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CPTP Status Report - Task 65 Engineering ETG Review Copy

Chapter 2 - CPTP Focus Areas

CPTP Focus Area 5: Enhanced User Satisfaction

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CPTP Focus Area 5: Enhanced User Satisfaction
  • Construction traffic management studies to reduce lane closures and congestion (Task 1)
  • Smoothness criteria for concrete pavements (Tasks 16 and 53).
  • Smoothness characterization (Tasks 62 and 63).
  • Traffic noise characteristics (Task 63).
  • Surface texturing (Task 53).

In this focus area, several CPTP projects are aimed at increasing user satisfaction which includes reducing congestion and improving (functional) performance. Congestion can be reduced by improved construction practices and traffic management plans to minimize user delays during urban highway reconstruction and by emphasizing pavement preservation activities to extend the pavement's service life before major rehabilitation or reconstruction is required.

Functional performance is determined by how well the pavement serves the user. Until now, riding comfort-a concept developed in 1957-has been the dominant concern. Today the greater need is to optimize riding comfort along with other important functional characteristics of pavements, particularly surface texture (which affects friction and noise). Some of the CPTP studies that are expected to provide contributions in these areas are summarized below.

A congested section of a highway in an urban area
Congestion Reduction

One of the major user concerns in concrete pavement construction and rehabilitation is congestion reduction. While a number of other CPTP activities will contribute to addressing this concern, implementing innovative construction methods and traffic management methods during urban highway reconstruction to minimize user disruption will improve safety and substantially reduce user costs because these routes will be open to serve traffic. Worker safety will also be improved by reducing workers' exposure to traffic during construction (Task 1).

Smoothness Criteria, Data Collection and Analysis Techniques

Under CPTP Tasks 16, 53, 62, and 63, research is being conducted to improve concrete pavement ride quality for both automobile and commercial vehicles. These activities will support FHWA's national emphasis on improving pavement smoothness. The CPTP research in this focus area is aimed at resolving specific issues unique to portland cement concrete pavements. These issues include:

  • Developing and specifying improved smoothness criteria which include addressing the effect of texture and joints on ride quality (Task 16).
  • Kansas super smooth pavements (Task 53).
  • Determining the effects of material properties on pavement smoothness and developing guidelines to assist highway agencies in specifying, and contractors in constructing pavements that are smooth and have good long term performance (Task 62).
  • Minimizing slab curvature (and faulting) to improve ride and reduce rate of structural deterioration (Task 63).
A lightweight profiler for measuring pavement ride quality.

The availability and use of recently developed lightweight profilers to measure smoothness soon after concrete placement has required changes in the way smoothness is specified and measured. The protocols developed need to be tested and refined for routine use.

Surface Texturing and Traffic Noise Characteristics

CPTP research is also addressing the surface texture and traffic noise characteristics issues. The Close Proximity (CPX) noise measurement method is being used to determine the relationship between mega texture (50 - 100 mm wave length) and tire pavement noise for PCC pavements (Task 63). This research will help FHWA update the PCC surface texturing guidelines and support the recent Quiet Pavements demonstration effort.

Random transverse tined concrete surface Uniform transverse tined concrete surface Random skewed tined concrete surface Uniform longitudinal tined concrete surface
Random Transverse Uniform Transverse Random Skewed Uniform Longitudinal
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Products and Contributions of CPTP Focus Area 5
  • Guidelines on pavement surface texturing
    • High Performance Concrete Pavement: Pavement Texturing and Tire-Pavement Noise (FHWA-IF-02-020, March 2002) (available now).
  • Guidelines for use of inertial profilers for construction quality control and quality assurance (in development).
  • Pavement Profile Viewer and Analyzer (ProVAL 2.0) software (available April 2004).
  • Determination of the effect of materials properties on pavement smoothness (in development).
  • Guidelines for specifying and constructing pavements that are smooth and have good long-term performance (in development).
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Updated: 02/20/2015

United States Department of Transportation - Federal Highway Administration