The National Academies

SHRP 2 R06(E) [Completed]

Real-Time Smoothness Measurements on Portland Cement Concrete Pavements During Construction

  Project Data
Funds: $550,000
Research Agency: The Transtec Group, Inc.
Principal Investigator: Robert Otto Rasmussen & Steven M. Karamihas
Effective Date: 2/20/2009
Completion Date: 11/30/2011

Project snapshot. More details below.

(Project Number)
Impact on Practice
Product Status

Evaluation of tools to measure concrete pavement smoothness in real time during construction; model specifications; and construction guidance.
Measuring pavement smoothness during construction, rather than after the concrete sets, allows immediate remediation resulting in a better quality product and reduced need for expensive grinding.
Of seven devices studied, two were selected for further evaluation and demonstration: the GOMACO Smoothness Indicator and the Ames Engineering Real-Time Profiler. The devices were evaluated during concrete paving projects in Georgia, Arkansas, Texas, Michigan, and New York.

The final report and product information is available at https://www.trb.org/Main/Blurbs/167282.aspx.

Staff Responsibility: James Bryant
Smooth concrete pavements have been shown to be more durable, have lower vehicle operating costs, and reduce maintenance and rehabilitation costs.  In addition, transportation agencies recognize the importance of smooth-riding pavements to the traveling public.  Efforts to develop real-time smoothness measurements have already been made, but there is a need for further development of a construction quality control tool for detecting surface irregularities during concrete paving operations.  This technology has the potential to improve process control and allow for equipment and operations adjustments to correct surface irregularities while the concrete is still plastic, resulting in higher quality, lower cost, and faster construction that can minimize impacts to the traveling public.
The purpose of this project was to enable real-time control of concrete pavement smoothness during construction by providing proven technologies for measuring smoothness in real time, and model specifications and guidelines for transportation agencies.
This project evaluated and demonstrated both emerging and proven technologies. Seven potential measurement devices were identified and studied and two of them were found to warrant subsequent evaluation and demonstration. The devices were evaluated during concrete paving projects in Georgia, Arkansas, Texas, Michigan, and New York and observations were made about the potential of these devices, and the technology as a whole, to improve the quality of pavement construction through improved smoothness. From this project, model specifications and construction guidance have been developed to expedite the implementation of these technologies. 

Project Status: This project is complete.
Products: Real-Time Smoothness Measurements on Portland Cement Concrete Pavements During Construction, SHRP 2 Report S2-R06E-RR-1, was published in May 2013.  It is available as an Adobe PDF.  A printed version is available through the TRB bookstore.  An e-book version of this report is available for purchase at Google, iTunes, and Amazon.  A fact sheet and a project brief are also available.
This page was last modified on March 18, 2014.

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