Pavement Analysis


What is Superpave?

"Superpave" is an overarching term for the results of the asphalt research portion of the 1987 - 1993 Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP).  Superpave consists of (1) an asphalt binder specification, (2) an HMA mix design method and (3) HMA tests and performance prediction models.  Each one of these components is referred to by the term "Superpave".  This section provides a brief overview and background of Superpave.

Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP)

n 1987 the U.S. Congress established a 5-year, $150 million applied research program aimed at improving the performance, durability, safety, and efficiency of the Nation's highway system.  Called the Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP), this program was officially authorized by the Surface Transportation and Uniform Relocation Act of 1987 and consisted of research concentrated in four key areas (FHWA, 1998):
  • Asphalt.  This area consists of research to develop a completely new approach to HMA mix design.
  • Concrete and structures.  This area consists of research in the areas of mix design and assessing, protecting and rehabilitating concrete pavements and structures.
  • Highway operations.  This area consists of pavement preservation, work zone safety and snow and ice control research.
  • Pavement performance.  This area consists of the Long Term Pavement Performance Program (LTPP), a 20-year study of over 2,000 test sections of in-service U.S. and Canadian pavements to improve guidelines for building and maintaining pavements.
SHRP research activities were completed in 1992 and SHRP was closed down in 1993.  To date, SHRP has produced more than 100 new devices, tests and specifications and, perhaps more importantly, has spawned a full-scale on-going implementation drive by such organizations as the FHWA, AASHTO and TRB. 
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