Highways:

How State Agencies Adopt New Pavement Technologies

PEMD-88-19: Published: Aug 12, 1988. Publicly Released: Aug 12, 1988.

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In response to a congressional request, GAO reviewed state highway agencies' efforts to improve highways and reduce costs, specifically: (1) how states adopt highway pavement technologies for use; (2) the extent to which states use selected technologies; (3) criteria states use in adopting selected technologies, such as cost or performance measures; and (4) barriers that prevent states from adopting selected technologies.

GAO found that: (1) state highway agencies both receive and provide information about technologies through technology transfer; (2) most states relied on the Federal Highway Administration and research review committees to select and prioritize potential technologies for test and evaluation; (3) highway agencies have widely differing levels of experience with the six technologies; (4) highway agencies' examples of their technology evaluations showed their use of the six technologies, their evaluation criteria and results, and the importance of other factors in adoption decisions; (5) all the states used hot mix recycling and about 30 states adopted or evaluated the other five technologies; (6) states' experiences with the selected technologies varied widely from 2 months to 30 years; (7) states considered performance and cost, then physical factors, in their technology adoption decisions; and (8) key barriers to technology adoption included key decisionmakers' opposition, limited expertise in the technology application, and lack of the necessary equipment.

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