Improving Testing Requirements in Item 300 of TxDOT Standard Specifications

TxDOT standard specification Item 300, Asphalts, Oils, and Emulsions, includes more than 30 different tests that cover requirements for AC graded binders, cutbacks, emulsified binders, recycling agents, crack sealants, asphalt rubber binder, and PG binders used in different pavement construction and maintenance applications. TxDOT routinely performs several of these tests on a regular basis for quality management or quality assurance purposes.There are several legacy tests and requirements that are retained in Item 300 even when newer or other more accurate methods have been developed over the last several years. This creates several potential problems. First, the agency is burdened with maintaining and tracking the specification even when they do not add any value in terms of ensuring quality or expected performance of a specific class of material. Second, in some cases there are more efficient test methods to obtain the same or similar metrics as incorporated in the specification. Replacing these existing methods with newer methods can improve the testing efficiency and reduce overall cost to the agency. Third, there are newer and more accurate test methods that are currently available to screen and specify materials that are currently not in the specification. By not incorporating these methods, TxDOT is potentially allowing sub-par materials to be used in construction projects. Researchers will review the different test methods and specifications for different classes of materials within Item 300, compare these methods to practices elsewhere and then develop a plan that identifies methods and specifications that are (i) obsolete and add little to no value, (ii) not currently included in the specifications but can potentially improve the quality of the product, and (iii) methods and metrics that are more efficient to perform and can replace the test methods currently in Item 300. The plan will include up-to-date findings from state- and national-level projects and will include a pathway and plan for validating the proposed changes. The final deliverable will be recommendations including new test methods and specifications as necessary for incorporation into Item 300.


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Funding: $1130000
  • Contract Numbers:


  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Texas Department of Transportation

    125 E. 11th Street
    Austin, TX  United States  78701-2483
  • Managing Organizations:

    Texas Department of Transportation

    125 E. 11th Street
    Austin, TX  United States  78701-2483
  • Project Managers:

    Schwerdt, Tom

  • Performing Organizations:

    Center for Transportation Research

    3925 W. Braker Lane
    Austin, TX  United States  78759

    Texas A&M Transportation Institute

    Texas A&M University System
    3135 TAMU
    College Station, TX  United States  77843-3135
  • Principal Investigators:

    Bhasin, Amit

  • Start Date: 20200901
  • Expected Completion Date: 20250831
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01766426
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Texas Department of Transportation
  • Contract Numbers: 0-7073
  • Files: RIP, STATEDOT
  • Created Date: Mar 3 2021 9:56AM