Knowledge CentreTechnical Resources SearchConference PapersImpact of Recent Technology Advancements on Pavement Life

Impact of Recent Technology Advancements on Pavement Life


Canada’s roads keep our society mobile and contribute significantly to our economic infrastructure. The economic (cost-effective) design, and more importantly preservation, of these valuable national assets cannot be overstated. Advancements in asphalt and concrete technology, as well as pavement design methods, through research and development activities have made significant contributions to building longer lasting pavements with lower service costs. This has been accomplished through a better understanding of pavement design, rehabilitation, and maintenance methods and applications. In this paper, the benefits of recent technology advancements such as the development of the new AASHTO 2002 pavement design guide, as well as the use of technology advancements such as, pavement smoothness specifications, open graded drainage layers, perpendicular transverse joints in concrete pavements, ultra-thin whitetopping, stone mastic asphalt, micro-surfacing and expanded/foamed asphalt are discussed. For each technology or technique, a synthesis and history of practice is provided along with a relative ranking of performance benefits and costs. For example, the use of stone mastic asphalt (SMA) in Canada has increased dramatically since its initial introduction to Canada in 1990. The use of SMA has progressed rapidly from its initial use on a trial basis to the primary mixture of choice for high volume urban highways and freeways. While the initial cost of SMA can be in the order of 30 to 50 percent higher than traditional asphalt mixes, its superior performance characteristics in terms of fatigue and rut resistance result in a longer service life with lower maintenance costs. When considered on an overall life-cycle cost basis, the use of a higher initial cost SMA will result in a lower life-cycle cost for the pavement. Similarly, the timely use of pavement preservation techniques such as micro-surfacing will reduce maintenance costs and provide a cost-effective extension in pavement life until such time as a more substantial rehabilitation can be considered. The potential cost savings resulting from an increase in pavement service life or reduction in the maintenance and rehabilitation costs is substantial and contributes significantly to sustainable municipal infrastructure. 

Conference Paper Details

Session title:
Hein, D
Olidis, C
Darter, M
Von Quintus, H