About the research
Recycling concrete pavements has been a common practice in most states for many years, dating back to at least the 1940s with the reconstruction of US Route 66 in Illinois, when the existing pavement was recycled back into the new project. It is with renewed interest that public agencies are now more closely examining the opportunities for recycling concrete pavements.
One reason for considering recycling is the diminishing quantity of good natural materials. However, many states still have specification or policy restrictions that do not allow recycled pavements to be utilized to the extent that is possible. In addition, the contracting industry may overlook opportunities to use recycled concrete aggregates (RCAs) on projects due to a lack of familiarity with the technical requirements or an uncertainty of how RCAs will perform for a specific application.
A two-part benchmarking survey was conducted in 2016 to gather insights on the current national practice of recycling concrete pavements. The goal of this initial survey was to gather information from both state highway agencies (SHAs) and paving contractors to get a holistic perspective on current applications, the real and perceived barriers, and existing opportunities to increase the amount of concrete pavement recycling.
This report summarizes the results of this survey and the conclusions reached from it. While the survey itself was not funded by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), the results have helped guide the work on technology transfer under one of their cooperative agreements. The results have been made fully available to support the FHWA’s goals of supporting more sustainable pavement technical solutions.