About the research
In 2004, the Federal Highway Administration, Iowa State University, American Concrete Pavement Association, and the International Grooving and Grinding Association initiated a five-year Concrete Pavement Surface Characteristics Program (CPSCP). This program was administered through the National Concrete Pavement Technology Center located at Iowa State University. The purpose was to determine the interrelationship among noise, friction, smoothness, and texture properties of concrete pavements. It was envisioned at that time to consist of the following parts:
- Part 1: Portland Cement Concrete Pavement Surface Characteristics (referred to as Project 15 of FHWA/ISU Cooperative Agreement No. DTFH61-01X-0042)
- Part 2: 2005-2006 Field Data Collection of Current Surface Characteristics Practices
- Part 3: 2006-2012 Data Analysis and Innovative Surface Characteristics Solutions, Transportation Pooled Fund TPF-5(139)
Part 1 included the development of a long-term Strategic Plan as well as documentation on all concrete pavement noise reduction trials with a specific focus on European and U.S. methods. The report compiled information on design, bidding, construction, quality control, maintenance, and field evaluations. Part 2 consisted of the collection, measurement, presentation, and preliminary analysis of noise, skid, texture, and smoothness data for conventional texturing variations and grinding techniques on pavements. Part 3 investigated innovative texturing techniques with potential to reduce noise, while not degrading the other surface characteristics (smoothness, friction, drainage, etc.) of the pavement. Part 3 concluded with an extensive outreach effort including the development of guide specifications, a how-to guide for constructing concrete pavement textures, several technical briefs, and a day-long training workshop.
The CPSCP has led to better practices for designing and constructing quieter concrete pavements. The implementation of these guidelines has begun, and several early adopters have already been reported.