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U.S. Department of Transportation U.S. Department of Transportation Icon United States Department of Transportation United States Department of Transportation

Public Roads - May/June 2012

May/June 2012
Issue No:
Vol. 75 No. 6
Publication Number:
Table of Contents

Communication Product Updates

Communication Product Updates

by Michael Thoryn of FHWA's Office of Corporate Research, Technology, and Innovation Management

Below are brief descriptions of communications products recently developed by the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) Office of Research, Development, and Technology. All of the reports are or will soon be available from the National Technical Information Service (NTIS). In some cases, limited copies of the communications products are available from FHWA’s Research and Technology (R&T) Product Distribution Center (PDC).

When ordering from NTIS, include the NTIS publication number (PB number) and the publication title. You also may visit the NTIS Web site at to order publications online. Call NTIS for current prices. For customers outside the United States, Canada, and Mexico, the cost is usually double the listed price. Address requests to:

National Technical Information Service
5301 Shawnee Road
Alexandria, VA 22312
Telephone: 703–605–6000
Toll-free number: 800–553–NTIS (6847)
Web site:

Requests for items available from the R&T Product Distribution Center should be addressed to:

R&T Product Distribution Center
Szanca Solutions/FHWA PDC
13710 Dunnings Highway
Claysburg, PA 16625
Telephone: 814–239–1160
Fax: 814–239–2156

For more information on R&T communications products available from FHWA, visit FHWA's Web site at (or email, or the National Transportation Library at (or email

Telling the R&T Story: The Value of Research (Report)

Publication Number: FHWA-HRT-11-053

Cover of the FHWA report Telling the R&T Story: The Value of Research.This report highlights the value of FHWA's work to improve highway safety, infrastructure integrity, operations, and freight productivity. It also details research and technologies focused on reducing congestion, strengthening transportation planning and environmental linkages, assessing policy and system financing alternatives, exploring next-generation solutions, and accelerating the deployment of innovation.

FHWA plays a vital leadership role in developing and implementing a coordinated highway R&T agenda that addresses national needs, meets future demands, and maximizes the strengths of all research entities. Key components of this agenda include highway research and development, technology and innovation deployment, and training and education. These components are integrated, continuous processes that work together to move technologies from the research phase to the development, implementation, and impact assessment phases. R&T accomplishments and innovations are wide ranging, encompassing sophisticated software programs that can aid in building more sustainable roadways, laboratories that explore the latest in intelligent transportation systems, and pavements and bridges built with advanced materials.

This document is available at Printed copies are available from the PDC. A fact sheet (FHWA-HRT-11-054) summarizing the report also is available at

Investigation of Low- and High-Temperature Properties of Plant-Produced RAP Mixtures (Report)

Publication Number: FHWA-HRT-11-058

Cover of the report Investigation of Low- and High-TemperatureThis report documents a two-phase study of performance properties of pavement mixtures containing high levels of reclaimed asphalt pavement (RAP). Researchers evaluated plant-produced mixtures with high RAP content (25 and 40 percent), different binders (PG64-22 and the softer PG58-28), and a control mixture with no RAP. The study improved the understanding of the performance characteristics of hot-mix asphalt (HMA) mixtures with RAP at high, intermediate, and low temperatures and examined plant-produced HMA mixtures containing RAP.

Test results on binders extracted and recovered from the plant-produced mixes showed that as the RAP content in the mixture increased, the high-temperature grade of the recovered binder also increased, but only by a few degrees (5.4-10.8 °F [3-6 °C]). The low-temperature grade of the recovered RAP binders also increased, but not by as much as the high-temperature grade. The use of a softer virgin binder grade typically decreased both the high- and low-temperature grades of the recovered binders by half a grade or more. Also, increasing the RAP content to 25 percent changed the low-temperature grade of the recovered binder by no more than 3.6 °F (2 °C) compared to the binder recovered from the virgin mix (with no RAP).

Use of a softer virgin binder grade (PG58-28) typically reduced the stiffness of the mixes. Tests of the mixtures showed that the critical cracking temperatures of the mixes with PG58-28 were much lower than those of the comparable mixes with PG64-22 in two of five cases. In the other cases, they were comparable. Although the softer virgin binder grade resulted in an increase in the fatigue life at 25 percent RAP, it did not have as strong an effect on the 40 percent RAP mixes. The mixes with 40 percent RAP exhibited the greatest fatigue lives in many cases. The fatigue life increased as temperature increased at a given strain level, but fatigue life was less sensitive at lower temperatures. At the two lower temperatures tested, the predicted fatigue life was the same for all mixtures regardless of RAP content or virgin binder grade.

The full report is available at Printed copies are available from the PDC.

Exploratory Advanced Research Program (Brochure)

Publication Number: FHWA-HRT-12-019

Cover of the brochure on FHWA’s Exploratory Advanced Research The Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient Transportation Equity Act: A Legacy for Users (SAFETEA-LU) established the Exploratory Advanced Research (EAR) Program with designated funding to conduct longer term, higher risk, breakthrough research with the potential for dramatic long-term improvements to transportation systems. This brochure provides an overview of the program, its primary focus areas, results, and information about how to become involved.

The EAR Program bridges basic research, such as academic work funded by National Science Foundation grants, and applied research, such as studies funded by State departments of transportation. It strives to match opportunities from scientific discoveries with the needs of the highway industry.

The EAR Program also develops partnerships with the public and private sectors to apply ideas across traditional fields of research and stimulate new approaches to problem solving. Through five solicitations, the program has awarded 44 projects involving both government and academic researchers. These projects represent $32 million in FHWA funds and leverage $16 million in matching funds.

The brochure is available at Printed copies are available from the PDC.