Superpave training saves the day

News March 24, 2003
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Increasing passenger and commercial traffic on Kansas' more than 133,000 public roads is taking its toll on the highway and int

Increasing passenger and commercial traffic on Kansas' more than 133,000 public roads is taking its toll on the highway and interstate systems and will cost the state time and money to maintain.


A Kansas State University Prof. Mustaque Hossain said the Superpave training program offered by Kansas State and the Kansas Department of Transportation has the potential to save Kansans time and money while maintaining and improving the roads to ensure they are safe and efficient for travelers.


"Superpave could result in huge savings for the state of Kansas in the future," said Hossain. "It lasts longer, requires less maintenance and delays time between overlays. The money saved could be used to fund other programs in Kansas such as health care and education programs."


Nationwide daily vehicle-mile traveled increased 75% between 1973 and 1993. From 1990 to 2000, heavy truck travel increased in Kansas by 67% and accounts for more than 20% of vehicle traffic on rural interstate highways. In 1982, the legal load limit was raised from 73,280 to 80,000 lb. Hossain said all of these factors affect the quality of Kansas' roads.


According to a study by the New York Department of Transportation, if Superpave adds only one additional year of life to all of New York's roads the state will save $1 billion over the next 30 years. Hossain said similar savings could be expected in Kansas due to similar road network size.


"Other costs, besides monetary, also can be reduced by the use of Superpave," he added. "Because less maintenance is needed with Superpave, accidents and delays in travel resulting from road construction could both be reduced."


Hossain, along with Stefan Romanoschi, assistant professor of civil engineering, and instructors from KDOT provide Superpave training workshops six to seven times a year. The program is intended to certify engineers, technicians and other personnel involved in the construction of Superpave pavements in Kansas.



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