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Federal Highway Administration > Publications > Focus > November 2005 > Tire-Pavement Noise 101
November 2005Publication Number: FHWA-HRT-06-020

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Tire-Pavement Noise 101

A new workshop available from the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has highway agency staff heading back to the classroom to learn more about tire-pavement noise and noise abatement strategies. Developed by FHWA's Office of Pavement Technology and Office of Natural and Human Environment, in conjunction with the Transtec Group, "Tire-Pavement Noise 101" is designed to help pavement engineers and noise practitioners improve their understanding of how pavement noise is created and learn solutions that can reduce it. "The workshop is intended to bring noise practitioners and pavement engineers together and fill in the knowledge gaps between the two parties," says Mark Swanlund of FHWA.

The workshop is an outgrowth of an international scanning tour on quiet pavement technologies that took place in the spring of 2004 (see April 2005 Focus). The tour was sponsored by FHWA, the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, and the Transportation Research Board/National Cooperative Highway Research Program. Following the tour, a workshop held at Purdue University in Indiana analyzed the trip's findings and identified the need for training and education on quiet pavements.

The 1-day workshop is divided between instruction and discussion time. Topics include acoustic fundamentals, pavement noise measurement techniques, and best practices for designing and constructing quieter pavements. Demonstrations of how tire noise is generated are featured as well. The training also includes an overview of current research and policy.

The workshop can be tailored to a State's particular needs and is provided at no cost. "States must simply provide a facility and invite participants," says Robert Rasmussen of the Transtec Group.

A pilot workshop was held in June 2005 in Baltimore, Maryland. Since then, 13 States have requested the workshop. "We are very pleased at the enthusiasm this workshop has received from the State highway agencies and industry," says Swanlund. "The positive feedback shows that this workshop has definitely met a need among our stakeholders."

For more information on the workshop, contact Mark Swanlund at FHWA, 202-366-1323 (email:, or Robert Rasmussen at the Transtec Group, 512-451-6233, ext. 23 (email:

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Updated: 02/20/2015

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