LEXINGTON, KY.—The Asphalt Institute (AI) celebrates its 90th anniversary in 2009 as the international trade association of petroleum asphalt producers, manufacturers, and affiliated businesses. Founded in 1919, AI has focused on asphalt supplier issues, as well as on applications of new technology, and provided technical, educational, and promotional programs for the industry.
During the 1930s, AI partnered with the American Farm Bureau Federation to develop a program for paving America’s secondary road system. In the 1940s, AI field engineers helped pioneer the Maine Turnpike, the first asphalt turnpike in the United States. And in the 1950s, AI promoted asphalt’s benefits for the Interstate system. In the 1960s and 1970s, AI promoted the use of full-depth asphalt pavements in city street construction and use of viscosity in asphalt specifications. And in the 1990s, the Institute worked with the Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP) to develop the Superpave volumetric mix design procedure.
Following SHRP, AI partnered with the Federal Highway Administration to develop the National Asphalt Training Center to provide education on Performance Graded asphalt binder tests and specifications.