Pavement research at NTC focuses on finding the best ways to extend the life of existing pavements and optimize performance of the roadway surface. Geotechnical engineers explore methods of accounting for the environmental factors while other researchers study the chemical characteristics of various asphalt mixes, such as rigid versus flexible mixtures. Academic researchers and industry professionals in urban planning, computer science and the natural sciences collaborate with researchers in various engineering disciplines to produce advances in the durability and capabilities of pavements. Concrete Industries, Inc., in Lincoln, Nebraska has collaborated with NTC researchers on several projects. NTC also works with Nebraska LTAP to communicate pavement and materials research advances to transportation industry workers.
Among the advances in pavement mixes that our researchers have achieved are a special conductive concrete that uses electric heat to melt ice and snow on roadways. With an increased movement of vehicles carrying large loads of freight on our roads, researchers are also working to find ways to improve the life and the durability of pavements under increased stress.