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South Dakota Department of Transportation
Project Synopsis

Title: Ride Quality of Flexible Pavements
Project Researcher: Len Moser,
Project Manager: Blair Lunde
Research Period: -
Cost: $0.00

Problem Statement:Smoothness is considered among the most important attributes of pavements. The traveling public has always valued smooth pavements. Incentive/disincentive payments based on smoothness have not been used with AC pavements in South Dakota. There is a feeling within SDDOT and FHWA that with the use of an AC smoothness specification AC pavement construction practices will improve and could provide a longer lasting smooth pavement.

Research is needed:

  1. To determine whether the use of incentive/disincentive payments based on the measured smoothness of PCC pavements has resulted in better construction practices and smoother pavements,

  2. To determine if we have a smoothness problem,

  3. To assess if initially smooth pavements have long lasting benefits which are economically justified and

  4. To develop a method of measuring the smoothness of newly constructed and overlaid flexible pavements,

  5. To develop a smoothness specification that can be used for flexible pavements.

The primary piece of equipment used by other states for rideability specifications is the California Profilograph. Other equipment that has been used for rideability specifications include Mays Ride Meters and Road Profilers.


Research Objectives:

Research Tasks:
1  Meet with the Technical Panel to review the work plan and schedule.
2  Review literature for methods and equipment used to determine AC Ride Specifications and for the benefits attributable to initially smoother pavements over initially rougher pavements.
3  Survey states for an update of use of AC ride specifications and method of determination of AC ride specifications.
4  Select and justify the choice of one or more pieces of measurement equipment and rideability indices.
5  Measure the rideability using the equipment selected on portions of ten overlay and a maximum of 6 new construction projects. On overlay projects measurements before and after construction should be made.
6  Using the rideability measurements made in Task 5 evaluate the pavements, the measuring equipment and the rideability indices.
7  Calculate rideability indices from data provided by SDDOT gathered with the SD Road Profiler. Data is available from the SD Road Profiler from 1982 through 1991. Provide the rideability indices calculated to SDDOT in a PC compatible format so that
8  Determine if initially smoother pavements have long term benefits which are economically justified, using the historical data developed in Task 7.
9  Propose a minimum rideability specification.
10  Submit a final report summarizing relevant literature, research methodology, findings and conclusions.

Documents Available:

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