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Publication Number: FHWA-HRT-05-068
Date: October 2005

Achieving A High Level of Smoothness in Concrete Pavements Without Sacrificing Long-Term Performance

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FOREWORD

This report contains guidance on how highway agencies and contractors can achieve smooth, long-lasting portland cement concrete (PCC) pavements. The report: (1) assesses whether high initial smoothness necessarily results in better long-term performance, (2) identifies design features and material properties that can cause an initially smooth PCC pavement to exhibit detrimental long-term performance, (3) provides guidance on materials properties, design features, and construction procedures to avoid these detrimental effects, (4) investigates how the smoothness of a PCC pavement measured immediately after construction can change over the short term, and (5) looks at data collection issues related to lightweight inertial profilers.

This report should be of interest to those involved in the design and construction of concrete pavements. Sufficient copies of this report are being distributed to provide 10 copies to each FHWA Resource Center, 8 copies to each FHWA Division, and a minimum of 12 copies to each State highway agency. FHWA Division offices will distribute documents directly to State highway agencies. Additional copies for the public are available from the National Technical Information Service (NTIS), 5285 Port Royal Road, Springfield, VA 22161.

Gary L. Henderson
Director, Office of Infrastructure
Research and Development

Notice

This document is disseminated under the sponsorship of the U.S. Department of Transportation in the interest of information exchange. The U. S. Government assumes no liability for the use of the information contained in this document. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation.

The U. S. Government does not endorse products or manufacturers. Trademarks or manufacturers' names appear in this report only because they are considered essential to the object of the document.

Quality Assurance Statement

The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) provides high-quality information to serve Government, industry, and the public in a manner that promotes public understanding. Standards and policies are used to ensure and maximize the quality, objectivity, utility, and integrity of its information. FHWA periodically reviews quality issues and adjusts its programs and processes to ensure continuous quality improvement.

Technical Report Documentation Page

1. Report No
FHWA-HRT-05-068
2. Government Accession No.3. Recipient's Catalog No.
4. Title and Subtitle
Achieving a High Level of Smoothness in Concrete Pavements Without Sacrificing Long-Term Performance
5. Report Date
October 2005
6. Performing Organization Code
7. Author(s)
R.W. Perera, S.D. Kohn, and S. Tayabji
8. Performing Organization Report No.
9. Performing Organization Name and Address
Soil and Materials Engineers, Inc., 43980 Plymouth Oaks Blvd.,
Plymouth, MI 48170
Construction Technology Laboratories, Inc.
5565 Sterrett Place, Suite 312
Columbia, MD 21044
10. Work Unit No. (TRAIS)
11. Contract or Grant No.
DTFH61-01-C-00030
12. Sponsoring Agency Name and Address
Office of Infrastructure Research and Development
Turner-Fairbank Highway Research Center Federal Highway Administration
6300 Georgetown Pike
McLean, VA 22101
13. Type of Report and Period Covered
Final report, 2001-2004
14. Sponsoring Agency Code
15. Supplementary Notes
Mr. Peter Kopac of FHWA served as the Contracting Officer's Technical Representative for this project. Dr. Chris Byrum of Soil and Materials Engineers participated in this project by computing curvature indices and contributing to research discussions. We would like to express our appreciation to the following people for collecting profile data at test sections that were used in this study: Kevin Jones, Iowa Department of Transportation; Tom Hynes, Michigan Department of Transportation; and Jim Kyper, New Enterprise Stone and Lime Company.
16. Abstract
In a PCC pavement, it is important to achieve both a high level of smoothness during construction, as well as a satisfactory long-term performance. It is not acceptable to construct a pavement with a high initial smoothness that will give poor long-term performance. The design features and material properties of the PCC pavement should be conducive to yielding satisfactory long-term performance. Smoothness measurements for construction acceptance are usually performed shortly after paving is completed. The results from the smoothness measurements are used to judge whether the pavement has achieved the specified smoothness level. However, it is unclear whether the smoothness of a pavement measured immediately after it is paved truly reflects the initial smoothness of the pavement because the smoothness may undergo changes over the short term (e.g., within 3 months) due to curling or warping effects. This report: (1) assesses whether high initial smoothness translates into better long-term performance, (2) identifies design features and material properties in PCC pavements that can cause an initially smooth pavement to exhibit detrimental long-term performance, (3) provides guidance on materials properties, design features, and construction procedures to avoid these detrimental effects, (4) investigates how the smoothness of a PCC pavement measured immediately after construction can change over the short term (within the first 3 months), and (5) looks at data collection issues related to lightweight inertial profilers.
17. Key Words
concrete pavement, concrete properties, concrete mix design, pavement construction, pavement testing, pavement smoothness, pavement performance, inertial profilers, profile measurements
18. Distribution Statement
No restrictions.
19. Security Classif. (of this report)
Unclassified
20. Security Classif. (of this page)
Unclassified
21. No. of Pages
209
22. Price

Form DOT F 1700.7 (8-72) Reproduction of completed page authorized

SI* (Modern Metric) Conversion Factors

TABLE OF CONTENTS

LIST OF FIGURES

LIST OF TABLES

ACRONYMS

AASHOAmerican Association of State Highway Officials
ACPAAmerican Concrete Pavement Association
ASTMAmerican Society for Testing and Materials
CICurvature Index
CTEcoefficient of thermal expansion
DOTDepartment of Transportation
ESALequivalent single axle loads
FHWAFederal Highway Administration
GPSGeneral Pavement Studies
IInterstate
ICCInternational Cybernetics Corporation
IMSInformation Management System
IRIInternational Roughness Index
JPCjointed plain concrete
LTPPLong-Term Pavement Performance
MPRmean panel ratings
NCHRPNational Cooperative Highway Research Program
PCCportland cement concrete
PIProfile Index
PSDpower spectral density
PSIPresent Serviceability Index
RNride number
SHAState highway agency
UMTRIUniversity of Michigan Transportation Research Institute

 


The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is a part of the U.S. Department of Transportation and is headquartered in Washington, D.C., with field offices across the United States. is a major agency of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT).
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is a part of the U.S. Department of Transportation and is headquartered in Washington, D.C., with field offices across the United States. is a major agency of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). Provide leadership and technology for the delivery of long life pavements that meet our customers needs and are safe, cost effective, and can be effectively maintained. Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA) R&T Web site portal, which provides access to or information about the Agency’s R&T program, projects, partnerships, publications, and results.
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