Field Monitoring of Experimental Hot Mix Asphalt Projects
Funding Source: MassDOT and Federal Highway Administration
Title: Field Monitoring of Experimental Hot Mix Asphalt Projects Placed in Massachusetts
Date: June 2012 to June 2017
Summary: Massachusetts has been involved with numerous field trials of experimental hot mix asphalt (HMA) mixes. These types of mixes have included but are not limited to Superpave, warm mix asphalt (WMA), asphalt rubber (AR), and reflective crack relief layers (RCRL) mixes. In 2000, Massachusetts placed its first Superpave pilot projects utilizing the Superpave mix design method. In total, there have been seven experimental pilot projects utilizing Superpave mix designs conducted in three different districts in the state. Beyond these Superpave mixes, Massachusetts has placed several pilot projects to evaluate new and existing technologies in HMA. In 2005, the first WMA mix trial was conducted in the state in MassDOT Highway Division District 4. Since that time, new HMA mixes have been developed and placed around the state that incorporate new WMA additives. Each of these experimental projects has been placed to evaluate a specific technology or design methodology. These evaluations cannot be made over a brief period. Hence, the goal of this project was to monitor the performance of these experimental HMA mixes to fully evaluate their performance in the field. The performance was measured through a series of field procedures. These procedures quantified the performance of each mix and the changes in their performance over time. Furthermore, construction data and site information of each project was documented. This data will aid Massachusetts in determining if full-scale implementation of these design methodologies and technologies is cost-effective in the long term. Overall, it is anticipated that well-performing technologies could be separated from poor-performing ones, thus leading to better decisions for future infrastructure decisions. Ultimately, this will lead to a better use of shrinking infrastructure funding.