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High Performance Concrete Pavements
Project Summary

CHAPTER 36. WISCONSIN 1 (Highway 29, Abbotsford)

Introduction

In the early 1990s, the Wisconsin Department of Transportation (WisDOT) began investigating noise levels produced by concrete pavement finishing practices (Kuemmel et al. 2000). In 1994, Wisconsin constructed 16 concrete pavement sections incorporating different experimental textures, the results of which led to some preliminary recommendations on concrete pavement surface texturing (Kuemmel et al. 1996).

At about the same time, several other states (Colorado, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, and North Dakota) constructed concrete pavements with experimental surface texturing, and there arose an acute need to uniformly collect and analyze the data from all of the test sections and develop national guidelines for recommended surface texturing practices. To address this need, WisDOT and FHWA contracted with Marquette University and the HNTB Corporation to collect noise, texture, and friction characteristics from the now six states and prepare a final report documenting the findings (Kuemmel et al. 2000). Concurrently, under the TE-30 program, additional concrete pavement test sections were constructed in Wisconsin to afford a more complete range of surface textures (Kuemmel et al. 2000). These new test sections were constructed in the westbound lanes of Highway 29, west of Abbotsford (see Figure 96), and are located just east of the original 1994 Wisconsin test sections (Kuemmel et al. 2000).

Figure 96. Location of WI 1 project.

Location of WI 1 project. An outline map of Wisconsin shows the WI 1 project at Abbotsford on Highway 29 westbound, as well as the original Highway 29 1994 test sections located at Owen, west of Abbotsford. The major routes through Wisconsin, I-94 and I-39, are shown with Madison on I-39 and Milwaukee on I-94 in the southern part of the State.

Study Objectives

The major objective of this project is to develop national guidelines for texturing PCC pavements based on national experience (Kuemmel et al. 2000). This objective was to be accomplished by performing the following (Kuemmel et al. 2000):

  • Construction of 10 additional test sites in Wisconsin.
  • Measurement of interior and exterior noise levels, surface friction, and texture on test sites in Wisconsin, Colorado, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, and North Dakota, as well as on 8 of the original 16 Wisconsin test sections.
  • Application of Fast Fourier Transform (FFT) methods for both interior and exterior noise measurements to help resolve discrepancies in subjective noise measurements.
  • Assessment of public perception to road noise through the use of standard audiology testing by a panel of non-highway agency raters.
  • Development of recommended pavement textures and demonstration at an open house and workshop near the new Wisconsin test sections.

Project Design and Layout

New Wisconsin Sections

The 10 new Wisconsin test sections were constructed in 1997 in the westbound lanes of Highway 29, west of Abbotsford (Kuemmel et al. 2000). These sections are all 1.6 km (1 mi) long and share the same pavement design, differing only surface texture. On this project, the following 10 surface textures were constructed (Kuemmel et al. 2000):

  1. Random transverse tining, 25-mm (1-in.) average spacing (Random 1).
  2. Random transverse tining, 19-mm (0.75-in.) average spacing (Random 2).
  3. Uniform transverse tining, 25-mm (1-in.) spacing.
  4. Random 1 skewed tining, 1:6 left hand forward (LHF).
  5. Random 2 skewed tining, 1:6 LHF.
  6. Random 1 skewed tining, 1:4 LHF.
  7. Random 2 skewed tining, 1:4 LHF.
  8. Random 1 longitudinal tining.
  9. Random 2 longitudinal tining.
  10. Uniform longitudinal tining, 25-mm (1-in.) spacing.

All texturing was preceded by a longitudinal turf drag (LTD) and all tining depths were specified to be 3 mm (0.12 in.) (Kuemmel et al. 2000).

Additional Analysis Sections

Several additional sections, both within Wisconsin and from other states, were brought into the study to expand the analysis. Characteristics of these sections are described below.

Additional Wisconsin Sections

As previously noted, 8 of the 16 original 1994 Wisconsin sections were included in this evaluation; six other experimental pavement sections from I-43 and four other sections from throughout the State were also included (Kuemmel et al. 2000). The surface texturing of these additional Wisconsin sections are described below (Kuemmel et al. 2000):

  • Highway 29, Owen.
    • 25 mm (1 in.) uniform longitudinal.
    • 25 mm (1 in.) uniform skewed, 1:6 LHF, 1.5 mm (0.06 in.) depth.
    • 13 mm (0.5 in.) uniform transverse.
    • 13 mm (0.5 in.) uniform transverse, 1.5 mm (0.06 in.) depth.
    • 19 mm (0.75 in.) uniform transverse.
    • Manufactured random.
    • 25 mm (1 in.) uniform transverse (former WisDOT standard).
    • Skidabrader (a blasted, set, but uncured PCC pavement with longitudinal turf drag only prior to treatment).
  • I-43, Milwaukee
    • SHRP AC Pavement (built in 1992).
    • Standard AC dense-graded pavement (1992).
    • Standard AC dense-graded pavement (1993).
    • Stone matrix asphalt (SMA) pavement, 16 mm (0.62 in.) top size (1993).
    • Diamond ground PCC pavement (built in 1978, ground in 1993).
    • SMA pavement, 9 mm (0.38 in.) top size aggregate (1992).
  • Highway 29 eastbound, random transverse tining, 21 mm (0.83 in.) average spacing (1994).
  • US 51 north of Merrill, random transverse tining, 25 mm (1 in.) average spacing (1996).
  • US 151 near Beaver Dam, random transverse tining, 25 mm (1 in.) average spacing (1996).
  • Highway 26 near Jefferson, random transverse tining, 25 mm (1 in.) average spacing (1996).
Colorado Sections

The Colorado DOT constructed nine test sections on I-70 near Deertrail in 1994, six of which were included in this study (Kuemmel et al. 2000):

  • 25 mm (1 in.) uniform transverse tining (Colorado DOT's then standard).
  • 19 mm (0.75 in.) average random transverse tining (repeating pattern of 16, 22, and 19 mm [0.63, 0.87, and 0.75 in.]).
  • 13 mm (0.5 in.) uniform transverse tining.
  • 19 mm (0.75 in.) average random transverse saw cut (repeating pattern of 16, 22, and 19 mm [0.63, 0.87, and 0.75 in.]).
  • 19 mm (0.75 in.) uniform longitudinal saw cut.
  • 19 mm (0.75 in.) uniform longitudinal tining.

LTD preceded all surface texturing, and the impressions were specified to be 3 mm (0.12 in.) deep and 3 mm (0.12 in.) wide (Kuemmel et al. 2000).

Iowa Sections

In 1993, the Iowa DOT constructed nine test sections on Highway 163 northeast of Des Moines, and the following seven sections were selected for inclusion in this study (Kuemmel et al. 2000):

  • 13 mm (0.5 in.) uniform transverse, 3 to 5 mm (0.12 to 0.2 in.) deep.
  • 19 mm (0.75 in.) uniform transverse, 3 mm (0.12 in.) deep.
  • 19 mm (0.75 in.) uniform longitudinal, 1.5 mm (0.06 in.) deep.
  • 19 mm (0.75 in.) uniform longitudinal, 3 to 5 mm (0.12 to 0.2 in.) deep.
  • 19 mm (0.75 in.) variable transverse, 3 to 5 mm (0.12 to 0.2 in.) deep.
  • Milled PCC pavement (carbide ground).
  • 13 mm (0.5 in.) uniform transverse, sawed.

All texturing was preceded by LTD.

Michigan Sections

The two sections in the Michigan I-75 experimental project (see chapter 10) were selected for inclusion in this study (Kuemmel et al. 2000). These include both a standard texture (25-mm [1-in.] uniform transverse tining) and a European exposed aggregate surface.

Minnesota Sections

Eight pavement sections with various surface texturings were included from Minnesota. LTD preceded all texturing activities for the 8 selected sections (Kuemmel et al. 2000):

  • US 169 section with 19 mm (0.75 in.) uniform longitudinal tining (built in 1996).
  • US 169 section with 19 mm (0.75 in.) random transverse tining (1996).
  • US 12 section with 19 mm (0.75 in.) random transverse tining (1996)
  • Highway 55 with 38 mm (1.50 in.) random transverse tining (built in 1994).
  • I-494 section with longitudinal turf drag only (1990).
  • US 169 section with 38 mm (1.50 in.) random transverse tining (1994).
  • US 169 section with LTD only (1996).
  • US 169 section with 19 mm (0.75 in.) uniform longitudinal tining (1996).
North Dakota Sections

In 1994, North Dakota constructed nine test sections incorporating different surface texturing on I-94 near Eagle's Nest, of which six were selected for this study (Kuemmel et al. 2000):

  • 25 mm (1 in.) uniform skewed tining, 1:6 RHF.
  • 19 mm (0.75 in.) uniform transverse tining.
  • Variable (26, 51, 76, and 102 mm [1, 2, 3, and 4 in.]) random transverse tining.
  • 13 mm (0.5 in.) uniform transverse tining.
  • 19 mm (0.75 in.) uniform longitudinal tining.
  • 25 mm (1 in.) uniform transverse tining (for control).

All surface texturing was preceded by LTD.

State Monitoring Activities

A total of 57 pavement test sections from 6 states were ultimately included in the study. Representing a wide variety of surface textures, each of these pavement sections was evaluated in 1999 for the following properties (Kuemmel et al. 2000):

  • Interior and exterior noise levels measured with a real-time acoustical analyzer using the FFT analysis.
  • Subjective rating of interior noise levels by 24 people on 21 of the test sections. The subjective ratings were performed on digital recordings of interior noise levels made during the interior noise measurements.
  • Surface texture measurements using the FHWA's Road Surface Analyzer (ROSAN). Computations of mean profile depth (MPD) and estimated texture depth (ETD) were obtained from the measurements. Sand patch testing, providing an estimate of the texture depth, was also conducted on most test sections in Wisconsin.
  • Surface friction collected by the participating SHAs. This testing was conducted in accordance with ASTM E274 and was conducted in close proximity to the time that the texture and noise measurements were obtained.

Results/Findings

A comprehensive analysis of the noise, texture, and surface friction data collected from the 57 sections was conducted, and yielded the following conclusions (Kuemmel et al. 2000):

  • The depth of the tining varies considerably between pavement test sections, as well as within a test section. In many cases, specified tining depths were not achieved.
  • Uniformly tined pavements exhibit discrete frequencies that produce an annoying "whine" to travelers.
  • Transversely tined pavements with the widest and deepest textures were often among the noisiest.
  • AC and longitudinally tined PCC pavements exhibit the lowest exterior noise levels while still providing adequate texture. Longitudinal uniform spacings of 19 mm (0.75 in.) reduce the impact on motorcycles and compact vehicles. However, splash and spray have been noted to be greater on longitudinally tined pavements.
  • The longitudinally tined PCC pavements, the randomly skewed (1:6) tined pavements, and an AC pavement exhibit the lowest interior noise levels while still providing adequate texture.
  • Random transverse tining is very sensitive to the spacing pattern. When the spacings become more uniform, discrete frequencies may develop, resulting in an objectionable whine.
  • Randomly skewed (1:6) tined pavements can be constructed relatively easily, exhibit low interior noise levels and no discrete frequencies, and have the best subjective ranking. They have higher levels of exterior noise than longitudinally tined PCC and AC pavements, but lower than random transverse PCC pavements. They also exhibit good friction and texture.
  • The diamond-ground PCC pavement, although not as quiet as other PCC pavements, did not exhibit any predominant frequency or spike.

Figure 97 summarizes the surface friction data (measured at 64 km/hr [40 mi/hr] and with a bald tire) collected for the Wisconsin 1 sections (Kuemmel et al. 2000). All but one of these sections exhibit friction numbers greater than 40, with the lowest exhibited by Section 8 (random longitudinal tining).

Figure 97. Surface friction of WI 1 test sections (Kuemmel et al. 2000).

Surface friction of WI 1 test sections (Kuemmel et al. 2000). The chart displays surface friction test numbers (FN) for 10 WI 1 test sections, and their tining specifications, using a bald tire at 40 mph. Test Section 1, random transverse tining, 25-mm (1-in.) average spacing, referred to as “Random 1,” shows no data. Section 2, random transverse tining, 19-mm (0.75 in.) average spacing, referred to as “Random 2,” had FN 59. Section 3, using uniform transverse tining and 25-mm (1-in.) spacing, tested FN 45. Section 4 used Random 1 skewed 1:6 left-hand forward (LHF) and tested FN 60. Section 5 used Random 2, skewed 1:6 LHF, and tested FN 55. Section 6 used Random 1 skewed 1:4 LHF and tested FN 59. Section 7 used Random 2 skewed 1:4 LHF and tested FN 55. Section 8 tested used Random 1 with longitudinal tining, tested FN 38. Section 9 used Random 2 with longitudinal tining and tested FN 55. Section 10 used uniform longitudinal tining with 25-mm spacing and tested FN 48.

Figure 98 shows the relative ranking of the noise levels for all of the different pavement surface textures in terms of subjective ratings, interior noise levels, and exterior noise levels (Kuemmel et al. 2000).

Figure 98. Relative noise rankings of pavement surface texturings (Kuemmel et al. 2000).

Relative noise rankings of pavement surface texturings (Kuemmel et al. 2000). The chart shows the rank of subjective noise ratings, interior noise ratings (interior dBA), and exterior noise ratings (exterior dBA) for 20 types of surface treatments: 19 mm random skew 1:6; 19 mm random skew 1:4, SHRPACP; transverse variable, 26, 52, 78, 104 mm; 25 mm longitudinal tining; European Texture, 38 mm random transverse LTD; transverse, sawed, 13 mm; milled surface; Transverse, 13 mm (3-5 mm d); ground portland cement concrete pavement; 25 mm random transverse, 25 mm (CO standard); Truly Random (Zignago); 13 mm transverse (1.5 mm d); 38 random transverse; 19 mm uniform transverse; random transverse, saw cut; 25 mm transverse. The types are arranged in order of their subjective rating, from 19 mm random skew 1:6 at the left (lowest) and 25 mm transverse at the right (highest). The top three rankings for interior dBA are milled surface, transverse 19 mm (3-5 mm d), and 25 mm (CO standard). The top three rankings for exterior dBA are 38 mm random transverse, 25 mm transverse, and 38 mm random transverse.

Based on the results of the data analysis, the following primary recommendations were developed (Kuemmel et al. 2000):

  • If overall noise considerations are paramount, longitudinal tining that provides satisfactory friction may be considered. A uniform tine spacing of 19 mm (0.75 in.) will provide adequate friction and, according to other studies, will minimize effects on small tired vehicles. However, the safety aspects of longitudinal tining have not been documented.
  • If subjective perceptions and texture considerations are paramount, a randomly skewed (1:6) textured pavement, offset the opposite of any skewing of the transverse joints, may be used. This pattern achieves the texture and friction of a conventional transversely tined pavement while also obtaining most of the noise reductions associated with longitudinal tining.
  • If texture considerations are paramount, and a skewed pattern is impractical, randomly spaced transverse tining may be employed. However, this should be carefully designed and built using a highly variable spacing. A 3-m (10-ft) long rake with spacings between 10 and 76 mm (0.4 and 3.0 in.), designed using spectral analysis, is recommended, and has been successfully tested by three states.
  • Diamond grinding, if sufficiently deep to remove most of the uniform transverse texture, can be considered a treatment for PCC pavements with excessive whine.

It should be noted that at least one State evaluated the surface texture recommendation presented above, but did not achieve low-noise pavements (Scofield 2003). A new technical advisory on pavement surface texture is currently under development by the FHWA.

Points of Contact

Debbie Bischoff
Wisconsin Department of Transportation
3502 Kinsman Boulevard
Madison, WI 53704
(608) 246-7957
debra.bischoff@dot.state.wi.us

David A. Kuemmel
(414) 288-3528
david.kuemmel@marquette.edu

Ronald C. Sonntag
(414) 288-5734
ronald.sonntag@marquette.edu

Marquette University
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
P.O. Box 1881
Milwaukee, WI 53201-1881

References

Kuemmel, D. A., J. R. Jaeckel, A. Satanovsky, S. F. Shober, and M. M. Dobersek. 1996. "Noise Characteristics of Pavement Surface Texture in Wisconsin." Transportation Research Record 1544. Transportation Research Board, Washington, DC.

Kuemmel, D. A., R. C. Sonntag, J. A. Crovetti, Y. Becker, J. R. Jaeckel, and A. Satanovsky. 2000. Noise and Texture on PCC Pavements - Results of a Multi-State Study. Report Number WI/SPR-08-99. Wisconsin Department of Transportation, Madison, WI (also available at: http://chte.marquette.edu/publications/NoiseTexture/noise_and_texture_final_report_6-2000.pdf).

Scofield, L. 2003. SR202 PCCP Whisper Grinding Test Sections. Final Report. Arizona Department of Transportation, Phoenix.

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Updated: 10/23/2014
 

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