Asphalt Pavement Alliance releases Pavement Type Selection position paper

The Asphalt Pavement Alliance (APA) has released a new position paper, Pavement Type Selection. This document, created by the APA’s Economics Team, sets out principles that state DOTs and other agencies can use in choosing whether to use asphalt or concrete pavement for a particular roadway. It discusses the Design Guides published by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) and provides a bibliography of important publications on the subject. The publication also includes a chart summarizing the life cycle cost inputs from various states and a handy checklist for agencies to use.

The 20-page publication provides a synthesis of the most important factors for consideration in pavement type selection processes. These include traffic, soil, weather, construction considerations, recycling, cost comparisons, sustainability, noise, roughness, and safety. In addition, the white paper presents the advantages of asphalt pavement for roads that best meet these criteria.

“Systems for selecting pavement type should be objective, defensible, understandable, and based on historical records,” said Dave Newcomb, NAPA’s Vice President—Research and Technology, one of the authors of the report. “It’s also important that these processes be driven primarily by economics. The goal is to provide the best value for the taxpayer and the road user—not to support the economic health of a pavement industry. In general, there are no greater investments made by a transportation agency than the construction or reconstruction of pavements. The impacts are great and far-reaching. The importance of these investments makes the selection process worthy of thoughtful analysis.”

The publication is available as a free download from the Economics area of the APA’s Web site at