Savings and Success Stories

Article March 21, 2007
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Find the construction, maintenance and traffic safety products your agency needs without spending excess time, money or effort by participating in the National Transportation Product Evaluation Program (NTPEP). Since 1994, this American Association of State Highway & Transportation Officials’ (AASHTO) program has tested hundreds of transportation products each year, providing cost savings to both states and product manufacturers. The test results are sent to participating state departments of transportation in a series of reports throughout the year.

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) encourages states to use NTPEP’s resources and results as much as they can, thus avoiding duplication of effort and expense in testing and evaluating products. NTPEP sends states the test results without any endorsement, letting transportation departments decide whether to use a product.

NTPEP tested 375 products in 2005, including in such construction categories as concrete admixtures, concrete curing compounds, erosion-control products, geotextiles and geosynthetics, high-density polyethylene plastic pipe and reinforcing steel. Maintenance products tested encompass the categories of bridge deck overlays, hot-mix asphalt crack sealant, rapid-set concrete patch materials and structural steel coatings. Traffic safety products include pavement marking materials, portable changeable message signs, flashing arrow panels, rolled-up signing materials, snow-plowable raised pavement markers, sign sheeting materials and temporary traffic-control devices.

Project panels that include both state and industry representatives develop project work plans for lab and field performance testing of products. Testing is primarily hosted by state departments of transportation. If the testing is beyond the available resources of state participants, NTPEP arranges for testing to be conducted by universities or private testing laboratories.

NTPEP’s website (www.ntpep.org) features information on project work plans, product reports and guidelines for manufacturers on submitting products to be tested. The website also features DataMine, an online tool for querying, analyzing and reporting on current and past NTPEP product evaluations. DataMine allows NTPEP participants to look up product test data online. Host states also can enter testing data using DataMine, saving time and streamlining the data-collection process. Data is currently available on pavement markings, sign sheeting and structural steel coatings products, with geotextiles and erosion-control products to be added next and other categories under development. DataMine includes features allowing for the graphical presentation of results.

Voluntary contributions to NTPEP of $6,000 per year per participating state are requested. For more information on joining NTPEP and using its product data or submitting products to be tested, contact Mike McGough at AASHTO, 202/624-3632; fax: 202/624-5469; e-mail: [email protected].

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