During the summer of 1992, a group of 21 U.S. highway and pavement experts including contractors, engineers, and representatives of government and trade organizations observed the condition and construction of highways in western Europe. Called the U.S. Tour of European Concrete Highways (U.S. TECH), the group visited 5 countries and met with experts from 4 more to learn about portland-cement-concrete highway pavements in those countries.
European experience may represent a window to observe issues concerning the future transportation infrastructure of the United States. Europeans are building excellent concrete pavement systems, and they are building and rebuilding their highways for very large loads and long life. Europe will be able to use those highways to better compete in the world economy, because they improve mobility and efficiency.
Can the U.S. paving industry build the same high-quality concrete highways found in Europe? Yes, say U.S. TECH participants, if we commit the necessary resources to achieve excellence. That means continually improving design, materials, construction technology, and equipment through innovation, research, and training.