Federal agency urged to study use of geosynthetic materials in roads

Congressmen Duncan and Lobiondo reach out to GAO

The Geosynthetic Materials Association (GMA) has announced that two members of Congress have submitted a letter to the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO), asking that office to conduct a study regarding geosynthetic materials in roadway systems.

The geosynthetics industry has long sought a federal study of the cost-benefits of geosynthetic materials as separators and interlayers in pavement systems.

The coauthors of the study request letter are Rep. John Duncan (R-TN-2) and Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ), both members of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. Rep. Duncan also serves as chairman of the Subcommittee on Highways and Transit, and Rep. LoBiondo serves as chairman of the Subcommittee on Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation.

Pavement system design for long-term performance and longer lifecycle pavement preservation techniques continues to be a high priority in Departments of Transportation across the country. Using geosynthetics in roadway pavement systems affects long-term performance, including separation/drainage and reflective crack reduction/moisture intrusion prevention.

Geosynthetic Materials Association"There have been a number of academic and industry case studies that indicate the positive benefits of using geosynthetics in road building," said GMA managing director Andrew Aho. "This study will provide federal government with validation of the benefits of geosynthetics in the nation's roadways."

The letter from Duncan and LoBiondo to the GAO highlights the data available to complete the study:"Because there is ample academic, industry, and state department of transportation information publicly available that the GAO can use to complete the study, the study should incorporate existing research and data concerning the use of innovative materials in payment systems, such as the addition of geosynthetic materials in pavement systems." (13 Oct. 2011, Duncan/ LoBiondo letter to GAO).

"We believe this study will ultimately increase the use of geosynthetic materials in transportation systems," Aho said. "This is a significant step forward for the industry."

The Geosynthetic Materials Association represents 80 member companies that manufacture, distribute, fabricate, and install geosynthetic materials. GMA is a division of the Industrial Fabrics Association International, based in Roseville, MN. GMA research notes that the geosynthetics industry employs 12,000 people in the U.S. and adds $2.1 billion annually to the U.S. economy.

Source: http://geosyntheticsmagazine.com/articles/102511_gma_capitol_hill.html