To help expedite the implementation of the Superpave methods in the mid-1990's, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) conducted a Pooled Fund project that allowed state transportation agencies to purchase shares in this Pooled Fund. Each share provided the state transportation agency with one full set of Superpave test equipment - both for the asphalt binder and the hot mix asphalt (HMA). The pooling of funds gave the states greater purchasing power that resulted lower costs as compared to states purchasing the equipment individually.
The majority of the equipment that was purchased under the Pooled Fund was for testing of asphalt binder in accordance with the Performance Grading (PG) system. The binder testing equipment is highly sophisticated and contains sensitive electronics for making the necessary measurements. As most of this equipment has been in service for approximately 15 years, it is nearing the end of its service life and manufacturers are no longer carrying repair parts.
With the advent of new test methods such as the Multiple Stress Creep Recovery Test, older direct-shear (DSR) equipment is either not able to run these tests or the results are suspect because of the limitations of the older equipment. States must replace this equipment in order to adopt these new and improved test methods.
To conduct a Pooled Fund project similar to the one conducted earlier by FHWA, here in the northeastern part of the country. In Phase 1, researchers will arrange for participating state DOTs a demonstration of lab equipment options for PG binder testing. Then in a second phase, CAP Lab will facilitate a pooled-fund purchase of asphalt-binder laboratory test equipment for interested states DOTs.
Scope of Work
A Technical Advisory Committee (TAC, one voting member per state) will guide the project. Phase 1 of this project will be used to cover the expenses associated with organization of the equipment demonstration, the costs associated with developing the specifications for the equipment purchase, and other associated costs such as personnel time required to process the purchase orders. TAC members and other State DOT personnel will be invited to attend the equipment demonstration, to be held at the University of Connecticut's Connecticut Advanced Pavement Laboratory (CAP Lab) in Mansfield, Connecticut. TENTATIVE DATES for demonstration (binder-equipment rodeo) and TAC meeting are November 15-17, 2010. Participating states may choose to have the TPF project reimburse travel expenses by committing sufficient additional funds to cover those costs.
In Phase 2 of this project, each participating state transportation agency will have the option to commit additional funds necessary to purchase the equipment they determine to be required following the demonstration phase.
The $38,000 amount represents the costs for UConn/CAP Lab to conduct and manage this TPF project. In addition, participating states that elect to have the TPF project reimburse travel to the demonstration and TAC meeting, will need to estimate their travel expenses. A guidance document will be posted to assist states to estimate their travel cost.
Suggested minimum commitment, based on eight states, is $5,000 plus their estimated travel reimbursement for the number of personnel that will attend the equipment demonstration and TAC meeting.
Interest among the northeast states prompted development of the project proposal; however the TPF is open to participation by all State DOTs, including those in DC and PR.
To help get underway quickly on Phase 1, please commit from FY2010 funds.
POSTED_July 9, 2010: Phase 2, which will facilitate the pooled fund purchase of equipment selected by the states, can be funded from FY2010 or FY2011 commitments. Some states are in a position to make Phase 2 commitments now, so at their request we are posting the Phase 2 Proposal to facilitate Phase 2 commitments at this time.
For assistance with travel estimation, please contact James Mahoney at CAP Lab/UConn [mailto:email@example.com or at 860-486-9299]. J. Mahoney can email you the travel-cost-estimation spreadsheet.
POSTED_October 6, 2010: Uploaded Acceptance Memorandum. Participating states are asked to transfer funds ASAP.
POSTED_December 15, 2010:
Uploaded three separate work program documents, dated 6/24/2010, included the Proposal package posted earlier.
POSTED_April 24, 2014
Uploaded Final Report, Demonstration and Purchase of PG Binder Testing Equipment Phase 1 and 2 dated April 10, 2014 CONNDOT Report No. CT-TPF-5(236)-F-14-2