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Pavement Smoothness Evaluation

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The FHWA and STA team will evaluate the STA's current pavement smoothness specifications and related construction practices. The team will provide an assessment with recommendations (if appropriate) which should enhance the constructed pavement's ride characteristics. The evaluation will consist primarily of (1) a review of the existing specifications, (2) discussions with appropriate State Construction and Materials staff and (3) site visits of active pavement construction.

FHWA Contacts:

STA Team Members:

Guide Questions

  1. What is the contractor's role in performing the evaluation of newly constructed pavement's ride quality (smoothness)? For example, is the contractor required to furnish the equipment and/ or allowed to do the field testing?
  2. What is State's role in evaluating the pavement's ride quality?
    • does the State furnish the equipment?
    • do they do the testing?
    • do they allow the contractor to perform any testing?
    • what is the actual turnaround time (spec requirements) to furnish results to the contractor?
  3. Is the testing performed by project personnel or materials (lab) personnel?
    • are there any internal verifications checks performed?
    • if not then what quality assurance steps are taken?
  4. Does the contractor ever do its own independent testing? If so, if their results do not agree with State - how is it resolved?
  5. The specification requires a computerized California-type profilograph. Are there other types of measuring devices used/permitted?
    • do the specifications prohibit a specific category of measuring device? If so then why?
  6. How is the PRI calculated (0.2 blanking band used?)? Who reduces the tracings and performs the calculations? What training is provided?
  7. The State's specification requires "must correct" action for bumps exceeding 0.3 inch in 25 feet (AASHTO currently recommends 0.4 in. per 25 ft.).
    • has this standard always been used by the State?
    • has it required more corrective work on the part of the contractor?
  8. The State's specifications allow incentive/disincentive adjustments when calculating payment to the contractor; how long has the State been using this provision?
  9. Explain how the price adjustment provisions are applied to a completed segment of pavement. (initial PRI vs final PRI measurement)
  10. Why is the existing payment adjustment scheduled used as opposed to the more traditional percent adjustment of paving bid item? (e.g., pavement thickness)
    • does the State believe that one is better than the other and why?
Updated: 06/27/2017
Federal Highway Administration | 1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE | Washington, DC 20590 | 202-366-4000