ICT Leads Charge Toward Sustainable Transportation System

Pavement sustainability is a key focus for transportation agencies and the industry as a whole, and ICT researchers are taking a lead on various projects to preserve our natural resources while keeping economic competiveness. For the last several years, ICT researchers, including Imad Al-Qadi, Bill Buttlar, Hasan Ozer, Jeff Roesler, Yanfeng Ouyang, Rahim Benekohal, and others have collaborated with several agencies to effectively integrate recycled materials into asphalt mixtures and concrete, investigate the feasibility of using windmills at interstate highway rest areas, and utilize LED in traffic lights, to name a few.

This year, ICT concluded a multi-year study on the effective use of recycled asphalt pavement (RAP) for the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT). The study concluded that having accurate volumetric characterization of mixes is key to determining the impact of RAP on mixes and recommending the appropriate asphalt binder type to use with selected RAP content. Currently, ICT is working with IDOT to increase recycled asphalt shingles (RAS) content in asphalt mixtures. The first phase of the study developed an experimental program including various advanced laboratory testing.

In addition, ICT has recently completed a project on the impact of short-term curing of stone mastic warm mixes with RAP/RAS on pavement performance. Currently, it is working with O’Hare Modernization Project (OMP) to develop effective RAP/RAS-warm-mix asphalt designs for applications around the airfield and road network at O’Hare, which represents the first application of RAS in airports in the United States. ICT also led an effort to add black rock (coarse fraction RAP) into concrete pavements and apply it in two-lift pavement construction, which was demonstrated on I-88 project this fall. Other projects include the use of marginal aggregates and recycled concrete in pavements.

ICT researchers Imad Al-Qadi, Bill Buttlar, Hasan Ozer, Jeff Roesler, and Erol Tutumluer are co-principal investigators on the Federal Highway Administration’s sustainable pavements program, which was solicited by DTFH61-10-R-00017. Al-Qadi serves as the facilitator of a team of diverse researchers from several groups and universities who are developing a reference document providing information about practices, methods, and techniques, for the design, construction, preservation, and maintenance of sustainable pavement systems. In addition, ICT researchers are also developing a framework for the life cycle assessment (LCA) tool for the Ilinois Tollway Authority as part of team involving Advanced Research Associates, theRightEnvironment, and the CTL Group.

Imad Al-Qadi, ICT director states, “It is our goal to build and maintain a transportation system that is more environmentally-friendly, cost-effective and high performing, while working with students and engineers to develop state-of-the-art technology and implement a high standard of the state-of-the-practice.”

For more information about ICT’s sustainability efforts, please visit the links below to reports available on our website.

Wind-Powered Electrical Systems—Highway Rest Areas, Weigh Stations, and Team Section Buildings

“Green-Friendly” Best Management Practices for Interstate Rest Areas

LED Roadway Lighting Volume 1: Background Information

LED Roadway Lighting Volume 2: Field Evaluations and Software Comparisons

Comparative Life Cycle Assessment Between Warm SMA and Conventional SMA

Impact of High RAP Content on Structural and Performance Properties of Asphalt Mixtures

Fractionated Reclaimed Asphalt Pavement (FRAP) as a Coarse Aggregate Replacement in a Ternary Blended Concrete Pavement

Laboratory Evaluation of High Asphalt Binder Replacement with Recycled Asphalt Shingles (RAS) for a

Low N-Design Asphalt Mixture

Short-Term Performance of Modified Stone Matrix Asphalt (SMA) Produced with Warm Mix Additives

A Study on Warm-Mix Asphalt