National Pavement Expo – Innovations in the Pavement Industry


National Pavement Expo brings together vendors and contractors specializing in asphalt and concrete paving, sealcoating, striping, sweeping, crack repair, pavement maintenance, and snow removal to network and educate in one convenient three-day event. The show provides opportunities for networking and education – perfect for business expansion! Find the best Asphalt Paving in Lancaster.

Pavement marking safety requires further investigation to understand its relationship to crashes and measured retro-reflectivity measurements of pavement markers, but texture design improvements seem to lead to safer driving conditions.

Innovations in Asphalt Manufacturing

The asphalt industry continues to progress with new tools that help companies improve their production processes, reduce downtime, and maximize efficiency. One such advancement is digital control systems used by asphalt batch mix plants, which enable monitoring temperature, fuel consumption, and raw material usage. This ensures more efficient operations and consistent quality levels throughout.

Warm-mix asphalt production has seen significant advances, utilizing recycled materials and reducing energy use to benefit the environment. Furthermore, more ground tire rubber mixtures have been implemented into mixtures, which significantly cut down on asphalt cement usage during projects. Finally, some agencies are testing soybean-based pavements with hopes of developing more environmentally friendly roads for less money but without compromising performance.

To support these efforts, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is encouraging agencies to implement Mechanistic-Empirical Pavement Design as well as specifications that enable contractors to select the optimal mix for each specific project. They’re also backing a national research program focused on low-emissions asphalt and concrete products – such as Marini’s fully containerized mobile asphalt mixing plant that’s easy to erect, commission, and transport.

Innovations in Transportation

While most public perceptions of technology in transportation center around autonomous vehicles, connectivity, and other forms of mobility on demand, highway agencies use innovative materials and construction practices to build, reconstruct, rehabilitate, and maintain roads and streets that connect us all. These innovations serve as essential support structures for safe travel for cars, trucks, buses, passenger rail, bicycles, pedestrians, and other forms of travel.

FHWA and Iowa State University have collaborated on research that creates asphalt pavements made with plant-based alternatives like soybeans. Known as mechanistic-empirical design, this approach allows highway agency engineers to reduce environmental impacts while improving pavement quality and minimizing maintenance costs through mechanistic-empirical design. FHWA’s Sustainable Pavements program leverages technology, training, and outreach activities in support of this work and assists highway agencies with adopting cost-cutting innovations like these.

Other innovations include using ground tire rubber in asphalt pavements, replacing steel wire mesh in concrete overlays with high-strength welded-mesh fabric, and installing air gap fillers between cold side joints and hot asphalt to reduce density issues and joint density issues. As a result, pavements constructed through these methods tend to be quieter, more resilient, and last up to three times longer than traditional designs.

Innovations in Equipment

Yolo County Complex on the western edge of the UC Davis campus is where researchers work tirelessly to develop highway designs that outlive and cost less than current designs, with engineers across the country depending on them for guidance. To speed this innovation from lab to construction site faster, the National Road Research Agency has designed programs allowing agencies and contractors to test prototype technology without spending significant sums upfront; contractors working alongside agencies are then able to gain familiarity with it while giving feedback back to researchers.

These new technologies include warm-mix asphalt technology, intelligent compaction technology, high-tech pavers, and quality control processes that help crews achieve greater in-place density without risking damaging pavement – something crucial as higher in-place density leads to longer-lasting pavement surfaces.

Haskell Lemon Company is leading another innovation initiative with their easy-to-use tool to qualify aggregate shape properties and surface textures, helping meet construction specifications while guaranteeing good highway performance, he says.

The National Pavement Expo brings together those whose livelihood depends on paving, sealing, striping, crack repair, and snow removal for three days of networking and learning from each other and professionals at over 50 sessions and workshops. It is an invaluable opportunity to discover equipment, materials, and solutions that could propel their businesses forward.

Innovations in Maintenance

Highways endure enormous damage, from big trucks navigating Donner Summit on Interstate 80 to RVs traversing State Route 190 in Death Valley. Therefore, maintenance professionals must continue finding ways to prolong and preserve our nation’s roadways.

One approach is to work in partnership with suppliers to bring innovations to the market. FHWA’s Asphalt Paving Innovation program, AID-PT, offers workshops, mixture design support, preconstruction meetings, construction monitoring assistance, and documentation assistance for State highway agencies and contractors to implement asphalt materials and practices that improve performance and sustainability for State highways and contractors, leading to benefits such as project delivery time reductions, congestion relief, cost savings, and enhanced roadway safety. The benefits realized from the efforts of this program include reduced project delivery time frames, congestion relief, and improved roadway safety benefits resulting from using innovative materials and practices during preconstruction meetings prior to implementation by state highway agencies or contractors involved.

One method of improving pavement maintenance is using digital technologies to assess and track asphalt surfaces. Sensors and GPS systems on paving and compaction equipment provide real-time information on quality during road construction, enabling operators to adjust work processes or make corrections as necessary to reach desired results.

Digital technology can also enhance customer service in highway maintenance by providing online customer portals that allow customers to request services, check job status updates, and make payments. This technology helps companies streamline operations while simultaneously creating an outstanding customer experience.