The Innovative Pavement Research Foundation (IPRF) and the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) have signed a cooperative agreement that unites the public and private sector’s common research interests for improved concrete pavement used on America’s interstate and other highway systems.
The cooperative agreement is unique in creating a partnership among the concrete pavement industry, the FHWA, state departments of transportation and the transportation research community, represented by the Transportation Research Board (TRB) and academia.
The Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century provides $25 million for applied research of concrete pavements during the next five years. The IPRF and FHWA will manage equal parts of the budget, while industry contributions are expected to exceed $2.5 million.
The TRB has formed a Concrete Pavement Research Committee, which provides a forum for public-private-academic communications and interaction. The committee, sponsored by the FHWA and administered by TRB, will coordinate the work as it progresses. It will meet periodically to examine concrete pavement research needs, new findings and priorities for future research. Recommendations from the committee will be fully considered in the development of the annual research and technology agenda for the IPRF and the FHWA.
The IPRF research agenda has been developed in the extensive document, Creating a New Generation of Pavements, which was prepared with a task group of professionals from the public and private sectors. The action plan gives descriptions of 68 proposed research projects, including objectives, work plans, timelines and estimated costs.
These projects represent five distinct goals that are the focus for concrete pavement research and innovation: discerning the best of today’s practices; reducing initial costs, without compromising pavement performance; reducing user delays and public inconvenience due to pavement construction and maintenance; developing cost-competitive concrete options for all paving applications; and increasing the certainty that concrete pavement will achieve design expectations.
The IPRF was chartered in 1997 to provide applied research, technology transfer and implementation and public education for concrete pavements.