The International Conference on Warm-Mix Asphalt, held recently in Nashville, TN, attracted nearly 700 people, including 70 international attendees. This was the largest single-subject conference ever for the asphalt pavement industry, and a live Internet feed extended the reach of the conference to hundreds more around the globe.
At the start of the program, participants heard from the leadership of Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), the labor unions, and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on the importance of warm-mix technology. King Gee, an associate administrator of FHWA, emphasized the usefulness of warm mix in the reuse and recycling of asphalt pavements.
Congressman Bart Gordon, chairman of the House Science and Technology Committee, said, "Warm-mix asphalt is a success story resulting from an investment in transportation R&D. If widely deployed, the reduction in mix temperature could save fuel and money and help cut greenhouse gas emissions."
The meeting featured presentations on materials; mix design; state, contractor and international experience; and plant operations.
Dale Rand of the Texas Department of Transportation discussed how his state will use around 400,000 tons of warm-mix asphalt in 2008, and the prospect for 2009 is that much more will be used in that state.
While Texas is acknowledged as a leader in warm-mix implementation, numerous other states are also moving in the direction of issuing permissive specifications which would allow contractors to use warm mix in place of hot mix as long as the resulting pavement met the specifications for the project.
Contractors and DOT representatives shared their experiences with warm mix. Researchers and contractors from France and Germany also presented their perspectives on the technologies.
The Warm-Mix Asphalt Technical Working Group, co-chaired by Matt Corrigan (FHWA) and Ron White (Superior Paving Corp., Virginia), was recognized for advancing mix-design methods, product approval, and performance testing.
In closing remarks, NAPA President Mike Acott thanked all of the technology providers for rising to the challenge. He also thanked the state DOTs and contractors who were the early adopters of this technology and who have helped make possible many of the refinements in warm-mix use.
A meeting of asphalt industry leaders with representatives of EPA and the Green Highways Partnership was also held during the conference.
More information about warm mix is available at www.warmmixasphalt.com.