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PENNSYLVANIA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION ENGINEERING DISTRICT 9 WINS 2020 PERPETUAL PAVEMENT AWARD

05/27/2021

​The Asphalt Pavement Alliance (APA) announced today that the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) Engineering District 9 has won a 2020 Perpetual Pavement Award (PPA) for a 10.16-mile section of two-lane Route 96 in Bedford County that was originally constructed in 1958. This is the 10th consecutive year PennDOT has won a PPA.

To qualify for this prestigious award, a pavement must be at least 35 years old and never experienced a structural failure. The average interval between the resurfacing of the winning pavement must be no less than 13 years. The pavement must demonstrate the characteristics expected from long-life asphalt pavements: excellence in design, quality in construction, and value for the traveling public.

Engineers at the National Center for Asphalt Technology (NCAT) evaluated the nominations and validated the winners.
This award-winning section of Route 96 is a two-lane road that runs from segments 490 to 690 in Bedford County. The original construction from 1956 to 1958 consisted of a 10-inch crushed aggregate base course and 2.5 inches of bituminous wearing course ID-2. 

From the late 1970s through the mid-1990s, the sections were overlaid with a 1.0-1.5-inch layer of wearing course. The last resurfacing was in 2000, with a 1-inch Superpave leveling course and 1.5-inch Superpave wearing course. Since its construction in the late 1950s, the total thickness on this project has increased by 4 inches. 

This two-lane roadway carries 1,498 vehicles daily, resulting in an estimated loading of 1.37 million equivalent single-axle loads (ESAL) over its lifetime. The road has performed well during its 62 years of service. As it has only been resurfaced twice in its life, the pavement easily exceeds the minimum average interval of 13 years required to earn the PPA.

“Route 96 (Courtland Road) in rural Bedford County has been a high-performing asphalt roadway since the mid-1950s, with only two overlays since that time,” stated District Executive for PennDOT District 9 Thomas A. Prestash, P.E. “This is testament to the impact that diligent maintenance can have in preserving a low-volume, rural roadway that could have been otherwise easily neglected. Ensuring drainage maintenance, shoulder cutting, and crack sealing has kept this section of roadway in excellent condition with no resurfacing scheduled in the near future.” 

“One key indicator of quality in construction is a smooth, long-life pavement,” said Amy Miller, P.E., National Director of the APA. “Long-life asphalt pavements serve the community, reduce the money needed for maintenance, and conserve raw materials, ultimately leading to a truly sustainable structure that exemplifies the triple bottom line. Asphalt roads can be engineered to last indefinitely with only routine maintenance and periodic surface renewal. Perpetual pavements use fewer natural resources and offer road owners and users what they want most – an economical, smooth pavement that serves the community for decades.”

“The Perpetual Pavement Award is a very prestigious National honor and we at the PA Asphalt Pavement Association recognize, that full depth perpetual asphalt roads, that are in service for at least 50 years, are a great value to the Pennsylvania taxpayer. It is highly appreciated that our partners at PennDOT District 9, are being recognized for their long-term diligence and dedication to providing safe, durable, and cost-efficient highways to the citizens of western PA,“ Executive Director, PA Asphalt Association Director, Charles Goodhart added.

A perpetual asphalt pavement is a highway designed and constructed in layers much like plywood. The various asphalt layers are glued together with an asphalt tack material, which promotes overall pavement strength, flexibility, and durability, as well as smoothness, quietness, and a very safe pavement driving surface for motorists. Only the top asphalt layer needs to be maintained (replaced or overlaid) over the 50-plus year life of the pavement. Three major advantages of asphalt perpetual pavements are reduced cost of initial construction, significantly less time to construct and/or maintain, and asphalt pavements are 100 percent recyclable, if they do ever need to be replaced.

The Asphalt Pavement Alliance is a coalition of the National Asphalt Pavement Association, the Asphalt Institute, and the state asphalt pavement associations. The Asphalt Pavement Alliance’s mission is to establish asphalt as the preferred choice for quality, performance, and the environment.
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For more information, contact:
For Immediate Release Amy Miller, P.E., 904-591-3333
May 27, 2021 or amiller@asphaltroads.org

At PennDOT, Tara Callahan-Henry, 814-969-7101
or tcallahan-@pa.gov

The Asphalt Pavement Alliance (www.driveasphalt.org) is a partnership of the Asphalt Institute (AI), National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA) and the State Asphalt Pavement Associations. The Asphalt Pavement Alliance’s mission is to establish asphalt as the preferred choice for quality, performance and the environment.
The Asphalt Institute (www.asphaltinstitute.org) is the international trade association of petroleum asphalt producers, manufacturers and affiliated businesses. AI promotes the use, benefits and quality performance of petroleum asphalt, through engineering, research, marketing and educational activities.

The National Asphalt Pavement Association (www.asphaltpavement.org) represents the interests of U.S. asphalt producers/contractors before Congress, federal agencies, and other national trade and business organizations. NAPA supports an active research program designed to improve the quality of asphalt pavements and paving techniques used in the construction of roads, streets, highways, parking lots, airports, and environmental and recreational facilities.

The State Asphalt Pavement Associations (www.asphaltpavement.org/sapas) represent the interests of asphalt pavement producers and paving companies at the state and local level across the United States.