The American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO) has selected a WTI project as one of its national “Sweet Sixteen” High Value Research Projects. WTI researchers Ning Xie, Natalie Villwock-Witte, and Laura Fay led a project for the New Mexico Department of Transportation (NMDOT) entitled “Optimization of Elastic Polymer Modification Rates Based on Contemporary Relative Costs vs. Benefits,” which looked at the costs and benefits of the use of polymer modified binders for asphalt pavements. After analyzing various scenarios for NMDOT, the research team recommended revised formulations and binder specifications that have the potential to extend the life of plus grade asphalt pavements by more than 20%. AASHTO has invited representatives of each of the 16 High Value Research Projects to present their findings at the AASHTO Annual Meeting. For more information, the final project report is available here (PDF).