Federal Highway Administration
National Highway Institute
Second Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP2)
Peter Taylorptaylor@iastate.edu email >
Director, CP Tech Center
About the research
The overall objective of the Second Strategic Highway Research Program (SHRP2) project R06E Real-Time Smoothness Measurements on Portland Cement Concrete (PCC) Pavements during Construction was to enable real-time control of concrete pavement smoothness during construction by evaluating and demonstrating promising technologies, and the development of both model specifications and construction guidance that are capable of working with the identified technology in such a way as to further the objective of rapid implementation by state highway agencies.
Seven potential real-time smoothness measurement devices were identified and studied as part of the project. Two of the devices were found to warrant subsequent evaluation and demonstration as part of Phase Ill of the project: These included the GOMACO Smoothness Indicator (GSI) and the Ames Engineering Real-Time Profiler (RTP). The GOMACO device was piloted and evaluated during concrete paving projects in Arkansas and Michigan, and the Ames device was piloted in Michigan, New York, and Texas.
During the project, it was noted that there was consensus among contractors that the real-time smoothness measuring technology represents a valuable process control tool in that the ability to have real-time feedback from intentional process changes has the greatest potential to make lasting improvements in the smoothness of concrete pavements. While the current state of the practice is to cautiously make an equipment/process change and wait approximately 24 hours for feedback when the hardened pavement can be profiled, real-time smoothness measuring devices allow the contractors to make adjustments to their concrete equipment and/or process while the concrete is still wet, minimizing more costly corrections later.
The objectives of this Task Order are to provide technology deployment support as follows: (1) equipment loan program; (2) conduct showcases; (3) conduct workshops; (4) documentation of results/case studies; (5) specification refinement; and (6) marketing and outreach. These objectives seek to ensure routine use of the R06E product technology by agencies and contractors that routinely construct PCC projects.
For more information, read the “Proven technologies to identify surface irregularities that can impact concrete pavement smoothness, and provide opportunity for corrections in real time,” article on FHWA’s website.
Below is a playlist of all CP Tech Center videos on real-time smoothness (RTS):