The Future of Concrete Pavement Imagined

Transformational change is underway, so what does the future hold for concrete pavement? How is transportation of people and goods likely to change in the coming decades as population grows, mobility needs change, climate change advances, and transportation technology evolves? What are the market dynamics that will shape our industry in the next twenty to twenty-five years, and what role will concrete pavement play?

In order to help answer these and other challenging and pressing questions, the American Concrete Pavement Association (ACPA) brought together a blue-ribbon panel of 25 highway stakeholders representing Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), State Departments of Transportation (DOTs), Transportation Research Board (TRB), contractors, materials suppliers, consulting engineers, academia, and equipment manufacturers, to consider and anticipate future needs for surface transportation and roadway pavements, and to explore how the concrete industry will need to respond to meet those needs.

This paper presents highlights from that in-depth panel discussion and adds some industry commentary on what the concrete pavement community will most likely need to focus on in coming decades to provide cost effective, sustainable, resilient and safe transportation solutions for U.S. commerce and mobility. Perspectives are shared on changing pavement needs in growing urban and exurban areas, how freight will likely move, what our vast rural pavement network needs will be, the role of connected and autonomous vehicles, and how equipment and paving innovations can help us adapt to this evolving future.

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