Asphalt Review


AAPA’s biannual international study tour to the USA.

AAPA’s biannual international study tour to the USA.

For more than 20 years, AAPA’s biannual international study tours have traversed the globe to bridge the gap between research and practice by actively exposing members, road agency staff and consultants to new and innovative technologies.

In 2014, the study tour travelled to the United States to discover new and innovative tools and techniques to
benefit Australia.

The tour was called the “International Knowledge Transfer” (IKT) to reflect the true nature of the visit. This recognised that the group not only learned from our hosts, but also shared Australian experiences and breakthroughs in meetings with federal and state departments of transport (DOT’s), research centres, universities, asphalt paving associations and key contractors.

Tour group members were well balanced across industry, government, consultants and research. This international outreach program is key to AAPA’s commitment to international knowledge sharing to bring the best to Australia from around the world.

The visit took place between 25 October and 10 November with a varied and exciting itinerary crossing Texas, Tennessee, Ohio, Washington D.C., Virginia, Alabama, Minnesota and California.

gtr-news-AAPAstudytour2-lgeAt each stop, the tour group split into two streams of Construction and Pavement Engineering.

As with previous visits, the group had key topics to consider during their meetings and site visits.

The seven key topics were:

• Best practice and safer construction works;

• Advances in pavement engineering and design;

• Treatments of rigid pavements, including replacement with full depth asphalt or crack-and-seat with overlays;

• Thinlays for pavement preservation;

• Introducing innovation and sustainable pavement solutions;

• Government decision making for road infrastructure investment; and

• Perpetual Pavements.

To help achieve the above outcomes, the group was exposed to actual construction works and measures promoting safer construction. Visiting construction projects, members saw in action the latest techniques in asphalt placement and compaction, including the process to remove rigid pavements and replace with full-depth asphalt.

The group was also provided access to advances in pavement design through innovative and sustainable solutions at the International Conference on Perpetual Pavements in Ohio, where the Australian Perpetual Pavements developmental works was also shared.gtr-news-AAPAstudytour3-lge

Additionally, reviews of US pavement design MEPDG systems were undertaken at Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), National Center for Asphalt Technology (NCAT) and California Department of Transportation (Caltrans).

Exposure to product and system development through the use of Accelerated Pavement Testing devices also helped spread innovative and cost reducing pavement materials and surfacing technologies throughout the group.

Findings from the tour will be presented at an AAPA Breakfast session in your State Capital. To hear study tour participants initial impressions and implementable findings visit the AAPA website to register for a breakfast.   

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