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Research Reports

Superpave – Washington DOT's Assessment and Status


Funded by the 1987 Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act, the Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP), was a five year, $150 million research program to improve the performance of the nation's roads by addressing four key areas: concrete and structures; highway safety and maintenance; asphalt; and long-term pavement performance. Nearly one-third of the $150 million was allocated for the study of asphalt, specifically to develop performance based specifications that would relate material properties of the binder and the mix to field performance. Superpave (Superior PERforming asphalt PAVEments) encompasses the products of the SHRP asphalt research program and consists of three interrelated elements: an asphalt binder specification with supporting tests; a mix design and analysis system with supporting tests; and performance prediction models.

This report is a compilation and synthesis of Washington DOT's (WSDOT) experience with selected components and concepts of the SHRP/Superpave technology to include the following: performance graded (PG) binder usage and specification validation; gyratory mix design; the Superpave Shear Test (SST); and field performance of the Superpave mixes.

  • Date Published: December, 1999
  • Publication Number: WA-RD 486.1
  • Last Modified: January 10, 2008
  • Authors: Rita B. Leahy, Robert N. Briggs.
  • Originator: Washington State Transportation Center (TRAC)
  • # of Pages: 169 p., 4,451 KB (PDF)
  • Subject: Asphalt mixtures, Bituminous binders, Compaction, Field tests, Hot mix paving mixtures, Mix design, Pavement performance, Shear tests, Specifications, Superpave, Validation.
  • Keywords: SHRP, Superpave, asphalt, Washington (State)
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This abstract was last modified April 29, 2008