Asphalt Professionals Learn About Superpave

PULLMAN, Wash. — Asphalt industry professionals from throughout the region will meet at Washington State University’s Washington Center for Asphalt Technology March 19-20 to learn the newest techniques for building a better road in Washington. The workshop is the second for the center, which opened in February of 2000.

Since the early 1990s, an approach called Superpave has revolutionized road building. Instead of using one type of asphalt for all roads, builders can now tailor a road’s asphalt mix to specific climate and traffic conditions. At WSU’s WCAT, one of about a dozen university-based asphalt labs nationwide, researchers design asphalt mixes to meet Superpave specifications. They also test asphalt samples from roads that develop problems to learn what improvements can be made.

In Washington, about 20 percent of major road projects are built using Superpave, but by 2005, the state plans to use the method on all roads. The conference will specifically address how Washington state road builders can better select materials and provide quality control.

This year’s workshop is expected to draw more than 60 asphalt industry and Washington State Department of Transportation personnel. Workshop instructors are Eyad Masad, assistant professor, and Tom Papagiannakis, associate professor, both in civil and environmental engineering. For more information, contact Masad, 509/335-9147,, or Papagiannakis, 509/335-4547,