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Geeking Out on Pavement

We hit the big-time in 1989 with the National Strategic Highway Research Program and a $9.5 million project to develop tests of asphalt? Then in 1994, Caltrans wanted to develop an accelerated pavement test program. We bought two heavy vehicle simulators. Today, each one would cost $2.7 million. We got two for $1.75 million; it was a real bargain." The Mercury News interviews 85-year-old pavement expert Carl Monismith, the recently retired director of UC Berkeley's Pavement Research Center. Not that we think much about pavement until our bike winds up in a pothole, or worse, we step off the sidewalk into one, but Monismith has been at since 1952. The Center is increasingly involved with sustainability and road surfaces engineered to last fifty years instead of twenty. Best takeaway from the article? The next step in pavement development is material that will absorb the "whoosh" sound created by moving vehicles. [Mercury News/Photo Credit: Shutterstock]