History of Superpave: Documenting the Research Program and Implementation Process

Development of the specifications, test methods, and equipment that make up Superpave technology was spurred by the need for an engineered process to improve the performance of hot mix asphalt (HMA) pavements. Its subsequent implementation moved a completely new system of materials selection and HMA mix design from concept to common practice in less than a decade. The Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP) asphalt research program evolved over time in order to address specific needs identified both in its planning phase and during its execution. Novel approaches to implementation were designed by engineers and researchers looking for ways to accomplish an enormous task. Documenting the processes and techniques tried and understanding why some worked and others didn't will provide tools to help move the products of current and future research programs into use more efficiently. Many people involved in developing and implementing the Superpave technology have retired or moved on to other work. Their insights and knowledge will be lost unless immediate steps are taken. Documenting both the successes and failures of this complex research and implementation program, while the people involved in the effort are available, will help ensure that the successes can be repeated. The objective of this project is to identify, document, and analyze the research program that developed the Superpave mix design method and the policies and techniques that drove its successful implementation. The effort will address (1) how the research answered the identified needs, (2) the funding strategies, products, training activities, and implementation techniques, and (3) other key issues.


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 9-42

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Federal Highway Administration

    1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE
    Washington, DC  United States  20590

    American Association of State Highway & Transportation Officials

    444 North Capitol Street, NW, Suite 225
    Washington, DC  United States  20001

    National Cooperative Highway Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20001
  • Project Managers:

    Harrigan, Edward

  • Performing Organizations:

    Purdue University, West Lafayette

    School of Mechanical Engineering
    West Lafayette, IN  United States  47907
  • Principal Investigators:

    McDaniel, Rebecca

  • Start Date: 20060228
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 20110930
  • Source Data: RiP Project 11093

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01549314
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: National Cooperative Highway Research Program
  • Contract Numbers: Project 9-42
  • Files: RiP
  • Created Date: Dec 31 2014 1:01AM