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An Integrated Field and Laboratory Research Initiative for Advancing Pavement Technology


New and improved pavement technologies are developed through laboratory investigations, construction and maintenance, theoretical analyses, long term performance studies such as SHRP and C-SHRP, and integrated programs of laboratory and field research. It is the latter, integrated approach, which is the subject of this paper. In 2002, the advancement of pavement technology was given a quantum boost by the largest research funding ever provided to the field, $9 million in total. The support package has been provided from The Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI), Ontario Innovation Trust (OIT), Ontario Research and Development Foundation (ORDCF), and several private and public sector partners. The first major initiative to occur under this support is an integrated laboratory and field research program involving new state-of-the-art testing equipment, and new expanded field and central laboratories and central and satellite field test sections. This paper first briefly summarizes the background, partnerships, vision and focus areas for the research initiative, and then concentrates on the design, construction and performance results from the central field test sections. Particular emphasis is placed on the materials (including conventional, polymer modified, stone matrix and superpave mixes, and geogrid reinforcement), the instrumentation (including strain carriers, deflectometers, thermocouple strings and a WIM) and wireless remote monitoring, the accelerated loading (short bursts of 40 ESAL trucks, with the first 300,000 cumulative ESAL’s being applied in 2 weeks), the structural evaluation (several rounds of FWD testing and layer moduli backcalculations), roughness evaluation (several rounds of IRI’s) and distress evaluation. Finally, the paper offers several conclusions and recommendations as to the future opportunities for further advancements in pavement technologies.

Conference Paper Details

Session title:
Tighe, S
Haas, R
Kennepohl, G