The 2018 NCAT (National Center for Asphalt Technology) Test Track Conference was held Auburn, Alabama on March 27 to 29. The conference was attended by over 250 people including staff from sponsoring Departments of Transportation, other test track sponsors, vendors, and several State Asphalt Pavement Associations.
Accelerated pavement testing (APT) is conducted at the test track. APT refers to “the controlled application of a prototype wheel loading, at or above the appropriate legal load limit to a prototype or actual, layered, structural pavement system to determine pavement response and performance under a controlled, accelerated accumulation of damage in a compressed time period” (Metcalf, 1996).
Presentations of the APT results covered an on-going cracking group experiment, pavement preservation research, and research sponsors’ testimonials. The conference activities also included site visits to NCAT’s test sites, which include their test track, Lee Road, and US 280.
NCAT Director Randy West closed the conference by thanking the 6th cycle sponsors. He restated the question posed by keynote speaker Kevin Hall: “What if we prevent distress rather than simply predict distresses?. He recalled a line by the dinner speaker Rik Roberts: “Keep your bullet in your pocket.”