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West African Engineers Travel to Indiana to Learn from INDOT

May 2023

Twelve transportation professionals traveled more than 5,600 miles from the West African country Cote d’lvoire (“Ivory Coast”) in mid-May to meet INDOT employees and learn about recycling pavements with cement.

Cote d’lvoire is three times the geographical size of Indiana with a French-colonial legacy.

The 12 West Africans ranged in age from 28 to 55. They work for various Ivory Coast transportation agencies, companies, or institutes.

ASTM International, which develops standards for 90 industry sectors through business and science experts from 150 nations, organized the visit. ASTM International partnered with the Millennium Challenge Corp. (MCC), a U.S. government-backed foreign assistance agency that helps fight against global poverty, to fund the trip. Developing road construction standards for capacity building is one aspect of the MCC.

The Ivory Coast civil engineers came to Indiana to participate in training that focused on standards associated with laboratory testing of cement, concrete, aggregates, and soil-cement.

“Indiana was chosen for the international training workshops because of our expertise in these areas,” said Geotechnical Engineering Division Director Athar Khan.

One of INDOT’s methods for recycling pavements with cement is called full-depth reclamation, which was a focal point of the trip.

Because the 12 engineers speak French, an interpreter served as translator. An MCC auditor also accompanied the group to observe the sessions.

Besides classroom material, the engineers also observed laboratory tests and visited State Road 26 in northern Clinton County to witness the use of full-depth reclamation and soil stabilization.

After a week with INDOT, the engineers spent a week at the Purdue University North Central Superpave Center to learn about Superpave, an asphalt mixture with a low percentage of air voids inside the mixture at the time of construction, which results in less cracking and fewer potholes.

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