Today is “Asphalt Recognition Day” in Iowa City. The University of Iowa is honoring asphalt today as it opens a new construction materials research lab. Civil Engineering professor David Lee says the lab’s first study will focus on a new national asphalt mix that contains more polymers. Lee says the new mixture is supposed to last longer, and they’re trying to see if they can get the same results on the road as in the lab. Iowans and others may see fewer potholes and less need for road repairs. Lee says half of the new 200-thousand dollar construction materials lab is being paid for by a donation from the Asphalt Paving Association of Iowa. Lee says this is just the start of what he hopes will be ongoing research into asphalt. Lee says they want to study other paving materials down the road, such as concrete.The U-of-I will accept the gift for the new lab today and then hold some lectures on asphalt.