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Competition Can Help Our Roads Evolve

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ALI
For a number of years, many agencies have been exploring long- term warranty. The Florida Dept. of Transportation explored five-, seven- and 12-year warranties. If we resurface asphalt to last 15 years and the contractor is willing to provide a bonded warranty for 15 years, then the transportation agency's risk of failure is minimal. The agency can shift some of its resources away from sampling, testing, inspection and quality assurance. This change would work well for many small agencies that lack technical resources for proper QA.

This tactic would shift quality assurance/quality control to the contractor and producer and allow the owner to scale down its spending on QA/QC in return for a performance warranty. The risk and reward go to the contractors and product developers, who can use the reward to refine the products.

Isn't this what evolution accomplishes? One positive example is a new FDOT specification, developed in 2011, that allows for a number of in-place pavement-recycling methods to compete with conventional milling and resurfacing if the contractor or producer provides a five-year bonded warranty.

Then, the best bid and the best product win. 

Hesham Ali is the Green Paving Professor of Practice in the Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Florida International University in Miami. He can be reached at heaali@fiu.edu.

">Recycling Asphalt Rescues Roads ">

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