By Marissa Matton
The UMassD Highway Sustainability Research Center is a national leader in increasing the sustainability of asphalt pavements. Led by Walaa Mogawer, civil engineering professor, the center recently received a $783,996 grant from the Massachusetts State Department of Transportation (MassDOT).
The project aims to safely increase the use of reclaimed asphalt pavement (RAP) in new asphalt. Large amounts of RAP can make new pavement more susceptible to cracking and other distress because the liquid asphalt in RAP has been changed through years of use.
MassDOT currently allows surface course pavements to contain no more than 15 percent of RAP. Mogawer and his team will evaluate the properties of different RAP sources so the center can develop guidelines for MassDOT to safely use the most recycled asphalt possible.
In addition to environmental benefits, using recycled materials has a cost advantage. “These cost savings will allow MassDOT to address more transportation infrastructure projects within the existing budget,” he said.
Mogawer is joined by a professionally licensed, full-time senior research engineer, and graduate and undergraduate civil engineering students.
More information: Highway Sustainability Research Center