Center for Sustainable Transportation Infrastructure
The Center for Sustainable Transportation Infrastructure focuses on asset management; pavement design, analysis, rehabilitation, and safety; infrastructure management; civil engineering materials; nondestructive testing; and life-cycle cost analyses. The center houses the Infrastructure Management Group and the Sensing, Modeling and Simulation Group. The center initiated a consortium of state highway agencies and equipment manufacturers dedicated to enhancing pavement surfaces. The center also tested a product that extends the life of the road surface and retains de-icing chemicals on the surface, giving road crews time to deploy during inclement weather. The center was instrumental in developing a way to include the environmental impact of road materials in the decision-making processes during road construction.
The objective of this project is to improve the preservation of state-maintained pavement by compiling the main findings from current practices of pavement preservation, evaluating the most promising treatments, and developing guidelines and construction practices that can be used by the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT) to determine the most appropriate pavement preservation strategies for Virginia's roads.
Project researchers participated in the VDOT Pavement Management System (PMS) training held in the Richmond Central Office by the Pavement Maintenance Division using the updated version of the program. The PMS program will facilitate evaluations of the historical performances of several preservation treatments. This evaluation should produce criteria for more effective implementation of the suggested preservation approaches; these criteria will be developed as part of this study. A simplified user’s guide for the PMS that suggests possible alternative preventive maintenance treatments will be created as part of the project.
This study supports the efforts of the Virginia Center for Transportation Innovation and Research to document all aspects of the progression to achieve the “routine application of quiet pavement.” The tasks associated with this project include the determination of as-constructed functional and structural properties of the various technologies to be evaluated during two full winters of service using performance monitoring. CSTI will measure the following parameters to monitor the performance of pavement at five quiet pavement test sites built by the Virginia Department of Transportation:
- Onboard Sound Intensity (noise)
- Dynamic friction (grip)
- Static friction
- Static macrotexture
- Pavement markings, retroreflectivity, and color
Read more about the Virginia Quiet Pavement Implementation Program.
Reclaimed Asphalt Pavement
The use of reclaimed asphalt pavement (RAP) in asphalt mixtures has steadily increased in recent years. Furthermore, with the growing awareness of greener and more sustainable practices along with increasing oil prices, state departments of transportation have considered the economic and environmental benefits of integrating greater percentages of RAP into their mixes.
The objective of this project is to investigate the effect of binder content on the performance of high-RAP surface mixtures. The presence of aged binders in RAP tends to improve rutting resistance and degrade cracking resistance; the latter effect may be offset by an increase in the percent of asphalt binder compared to the optimal asphalt composition obtained using the Superpave mix design procedure. The fractionation of RAP, which is performed by many Virginia asphalt producers, may provide better control over mix gradation, allowing a larger amount of RAP to be incorporated into the mixture.
Splash and Spray
This project is developing an assessment tool that characterizes the propensity of highway sections to generate splash and spray during rainfall and assesses the effects of splash and spray on drivers. The project will produce a robust model designed to predict splash and spray generation. The final model will be practical and applicable by all highway administrations throughout the country.
Pavement Surfaces Properties Consortium
This collaborative project is establishing a research program focused on enhancing roadway transportation system services by optimizing pavement surface texture characteristics, including friction, splash and spray, and tire-pavement noise. Other organizations participating are the Federal Highway Administration and the Connecticut, Georgia, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Mississippi, and Virginia Departments of Transportation.
This program is designed to evaluate equipment used to measure pavement surface properties and develop emerging technologies that show promise for improving measurements. This program will also study innovative pavement surface and pavement preservation treatments. This collaborative research program provides an accessible and efficient way for highway agencies and other organizations to conduct research on pavement surface texture and smoothness. The program also helps participants verify the accuracy of the equipment used to evaluate pavement and conduct road construction quality control.
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