A Website to Promote New Knowledge and New Design Methods for Sustainable Road Rehabilitation Technologies

The University of California Pavement Research Center (UCPRC) recently completed a comprehensive study on in-place, full-depth reclamation of highways using foamed asphalt as a stabilizing agent (termed FDR-foamed asphalt), which is a promising sustainable road rehabilitation technology. The study discovered a series of important attributes of foamed asphalt stabilized road base materials in systematical laboratory and field studies. New design philosophies and a new design framework were formed based on these fundamental findings. The deliverables of this project included a comprehensive report to the client (Caltrans), a guide for candidate project selection, mix design, structural design and construction practice prepared for the client, a doctoral dissertation (Micromechanics for Foamed Asphalt Stabilized Materials, by Pengcheng Fu), seven journal papers, and seven presentations at national and international conferences. These results are based in part on partnerships with Caltrans and local government agencies (particularly Yolo County) that are extremely interested in improving the success rate for this technology, which has cost, traffic delay and environmental impact advantages over typical current approaches. However, in closing this research project, we realized some limitations of our study. Each of the aforementioned deliverable had a very specific scope. The research report and guideline needed to meet the client's immediate needs, and the proposed improvements to the current practice will be rather incremental for practical reasons. The journal papers and the dissertation were on specific technical aspects of the study, and will have a limited impact on general engineering practice given the level of expertise of the practitioners that will implement the technology. A dedicated web site on the FDR-foamed asphalt technology will be an effective solution to this problem, and can potentially produce a substantial impact on research and engineering practice in this field with minimal cost. Details of each technical aspect of our findings can be covered in a separate section of the website. The technical findings and the recommendations on engineering practice can be related together through hyperlink structures. For instance, many recommendations we have provided in the design guideline are based on detailed findings in our laboratory study or field observation. However, this information cannot be explicitly shown in the design guide, and it was published in journal papers. All the information can be synthesized in the web site, and each recommendation will have links to the detailed technical justifications. Contents for general public, policy makers, researchers, engineers, and students can coexist without causing confusions. The readers will have the opportunities to provide feedbacks that can be seen by other practitioners and researchers, which will allow in-depth discussions. The support from a general purpose fund such as state traffic commission (STC) permits expression of a greater range of opinions than is possible through a Caltrans website, and will be more accessible to the greater audience for this Caltrans supported research: local government and international practitioners and researchers.