Segments 50 to 80) in Lawrence County. PennDOT has earned nine PPAs.

South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) for a 10-mile section of four-lane Interstate 26 in Calhoun and Lexington counties. This is the eighth PPA for SCDOT. 

Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) for a 2.3-mile section of four-lane State Route 96 in Rutherford County. This is TDOT’s fifteenth PPA.

Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) for a 7.1-mile section of two-lane State Route 12 in Lewis County. WSDOT has earned six PPAs.

“The long-life of perpetual pavements provides economic value to taxpayers and the smoothness road users desire,” said APA National Director Amy Miller.

Long-life asphalt perpetual pavements are built-in optimized layers designed to distribute the strains and stress of tires and traffics throughout the pavement structure. This helps confine pavement distresses to the easily-replaced surface while the deeper structure remains sound and in place indefinitely.

Although the perpetual pavement concept was first articulated in 2000, many asphalt pavements constructed long ago function as perpetual pavements.

The performance of perpetual pavements has been confirmed in several studies. The award program has shown many examples of long-lasting asphalt pavements in applications ranging from major airports to low volume roads.

While the importance of proper design for a long-lasting pavement must be recognized, one must also understand that design life is a function of the design requirements, material characteristics, construction practices, layer thicknesses, maintenance activities and the failure criterion.

Perpetual pavements have the following benefits:

• They provide a more efficient design, eliminating costly overly conservative pavement sections.

• They eliminate reconstruction costs by not exceeding a pavement’s structural capacity.

• They lower rehabilitation-induced user delay costs.

• They reduce the use of non-renewable resources like aggregates and asphalt.

• They diminish energy costs while the pavement is in service.

• They reduce the life-cycle costs of the pavement network.

Each PPA winner receives an engraved crystal obelisk and a plaque and will have their name and project added to a permanent plaque. The Asphalt Pavement Alliance is a coalition of the National Asphalt Pavement Association, the Asphalt Institute and the State Asphalt Pavement Associations.

For more information about perpetual pavements, visit