Pavement Preservation Coded in MAP-21
Better Roads Staff
For the first time, pavement preservation is part of national surface transportation reauthorization legislation, which now explicitly supports preservation and asset management.
Pavement preservation techniques are promoted as cost-effective and environmentally sustainable strategies designed to extend the life of existing pavements before they deteriorate substantially.
These techniques include nonstructural preventive maintenance surface treatments such as slurry surfacings, crack sealing, chip sealing, micro surfacing, rejuvenation, hot and cold in-place recycling and thin-lift hot-mix asphalt paving; and structural preservation techniques used in concrete pavement restoration (CPR).
Pavement preservation methods, proponents say, prolong pavement life, avoiding high future costs of reconstruction or rehabilitation through the expenditure of lesser amounts of money at critical points in a pavement’s life. Pavement preservation pays off in both the short and long term. Experience shows that spending a dollar on pavement preservation can eliminate or delay spending $6 to $10 on future rehabilitation or reconstruction costs, reports the National Center for Pavement Preservation at Michigan State University.
At the end of June, 2012, the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century bill (MAP-21) became law, and the concepts of asset management and preservation are widely used in MAP-21. In the long run this will bring major benefits via needed federal funding to state and local government agencies trying to implement pavement preservation principles.
Pavement preservation also took a big leap forward in fall 2012 when, for the first time, preservation techniques began study at the Pavement Test Track at the National Center for Asphalt Technology (NCAT) near Auburn, Ala. As the track began a new three-year cycle of tests, a variety of preservation techniques were placed on the track and a nearby local road. This work will provide, for the first time, quantifiable data to better understand how preservation treatments relate to a pavement’s life cycle.
In August, 2012, came the National Pavement Preservation Conference – held Aug. 27-30 in Nashville – giving even more momentum to the pavement preservation movement.
At the confernce attendance exceeded expectations, exhibit space sold out, and a field demonstration of multiple pavement preservation treatments raised awareness of the potential for expansion of preservation activities in North America and in foreign countries.
Preservation in MAP-21
As a matter of policy, for years the Federal Highway Administration and the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials have supported pavement preservation as a means of optimizing scarce pavement dollars, but now preservation and asset management are underscored in federal legislation. MAP-21 specifically contains language that indicates the significance of preservation practice.
For example, the term asset management is included in the language and is defined to include “a structured sequence of maintenance, preservation, repair, rehabilitation, and replacement actions that will achieve and sustain a desired state of good repair over the lifecycle of the assets at minimum practicable cost.”
The Maintenance Section of the law has been expanded to specifically define pavement preservation programs and activities. The final bill explicitly states that preservation activities are eligible for projects under the national highway and surface transportation programs.
MORE FROM Featured Articles
- Sydney uses water curtains to alert drivers to stop (VIDEO)823 Views
- Obama signs memorandum to expedite infrastructure projects637 Views
- Florida’s Red Light Camera Game: G R E E N orange R E D347 Views
- Fifty cents on the dollar for Illinois roads275 Views
- Acceptance of connected vehicles depends on cost, LaHood says259 Views