2020, Asphalt Pavements, Sustainability, Washington


The Asphalt Pavement Alliance (APA) announced today that the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT) has won a 2019 Perpetual Pavement Award (PPA) for a 7.1-mile section of two-lane State Route 12 in Lewis County. This is the agency’s sixth PPA.

To qualify for this prestigious award, a pavement must be at least 35 years old and never experienced a structural failure. The average interval between the resurfacing of the winning pavement must be no less than 13 years. The pavement must demonstrate the characteristics expected from long-life asphalt pavements: excellence in design, quality in construction and value for the traveling public.

Engineers at the National Center for Asphalt Technology (NCAT) evaluated the nominations and validated the winners.

The award-winning section of SR 12 is a two-lane highway that runs from milepost 69.27 to milepost 76.40. The project was originally built in 1922 and consisted of 6 inches of Portland Concrete Cement (PCC) placed on top of 3 inches of crushed stone. It was converted to hot-mix asphalt (HMA) in 1957.

In 1957, the PCC was overlaid with 5 inches of crushed surfacing top course followed by 3 inches of asphalt concrete. In 1978, a bituminous surface treatment was applied, followed by the placement of 1.9 inches of asphalt pavement. In 2002, the project was resurfaced with an additional 1.8 inches of asphalt pavement.

This highway has a current annual average daily traffic (ADT) volume of 3,944 vehicles per day (including 17.7 percent trucks), which has resulted in an estimated loading of 5.2 million equivalent single-axle loads (ESAL).

Resurfaced twice since the project was converted to asphalt in 1957, this section of roadway has exceeded the minimum average interval of 13 years required to win the PPA.

“We are humbled to receive this award recognizing the exceptional maintenance and preservation of pavement on US 12 in southwest Washington,” said Carley Francis, WSDOT Regional Administrator. “Through our practical solutions approach, we stretch limited funding to deliver durable pavement that holds up to wear and tear and minimizes the amount and cost of any needed repairs or maintenance once installed.”

As a winner of a 2019 PPA, WSDOT will receive an engraved crystal obelisk, and its name and project will be added to a permanent plaque that is kept at NCAT.

“One of the keys to sustainability is long life,” said Amy Miller, P.E., Executive Director of the APA. “Asphalt roads can be engineered to last indefinitely with only routine maintenance and periodic surface renewal.

“The advantages of these perpetual pavements are significant. Life cycle costs are lower because deep pavement repairs and reconstruction are avoided. User delays are reduced because minor surface rehabilitation requires shorter work windows and can avoid peak traffic hours. And there are environment benefits because minimal rehabilitation, combined with recycling any materials that are removed from the pavement surface, reduces the amount of material resources required over the pavement’s life.”

The Asphalt Pavement Alliance is a coalition of the National Asphalt Pavement Association, the Asphalt Institute and the state asphalt pavement associations. The Asphalt Pavement Alliance’s mission is to establish asphalt as the preferred choice for quality, performance and the environment.

The Asphalt Pavement Alliance (http://www.driveasphalt.org) is a partnership of the Asphalt Institute (AI), National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA) and the State Asphalt Pavement Associations. The Asphalt Pavement Alliance’s mission is to establish asphalt as the preferred choice for quality, performance and the environment.

The Asphalt Institute (http://www.asphaltinstitute.org) is the international trade association of petroleum asphalt producers, manufacturers and affiliated businesses. AI promotes the use, benefits and quality performance of petroleum asphalt, through engineering, research, marketing and educational activities.

The National Asphalt Pavement Association (http://www.asphaltpavement.org) represents the interests of U.S. asphalt producers/contractors before Congress, federal agencies, and other national trade and business organizations. NAPA supports an active research program designed to improve the quality of asphalt pavements and paving techniques used in the construction of roads, streets, highways, parking lots, airports, and environmental and recreational facilities.

The State Asphalt Pavement Associations (http://www.asphaltpavement.org/sapas) represent the interests of asphalt pavement producers and paving companies at the state and local level across the United States.