This Executive Update features the "Asphalt Performs" videos from NAPA, the balanced mix design workshop from NCAT coming to Wisconsin in December, and highlighted asphalt pavement research conducted nationally and here in Wisconsin.
 "Asphalt Performs" Video Series from NAPA

The National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA) has created four videos around the theme Asphalt Performs.

Each video is approximately one minute long, and together they drive home asphalt's high-performance features: Flexibility, Value, Sustainability, and Innovation. The videos are a quick and compelling way to communicate why asphalt is the right choice for paving. 

These videos complement the striking Asphalt Performs print advertisement series produced by the Asphalt Pavement Alliance (APA). Those can be found on our Print Ads web page.

Click on any image or link below to play these videos. More videos from NAPA, APA, and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) are featured on WAPA's Videos web page.

When It Comes to Flexibility ... Asphalt Performs
No-matter the traffic level, environmental conditions, or special requirements, when it comes to providing flexible solutions that meet project needs, asphalt pavements deliver performance for today, tomorrow, and the future.

When It Comes to Value ... Asphalt Performs
Quick and economical to construct and maintain with minimal delays for users and businesses, smooth asphalt pavements deliver value today, tomorrow, and into the future.

When It Comes to Sustainability ... Asphalt Performs
100% recyclable asphalt pavements are designed, produced, constructed, and maintained to reuse materials, conserving natural resources, while delivering the long-lasting smooth ride drivers demand.

When It Comes to Innovation ... Asphalt Performs
With a strong commitment to research and education, the asphalt pavement industry is focused on building innovation into our roads and other pavements.

 Balanced Mix Design - Regional Workshops

The National Center for Asphalt Technology (NCAT) describes
balanced mix design (BMD) as an enhanced approach to designing asphalt paving mixtures to achieve a satisfactory balance between rutting resistance and cracking resistance. BMD is a hot topic nationwide, and NCAT is on the road for the latter half of the year with a series of instructional workshops designed to share research findings and to encourage state highway agencies and asphalt contractors to move forward with implementation.

This 2019 workshop series ends with a session in Wisconsin, to be held immediately after the annual WAPA conference at the same location.
Ingleside Hotel, Pewaukee, Wisconsin
Wednesday, December 4 - 1:30 p.m. to 4:45 p.m.
Thursday, December 5 - 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

We are fortunate that NCAT director and research professor Randy West will be among those conducting this workshop. Attendees are sure to gain a great deal of information and insight from Dr. West and the NCAT team.

Main topics to be addressed in the workshop:
  • Superpave mix design limitations and refinements
  • Balanced mix design definition and approaches
  • Current mix design practices and modifications to improve performance
  • Asphalt mixture performance tests
  • Draft AASHTO standard practice and specification for balanced mix design
  • Knowledge gaps and research needs
  • Implementation and partnerships between agencies and industry
  • Case studies and ongoing research
  • Quality control and acceptance testing using performance tests
If you are interested in attending, please take note:

This event starts in the afternoon immediately after our annual conference and concludes the next day. WAPA's meeting room block (forthcoming with conference registration) will be extended by one night to accommodate individuals who will be staying for the workshop.

There is no fee to attend the workshop, but pre-registration is required.

The session will be targeted toward state DOTs in the region. NCAT is seeking to limit participation to 50 registrants. Registrations will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis.

We look forward to seeing you at the conference and the workshop. If you're not sure if the workshop is right for you, please contact WAPA to discuss this further.
 Research Highlights: National Resources

WAPA stays up-to-date on national research efforts that impact how asphalt pavements are designed, built, and maintained here in Wisconsin. Two recent reports -- one on life cycle costs and another on environmental assessment -- are sure to be of interest to our readers.

Published by the National Center for Asphalt Technology (NCAT)

Life cycle cost analysis (LCCA) is a powerful tool that allows highway agencies to account for the changing value of money over time when scheduling asphalt pavement construction and long-term maintenance. 

Many state DOTs use LCCA to help make the most of their budgets. However, states differ in their assumptions and approaches to LCCA, and this leads to significant differences in how this tool is applied and used.

The authors of this report have done the important work of compiling the landscape of LCCA through a detailed synthesis of data compiled from DOTs. Researchers tabulated national trends and identified current best practices. Key LCCA factors addressed in this report are analysis period, performance period, agency costs, terminal value and discount rate, and user costs.

The study will help Wisconsin and all states to assess where they stand in the national LCCA picture, to identify where they lead, and to discover where they have opportunities to take strides forward.

Published by the Asphalt Institute (AI)

Life cycle assessment (LCA) is a method that can help quantify the potential environmental impact of asphalt binder and account for burdens throughout the supply chain. 

In this study, AI provides industry-average life cycle data on asphalt binders that are representative of North American industry conditions. The study examines four asphalt binder products -- without additives, with styrene-butadiene-styrene, with polyphosphoric acid, and with ground tire rubber -- and calculates impact potentials.

Establishing standard data for LCA will help all parties interested in green building standards like Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) and similar green initiatives in Wisconsin and nationwide.
 Research Highlights: Wisconsin Projects

Complementing national research like the projects described above and others, Wisconsin has a long tradition of conducting high-value applied research to meet specific needs in the state.

Through WHRP, the Wisconsin DOT collaborates with academia, industry, and other state stakeholders to conduct federally funded research in the areas of pavements, structures, and geotechnics. WAPA staff sit on the WHRP Steering Committee and Flexible Pavements Technical Oversight Committee to help guide research projects with the industry's perspective in mind. 

Among other noteworthy projects, our Engineering Director Deb Schwerman reported on an ongoing research effort titled Rubber Asphalt Study for Wisconsin. While rubber additives  are understood to help protect against fatigue cracking and thermal cracking, Wisconsin saw a need to compare different rubberizing techniques in an controlled study.

In this effort, researchers are comparing traditional pavements with rubberized asphalt pavements made from two distinct processes. For one process, rubber is pre-blended into the asphalt cement at the terminal, and for the other, dry rubber is treated like an aggregate and added to the mix at the asphalt plant.

The two-year research project began in spring near Janesville, and WAPA member Rock Road Companies is participating as the paving construction partner on this project.

Wisconsin is the lead state in RMRC, a multi-state pooled fund consortium that conducts research and outreach on environmental and material properties of recycled materials. 

A current RMRC study of high interest to Wisconsin involves assessment of Cold In-Place Recycling (CIR) against traditional pulverize-and-relay recycling. For CIR, an old pavement is milled off, mixed with new materials, and re-constructed into a stabilized base course all on site.

While CIR has been around for some time, the technology has seen significant advances. The latest tool is a purpose-built CIR vehicle that combines the crusher, screener and pugmill into one unit. Fewer vehicles makes the familiar CIR "recycling train" up to 75 percent shorter, adding versatility to do different kinds of jobs. 

WAPA members Northeast Asphalt and W.K. Construction are the construction partners in this research effort, having built the CIR pavement for this study on Wisconsin Highway 49 earlier this summer. The pulverize-and-relay pavement is scheduled for construction in the coming weeks. 

 In Closing

As we look to the fall, please save the date:

WAPA's 60th Annual Conference and Business Meeting
December 3-4, 2019 
Ingleside Hotel (formerly Country Springs Hotel) 
Pewaukee, Wisconsin 

Highlighted preliminary agenda items for the general sessions and technical breakout sessions include:
  • 3D Paving Technology at U.S. Bank Stadium
  • Transportation budget and funding update
  • Workforce Development/Recruit and Retain the Next Generation 
  • Stone-Matrix Asphalt (SMA) technical breakout
  • Paving Recreational Facilities technical breakout
  • "Back to Basics" technical breakouts on aggregates and mix design
A full agenda will be published shortly with registration to follow soon after.

Also, for WAPA members, our Wisconsin Asphalt Industry Insider will have an October 2019 issue. Please look for details soon on how to participate. 

As always, if you have any questions about this information or if we can be of assistance in any other way, please don't hesitate to contact us. Thanks again.