Center for Sustainable Transportation Infrastructure

The Center for Sustainable Transportation Infrastructure (CSTI) focuses on asset management; pavement design, analysis, rehabilitation, and safety; infrastructure management; civil engineering materials; nondestructive testing; and life cycle cost analyses. CSTI 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 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. CSTI also developed a way to include the environmental impact of road materials in the decision-making processes during road construction.

Gerardo Flintsch
Center Director

Preventive Maintenance

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.

Quiet Pavement

The objective of this study is to support the efforts of the Virginia Center for Transportation Innovation and Research (VCTIR) 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.

During this project, several different parameters (below) will be measured to monitor the performances of the five Quiet Pavement Test Sites built by VDOT:

  • Onboard Sound Intensity (OBSI; noise);
  • Continuous Friction Measurement Equipment (CFME) dynamic friction (Grip Tester);
  • Static Friction with the Dynamic Friction Tester (DFT);
  • Static Macrotexture with the Computerized Tomography (CT) Meter; and
  • Pavement markings, retroreflectivity and color measurements.

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 during recent years. Furthermore, with the growing awareness of greener and more sustainable practices along with increasing oil prices, state DOTs 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 increasing the 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 content obtained using the Superpave mix design procedure. The fractionation of RAP, which is performaned 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 designed to develop an assessment tool that characterizes the propensity of highway sections to generate splash and spray during rainfall and assess the effects of splash and spray on drivers. The project, which will deliver a robust model designed to predict splash and spray generation, comprises three model components: 1) water-film, 2) splash/spray and 3) exposure. The final model will be practical and applicable by all highway administrations throughout the country.

Pavement Surfaces Properties Consortium

This collaborative project establishes 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 (FHWA) and the Connecticut, Georgia, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Mississippi, and Virginia departments of transportation (DOTs).

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 they used to evaluate pavement and conduct road construction quality control.

Edgar de Leon Izeppi

Research Scientist

Billy Hobbs

Advance Material Characterization Lab Manager

Samer Katicha

Research Scientist

Kenny Smith

Advance Material Characterization Lab Technician

Claire Xue

Research Associate