Federal Agency Urged To Study Use Of Geosynthetic Materials In Roads

ROSEVILLE, Minn. — November 4, 2011 — 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.

“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.

Posted on November 8, 2011

Source: IFAI