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Impacts of Increased Loading Due to Heavy Construction Traffic on Thin Pavements


Heavy construction traffic was anticipated to cause accelerated deterioration or damage of pavements in the area of watermain construction in the City of Ottawa and the Township of Russell in Ontario. A monitoring program was implemented to determine if construction traffic caused accelerated deterioration or damage to the pavement. The agencies involved wanted to quantify the damage caused by the increased loading during construction to allow an equitable sharing of costs to restore the pavement to preconstruction conditions. Potential damage was quantified using visual pavement condition assessments and Falling Weight Deflectometer (FWD) testing. The pavement condition was assessed pre and post construction, and the information was used to quantify the pavement damage caused by construction. Pavement deflections were measured using the FWD. The measured deflections were used to determine the in-situ structural condition of the pavement pre and post construction through backcalculation analysis which included establishing the subgrade soil conditions. Detailed visual distress surveys were also completed on representative 100 m sections to document a change in distress severity and frequency. The type, severity and extent of the distresses were recorded, and digital images were taken to document the condition. The pre construction results were compared to the post construction results to assess the extent of the pavement damage caused by construction traffic. The FWD testing indicated that no significant structural damage had been caused by construction traffic. The visual monitoring did show an increase in the extent and severity of surface distresses; however, this increase in distress did not significantly impact the structural performance of the pavement.

Conference Paper Details

Session title:
Harry Sturm
Amir Abd El Halim
Abid Ikram
Lewis Wong
Environmental issues, Environmental legislation