Advances in concrete specifications are gaining exposure around the country, thanks to a joint government/industry effort—the Performance Engineered Mixtures (PEM) program. The National Concrete Pavement Technology (CP Tech) Center hosted a meeting in Chicago on February 27-28 for members of the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) of the PEM pooled fund project. The group of practicing engineers, highway experts, and industry professionals gathered to discuss and plan the latest work on PEM, which has the potential to make a difference in US pavement durability and longevity.
The TAC heard reports from the research team and the Federal Highway Administration, updates from state departments of transportation on their implementation efforts, and comments from representatives of the concrete industry on their progress.
The participants also got a preview of future plans and activities for the PEM program. There will soon be a website with links to helpful resources for those who want to learn more about PEM. The FHWA is offering a PEM incentive program and an equipment loan program. Shadow testing and data collection on PEM will continue on several fronts.
The PEM program is a pooled fund, collaborative effort of the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), 15 state highway agencies, and the concrete industry. Each entity is contributing at least $1 million over a five-year period to aid the progress of this significant initiative. For more information about the program, see http://www.cptechcenter.org/technical-library/documents/PEM-program-brochure.pdf.