Asphalt Pavement Alliance (APA) Honors Low Carbon Asphalt Road Projects

Amarjeet S. Benipal, District 3 Director (center) and Amy Miller, Asphalt Pavement Alliance (second from right) celebrated Granite Construction, Teichert, Inc. and Tullis, Inc. for winning the Asphalt Pavement Alliance's Perpetual Pavement Awards for their work on the Sacramento and Tehama I-5 projects.

- On Thursday, The Asphalt Pavement Alliance (APA) awarded its annual Perpetual Pavement Awards for a consortium of companies, Caltrans, and academia for two asphalt highway projects in Northern California that lowered carbon emissions.

The Asphalt Pavement Alliance (APA) is a coalition of the Asphalt Institute, the National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA), and the State Asphalt Pavement Associations (SAPA).

The Asphalt Pavement Alliance developed the prestigious Perpetual Pavement awards to recognize long-life asphalt pavements in the U.S. and honor asphalt pavements demonstrating outstanding design and construction.

The awards were presented at the California Transportation Commission meeting held in Roseville, CA. 

The 2023 Perpetual Pavement awards were presented to the following companies for their contributions to the Northern California Long Life Pavement projects:


Caltrans, Teichert, Inc. and Granite Construction - I-5 Sacramento Project (District 3)

Caltrans and Tullis, Inc. - I-5 Tehama Project (District 2)


Perpetual Pavement awards were also presented to Caltrans District 03 and the University of California Pavement Research Center (UCPRC) for their pioneering project delivery and innovative pavement design strategies. 


Member companies Granite Construction and Teichert, Inc. were awarded with Perpetual Pavement Awards for their work on the I-5 Sacramento Project.

The University of California Pavement Research Center (UCPRC) innovative designs played a significant role in the success of these two projects leading to significant reductions in carbon output. John Harvey, Ph.D, P.E., a professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at UC Davis, described five innovations the UCPRC and Caltrans made during these projects:

  1. Use of Mechanistic Empirical Pavement Design System (CalME) - allows optimization of design, which allows for the same amount of life asphalt has for less / thinner pavement for a lower cost with minimal maintenance.
  2. Performance related specifications - Look at specific performance based properties and integrate the design together, which determines the criteria for materials. Typically, these two processes are independent of each other.
  3. Use of High RAP content to stiffen pavement layers - The Tehama project was one of the first to use 25% RAP for this purpose.  The Sacramento project also incorporated this design strategy.
  4. Use of various asphalt mix designs including rich bottom and thinner pavement sections resulting in a 40-year pavement design life.
  5. Use of mechanistic empirical performance tests for mix designs and construction in place of the performance based Indirect Asphalt Cracking Test (IDEAL-CT).

“Many of those innovations are really cutting edge for the entire United States, which is part of the reason for the awards,” Harvey said.


The University of California Pavement Research Center and Caltrans were also honored for their contributions to the projects. From left to right, Jeffrey Buscheck (UCPRC), Irwin Guada (UCPRC), John Harvey (UCPRC), Kristen Kingsley (Caltrans District 2).

Using these innovations is expected to lower the carbon output in two ways. Using thinner cross sections / structure on traffic means less material and less transport/hauling of asphalt. Substituting virgin binder with RAP binder also led to reductions in greenhouse gas (global warming) by eliminating the extraction, processing and transportation of virgin binder and raw aggregates.


Congratulations to the 2023 Perpetual Pavement Alliance award recipients on your incredible achievements!


CalCIMA is the state trade association for aggregate, concrete, asphalt, and industrial mineral producers that provide the materials to build roads, bridges, rail, homes, schools, hospitals, and water systems. Members produce construction materials from over 500 operations throughout the state.